Northern Mariana Islands Regulates Car Hire


Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is part of the Commonwealth of the United States, although this seems a best-kept secret. Its nearest neighbor is Guam. The CNMI has a tropical rainforest climate moderated by northeast trade winds, with little seasonal temperature variation. This attracts loads of tourists in search of balmy weather all year long.

The House of Representatives appears have grown tired of hearing complaints from tourists concerning notorious practices by companies that rent motor vehicles. It approved Senate Bill 20-55, introduced by Sen. Sixto Igisomar on August 10, 2018, which now waits on the governor’s desk for the customary pause before approval.

The Bill confirms the need to regulate these car rental companies in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. “More rented motor vehicles are seen on the highways, and traffic has doubled,” Sen. Sixto Igisomar told the House. He is concerned about the increasing number of accidents involving rented vehicles.  We gather many drivers are foreigners who have no idea how to behave on Commonwealth roads.


Noteworthy Aspects of Senate Bill 20-55


Marianas’s Variety News reports Senate Bill 20-55 will “prohibit rental companies from renting or leasing a motor vehicle to individuals not in immediate possession of a valid operator’s license, as issued by the CNMI Bureau of Motor Vehicles”.

Moreover, “a rental company must have an English translation of the rental agreement, with a clear copy of the driver’s license attached to it. Or any foreign language version of a rental agreement with an English translation and clear copy of the primary driver’s operator’s license attached to it.”


Prior Approvals for Rental Agreements and Damage Waivers


We have little idea what has being going on in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, there must have some skullduggery since the Secretary of Commerce must approve the rental agreement before these documents have the force of law.

“The rental company shall disclose as part of any price quotation,” the Bill adds, ”including those quotations contained in advertising or by telephone, and all payments a renter must make in order to rent the vehicle”. We can only imagine the chaos before Sen. Sixto Igisomar intervened.


Possible Purge of Disreputable Car Rental Companies


Pteet welcomes what may be an early sign to regulate the car rental industry worldwide. The bulk of firms deliver a half-decent service while making an exorbitant profit. The rest may be scoundrels dragging their reputation down.

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Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands: Stefan Krasowski BY CC 2.0