Fairbanks, AK - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly considers an ordinance Thursday during a regular meeting that would allow for the permanent registration of non-commercial vehicles and trailers that are more than eight years old.
Assemblyman Guy Sattley is sponsoring the ordinance. It comes in response to a bill passed by the state legislature last year.
“It would enable people to save a little bit of money on their vehicle registration,” said Sattley.
Alaska’s motorists are required to register vehicles and trailers on an annual basis. The new state law takes effect January first, but according to language in the bill, municipal and borough governments must pass an ordinance to opt in to the program.
At issue is whether permanent registration might result in revenue loss. Sattley said that shouldn’t have an effect at the Borough level. "Well, that would be a consideration for the legislature," he said. "They must have thought that out in Juneau. The vehicle registration fees in no way go to local government, they go to the state government.”
Car owners are also required to provide proof of insurance at the time they register a vehicle, but if vehicles are registered permanently, it’s unclear how proof of insurance might be tracked. Sattley said that’s also not a concern for the Borough government.
“Well, that’s not addressed in our ordinance and it’s probably illegal to drive without insurance," he said. "If you’re doing it you’re breaking the law and if you’re caught, I guess you’re prosecuted. I guess that’s the answer the state would give," said Sattley.
The bill requires a $25 dollar fee in addition to the regular registration fee for vehicles to be permanently registered. For trailers, the additional fee is $20 dollars. A permanent registration only changes with ownership. The Anchorage Assembly last week declined to pass an ordinance that applies to vehicles, but they did approve the change for trailers.