Who or What Says You Need a License to Drive?

Shortlink to this blog: http://wp.me/p3nYC8-mI
Updated May 12 2017 to add City of Akron v DeBrosse as
Case #9 in opposition to license requirements

I am a private individual, a retired businessman. I am not an attorney, just an educated and interested party who doesn’t want to see people  losing their money, property or freedom due to misinformation.

I send people here but few bother to actually read the blog. This blog is thorough so there’s a lot in it. I decided to put a brief introduction (The TL;DR) up front to show the key points, a short summary of what you’ll see in the rest. If you don’t believe it or like it, sorry. All objections are discussed in detail in the rest of the blog, so if you aren’t persuaded, keep reading; you will find EVERY objection I’ve encountered analyzed and proven or disproven in the rest of the blog.

 Too Long/Didn’t Read (TL;DR) Version:

I have addressed all the objections and provided the court decisions that support all this in the full blog. If you say “this violates the right to travel” or “statutes are not laws” for example, read the entire blog. Those issues ARE addressed in detail, not in this first part.

You can travel down the roads on a bicycle, on shanks mare, on horseback, on a skateboard, on a wheelchair, on a Segway, as a passenger in a car, truck, boat, ferry, bus, train, or plane; you can row, sail, swim or crawl and if you’re Superman you can fly; and you can use your magic carpet to levitate; you may in fact convey yourself; you can travel down the road in  your imagination; or on the internet; and all those are ways to travel. You can do it for business, for pleasure, because you feel like it, for money or not, commercially or not.

BUT

You may not operate a car or other self-propelled vehicle without a license.

You can travel on two, three, four, one or no limbs but you can’t use ANY of them to control a self propelled  vehicle on a highway without a license.

Operate or drive — the courts use the terms interchangeably — means to be in physical control of a self-propelled vehicle, it doesn’t have any commercial implications; it doesn’t matter why you are doing it, for work, for play, for money, for god. The reason doesn’t matter.

  • The license is NOT a license to travel.
  • It is a license to operate a dangerous machine on public roads.
  • You are NOT stopped from traveling by having to get a driver’s license.
  • This law is there to protect people who are traveling.

The Laws of Washington State
as a typical example:  

RCW 46.20.001  (1) No person may drive a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state without first obtaining a valid driver’s license issued to Washington residents …The only exceptions to this requirement are those expressly allowed by RCW 46.20.025.

RCW 46.20.005  . Except as expressly exempted by this chapter, it is a misdemeanor [crime] for a person to drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state without a valid driver’s license

RCW 46.04.405 “Person” includes every natural person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association, or organization.

RCW 46.04.356 Natural person” means a human being.

[therefore it is a misdemeanor for every human being to drive without a valid license]

RCW 46.04.370 “ Operator or driver ” means every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

RCW 46.04.320 “Motor vehicle” means every vehicle that is self-propelled

RCW 46.04.670 “Vehicle” includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which, any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including bicycles…

….Note that there is no reference in this law or its definitions as to the purpose for which a vehicle is used, the commercial or non-commercial use of the vehicle, roadways, nor status of the driver. The law is not limited to those considerations. Person is the criterion. Any person, every person, must have a license to operate or drive a self propelled vehicle.  And ‘person’ includes every human being . And it applies to any motor vehicle, the language is sweeping, ““Motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle.”

And a quick quote from a Washington Supreme Court decision:

“Ms. Port’s argument that this provision requires a license only for those operating commercial vehicles is clearly without merit.Since Ms. Port was in actual physical control of her vehicle when stopped, she came under the provisions of RCW Title 46.
Spokane v Port, 716 P.2d 945.(1986)

 

Key Court Decisions

Here are a few simple, clear, and important rulings to keep in mind; those who say licensing is not required do not refer to them, or misquote or misrepresent them. Many other cases often mentioned are analyzed in the rest of the blog under “Court Decisions”.

“The right to travel, to go from place to place as the means of transportation permit, is a natural right subject to the rights of others and to reasonable regulation under law
Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938
[US Court of Appeals Dist Columbia Circuit 1955]

…a State may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles … And to this end it may require the registration of such vehicles and the licensing of their drivers
Hendrick v. Maryland 235 US 610 (1915) [US Supreme Court]

The power of a state to regulate the use of motor vehicles on its highways has been recently considered by this Court and broadly sustained. …As we there said “In the absence of national legislation covering the subject, a state may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles — those moving in interstate commerce as well as others.”
Kane v New Jersey 42 U.S. 160 (1916) [US Supreme Court]

Without a valid driver’s license from his home state of California, Miller cannot legally drive anywhere in the United States…”
Miller v. Reed, 176 F.3d 1202, 1205-06 [9th Circuit Court 1999]

“Without vehicle licenses, Dean is denied only “a single mode of transportation — in a car driven by himself…and this does not impermissibly burden his right to travel.”
Matthew v. Honish, 233 F. App’x 563, 564 [7th Circuit Court 2007]

The constitutional right to travel does not create a constitutional right to drive. The state can require drivers to be licensed. The state can require drivers to be insured. The state can require drivers to register their cars. States don’t depend on the Commerce Clause for their authority to regulate private behavior, so it’s irrelevant whether drivers are traveling for business purposes or across state lines.
Laine v. City of Livermore; Case No. 15-cv-03656-VC (N.D. Cal. Oct. 31, 2016)

There you have it.

You must have a driver license, full stop.

No question, no terms undefined, no loopholes, no violation of the right to travel; “commerce only” is not contemplated in the definitions and the courts have not acknowledged a distinction. I include below the laws of  more  states, with a detailed analysis of the laws.

The Series of Blogs

I also provide a detailed review of the common arguments used to claim licenses are not required, and a detailed examination of court opinions at every level of government and surprise, surprise — they unanimously agree that licenses are required. Not one court in the past hundred years has found to the contrary.

If you agree, we are done. If not please actually read the rest before telling me I am wrong. And if you think I am wrong you need to provide documentation.

But please do not cite Thompson v. Smith until you have read the rest of this blog, because it says you can be required to get a license and if you were going to cite it you need to read it and all the other cases here. I get people sending me lists of the same 50 or so cases that they paste and copy from some web site. Well I’ve checked them ALL and they don’t apply or are misquoted; or sometimes don’t even exist; or don’t mean what people think they mean. If you offer a court case you had best have read the full case first. Or at least made sure I haven’t read and discussed it here. (How long does it take to search the blog to see?)

================ Now for the full story =============

So…What Law Says
You Have to Have a License?

Driver license laws are really quite simple. Driver licenses are a state matter. So in state laws we find the requirements. This is because the states have something called “the police power” which is discussed in this blog; and the federal government generally doesn’t.

You can find your own State‘s laws and read them yourself: Google
“[name of state] driver license statute.”

In this blog every law and every court decision is linked so you can go and see that this the truth.

Let’s be honest, most of us would rather dispense with the cost and hassle of licensing. We don’t want points or tickets that raise our insurance, and don’t want to pay for insurance or vehicle licenses, take tests, renew the license …maybe we want to speed and don’t think the cops have any business writing a ticket — who got hurt, after all?

Some people say you don’t need a license and hey who wants one anyway?

Thus, many people end up at sites which say “no law requires you to have a driver license” or that it’s voluntary and you are just being fooled that it is required. You’re told there is a ‘way out’ of a traffic ticket (or paying to register their car, obeying the traffic laws, or…) if they know the right words to say in court or have the right document to file; or had just the right argument to put forth at the right moment… well we all like the sound of that!

The problem is, it’s just flat out not true.

In every one of the 50 states there is a law compelling you to have a license to drive on the public roads. Period. And the courts agree and have ruled that it is constitutional to require licensing.

If you take the time to read this blog you will find a clear cogent explanation of the laws, and the arguments to the contrary are clearly and directly refuted.

I repeat: In every one of the 50 states there is a law compelling you to have a license to drive on the public roads. Period. The truth is there’s not even a close call on the requirements, you must have a license or suffer the consequences. It is about as settled as any legal issue can be.

Driver License Law (Requirement)

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 28
ARS 28-3151. Driver license requirement

A. Unless exempt pursuant to this chapter, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle or vehicle combination on a highway without a valid driver license and proper endorsement as prescribed by this chapter [emphasis added].

Florida Laws 322.03

(1) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver’s license issued under this chapter.

California V C Section 12500 Unlawful to Drive Unless Licensed

12500. (a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person then holds a valid driver’s license issued under this code, except those persons who are expressly exempted under this code.

Ohio 4507.02 Permitting operation by unlicensed driver

(Ohio does their law a bit differently)
4507.02 (A)(1) No person shall permit the operation of a motor vehicle upon any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking knowing the operator does not have a valid driver’s license issued to the operator by the registrar of motor vehicles under this chapter or a valid commercial driver’s license issued under Chapter 4506. of the Revised Code.
Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this division is guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor.

[Correctly read that means you also cannot permit yourself to operate without a license]

Washington

RCW 46.20.001 (1) No person may drive a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state without first obtaining a valid driver’s license issued to Washington residents under this chapter….

RCW 46.20.005  Driving without a license—Misdemeanor, when. Except as expressly exempted by this chapter, it is a misdemeanor for a person to drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state without a valid driver’s license issued to Washington residents under this chapter.

Texas

Sec. 521.021.  LICENSE REQUIRED.  A person, other than a person expressly exempted under this chapter, may not operate a motor vehicle on a highway in this state unless the person holds a driver’s license issued under this chapter.

Sec. 521.025.  LICENSE TO BE CARRIED AND EXHIBITED ON DEMAND;  CRIMINAL PENALTY.

(a)  A person required to hold a license under Section 521.021 shall:
(1)  have in the person’s possession while operating a motor vehicle the class of driver’s license appropriate for the type of vehicle operated;  and
(2)  display the license on the demand of a magistrate, court officer, or peace officer…
(c)  A person who violates this section commits an offense.  An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine

Most of you are probably already saying “Oh, yeah I have to have a license after all.” But sovereign citizens and other theory inventors will contest every term in bold. Ok. Let’s see.

 Are you a Person?

Well, if you aren’t a person you aren’t subject to that law, right? You may be surprised to know that according to some, you are not a person!   Well, they aren’t anyway, they say so.  They claim that they are a human, a man, a natural being, a freeman on the land, etc., and that a person is a ‘judicial construct’ or a corporation or other association of people.

This actually was posted as part of a comment to an earlier revision of this blog:

A “person” is thing, not a man or woman. A man or woman may HAVE a “person”, something which acts in some capacity, perhaps having certain duties and obligations, but they are NOT the “person” themselves. That’s an important distinction. The very word “person” itself does not have the same meaning in the legal system that it does in common parlance. Nor the words driver, operator, individual among a host of others.

What on earth does that mean?  Nothing. It is not true.

That argument comes from a desire to avoid being ruled by the laws, most of which are phrased in this manner: “no person shall” or “any person who…”  If you are not a person pretty much no law anywhere applies to you. That alone should tell you how bogus the argument is, but let’s analyze…

First off, “person” is the singular of “people” so We the People are a bunch of persons.

Second, A human being is a person, though corporations and groups of people banded together can legally act as one and are also persons.

And these naysayers are really bad at words like include and exclude and except…as we shall see.

“person. 1. A human being.
2. An entity (such as a corporation) that is recognized by law as having the rights and duties of a human being…”

….”corporation, n. An entity (usu. a business) having authority under law to act as a single person distinct from the shareholders who own it and having rights to issue stock and exist indefinitely; … distinct from the natural persons who make it up, exists indefinitely apart from them, and has the legal powers that its constitution gives it. “

Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th Ed.

“[442]… {quoting. Justice Gauthier in Canada (Minister of National Revenue ‑ M.N.R.) v. Stanchfield, 2009 FC 99 (CanLII) at paras. 17, 27, 340 F.T.R. 150:} …The whole notion of their being a second capacity distinct from the one of a natural person or human being is a pure fiction, one which is not sanctioned by law. One can describe nothing in any terms one wishes; it still remains nothing.”
Meads v Meads 2012 ABQB 571 (CanLII)

Also from that case: “[29] Reliance on Black’s Law Dictionary, particularly an obsolete version of Black’s Law Dictionary, is suggestive of OPCA  affiliation[;] (citations omitted)

Arizona does not even bother to define person so far as I can tell, which means the normal English use of the word, primarily meaning a human being, applies. It does add this:

ARS 28-101. Definitions 

(21) “Driver license” means a license that is issued by a state to an individual and that authorizes the individual to drive a motor vehicle…

California gives a definition of person in its Vehicle Code.

