ND Senate Takes Step to Override Veto on Raising Driver’s License Fees

Senator Michael Dwyer (R - District 47) urges his colleagues to override the Governor's veto of SB 2244. This bill seeks to double the fees for driver's licenses. The Senate did their part to override by a vote of 41-4. (Photo via screenshot.)

Just two days ago, we published an article discussing the desire of what seems like a multitude of legislators to override Governor Doug Burgum’s veto of Senate Bill 2244. This, of course, is the bill proposing to double commercial and noncommercial driver’s licenses from $15 to $30. Well, today the Senate took action to override the veto by a vote of 41-4.

The only Senator to stand in opposition to the override was Senator Oley Larsen (R – District 3). Larsen stood and correctly reminded his colleagues that these increases will come out of the pockets of the taxpayer and rightly pointed out that the money is already there if the Legislature would just pull back in some other areas— meaning our citizenry is overtaxed already and the government needs to be more efficient.

I found Senator Michael Dwyer’s (R – District 47) comments somewhat intriguing. He argued that this bill is really more about transportation than it is about driver’s license fees. Dwyer went on to share statistics about the need for matching funds from the federal government for infrastructure projects and how using $5.5 million from the Highway Tax Distribution Fund to close the gap for driver’s license shortfalls might affect those federal dollars.

Senator Dwyer is new, but I wonder how he feels about the $4.7 million that have been funneled off for unconstitutional ethanol subsidies from the same fund in previous biennium’s? In fact, isn’t it kind of silly for a legislative body who approved of those unconstitutional subsidies in the past to now complain about a similar dollar amount being used for driver’s license fees? What message does that send?

If all things were equal — meaning the State wasn’t taxing and spending too much, the driver’s license department was at peak efficiency, and we knew exactly how much these licenses cost the state — I’d be sympathetic to a fee increase myself, if it were needed. But this isn’t the case. So, increasing these fees only means that the Legislature gets to hit our pocketbooks for more than they should. And I find that unacceptable.

The bill will now move on to the House for consideration. Unless some Representatives in that body change their votes, they have all they need to complete the override and raise driver’s license fees on North Dakotans.




  1. https://theminutemanblog.com/2019/03/26/legislators-looking-to-override-burgums-veto-on-raising-drivers-license-fees/
  2. https://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/66-2019/bill-index/bi2244.html
  3. http://video.legis.nd.gov/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20190328/-1/12134?startposition=20190328141257
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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.