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Legislature Approves Permanent Vehicle/Trailer Registration

HB 19 allows municipalities and boroughs to opt in

Monday, April 21, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – The 28th Alaska Legislature today, with passage in the Alaska Senate, passed legislation that will keep money in the pockets of Alaskans by providing options when registering personal-use vehicles and trailers.

House Bill 19, by Representative Bill Stoltze, R-Mat-Su/Chugiak, establishes a new type of registration available through the Division of Motor Vehicles, allowing for the permanent registration of personal-use motor vehicles older than eight years old and non-commercial trailers. The bill is co-sponsored by Mat-Su Borough delegation Representatives Wes Keller, Mark Neuman, Lynn Gattis and Shelley Hughes.

“Saving Alaskans money; that’s what this bill is all about,” Stoltze said. “The Division of Motor Vehicles director testified that they brought in a $48 million surplus in fiscal year 2013 from registration fees. By allowing for the permanent registration of vehicles and trailers, we put a portion of that surplus back in the hands of our constituents.”

The bill calls for the addition of a one-time $25 fee plus the regular registration fee for eligible personal-use vehicles or non-commercial trailers. The permanent registration remains in effect until ownership of the vehicle or trailer changes.

The 20th Alaska Legislature passed HB 404 which created a permanent registration for commercial trailers for $20, eliminating the need for trucking companies to register their trailers every other year. “Currently, the owner of a snow machine or boat trailer pays a higher registration fee than the owners of commercial trailers. HB 19 will create fairness and benefit all Alaskans,” Stoltze said.

Under the bill, permanent registration will only be allowed to the residents of municipalities and boroughs that opt in to the program, by the passage of an ordinance.

“There was some pushback from local municipalities on this, including Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, and the municipal opt in was added in the House Rules committee as a compromise, although, I would have preferred to have passed this legislation without it,” Stoltze said. “I applaud Mayor Larry DeVilbiss and the Mat-Su Borough for supporting the bill as originally brought forward.”

HB 19, which passed the House March 12, 2014, now goes to the Governor for signature.

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