California Vehicle Code Sec 470

470. “Person” includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.

Again,  in context of this law person can ONLY refer to humans; a firm, co-partnership, association, LLC, or corporation cannot physically control a vehicle.

And Florida defines person:

Definitions 1.01  In construing these statutes and each and every word, phrase, or part hereof, where the context will permit: ….
(3) The word “personincludes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations.

Ohio 1.59 Statutory definitions.

As used in any statute, unless another definition is provided in that statute or a related statute:
(C) “Person” includes an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, and association.

Texas is clear:

 Penal Code Sec. 1.07. DEFINITIONS.

(38) “Person” means an individual, corporation, or association.

Washington is completely clear about what person means:

RCW 46.04.405 “Person” includes every natural person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association, or organization.
RCW 46.04.356 Natural person” means a human being.

Therefore “person” in Washington driving law means “every human being”.

OK let’s assume for the moment that a natural person is not a human being. Does that mean that there a natural judicial construct and an artificial judicial construct? Nonsense.

Person in licensing laws clearly is meant to include people, human beings, everyone.
Its plain language meaning is its legal meaning.

As for artificial entities, consider how ridiculously strained the language becomes:

Unless exempt pursuant to this chapter, a judicial construct, corporation, or an association of persons shall not drive a motor vehicle … without a valid license…

Unless exempt pursuant to this chapter, something which acts in some capacity, perhaps having certain duties and obligations, shall not drive a motor vehicle … without a valid license…

A corporation or association or judicial construct can’t drive a vehicle.  Other than a human being, who or what could possibly operate ANY vehicle for any purpose? (OK we will have self driving cars in the near future but that’s not today’s issue).

At least in this law, ‘person’ cannot possibly mean anything other than ‘human being’ and it must mean human being at a minimum.

Notice also licenses are issued to an “individual” and the law requires that a “person” have one; it is inescapable that “person = individual” in this law!

So, the law applies to individual human beings, and that means you. You are a person for the purposes of this law. Just like the plain English says. And indeed those who try to make you think otherwise have to twist the language beyond recognition to make their point.

The sovereign citizen is now jumping up and down and screaming “You’re wrong!”

It is an absurdity from start to finish to argue person does not mean human being in these laws…if you are going to disagree, start your own blog. I won’t read it.

What does it mean to Drive?

Some argue that driver is a term of commerce, which may have been true in the 19th century, but notice that the definition of drive says nothing about ‘commercial’ operation. It is extremely common that the anti-license crew will quote an outdated version from an old legal dictionary as if it were engraved in stone. But there is how the word is used today:

“driver.
1. A person who steers and propels a vehicle.

2. A person who herds animals; a drover.”
– Black’s Law, 9th Ed., 2009, p. 569

Please note that definition does not suggest commerce is an element of the definition.

Most state laws as we shall see basically say that To Drive a motor vehicle (including a car or automobile) means to be in actual physical control of it, or operate it.

Arizona ARS 28-101. Definitions  “In this title, unless the context otherwise requires:” …

19. “Drive” means to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
20. “Driver” means a person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

Florida 332.01 Definitions —As used in this chapter:

(16) “Drive” means to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in any place open to the general public for purposes of vehicular traffic.

 California V C — Driver

305. A “driver” is a person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

Ohio

Again Ohio is a it different as it penalizes allowing unlicensed operation:

4501.01 Motor vehicles definitions (X) “Operator” includes any person who drives or operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways.

Texas

Title 7 Chapter 521 SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 521.001.  DEFINITIONS.  (a)  In this chapter:
(1)  “Operator” means, as used in reference to a vehicle, a person who drives or has physical control of a vehicle.
(3)  “Driver’s license” means an authorization issued by the department for the operation of a motor vehicle
(6)  “License” means an authorization to operate a motor vehicle that is issued under or granted by the laws of this state.  The term includes:
(A)  a driver’s license…

Washington

RCW 46.04.370 “Operator or driver” means every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

Here is an instructive interpretation by the Washington Court of Appeals:

“No person . . . may drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless the person has a valid driver’s license issued under the provisions of this chapter.” Ms. Port’s argument that this provision requires a license only for those operating commercial vehicles is clearly without merit. RCW 46.04.370 eliminates any alleged ambiguity with respect to the violation here because the section defines an operator or driver as “every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.” Since Ms. Port was in actual physical control of her vehicle when stopped, she came under the provisions of RCW Title 46.
Spokane v Port, 716 P.2d 945.(1986

Drive the car means to be in physical control of it, or operate it. Plain English, exactly what we mean everyday when we say “I’m going to drive to the store.”

Is your car a Motor Vehicle?

The contention is made that motor vehicle is a term of commerce as well and doesn’t include a “private conveyance.” But the words of the law say otherwise.

Arizona  ARS 28-101. Definitions

35. “Motor vehicle”:
(a) Means either:
(i) A self-propelled vehicle ….

64. “Vehicle” means a device in, on, or by which, a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway…

(and as explored below, transport is not necessarily a term of commerce; it means “to transfer or convey from one place to another.” Convey.)

Florida Definitions

(27) “Motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle, including a motor vehicle combination, not operated upon rails or guideway, excluding…

(95) Vehicle.Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway….

California Vehicle Code

415. (a) A “motor vehicle” is a vehicle that is self-propelled.
(b) “Motor vehicle” does not include …

670.  A “vehicle” is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway…

 260. (a) A “commercial vehicle” is a motor vehicle of a type required to be registered under this code used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.

(b) Passenger vehicles and house cars that are not used for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit are not commercial vehicles.

Ohio: 4501.01 Motor vehicles definitions

(A)  “Vehicles” means everything on wheels or runners, including motorized bicycles, but does not mean electric personal assistive mobility devices, vehicles that are operated exclusively on rails or tracks…

(B) “Motor vehicle” means any vehicle, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, that is propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power or power collected from overhead electric trolley wires.

You cannot really argue that an automobile is not included in that definition.

Texas

(11)  “Motor vehicle” means a self-propelled vehicle or a vehicle that is propelled by electric power from overhead trolley wires.  The term does not include …
(23)  “Vehicle” means a device that can be used to transport or draw persons or property on a highway.

Washington

RCW 46.04.320 “Motor vehicle” means every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails.

RCW 46.04.670 “Vehicle” includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including bicycles….

There you have it. The law defines a motor vehicle as a self-propelled vehicle. There is no reference to its use, commercial or private. Nothing is given that restricts the meaning to commercial vehicles or limits its application to private personal use conveyances. It is not “move for hire” it is “able to move persons or property” — for example the operator and his underwear. It doesn’t actually have to move anything as long as it is capable, that things may be moved by it.

Very often the assertion that it must mean a commercial use is supported by resort to hundred year old legal dictionaries, or laws that the define the word differently for another purpose. More on that below.

Automobile, car, truck, bus, or motorcycle — all are self-propelled vehicles included in that definition. Bicycles are usually exempted; they are not self-propelled.  There is no trickery, no obtuse meanings, it’s simple. Plain English, it means exactly what we think it means.

What is a Highway?

“The law says highway so that doesn’t mean streets or anything else! Those laws apply only to the INTERSTATE!!”

Arizona ARS 28-101. Definitions

55. “Street” or “highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way if a part of the way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

Florida Definitions

(39) “Street or highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of a way or place if any part of that way or place is open to public use for purposes of vehicular traffic.

California V C Section 360 Highway

360. “Highway” is a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street.

Ohio: 4501.01 Motor vehicles definitions

(AA) “Public roads and highways” for vehicles includes all public thoroughfares, bridges, and culverts.

Texas Sec. 541.302. TRAFFIC AREAS.
In this subtitle:

(5) “Highway or street” means the width between the boundary lines of a publicly maintained way any part of which is open to the public for vehicular travel.

Washington

RCW 46.04.197 Highway means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

Plain English. Every public road is a highway as far as licenses are concerned.

Conclusion

OK, we got there: this law requires:

  • any person (you, any human being, an individual), to have a license to
  • drive (operate, be in physical control of)
  • a motor vehicle (any self-propelled vehicle)
  • on any (every) highway (road, street, boulevard, avenue, parkway, highway, alley, drive, interstate — whatever you wish to call it — ) that is open to the public for vehicular travel.

Wasn’t that simple?

Plain English.

Some at this point will doubtless decry me as ‘statist’ or call me ‘sheeple’; or deny the State has any authority; or say it violates their right to travel; or make up even more fantastical notions about what a person is …but they can’t say it isn’t clear; nor claim there is no law making the requirement!

You’ve seen the law yourself. In plain English with every term defined.

It is only unclear if you are trying to make it unclear.

“But I saw a Video Where the cops let this guy go….”

Perhaps you did, I will not deny that there a few videos that seem to show the police not enforcing. Against those rare and usually unverifiable cases would be many millions of cases to the other sideI’ve also seen guys who said they did this and then they ended up having their car impounded and a ticket to appear in court. Most won’t want to put that video up though some do anyway (and some actually claim they “won”, I guess because they didn’t give in…”). But that is the reality probably much more than 98% of the time.

You can say some kind of magic words about not being required and not having consented and having no contract and having no victim and the cops almost always say “tell it to the judge” and call for the tow truck. And the judge won’t give you much room either.

Cops are people and maybe that one wanted to get home to dinner instead of towing some guy’s car and having to book him in jail. Or maybe the cop was really fooled into believing this line of nonsense; they aren’t judges or even lawyers, and they probably haven’t studied this all in depth. But your chances of getting that outcome are two: slim and none.

The idea of regulating who is operating tons of metal moving at 30 or 75 mph to ensure they know how to do it and that they follow the rules of the road designed to prevent them from crashing into innocent others doesn’t sound awful to me.

It sounds exactly like protecting the other people who are traveling.

Or do we just let the guy who has been drunk driving keep on driving drunk? Two times, twenty times, you know that guy is going to kill or injure someone eventually …We can’t do anything to prevent him, we can only react when he does kill? When he runs into the school bus full of children and has $12 to his name to make amends for 60 dead kids? Do you really believe we are so impotent as a society?

Of course that makes no sense at all. The law is not powerless to proactively safeguard us.

The authority conferred upon the states by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and which the states delegate to their political subdivisions to enact measures to preserve and protect the safety, health, and welfare, of the community is called the police power; which has its roots in ancient Roman Law, and more recently in the Common Law (of England) and predates our Constitution.

The word police is a melding of the Latin “policia” meaning “citizenship” or “government” and “policy.” The police power is the policy that the state may act to protect the people.

Under the system of government in the United States, states have the right to make laws based on their police power . The lawmaking power of the federal government is limited to the specific grants of power found in the Constitution (which does include some police power, especially over federal property, possessions, territories, military installations, and the District Of Columbia; plus areas such as interstate commerce.)

State legislatures exercise their police power by enacting statutes, and they also delegate much of their police power to counties, cities, and towns within the state. The police power is subject to limits in the Federal and State Constitutions but in general if the Constitutions don’t prohibit something, and there is a legitimate state interest or protective effect, then the power may be used for that purpose.

Police power is used as the basis for enacting a variety of laws in such areas as zoning, land use, fire and building codes, gambling, discrimination, parking, crime, licensing of professionals, liquor, motor vehicles, bicycles, nuisances, schooling, and sanitation.

This police power, to protect the people, is the power underlying the laws requiring licensing of drivers, vehicles, and insurance requirements. It is real and is part of thousands of years of legal tradition.

But even if you disagree, the reality is the laws exist and are enforced and there is no thought on the government’s side, nor that of most people, that the laws are anything but mandatory and binding. No the courts do not have a set of secret words that if you say them in the right order and time you get out of your tickets; pretty sure you’re thinking of Harry Potter.

