With an eye toward bolstering efficiency in government, and reducing the burden on Alaskans across the state, Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) introduced House Bill 140 on Wednesday, which would reduce close to half of the state’s in-person Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) visits.

The bill repeals the requirement for Alaskans, and specifically seniors aged 69 or older, to appear in-person for a driver’s license renewal. While an option for in-person renewal still exists, renewal documents could also be submitted online or by mail.

“Seniors and residents in rural communities have expressed concerns about challenges to fulfill DMV requirements,” Rep. Vance said. “This bill would ease the burden on seniors and rural communities to appear in-person for renewal. Regardless of what happens with the budget proposal to close some DMVs, this in-person requirement needs to be addressed.”

The bill is co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of legislators, with Reps. George Rauscher, Mike Cronk, Ben Carpenter, Ken McCarty, Kevin McCabe, Chris Kurka, Steve Thompson, Delena Johnson, Ronald Gillham, Sara Rasmussen, and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, supporting the measure.

“I believe the intent of working to ease government regulations concerning the people of our state is paramount to our job title and description,” said Representative Rauscher (R- Sutton). “As written, HB 140 fulfills another piece of that directive.”

“Too often, the vastness of our state presents challenges to certain communities,” Rep. Mike Cronk (R-Tok) said. “Let’s better serve our constituents by providing them with more convenient options to handle their state business.” 

House Speaker Louise Stutes has referred the bill to the House State Affairs and Community and Regional Affairs committees.

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