Society only exists when government can protect people. Rights cannot exist absent the law to enforce and protect those rights. Traffic laws are real laws in place to protect people and their right to travel. 

Here’s what happens when you try these arguments in court; all personal travel in their own vehicles. More details on most of these below. The ones with links are not below.

1977 – Trevellan Berberian, LOST Rhode Island Sup. Ct 374 A.2d 791
1980 – Dexter Heninger, LOST Colorado Sup. Ct 613 P.2d 884
1985 – Mr. Gordon, LOST Idaho Sup. Ct 106 Idaho 178
1986 – Julie Port, LOST Washington Ct of Appeals 43 Wn.App 273
1986 – Frank Annas, LOST Alaska Ct of Appeals 726 P.2d 552
1986 – Brian Carter, LOST Texas Ct of Appeals 702 S.W.2d 774
1986 – Rodney Skurdal, LOST Montana Sup. Ct 730 P.2d 371
1987 – Joe Wisden, LOST Utah Sup. Ct 737 P.2d 981
1988 – Rodney Skurdal, LOST AGAIN Montana Sup. Ct 767 P.2d 304
1996 – Ronald Stuart, LOST North Dakota Sup. Ct 652 N.W.2d 104
1997 – Robert Booher, LOST Tennessee Ct of Appeals 978 S.W.2d 953
2000 – Brad Hershberg, LOST Kansas Ct of Appeals No. 82,4000
2012 – Timothy Cason, LOST Maine Sup. Ct 46 A.3d 1141


The Arguments Against Licenses

Now you’ve seen the laws, what does the other side say?  I consulted popular websites for their best arguments.


Argument
It’s Not A Law, It’s A Statute, and Statutes are not Laws

Consider this curious assertion:

Statutes 1/. All acts of Parliament are ‘statutes’ known variously as legislation, regulations or rules. They are not laws. (emphasis in original)
https://diggerfortruth.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/statutes-vs-law

The author makes a number of assertions to accompany it. He argues only a “bar trained narrister” would insist a statute is a law. One problem with that is all the judges are lawyers and what they believe determines the reality of court outcomes.

He gives many points about how laws and statutes are different — but gives not one single source or authority. No legal sources anyway. These are tablets from the mountain. We are expected to believe without proof.

UPDATE: The argument about whether Statutes are laws occurs often in the mythological world of the Sovereign Citizen and so I moved most of this discussion to a separate blog and summarize here only.

He does say

17/. Statutes refer to Acts of Parliament and legislation.
and “you will not find an Act of Parliament that calls itself a law.”
[emphasis added]

He is right you won’t, but so what?

An Act of Parliament is law in the United Kingdom; it has the meaning, force, and status of being the law. They call them Acts of Parliament. There is nothing special about the word “law” that it must be used in laws.

And when we turn to different dictionaries, general or legal, every single one says a statute is a law.  Red indicates emphasis added.

(from  Merriam Webster )

STATUTE, noun:  Law;
[note: by putting “Law” in this manner the dictionary is saying this is a synonym for Statute.]

1. an enactment made by a legislature and expressed in a formal document.
2.
the document in which such an enactment is expressed.

Enactmentnoun;
1. the act of enacting.
2. the state or fact of being enacted.
3.something that is enacted; a law or statute.
4.a single provision of a law.
[“an Act of Parliament” would be an enactment]

From Black’s Law (2nd edition)
What is STATUTE, n?

An act of the legislature; a particular law enacted and established by the will of the legislative department of government, expressed with the requisite formalities.

Our erstwhile blogger says, again citing no authority:

1/. Law refers to common law.

and he ends with this statement:

I would only add to this that common law tops any form of legislative statute. Also God’s/natural laws top common law.

He’s wrong. In the UK Common Law can be changed by an Act of Parliament; it is not superior, but inferior to Statute Law. In the US legal system “case law” is the equivalent of English Common Law and it is always inferior to statutory law. Here I must also interject that  ‘natural law’ is religiously based and presumes itself to be the highest law anywhere. But as I will show, US law certainly disagrees.

(See my blog Sources of Law for more on natural law.)

As stated the first problem is, he offers NO authority for these assertions.

And the second problem is our system recognizes the Constitution of the U.S. as SUPREME law so we do not bow to ‘natural law,’ whatever it may be. We recognize no law of any kind superior to the Constitution including natural law nor any form of Common Law.

“This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land…”
US Constitution Article 6

But as shown above, a dictionary tells us a statute (or an enactment, or an act) is a law. It is passed by a legislature (such as Congress or a state legislature). The process used for adopting statutes in each state is the process defined for adopting a law.

And they tell you it is not a law because they don’t want to be bound by laws.

They will say statutes are voluntary or a matter of contract or some other gibberish. They actually say that if a judge sentences you to prison you are agreeing to his offer…

Statutes can put you in jail for life or execute you. Is that voluntary?

No. Courts do not recognize these bold and groundless assertions and do not accept these principles or definitions and do not rule using them.

Saying that they are “right” and “statutes are not laws” is a meaningless exercise if the courts will not rule that way, no matter why you believe it to be true.


Argument
The Right to Travel Means
No License Can be Required

“American citizens do indeed have the inalienable right to use the roadways unrestricted in any manner as long as they are not damaging or violating property or rights of others. Government — in requiring the people to obtain drivers licenses, and accepting vehicle inspections and DUI/DWI roadblocks without question — is restricting, and therefore violating, the people’s common law right to travel.”[Emphasis added]

American Patriot Friends Network

If so the law is invalid — States cannot require a license because then we would not be able to travel.

The Supreme Court and all the other courts do recognize that there is a right to travel. The problem is that these folks read that as “the right to drive my car wherever I want without restrictions of any kind… unrestricted in any manner”.

But it is crystal-clear that the courts have said that is wrong. Ignore, disagree, or refuse to acknowledge, but there are plenty of cases that show it is wrong. Many many cases explicit say the right may be regulated and that regulating vehicles and their operation are expressly permitted and do not deprive one of the right to travel, which itself MAY be regulated…  (And this blog looks to the courts to explain or decide the law.)

First, no right is absolute and unqualified.

Freedom of Speech, the right most zealously protected by the courts, for example, does not encompass libel, perjury, fraud, incitement to riot, nor shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. The right is limited.

Limits and restrictions apply to all rights including the right to travel, and there is explicit recognition of those limits in numerous court decisions. Naysayers will reject and offer their own rulings instead (which do not hold up when examined. Indeed, many say the exact opposite of what is claimed).

Like all constitutional rights the right of free movement is not absolute and may be reasonably restricted in the public interest.” 
In Re White 97 Cal.App.3d.141, 158 Cal.Rptr. 562, 566-67 (1979)
(It’s a California Appellate Court but it’s a correct statement…and ironically had nothing to do with travel.)

Second, requiring a license does not deprive you of the right to travel.

You can walk, bicycle, buy a ticket for a bus, train, or plane, ride in a car driven by someone else. Or you can get a license and drive a car. There is no right to “travel by the most convenient means,” nor to travel by “any means I want.” and definitely not “unrestricted in any manner.” You cannot trespass to travel. You cannot drive a car without a license. For that matter you cannot fly your personal 747 without a license. Of course we can travel without a license.  I do that when I take the bus, or an airplane, or walk, or ride a bike. The license is not for traveling it’s for operating a vehicle. A dangerous one.

The Supreme Court has held (citations below) that burdens on one method of travel or another do not interfere with the right to travel. Driver licenses, are perfectly legal because:

(1) Licenses are a proper use of police power, and actually protect the right to travel;
(2) Licensing laws have a valid public safety interest at their core;
(3) They don’t intend to, nor do they actually, stop people from traveling;
(4) Travel is a protected right; driving is not a right.
(5) The license is a license to operate a dangerous machine, not to travel.

 Argument
It Isn’t A Motor Vehicle, It’s a Car

We saw the definitions in the laws above and already showed it is not so, but thoroughness compels us to consider the argument offered. They do insist on ignoring or downplaying the definitions in the law, which Courts look to first.

In one case a citation is made to a Federal law,   18 USC 31

(a) Definitions.— In this chapter, the following definitions apply:

Motor vehicle.— The term “motor vehicle” means every description of carriage or other contrivance propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used for commercial purposes on the highways in the transportation of passengers, passengers and property, or property or cargo. [emphasis added]

It is wrong law entirely. State laws, not Federal apply.

State laws define a motor vehicle as shown previously, because they are exercising the police power as the authority to ensure public safety. The public highways used in interstate or intrastate private travel or commerce (either) are owned by the state, even when built with Federal funding.

In contrast, this definition is Congress exercising the power to regulate interstate commerce.

Let’s follow this law a bit further.

“In this chapter” means in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 2 – AIRCRAFT AND MOTOR VEHICLES which in turn is part of 18 USC Part I “Crimes”.

What crimes?

18 USC 33: (a) Whoever …damages, disables, destroys, tampers with, or places or causes to be placed any explosive or other destructive substance in, upon, or in proximity to, any motor vehicle which is used, operated, or employed in interstate or foreign commerce, or its cargo or material used or intended to be used in connection with its operation …shall be fined under this title or imprisoned…

Oh! We see why they define motor vehicle that way for this law. This law is all about people attacking interstate commerce so of course they define in terms of commerce. They are indeed not applying this law to someone who is engaged in private travel.

Using that definition for driver license purposes is Mr Magoo Legal Research at work– misquoting, misreading, or reading  law or cases out of context; using definitions intended for one law with a different one; ignoring clear, simple and direct expressions and substituting obtuse, inferential expressions.

Sometimes they cite other Federal laws which actually have to do with cars being moved — cargo or products in interstate commerce, not cars actually being driven by individuals. Blatant disregard for context.

They rarely mention this federal law: 49 USC 30301

(4) “motor vehicle” means a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer,
or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used
on public streets, roads, or highways, but does not include a vehicle
operated only on a rail line.

(5) “motor vehicle operator’s license” means a license issued by a State, authorizing an individual to operate a motor vehicle on public streets, roads, or highways.

(7) “State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States. Using a definition in one law to interpret another can be extremely stupid.

For example let’s hypothesize two laws. The first law is trying to regulate something called the City Auto Council (CAC), “As used in this law:”

    • member” means any person who has paid the required annual fee for the current year, for membership in the CAC.

Now a second law has to do with the composition and operation of a local school board; “As used in this law:”

    • member” means a person who has been duly elected to the school board as provided in section 14 of this enactment.

Does it make any sense at all to use the definition for one of those laws with the other? No. Nor would you go to a legal dictionary to find the meaning of “member.”Each law defines the word for the purpose of that law and that law only. It is absurd to suggest that by paying your CAC membership fee you became a member of the school board. And equally silly to suggest that the elected school board members are the only members of the CAC.

So when “Motor vehicle” is defined in a law to fight crimes of terrorism against interstate commerce, it would be reasonable for the law to be focused on commercial vehicles only and define “in this law” the word refers to commercial vehicles. But when the same word is defined in a law specifying that it is an offense for any person to operate a motor vehicle for any purposes on a public roadway without a license, and the law’s purpose is to regulate safety, the word can be defined to mean “every vehicle that is self powered,”  not just commercial vehicles.

Those who insist motor vehicles are only commercial vehicles will find dozens of court decisions at every level that flat out disagree. They say that it clear the legislatures meant to include every such machine for the purpose of regulating safety for example. Cases specifically say “drive” and “operate” are synonyms, for example. They use the words “vehicle”, “car”, “automobile” interchangeably. They specifically say that the laws do not exempt private travel by motor vehicle, or are not limited to commercial use of vehicles. And they say it loud and clear. See the Court cases at the end of this blog for many examples.

Being consistent,  neither 18 USC 33 nor 49 USC 30301 is the law that requires licenses. Both are the wrong law for driver’s license requirements, and if 18 USC 33 is wrong, 48 USC 30301 is likewise the wrong definition of motor vehicle even though it supports my arguments.

The right law, the State law (e.g., Arizona’s, Oregon, California, Texas, Washington, Florida, in this blog) makes it unmistakably clear that your car is a motor vehicle.

A motor vehicle is a self-propelled vehicle. And a vehicle in the state law definitions is a device for moving people or property on a highway, and not just commercially.

No tricks here. Plain English words that mean what we think they mean.

 Argument
Licenses are only required
if you are driving commercially

Well this is almost exactly the same as the previous wrong argument, based again on using a wrong law (perhaps the very same one) to arrive at the same wrong conclusion.

They claim that Federal law defines drivers as those employed to drive or driving for commercial activities, so only commercial drivers are required to have licenses. And Federal law generally deals with commerce so maybe those laws are aimed at commercial drivers. Irrelevant. We have seen that is the wrong approach entirely, we must look to state law.

Some will go the ‘extra mile’ and cite a provision of state law.

For example at the American Patriot Friends Network is an extended discussion of Oregon Statute 807.080, which describes Driver Competency Testing Certificates for commercial licenses. They use this to “prove” that driving is only licensed when it is commercial activity.

But that requires you to completely ignore Oregon Laws 807.010

A person commits the offense of operating a vehicle without driving privileges if the person operates a motor vehicle upon a highway or premises open to the public in this state and the person does not have an appropriate grant of driving privileges from this state in the form of a license, driver permit, endorsement…

No reference to commercial driving.

To repeat: it’s state law that makes the requirement for driver’s licenses. And state laws are unanimous. You need a license.

 Argument
Federal Law Overrides State Driving Laws
And They Apply Only to Commercial Use

This is based on a very bad understanding of the differences between Federal and State power, definitions of commerce, and something called “preemption.” Preemption is based on the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution which basically says a Federal Law can override a State law. Preemption is a complicated concept and legal analysis of a preemption situation can be complex. Preemption occurs only in limited cases, primarily either where Congress has explicitly preempted all state legislation in an area, or where Congress has passed such a comprehensive set of laws and regulations that there is no room for the state to act. Finally preemption only matters if the state action conflicts with the Federal laws and the ends they set out to achieve. So this is merely an overview of the matter.

So the first problem this argument faces is that Congress did not preempt driver licensing neither explicitly nor by adopting its own licensing scheme. And even if it were true as claimed that Congress was in charge of licensing, the admitted fact that Congress is limited to interstate commerce matters, that alone leaves non-commercial licensing entirely to the states. Of course Congress did not take on licensing directly, as we’ll see it merely encouraged the States to engage in uniform licensing.

Congress having the power to regulate commerce does not mean that States cannot regulate safety. In fact, Federal law in these areas has been closely coordinated with the states to ensure that they work together, states with states and states with Federal government, to improve highway safety. Far from being preempted by Federal law, the state laws are complementary and not at all in conflict with Federal laws.

Opponents of licensing sometimes cite National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and say that law preempted state licensing.  That law was incorporated into chapter 4 of Title 23 USC – HIGHWAYS and not Title 49 USC – TRANSPORTATION on purpose. And the purpose of that law as stated in the law itself, far from suggesting preemption, is crystal clear that it does not override state powers:

“To provide for a coordinated national safety program;  and establishment of safety standards for motor vehicles in interstate commerce,;to reduce accidents involving motor vehicles and to reduce deaths and injuries occurring in such accidents.
….
The Secretary is authorized and directed to assist and cooperate with other Federal departments and agencies, State and local governments, private industry, and other interested parties, to increase highway safety.

Opponents’ claim the Act creates the States’ DMV under Federal law.  It does not — they already existed and you will not find such a creation in that law. The law specifies how the Transportation Department coordinates with the DMV.

The Act did not usurp nor preempt the states’ police power. It coordinates with state licensing laws. It was amended in 1987 to formally change the standards to guidelines. Further in 1998, the Act was relaxed by another amendment requiring only that States ‘consider‘ the National Priority Program areas when developing their highway safety programs.

Congress requires for example that the states exchange information on drivers so a bad driver cannot go to a different state and get a license despite being suspended or revoked in the first state. It has enacted requirements on what information the state must collect and share with other states when issuing a license and what  information it must protect from public disclosure. It does many things to ensure safer roads, vehicles, and operators but it does not override state licensure in the least.

That is far from meaning that federal law  is supreme or that it has preempted State efforts; nothing could be further from truth! I will offer some more detailed evaluation of some of these points below.

(thanks to Juan Galt for his contributions to the above section!)

Congress Regulates EVERY Vehicle Because
Vehicles and “Conveyances” Are
Items of Commerce At Some Point

Another part of this argument is the Highway Safety Act regulates vehicles for commercial purposes but the proponents cannot recognize the difference between a car in use and a car as a product to be sold. The proposition as usual completely misinterprets the law. Those who quote Federal definitions of motor vehicle out of context ignore the fact that at times cars and vehicles of every sort can in fact be products being sold or transported as items of commerce.

Congress under the 1966 and many later versions of the Highway Safety Act and under other laws, regulates every car, self-powered “conveyance”, magic carpet, and every motor vehicle of every description. It sets fuel efficiency and safety standards for them. It sets emissions standards. And it sets them for every vehicle including the private automobiles that will be or are used in private transportation throughout their life cycle.

First the act regulates the production, sale and interstate distribution of all motor vehicles period. The supply chain of all self-powered vehicles, in other words. Until it is sold and even after it is sold, Congress requires certain things of vehicles as items of commerce.

In order to exempt “private travel” the sovereigns will say “every vehicle bearing a state license plate is a business, or acting in some form of commerce.” It’s an outrageous overstatement but then it’s exactly true. Every vehicle until recently, no matter how or why it is operated, generates exhaust which moves across state lines. The Clean Air Act, Federal Auto Emissions Standards issued under that act and others continue to regulate them over their lifetime, which is why many of us have to submit our vehicles to emissions testing. They also impact international relations because they are themselves imported or parts of them are and because they affect oil imports and international conflicts as result.

In fact this alone would justify annual registration and license plates, as a means to ensure the vehicle is being periodically tested. Travel if you will, you have no right to pollute the air which is part of interstate commerce because air quality problems don’t stay within state boundaries. And as to those all electric vehicles, Congress requires them to have certain equipment whenever operated on the highways because they might well move across state lines and be sold. Congress mandates performance standards for them also as items of commerce. Also the laws protect buyers by requiring the vehicles keep operating properly for specific periods of time.

I have not researched every rationale and the many laws and cases under which Congress makes direct mandates about vehicles (again, I am not a lawyer), but just the preceding is enough to make all vehicles legitimate targets of Congress regulatory powers.

Autos however they may be used after the sale, are articles of commerce, as are every manner of self-powered vehicle; and how they are operated also affects Interstate Commerce. Congress’ regulation in that law does extend beyond the manufacture of vehicles to the maintenance of those standards and protection of the environment.

Congress Encourages Private Driver Licensing By The States
This is Neither Preemption nor Direct Regulation

Congress also acted to encourage the states to legislate under their police power to ensure safety of all travelers and vehicles on the highway, in part through the regulation of the qualifications of their operators. And that can be done under the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce as well as to lay and collect taxes. If the state doesn’t legislate, the money Congress gives them to maintain the interstate system (interstate commerce) and for other purposes may be withheld. It is perfectly legal for Congress to tell the State “If you want this money you have to meet certain safety standards.”  This Forbes article gives examples:

“Lady Bird Johnson wanted to keep billboards off the interstate highway system, which she thought distracted from their beauty.  So she convinced her husband to push the issue, and in 1965 Congress passed a highway bill authorizing the Secretary of Commerce to withhold 10 percent of a state’s highway funds if it didn’t adopt the billboard-control provision.  Game on!

“In the 1970s Washington decided it did not want anyone in the country driving faster than 55 miles per hour—anywhere.  If states refused to adopt the lower speed limit, they would lose a percentage of their highway grant money.Congress raised the speed limit to 65 mph in 1988 and repealed the provision in 1995, returning that prerogative to the states.

The fact about a national speed limit is accurate though but the editorial comment ignores that the 55 limit had a real purpose: to reduce gas consumption and of course that in turn affected oil imports; and was in part a response to the Arab Oil Embargoes and OPEC monopoly making us vulnerable to foreign pressures.

“During the Reagan years Congress decided it wanted to set a national standard for the drinking age at 21 and, again, conditioned highway funds on adopting that provision.  And President George W. Bush pushed his No Child Left Behind Act on the states by imposing sanctions if the states didn’t comply.

The States of course can exercise their police power to regulate for safety to require licenses of people not involved in interstate travel, nor in commercial operation. And this is clearly not engaging the Supremacy clause because Congress is not regulating or preempting, it is encouraging the states to regulate in a coordinated way.

Of course Congress is particularly concerned about those who are engaged in direct transportation of goods in Interstate Commerce, and requires the states when licensing those drivers to impose higher standards; and the Federal government promotes specific rules for such drivers as direct regulation of commerce.

But that doesn’t stop the states from regulation of private drivers. Nor does it make such licensing a federal (commercial) matter.

And these laws allow and indeed expect the states to issue licenses to drivers who are only involved in intrastate or interstate private movement as well. They don’t overrule or preempt state laws, they coordinate with them. They accept state licenses explicitly, and require at least some drivers to have them. And they expect licenses to regulate private use for travel as well. And there is no provision in which the Federal government itself issues licenses except to its own employees. (In the territories Territorial Governments are instruments of the Federal government but they are self-governing in most matters).

49 USC 30301 “As Used In this Chapter”…

    • (4) “motor vehicle” means a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used on public streets, roads, or highways, but does not include a vehicle operated only on a rail line.
    • (5) “motor vehicle operator’s license” means a license issued by a State, authorizing an individual to operate a motor vehicle on public streets, roads, or highways.
    • (7) “State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

“As used in this chapter” means 49 U.S. Code Chapter 303 – National Driver Register.
What is that?

“The Secretary of Transportation shall establish as soon as practicable and maintain a National Driver Register to assist chief driver licensing officials of participating States in exchanging information about the motor vehicle driving records of individuals.”
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/49/30302

There is nothing there that mandates licenses or makes them federal or makes them commercial; it is used to assist in ensuring safety in interstate commerce by ensuring every driver is licensed. When people actually move from state to state that is not just travel it is also Interstate Commerce but ensuring that only safe drivers have licenses is a legitimate concern. Nevertheless that in no way implies preemption, it clearly involve assistance to the states in carrying out their own regulation of all operators.

And the definition provided applies to every operator without exception.

Arguments
You must consent to licensing
and/or
The State is a corporation

I have found lots of people who will say the state is not a government, it is a corporation. They are saying in effect that no laws apply to them since they have not agreed to them personally.

They may say the Constitution is a business charter and not binding on them, or that the Federal government or the United States have ceased to exist for various reasons; or the Constitution was repealed…there are many stories and they rarely make sense.

This is a topic where they have advanced too many claims to cover here; at this link is a detailed and thorough discussion on this topic — I will only lightly address this here.

The compelling reason for making the argument that government is a corporation is that we all “know” we don’t have to do business with someone if we don’t want to. The concept seems to be “government is a corporation” and the logic seems to be “corporation = business = contract law only…”

If governments are “corporations” the argument is they have no power over us unless we make an agreement with them. So we only have to have a license, or indeed obey the laws, if we are engaged in commerce, have a business relationship with the state, sign an agreement, etc.

No State government (nor the Federal) agrees that it is a corporation; and the courts also disagree. Indeed there has never been any court that ruled this is true. None. Ever. Anywhere.

These arguments profoundly lack logic.

People get put in jail;is that a business function? Did you sign a contract that includes potential jail time?  Can a corporation give you the death penalty? Is that a matter for contract law? Is that in your contract?

Of course not, this alone is enough to show the theory has no credible basis. No court would every uphold a contract allowing one party to kill the other.

Do you think any court acts to enforce these ideas? Do you think the courts or police or IRS or any agency work on this theory?

“Oh you didn’t agree to be a citizen sir? Well run along then this speeding ticket isn’t for you…no need to have a license either…”

They admit say, child molesting or murder would be a violation of “common law,” so how does the Corporation get the right to try and punish you for those crimes? Can I get Apple or Microsoft to try me instead of say, Virginia? I might like their judges better. Their jails have better cafeterias.

To the contrary, States are recognized as sovereign states under the Constitution. State sovereignty is traced right back to the days when the royal colonies declared independence, and took on the sovereign character formerly exercised by the Crown.

“The several States of the Union …except as restrained and limited by [the Constitution], …possess and exercise the authority of independent States, and the principles of public law to which we have referred are applicable to them …One of these principles is that every State possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory.
Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1878)

New states are guaranteed the same status by the Constitution. As a union of states, they retain sovereign power in some areas, and gave specific sovereign powers to the Federal government in the Constitution.

You don’t have to make a contract with the state to be bound by its laws. State laws apply everywhere in the state, and you must prove a recognized exemption from them if you wish to say they don’t.

You can argue consent is required but if no court will agree you lose. And none does.

On the other hand here is how California makes clear it is sovereign and specifies jurisdiction over its boundaries and what happens within them.

California Government Code
SECTION 100-

110. The sovereignty and jurisdiction of this State extends to all places within its boundaries as established by the constitution.
[note: you can find the exact geographic boundaries in the State constitution of 1849 referenced in the current constitution…  at Article XII]

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 3  STATE OF CALIFORNIA


SEC. 2.  The boundaries of the State are those stated in the
Constitution of 1849 as modified pursuant to statute.  Sacramento is
the capital of California.

SECTION 200-
200. The State has the rights prescribed in this article over persons within its limits, to be exercised in the cases and in the manner provided by law.
201. The State may punish for crime.
202. The state may imprison or confine for the protection of the public peace or health or of individual life or safety. [Say, driving licenses to protect the public!]

SEC. 10. Article 6 The Supreme Court, courts of appeal, superior courts, and their judges have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus proceedings. Those courts also have original jurisdiction in proceedings for extraordinary relief … Superior courts have original jurisdiction in all other causes.

Superior Court  Trial courts are also called “superior courts.” In the trial or superior court, a judge, and sometimes a jury, hears testimony and evidence and decides a case by applying the law to the facts of the case….Superior courts handle…All criminal cases (felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions, like traffic tickets)

Jurisdiction  In general, all California superior courts have jurisdiction over a person that lives in California or can be found in California, and businesses or organizations that do business in California.

There Can Be No Contract

Some claim that by signing your license application you enter into a contract with the State. If the ‘contract theory’ of driver licenses applied, why would there be any law; or alternatively why wouldn’t the law clearly state that there is a contract: “any person agrees, by obtaining a driver license, to the following…”

Contracts require a meeting of the minds on both sides, and enough clarity to know what is being agreed to. It’s against basic contract law that a contract can be both unwritten and unstated, and any contract must spell out its provisions clearly enough at least for people to see that it’s a contract!

Nowhere do you see license laws conditioned on your agreement to them (with the exception of “implied consent” for drug or alcohol testing when charged with impaired driving.) The laws don’t say it’s a contract condition or that they apply only to those with a license.

A contract requires each party gain something of value, it’s called “consideration.” If you don’t need a license to drive in the first place, what value resides in having one offered to you? Why would you enter into this contract, and when you do, what do you get for it? It can’t be the right to drive because, according to their argument you already have that.

No consideration + no statement of the contract = no contract.

Licenses are required by statute, not as a matter of contract and contract law does not apply. (And there are a number of court decisions that explicitly say it is not a contract.)

COURT CASES

Some personal sovereigns love to quote court decisions they claim support their viewpoint (and, perplexingly, deny that the courts have any authority over them!)

A more realistic position is that not only do the courts have moral and legal authority, but even if they didn’t, they exercise de facto authority, enforce their decisions, and we better realize our personal acceptance, like our consent, is not required.

No matter what you believe or insist, the Courts will do what they believe; and they say you cannot drive without a license. They don’t say that the state is a corporation nor do the Courts secretly believe it; they do not practice subterfuge by ‘not telling you’ how to get out of prosecution/court/taxes/registration/licensing/tickets. If you read to this point you’ve seen the laws and they are really pretty simple.

Anyone who thinks that is a dreamer, as in “living in a dream.” You can believe what you like as long as you are ready to go to jail or lose your property (or both) for those beliefs. When you are in jail it does not matter whether you believe the court lacks the right to put you there, and only a court will have the power to release you.

Court Cases Cited Against
Driver License Requirements

Nevertheless I have seen court cases cited to prove the proposition that licenses are not required, so let us turn to cases that are offered to support the claim.

The first four are found at the American Patriot Friends Network site which is about as much an authority on sovereign citizen theory as you can find. The cases are numbered there as Cases 1-4 so the same numbers are used here.

Case #1 Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago

CASE #1: The use of the highway for the purpose 
of travel and transportation is not a mere 
privilege, but a common fundamental right of 
which the public and individuals cannot right-
fully be deprived.
Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago, 169 NE 221.

That is an Illinois Supreme Court decision. Note that the quote does not say that requiring a driver’s license is unlawful, nor a violation of the right to travel. What it says at the most is that the right to travel can be exercised using highways, which does not imply a right to drive without license. In fact the case is about licensing a bus system to use the public streets. Specifically it contested:

"Chicago Municipal Code of 1922," section 2761 which declares it 
to be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to operate 
motor buses as common carriers on any street in the city of 
Chicago without first having obtained a specific grant of 
authority to do so from the city council in the form of an 
ordinance...

So that really isn’t about driver licenses. But sometimes a decision while not in a case on point nevertheless results in legal principles that do apply. However, if you think the case supports the idea that licenses cannot be required you will very disappointed. This is ALSO Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago:

"Automotive vehicles are lawful means of conveyance and have 
equal rights upon the streets with horses and carriages. 
(Christy v. Elliott, 216 Ill. 31; Ward v. Meredith, 220 id. 66; 
Indiana Springs Co. v. Brown, 165 Ind. 465; Shinkle v. Mc-
Cullough, 116 Ky. 960.) Many cases have been decided 
respecting the validity and construction of statutes and 
ordinances regulating their use upon public highways, and it has
been uniformly held that the State, in the exercise of the 
police power, may regulate their speed and provide other 
reasonable rules and restrictions as to their use. (Commonwealth
v. Kingsbury, 199 Mass. 542; *206206 Christy v. Elliott, supra; 
State v. Swagerty, 203 Mo. 517; State v. Mayo, 106 Me. 62) 

Driven by indifferent, careless or incompetent operators these 
vehicles may be a menace to the safety of the traveling public, 
and it has been held that under its authority to regulate the 
use of the streets a city may enact ordinances which may 
diminish this danger, and for this purpose may regulate the 
speed of automobiles and repress their careless management. 
(City of Chicago v. Kluever, 257 Ill. 317; People v. Schneider, 
139 Mich. 673; Commonwealth v. Kingsbury, supra; Brazier v. 
Philadelphia, 215 Pa. St. 297)" ...Even the legislature has 
no power to deny to a citizen the right to travel upon the 
highway and transport his property in the ordinary course 
of his business or pleasure, though this right may be 
regulated in accordance with the public interest and 
convenience.  Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago

A fair reading of that paragraph would be that one way to repress “careless management” of vehicles would include licensing of drivers to ensure they are not “[d]riven by indifferent, careless or incompetent operators…and repress their careless management.”

Conclusion:
Case 1 Tends to support licensing laws and surely does not
contradict them or indicate they are unlawful
.

Case #2 Thompson v Smith

CASE #2: "The right of the citizen to travel upon
the public highways and to transport his 
property thereon, either by carriage or by 
automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city 
may prohibit or permit at will, but a common law 
right which he has under the right to life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 579

Often wrongly cited, this is not a U.S. Supreme Court decision, it is a Virginia Supreme Court decision.

A law was challenged which gave the Chief of Police power to suspend or revoke licenses at will.  This court held that licenses could not be arbitrarily granted or withheld — not that they could not be required at all.  Just the opposite in fact.  The part of the opinion that ‘supports’ the theory has been cherry-picked and the part of the decision that actually supports licensing is overlooked or deliberately concealed. This is why entire decisions must be read…

With regard to the right of the government to require licensing or permits to drive, you can see it is squarely on point and completely supports licensing requirements:

"A city may, in the exercise of its police power, invest its administrative
and executive officers with a reasonable discretion in the performance 
of duties devolved upon  them to that end, whenever it is necessary for 
the safety and welfare of the public."
...
[1, 2] ...The power of a city to control and regulate the use of its streets is a
continuing power to be exercised as often and whenever the city may think 
proper. ...The issuance and revocation of such permits by a city is merely 
a means of exercising the police power of the State delegated to the city 
to regulate the use of the public highways in the interest of the public 
safety and welfare. The Constitution of Virginia expressly provides that 
"the exercise of the police power of the State shall never be abridged." 
(Constitution Virginia, section 159.)...
[6-8]  The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways ... includes 
the right to drive a horse-drawn carriage or wagon thereon, or to operate 
an automobile thereon...

[9]  The exercise of such a common right the city may, under
 its police power, regulate in the interest of the public safety and 
 welfare...

[10]  The regulation of the exercise of the right to drive a 
 private automobile on the streets of the city may be accomplished 
 in part by the city by granting, refusing, and revoking, under 
 rules of general application, permits to drive an automobile on its 
 streets..

Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 579

I can go further. The right to travel, it says is a common law right. While I think the Supreme Court has now accorded it a higher standard, that of a Constitutional right, if it is only a common law right it can be taken away by statute:

No doubt a statute may take away a common law right, but there is always a presumption that the legislature has no such intention unless it be plainly expressed.”
Meister v. Moore 96 U.S. 76 (1877)[U.S. Supreme Court]

Conclusion:
In Case 2, Driver’s license requirements
are an explicitly allowable regulation of travel.

Cases #3 and #4 are about passports being denied, not driving; they do discuss the right to travel and are relevant in looking at that right.

Case #3 Kent v Dulles
This quote is what is shown at the APFN site, and seems relevant and significant:

CASE #3: The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which 
the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under 
the Fifth Amendment.
Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116, 125.

In Kent v. Dulles  Kent was denied a passport for being a Communist; the Supreme Court said people couldn’t be deprived of a passport solely for their politics. But note that it didn’t outlaw passports as an infringement on the right to travel; in fact it said passports could be denied for other reasons. Currently (and then) US law requires all citizens to use a US passport when leaving or entering the country.

The principles involved if applied to licensing drivers do not affect those licensing requirements. A license doesn’t violate due process. Since the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment would be at issue in a state case this precedent may not matter anyway.

Conclusion:
Case #3 does not support the ‘totally without restrictions’
theory of the right to travel. Just the opposite.

Case #4 Schactman v Dulles

The last case from APFN is  Schactman v. Dulles (DC Circuit Court of Appeals).
Schactman was denied a passport because he was allegedly associated with a group that might be subversive (Socialists).

The proffered Case #4 is misquoted, though it would not matter if it was true:

CASE #4: The right to travel is a well-establish-
ed common right that does not owe its existence 
to the federal government. It is recognized by 
the courts as a natural right.
 Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938, at 941

It may be worth noting for the record that it is true no rights owe their existence to the Federal Government. The Constitution perhaps, but not the government.

In any event the correct quote is enlightening:

The right to travel, to go from place to place as the means of transportation
 permit, is a natural right subject to the rights of others and to reasonable 
regulation under law...[emphasis added]
 Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938, at 941.

That is a torpedo sufficient to sink the unrestricted right to travel theory to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. A case offered as proof of the theory that licenses are not required shows that travel is subject to reasonable regulation.

Conclusion:
Case #4 utterly destroys the idea that the
right to travel cannot be infringed.

Case #5 House v Cramer

A 5th case was provided to me by a believer in the proposition that licenses are not required.

The right to make use of an automobile as a vehicle of travel along 
the highways of the state, is no longer an open question. The 
owners thereof have the same rights in the roads and streets as 
the drivers of horses or those riding a bicycle or traveling in 
some vehicle.
House v. Cramer, 1 12 N. W. 3; 134 Iowa 374 (1907)

(Thanks to Ken S. for finding this case online for me.)

House v Cramer is a 1907 Iowa Supreme Court case which says indeed that automobiles can use the roads. The case had to do with whether the driver of a car in 1904 was liable for scaring horses because when he stopped, not realizing horses were tied up nearby, he failed to suppress the spark and thus the sound of his engine. The horses apparently bolted at the sound, causing damage to property and themselves.

The court further said:

Assuming the law to be well settled by our decisions that one 
operating an automobile has the same rights in the roads and 
streets as the drivers of horses and is liable for the resulting 
accident only where he fails to use the degree of care as to speed 
and management of his machine which the circumstances reasonably 
require...

The heart of the opinion of the court is that drivers can indeed be held liable (but that the evidence did not show this driver had been negligent).

At the time licenses were not required so this ruling is not on that point. Saying an automobile has the same rights in the roads is not the same as saying that the state cannot require a license of its driver. The decision makes significant acknowledgment of the risk posed by the high speed and size of cars (this one was running at the breakneck speed of 6 miles per hour before it stopped…) and that drivers are responsible for the way in which they are operated.

The worst you can conclude is, it says nothing applicable; nothing it says mitigates against license requirements. The most you can say is it sets the stage to require licensing to ensure drivers are responsible.

It is a purely Iowa decision and has no applicability anywhere else. Iowa like all other states has a licensing law so this case obviously is not seen as controlling on the question.

Case #5 Conclusion:
House v. Cramer does not make any reference to licensing and
is too general in its findings to speak to the question either way .

Case 6: Routh v Quinn

A 6th case was offered by a commentor:

"No statutory duty lies to apply for, or to possess a driver 
license for personal travel and transportation as defendant is not 
within the class of persons for whose benefit or protection the 
statute was enacted."
Routh v. Quinn, 20 Cal 2d 488

BANG! That shoots me down, right?

No.  That quote is fake.  It is not anywhere in the Routh v. Quinn opinion. The case is about a claim made due to the tax redemption sale of a dehydrating plant. It says nothing relevant to travel or driving.

Case #6 Conclusion:
Routh v. Quinn has nothing at all to do with driving, licensing
or travel
and the proffered quote is fake.

Case #7  Reno v. Condon
(added Feb 2017)

Here is the claim that was posted on a YouTube comment:

The U.S. Supreme Court case that proves YOU DO NOT NEED A DRIVERS LICENSE unless “driving” is your profession is; Reno v. Condon 528 U.S. 141 (2000). The Supreme Court ruled the activity licensed by state DMVs – the operation of motor vehicles – is itself integrally related to interstate commerce. It was a 9-0 ruling in favor of the interpretation that interstate COMMERCE is what DMVs REGULATE and the license permits engagement in. What’s that mean? A driver license is an occupational license. If your occupation isn’t that of a “driver” then you don’t need a “driver license”.

But it’s not true. The Court did not say that; and the law did not do that.

Where it says “the activity licensed by state DMVs – the operation of motor vehicles – is itself integrally related to interstate commerce” is just plain a lie. (OK OK they didn’t lie they misunderstood by not reading the decision at all and making extravagant claims…)

Here is what the Court actually said:

The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA or Act), 18 U. S. C. §§ 2721-2725 (1994 ed. and Supp. IV), regulates the disclosure of personal information contained in the records of state motor vehicle departments (DMVs). We hold that in enacting this statute Congress did not run afoul of the federalism principles… State DMV s require drivers and automobile owners to provide personal information, which may include a person’s name, address, telephone number, vehicle description, Social Security number, medical information, and photograph, as a condition of obtaining a driver’s license or registering an automobile. Congress found that many States, in turn, sell this personal information to individuals and businesses… The United States asserts that … the personal, identifying information that the DPPA regulates is a “thin[g] in interstate commerce,” and that the sale or release of that information in interstate commerce is therefore a proper subject of congressional regulation…

The motor vehicle information which the States have historically sold is used by insurers, manufacturers, direct marketers, and others engaged in interstate commerce to contact drivers with customized solicitations. The information is also used in the stream of interstate commerce by various public and private entities for matters related to interstate motoring.

Because drivers’ information is, in this context, an article of commerce, its sale or release into the interstate stream of business is sufficient to support congressional regulation… the DPPA does not require the States in their sovereign capacity to regulate their own citizens; rather, it regulates the States as the owners of data bases.
Reno v Condon

So the case cited had nothing to do with vehicles, or even licenses. It had to do with selling information in Interstate Commerce.

Case #7 Conclusion:

Reno v Condon is not about  licensing, driving, or travel in any way.

Case #8  Stephenson v Binford
(added April 2017)

“Riley vs. Laeson, 142 So. 619; Stephenson vs. Binford: [T]he only limitations found restricting the right of the state to condition the use of the public highways as a means of vehicular transportation for compensation are (1) that the state must not exact of those it permits to use the highways for hauling for gain that they surrender any of their inherent U.S. Constitutional Rights as a condition precedent to obtaining permission for such use….”
(Quoted to me in a YouTube comment)

Googling the “Riley vs Laeson,” and “Riley v Lawson” as well as “142 So. 619” turned up nothing. It appears to be a mis-citation though if anyone finds it please link me up. It appears that at any rate the Riley case was quoting or referencing Stephenson v Binford; I did find Stephenson v Binford and will simply refer to parts of the syllabus in evaluating it’s applicability to driver license requirements.

It does not say anything about “surrender [of]…Constitutional rights” and I doubt that Riley, if we find it will support that quote. Until I can find the Riley case however I can only consider Stephenson. Here are points from the syllabus:

1. The highways of a State are public property, the primary and preferred use of which is for private purposes; their use for purposes of gain may generally be prohibited by the legislature or conditioned as it sees fit…..

3. Unregulated use of the public highways by a vast and constantly growing number of private contract carriers operating motor trucks had the effect of greatly decreasing the freight which would be carried by railroads within the state, and, in consequence, of adding to the burden upon the highways. Held: (1) That the removal or reduction of this burden, with its resulting injury to the highways, interference with their primary use, danger and inconvenience, was a legitimate subject for the exercise of the legislative power….

4. The judgment of the legislature as to fitness and efficiency of means adopted by it for a legitimate end must stand if it can be seen that, in any degree or under any reasonably conceivable circumstances, there is an actual relation between the means and the end; the legislative conclusion must be accepted by the courts if not manifestly wrong.

Stephenson v. Binford, 287 U.S. 251 (1932) [U.S. Supreme Court]

Analysis of Stephenson v Binford:

This is a case about whether the Legislature had the power to regulate businesses who were trucking for their own purposes but not as common carriers, without permits and a law that required them to obtain permits for such use, which was causing wear and congestion. From the start we must be clear that the PERMITS involved are not driver licenses of any sort, they are USE permits, granting the right to use the highways for a particular commercial reason.

“[The highways’] use for purposes of gain may generally be prohibited by the legislature or conditioned as it sees fit.”

Opponents of licensing doubtless wish to read this to mean that the Legislature may not do the same with private use. But the rule is that courts don’t make decisions on questions that are not in the case before the court. Since private licenses (again, we are talking USE licenses here not driving licenses) or private use of the highway is not at issue, the Court is making no decision or ruling on that point.

The comment about the primary use of highways is just that, a comment, a bit of context at the most, and “dicta” (“speaking”) not ruling.

This is not in any sense a case that speaks in any way to driver licensing.

But another message of the case is clear: as long as it seeks a legitimate end, any law the legislature makes that bears any conceivable relationship to obtaining that end must be accepted by the courts “if not manifestly wrong.” In other words the courts do not second guess the policy decision of the Legislature and the Legislature generally has the power to pass what laws it thinks will achieve a legitimate end.

The case affirms the right of the state to regulate a particular aspect of business or commercial use of the highways; it certainly it does not consider the question of driver licensing at all.

Further, the 4th syllabus point, sometimes called the “rational review standard,” applies to most law making by the states; and it in fact supports, for reasons of safety, the requirement to be licensed for all drivers. If the legislature finds safety will be improved to any degree it can require licenses and the courts must accept that if it is in any sense whatever possibly correct. (Yes there are limits but they don’t come into play here.)

Conclusion:

Case #8, Stephenson v Binford does not in any way advance the no license argument; it is mute on that question and where it presents a principle  as to the policy making function of the Legislature it can be easily applied to support private driver licensing.

Case #9 , CITY OF DAYTON v. DeBROSSE
62 Ohio App. 232, 237 (Ohio Ct. App. 1939)

Added May 2017

I found a YouTube video in which the claim was made:

“City of Dayton vs Debrosse Supreme Court says an automobile is not a motor vehicle.” 

The guy making the claim was a fake attorney who was arrested for driving without license or registration and later convicted of ten counts of practicing law without a license, but I figured I should check that case out.  As I have come to expect, no it does not. Not even close.

First, the Supreme Court said nothing because it was the Ohio Court of Appeals not the Supreme Court. I know, picky, but that ruling would apply on in Ohio until overruled or legislation changed it.

Second, It did not say an automobile is not a motor vehicle, it in effect said the two terms are different terms, not that one does not include the other:

“The term “motor vehicle” is different and broader than the word “automobile” and it can readily be seen that a vehicle might be classified as a motor vehicle and not as an automobile and that an automobile is essentially a self-propelled vehicle.”
However if you read that carefully it does not say an automobile is not a motor vehicle but that things other than (and in addition to) an automobile can be a motor vehicle.However the law in Ohio is clear TODAY about an AUTOMOBILE being a motor vehicle:
(A)  “Vehicles” means everything on wheels or runners, including motorized bicycles, but does not mean electric personal assistive mobility devices, vehicles that are operated exclusively on rails or tracks or from overhead electric trolley wires…
(B) “Motor vehicle” means any vehicle, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, that is propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power or power collected from overhead electric trolley wires.
There is no possible way that definition excludes an automobile or has different applicability to a commercial or non-commercial vehicle.
Third, it’s all a bit silly anyway since the case hinged around whether a “trolley bus” was a motor vehicle and I’m willing to bet a trolley bus is not an automobile. The evidence in that case called it a “bus” “trolley” and “trolley bus”. Hmm funny kind of automobile.

Case #9 Conclusion:

Case #9, City of Dayton v DeBrosse is an Ohio Appellate court decision which offers no support whatsoever for the idea that an automobile is not a
motor vehicle and thus exempt from laws requiring a license.
Current Ohio law unmistakeably says an automobile is a motor vehicle
and the definition has no commercial attributes.

Summary of Cases Against Licensure

Of the nine cases offered:

  • Five explicitly in as many words support licensing requirements;
  • Five or six clearly support restrictions on the right to travel;
  • one is a complete fabrication, and has nothing to do with travel, licenses, or anything relevant and the quote offered is false;
  • The remaining cases cannot be read to have any direct applicability to driver licensing.
  • ZERO directly support the argument that licenses are not required.

Court Cases That
Do  Support Mandatory Licensing

Let us turn to (more) decisions that do support the requirement to have a license. In these you will find the language is not tortured nor stretched to fit, the answers are direct.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

The US Supreme Court has said in so many words that driver license requirements are Constitutional. They have not been asked to rule on that point specifically, so what they have said is ‘dicta‘ but they decisively rejected the arguments that the right to travel includes any right to drive without a license or that licensing laws offend the Constitution.

The movement of motor vehicles over the highways is attended by constant and serious dangers to the public, and is also abnormally destructive to the ways themselves… In the absence of national legislation covering the subject a State may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles — those moving in interstate commerce as well as others. And to this end it may require the registration of such vehicles and the licensing of their drivers… This is but an exercise of the police power uniformly recognized as belonging to the States and essential to the preservation of the health, safety and comfort of their citizens….There is no solid foundation for the claim that the statute directly interferes with the rights of citizens of the United States to pass through the State,…here the statute at most attempts to regulate the operation of dangerous machines on the highways… Hendrick v. Maryland 235 US 610 (1915)

Here’s a list of recent cases that quote Hendrick –

Roberts v Burson, 322 F. Supp. 380 (N.D. Ga. 1969)
Schaeffer v Sharp, 328 F. Supp. 762 (S.D. Miss. 1971)
Wherrett v Doyle, 456 F. Supp. 203 (D. Neb. 1978)
Ernesto Hernandez v Dept of Motor Vehicles, 30 Cal. 3D 70 (1981)
Queets Band of Indians v State of Wash,765 F.2d 1399 (9th Cir. 1985)
Gordon v State, 697 P.2d 1192 (1985)
State v Richey, 158 Ariz. 298 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1988)
State v French, 77 Haw. 222 (Haw. Ct. App. 1994)
State v Sturch, 82 Haw. 269 (Haw. Ct. App. 1996)
Snavely v City of Huntsville, 785 So.2d 1162 (Ala. Crim. App. 2000)
County of Fond Du Lac v Derksen, WI App 160 (Ct App Wisconsin (2002)
State v Streckfuss, 171 N.C. App. 81 (N.C. Ct. App. 2005)
Trujillo v State, Civil No. 10-730 LH/LFG. (D.N.M. Nov. 9, 2010)
State v Sullivan, 710 S.E.2d 709 (N.C. Ct. App. 2011)
State of Maine v. Timothy M. Cason, 46 A.3d 1141 (2012)
Barber v Alabama, Civil No. cv-3249-AKK (N.D. Ala. Apr. 16, 2012)
State v. Pelletier,125 A.3d 354 (Me. 2015)
Traylor v Herbert, Case No. 2:14-cv-00616 (D. Utah Nov. 10, 2015)
Lu v Spencer, Civil Case No. 15-30162-MGM (D. Mass. Feb. 24, 2016)
Milliman v Comm’r Civil No. 16-1209 (JRT/HB) (D. Minn. Sep. 16, 2016)
Scalpi v Town of E. Fishkill Case No. 14-CV-2126 (KMK) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2016)

 The use of the public highways by motor vehicles, 
with its consequent dangers, renders the reasonableness 
and necessity of regulation apparent. 
Motor vehicles are dangerous machines; and, even when 
skillfully and carefully operated, their use is attended 
by serious dangers to persons and property. In the public 
interest the State may make and enforce regulations 
reasonably calculated to promote care on the part of all, 
residents and non-residents alike, who use its highways.
Hess v. Pawloski 274 US 352 (1927)
The use of the public highways by motor vehicles, 
with its consequent dangers, renders the reasonableness
and necessity of regulation apparent. The universal 
practice is to register ownership of automobiles and to 
license their drivers. Any appropriate means adopted by 
the states to insure competence and care on the part of 
its licensees and to protect others using the highway 
is consonant with due process.
Reitz v. Mealey 314 US 33 (1941)

Federal Circuit Court Decisions

So here is the 7th Circuit in simple and unmistakable (and recent) direct words…

"But [Appellant] Dean has not articulated reasons to support
his unexplained argument that state licensure and 
registration requirements violate the right to travel...This 
is not surprising because such an argument is meritless.*

"Without vehicle licenses, Dean is denied only “a single 
mode of transportation-in a car driven by himself...and 
this does not impermissibly burden his right to travel."
Matthew v. Honish, 233 F. App'x 563, 564 (7th Cir. 2007)

*Since some have misinterpreted this to mean that Dean just needs to make the right argument, the Court is saying rather that he did not make an argument because there IS no such argument to make.  Let’s rewrite that a little: “But Dean has not articulated reasons to support his unexplained argument that state licensure and registration requirements violate the right to travel….[it] is not surprising [that he has not  articulated reasons or explained] because such an argument is without merit.”

The 9th Circuit weighs in with several key decisions:

"Because Mrs. Hallstrom ... by her actions, demonstrated 
that she was likely to continue driving without a license, 
Officer Snapp did not violate her rights under Idaho law 
or the Constitution by making the arrest."
Hallstrom v.City of Garden City,991 F.2d 1473,1477 (9th Cir.1993)

Without a valid driver’s license from his home state of California, Miller cannot legally drive anywhere in the United States…” The Supreme Court has recognized a fundamental right to interstate travel Burdens placed on travel generally, such as gasoline taxes, or minor burdens impacting interstate travel, such as toll roads, do not constitute a violation of that right, however….
“We have previously held that burdens on a single mode of transportation do not implicate the right to interstate travel. … (“A rich man can choose to drive a limousine; a poor man may have to walk. The poor man’s lack of choice in his mode of travel may be unfortunate, but it is not unconstitutional.”) …(“At most, [the] argument reduces to the feeble claim that passengers have a constitutional right to the most convenient form of travel. That notion, as any experienced traveler can attest, finds no support whatsoever in [the Supreme Court’s right of interstate travel jurisprudence] or in the airlines’ own schedules.”)….

“We conclude that by denying Miller a single mode of transportation-in a car driven by himself- the DMV did not unconstitutionally impede Miller’s right to interstate travel... “In Dixon v. Love (1977)…the Supreme Court held that a state could summarily suspend or revoke the license of a motorist …The Court conspicuously did not afford the possession of a driver’s license the weight of a fundamental right.
Miller v. Reed, 176 F.3d 1202, 1205-06 (9th Cir.1999)

Some State Decisions

Numerous decisions show that many State courts have directly addressed these frivolous claims and rejected them outright. You can argue they have no jurisdiction or power all day long but they will disagree and enforce their legal decisions as shown here. This is but a small sample of the rulings of state courts.

TENNESSEE    …the appellant asserts that the State of Tennessee has unduly infringed upon his “right to travel” by requiring licensing and registration of his motor vehicles prior to operation on the public roadways of this state… at no time did the State of Tennessee place constraints upon the appellant’s exercise of this right.   His right to travel within this state or to points beyond its boundaries remains unimpeded … Requiring persons to obtain a driver’s license and to register their automobiles with the State provides a means of identifying the owner of the automobile if negligently operated to the damage of other persons…because it is a means of guaranteeing a minimal level of driver competence, licensing improves safety on our highways and, thus, protects and enhances the well being of the residents and visitors of our state. Thus, our state legislature may properly within the scope of its police power enact reasonable regulations requiring licensing and registration.

…the appellant presents additional arguments relating to whether his automobile is a “motor vehicle” … whether he is exempted from such regulations because of his “use” of his automobile;  and whether he is required to obtain a Tennessee driver’s license…The appellant’s 1985 Dodge Daytona is a motor vehicle contemplated by the regulations, said vehicle is driven upon the public roads of this state…These issues are without merit.
State v Booher (TN 1997)

KANSAS  Hershberger argues that the State had no authority to charge him with driving on a suspended license because he was using his car for personal and not commercial purposes.   Hershberger’s argument seems to be that because he has a constitutional right to travel, he can drive on all public streets and highways without complying with any regulation when he uses his vehicle only for personal purposes. Hershberger has cited no statute which exempts him from the requirement of having a driver’s license if he operates a motor vehicle on the public roadways. Instead, he essentially contends these statutes violate his constitutional right to travel.

These laws were not designed to deter interstate or intrastate migration, nor do they penalize someone for exercising the right to travel. States have a compelling interest in ensuring that motor vehicles are operated in a safe fashion on public roads and highways.   Therefore, States may adopt “[a]ny appropriate means ․ to insure competence and care on the part of its licensees and to protect others using the highway” without violating due process.

It is elementary that the right to operate a motor vehicle upon a public street or highway is not a natural or unrestrained right but a privilege which is subject to reasonable regulations under the police power of the state in the interest of the public’s safety and welfare. “ (Lee v. State, 187 Kan. 566, 358 P.2d 765 [1961].)   The driver’s license is not a contract or a property right … The privilege is granted to those who are qualified, who comply with reasonable police power requirements in the interest of public safety and welfare, and is withheld from those who do not.
Appellate courts across the country have rejected the type of argument Hershberger raises. The reasoning in these cases is two-fold.   First, regulations pertaining to licensing and registration of vehicles do not deter one’s right to travel because operating a car is only one of many ways to travel.   Second, these courts recognize the purpose of such regulations is to advance the public interest in ensuring the competency of drivers operating on the roadway and that drivers have adequate financial security to compensate potential injured parties.   For these reasons, these regulatory schemes have consistently been held constitutional.
State v. Hershberger (KS, 2000)

MAINE: “…the only issues on appeal are whether the court below had jurisdiction to enforce the laws of the State of Maine against Pelletier and whether the requirement that each driver hold a valid driver’s license violates the United States Constitution

“Because these arguments, although frivolous , are raised with some regularity, we write to provide an *unambiguous declaration that Maine’s courts have jurisdiction to enforce Maine’s laws against those physically present within the state’s geographic bounds* and to reaffirm the constitutionality of Maine’s law requiring each driver to hold a valid driver’s license .
[And in this
3½ page decision the Court showed jurisdiction and Constitutionality. One of the simplest and most easily read cases you could find.]
Maine v. Pelletier (ME, 2015) Supreme Court of Maine citing among others State v Pelletier

… the right to . . . “use the public streets . . . is not an absolute and unqualified right. It is subject to be limited and controlled by the sovereign authority — the State, whenever necessary to provide for and promote the safety, peace, health, morals, and general welfare of the people. To secure these and kindred benefits is the purpose of organized government, and to that end may the power of the State, called its police power, be used. By exercise of that power, through legislative enactments, individuals may be subjected to restraints . . . if manifestly necessary to . . . secure and advance the safety, comfort and prosperity of its people. And it is a fundamental law that no constitutional guarantee is violated by such an exercise of the police power of the State when manifestly necessary and tending to secure such general and public benefits.
STATE v. PELLETIER•587 A.2d 1100, (Me. 1991)

The vehicle that Cason was operating, a 1966 Triumph TR4, had a registration that expired. Cason does not appear to dispute that he was operating a vehicle with an expired registration in Gardiner on or about July 31, 2011…. Cason contends that the operating an unregistered vehicle charge should have been dismissed because it was brought in violation of “the Peoples common law right to travel” and that an “American citizen does indeed have the inalienable right to use the roadways unrestricted in any manner as long as they are not damaging or violating property or rights of another.

Contrary to Cason’s contentions, persons operating motor vehicles on the roadways are properly required by law to have the motor vehicles registered as a condition of operation. There exists no inherent constitutional right to drive on public ways. See State v. Demerritt, 149 Me. 380, 383-84, 103 A.2d 106 (1953); Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 622 (1915). The Legislature does not restrict the right to travel when it sets conditions and restrictions on the operation of motor vehicles. See Hendrick, 235 U.S at 624
Maine v Cason 2012 ME 91 Maine Sup. Ct 46 A.3d 1141

(In those three Maine rulings we see the courts dismiss the idea that the State is not sovereign and affirm it has jurisdiction over any person within its boundaries; then go on to show that the use of the police power is the basis of license laws and does not violate the constitution. The decisions also quote the US Supreme Court in Hendrick v.Maryland and Neff v Penoyer both cited above.)

Massachusetts

“The constitutionality of the statute is settled. The Commonwealth has power to prescribe the conditions under which public ways may be used by motor vehicles, and can delegate the administration of such power …The department is given authority to prescribe the time during which the rights granted may be exercised. ….The certificate was a privilege. It was neither a contract nor property, and its revocation deprived the petitioner of no vested rights…”
Roberto v Department of Public Utilities  262 Mass. 583, 587 (Mass. 1928)

The statute was passed to make the roads more safe and convenient for travelers by preventing unlicensed persons from operating motor vehicles thereon. The purpose of licensing operators of automobiles is to make it reasonably certain that the licensee is qualified for the task and a proper person to be licensed. Negligent operation of an automobile endangering the safety of other travelers is likely to follow if an unlicensed person is given complete control of its operation.”
Gordon v Beddard, 265 Mass 408 (1929)

Continued possession of this privilege is conditioned on obedience to the Legislature’s comprehensive regulatory scheme aimed at regulating the motorways and keeping them safe. The first statute requiring drivers’ licenses was promulgated in 1903. Even then, one could obtain a driver’s license only on “passing such examination as to his qualifications as may be required by the state highway commission,”
Luk v Commonwealth, 421 Mass 415 (1995)

Missouri

Davis next contends that he was not operating a motor vehicle, but was merely “travelling in a conveyance” when arrested, and therefore, he did not violate the statute. His reasoning for this premise that the statute in question is for the purpose of regulating commerce and has no application to individuals who are merely “travelling,” is not based on any relevant statute or case precedent, and has no merit…the operation of a motor vehicle upon public highways is a privilege, or at the most a qualified right, it is properly controlled by the exercise of state police power…. In the exercise of such police power, a state may require a person to be licensed as a condition precedent to operating a motor vehicle upon public highways. Williams v. Schaffner, 477 S.W.2d 55, 56 (Mo. Banc 1972)… Since Davis was in actual physical control of the pickup truck, he was operating a motor vehicle.
State v. Davis (Mo.App 1988) 745 SW2d 249

Washington

Ms. Port contends RCW 46.20.021 [is] unconstitutional as applied to her because [it] improperly restrict[s] her right to travel upon the public highways.

It is well settled that the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to travel. This fundamental constitutional right applies both to interstate and intrastate travel. Ms. Port attempts to extend this fundamental rule, alleging she has a right, rather than privilege, to operate a motor vehicle upon public highways and streets. …driving an automobile on our state’s public highways is a privilege and not a right because the activity is limited to a certain class of individuals, generally those over the age of 16 years, who have passed a driver’s license examination….This privilege is always subject to such reasonable regulation and control as the proper authorities see fit to impose under the police power in the interest of public safety and welfare.See State v. Scheffel, 82 Wash. 2d 872, 880, 514 P.2d 1052 (1973) (one does not have an absolute constitutional right to a particular mode of travel)See Reitz v. Mealey, 314 U.S. 33, 86 L. Ed. 21, 62 S. Ct. 24 (1941). In Reitz, the United States Supreme Court examined the privilege to travel on our public streets and highways and concluded, in 314 U.S. at 36:

Any appropriate means adopted by the states to insure competence and care on the part of its licensees and to protect others using the highway is consonant with due process.

“….RCW 46.20.021 requires a license to drive or operate a motor vehicle upon our state highways. Licensing is a means by which the State may determine whether vehicle operators have acquired a minimal standard of competence. Mandating driver competence is a public purpose within the police power of the state because it furthers the interests of public safety and welfare. …Ms. Port claims she is constitutionally entitled to this special status because she is not engaged in commercial travel….[she] claims the state licensing statute applies only to commercial operators of motor vehicles. She claims since she was not engaged in the business of transportation, she did not violate the act.”

“RCW 46.20.021, reads: “No person . . . may drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless the person has a valid driver’s license issued under the provisions of this chapter.”

Ms. Port’s argument that this provision requires a license only for those operating commercial vehicles is clearly without merit. RCW 46.04.370 eliminates any alleged ambiguity with respect to the violation here because the section defines an operator or driver as “every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle. Since Ms. Port was in actual physical control of her vehicle when stopped, she came under the provisions of RCW Title 46.”
(Review denied by [Washington] Supreme Court July 8, 1986.)
Spokane v Port, 716 P.2d 945.(1986)

OTHER CASES:

CALIFORNIA 
Like all constitutional rights the right of free movement is not absolute and may be reasonably restricted in the public interest.” 
In Re White 97 Cal.App.3d.141, 158 Cal.Rptr. 562, 566-67 (1979)
(It’s not a driving case at all but I liked the first four words so much I included it.)

CALIFORNIA
“Laine challenges the City’s legal authority to tow his car in the first place, arguing that California’s car-registration requirement is unconstitutional… Laine’s argument runs directly contrary to settled law. The constitutional right to travel does not create a constitutional right to drive. (Miller v Reed, 176 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 1999)). The state can require drivers to be licensed. (See Dixon v Love, 431 U.S. 105 (1977)). The state can require drivers to be insured. (See Ex parte Poresky, 290 U.S. 30 (1933)). The state can require drivers to register their cars. (See, e.g., Johnson v City of Horry, S.C., 360 F. App’x 466 (4th Cir. 2010); Matthew v Honish, 233 F. App’x 563 (7th Cir. 2007)). States don’t depend on the Commerce Clause for their authority to regulate private behavior, so it’s irrelevant whether drivers are traveling for business purposes or across state lines. (See Bond v United States, 134 S. Ct. 2077 (2014)).”
Laine v. City of Livermore; Case No. 15-cv-03656-VC (N.D. Cal. Oct. 31, 2016)

 

COLORADO: Heninger v. Charnes, 200 Colo. 194, 198, 613 P.2d 884 (1980) (revocation of driver’s license does not burden constitutional right to travel);  

MINNESOTA: State v. Cuypers, 559 N.W.2d 435, 436-37 (Minn.App.1997) (State’s mandatory automobile insurance laws do not violate constitutional right to travel or to due process);  

MONTANA:   “We reject Skurdal’s claim that because he owes nothing on his car (private property) and is not engaged in commercial travel, his liberty interests are infringed by stopping his vehicle. That claim is baseless in Montana, and we find no law in any other jurisdiction to support it either. We will not entertain it further.  We hold… it is a proper exercise of the State’s Police Power to require a valid driver’s license before one may operate a motor vehicle on the public highways.
State v. Skurdal  767 P.2d 304  (MT, 1988)

NORTH DAKOTA: “Stuart argues that he has a constitutional right to operate an automobile on public roads without a driver’s license. No court has ever held that it is an impermissible infringement upon a citizen’s constitutional Right to Travel for the Legislature to decree that, unless exempted by statute, every person who operates a motor vehicle on public roads must have a valid operator’s license …The Legislature has the constitutional police power to ensure safe drivers and safe roads.
City of Bismarck v. Stuart 546 N.W.2d 366, 367 (N.D.1996)

PENNSYLVANIA:   A license to operate a motor vehicle on public highways is a privilege and not a property right.
Commonwealth v Levy  194 Pa. Superior Ct. 390 (1961)

RHODE ISLAND:   …It is equally clear that the right to operate a motor vehicle is not a fundamental right. The importance of that right to the individual in modern society does not determine whether it is to be regarded as fundamental for the purpose of review under the equal protection clause. …For equal protection purposes, only rights explicitly or implicitly guaranteed by the Federal Constitution are fundamental. Id. at 33-34, 93 S. Ct. at 1297, 36 L. Ed. 2d at 43.

The right to operate a motor vehicle is wholly a creation of state law; it certainly is not explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution, and nothing in that document or in our state constitution has even the slightest appearance of an implicit guarantee of that right. The plaintiff’s argument that the right to operate a motor vehicle is fundamental because of its relation to the fundamental right of interstate travel …is utterly frivolous. The plaintiff is not being prevented from traveling interstate by public transportation, by common carrier, or in a motor vehicle driven by someone with a license to drive it. What is at issue here is not his right to travel interstate, but his right to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways, and we have no hesitation in holding that this is not a fundamental right.
Berberian v. Petit (RI, 1977)

TEXAS:  Coyle maintains that driving a motor vehicle is an inalienable and unregulatable “right” which may not be interfered with by the State of Texas. She argues that it is contrary to the federal constitution for the State of Texas to require a private citizen to secure a driver’s license before operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway….Although Coyle has put forth a good deal of time and energy vehemently arguing this point, it is clear that in Texas, a license or permit to drive an automobile on the public highways and streets is a privilege and not property or a property right. This privilege is subject to reasonable regulations under the police power in the interest of the welfare and safety of the general public. …. Coyle argues the State failed to define “driving” and “operating.” She claims harm in the fact that these words were used interchangeably at trial and in the charging instruments. These terms are synonymous; there is no error.
Coyle v. State, 775 S.W.2d 843 (Tex. App. 1989)

Appellant next complains of that portion of the court’s charge in which he instructed the jury that they might convict if they found that the appellant did “drive and operate” a motor vehicle on the grounds that the complaint and information charged only that he did “operate” a motor vehicle. We hold such terms to be synonymous, and the court’s charge to be proper.
Galan v. State, 301 S.W.2d 141, (1957).

Carter argues that he has a constitutional right to travel on the public highways which the legislature may not take away by the requirement of a license. It is true that the right to travel interstate is a fundamental right under the United States Constitution. However, we agree with the Supreme Court of Colorado that the revocation of a driver’s license for violation of the traffic laws of the state does not unconstitutionally burden such right. See Heninger v. Charnes, 200 Colo. 194, 613 P.2d 884, 887 (1980). We also agree with the holding of the Colorado court that the issuance of a driver’s license does not confer upon the licensee a right that is independently entitled to protection against any and all governmental interference or restriction. Id.
Carter v. State, 702 S.W.2d 774, 778 (Tex.App.1986)

UTAH   “Mr. Wisden’s assertion that the right to travel encompasses ‘the unrestrained use of the highway’ is wrong.  The right to travel granted by the state and federal constitutions does not include the ability to ignore laws governing the use of public roadways.  The motor vehicle code was promulgated to increase the safety and efficiency of our public roads.  It enhances rather than infringes on the right to travel. The ability to drive a motor vehicle on a public roadway is not a fundamental right  it is a privilege that is granted upon the compliance with the statutory licensing procedures and may be revoked…

“Mr. Wisden’s contention [is] that the … court lacked jurisdiction to try him because his status as a “free man” exempts him from the motor vehicle code because he did not consent to be bound by it. We address this issue only because it is frequently raised and should be finally settled. We reject his claim. All of the provisions violated by Mr. Wisden regulate the conduct of persons. Utah Code Ann. § 41-1-1(t) defines “person” as “[e]very natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.” Mr. Wisden is a natural person and is therefore bound by the statutes he violated. Consent to laws is not a prerequisite to their enforceability against individuals. We take issue with Mr. Wisden’s assertion that “this type of legislation attempts to lead one to the conclusion that all are subject to the law, and amounts to nothing more than legal debauchery.”

In order for our scheme of ordered liberties to succeed, we must all obey valid laws, even those with which we do not agree; a man cannot exempt himself from the operation of a law simply by declaring that he does not consent to have it apply to him.
City of Salina v. Wisden (Utah 1987) 737 P2d 981

Note on Definitions

As I stated most words are defined in the law but there’s been a challenge to the definition of “vehicle” because it may include transport, goods or other words that imply commerce. For example:

VEHICLE.Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway…

That definition does not require that it be used to transport, only that it is capable of being used.

may, aux verb.

a :  have the ability to
    b :  have permission to <may go now> :  be free to <may sprawl> —
used nearly interchangeably with can
    cused to indicate possibility or probability <may be right>
sometimes used interchangeably with can <may happen from time to time>

transport:  v. transitive

1. to transfer or convey from one place to another as <transporting ions across a living membrane>

goods noun, plural :

3. a. personal property having intrinsic value but usually excluding money, securities, and negotiable instruments.

Therefore to transport goods does not inescapably imply commerce or commercial transport. I can transport my pack of chewing gum while traveling privately. In fact if I convey it (to transfer or convey from one place to another), I communicate the same meaning, so conveying oneself in a conveyance is no different from transporting in a motor vehicle.

draw  verb, intransitive

  1. to cause to move continuously toward or after a force applied in advance :  pull <draw your chair up by the fire>: such as
a :  to move (as a covering) over or to one side <draw the drapes>

  2. to cause to go in a certain direction (as by leading) <drew him aside>

[Merriam Webster Dictionary retrieved 10 Feb 2017]

I realize these words could be and some will surely insist they can ONLY be or MUST be interpreted with commercial meanings, but the courts have simply not used such meanings.

(But if you insist, the rulings saying that a man is entitled to transport his household goods on the highway would only contemplate commercial use…)

You can pull out  Ye Olde English Legal Dictionary or some ancient version or other of Black’s, but the courts won’t do that. Courts use the plain English meaning unless it doesn’t make sense. Then they go to the regular dictionary to see if that makes sense. And they consider all definitions of a word to decide which one best fits.

In case after case (as shown in the preceding and following sections in detail) they reject any distinction between driving for commerce and driving for private non commercial purposes in clear and direct words.

They likewise don’t ever interpret vehicle as meaning only commercial vehicles.

Every time the proposition is put to the court that private travel is exempt it is unanimously rejected.

Conveying is transporting, and anything may be conveyed or transported even private property and for private reason. And if it can be ‘drawn’ on the highway it’s a vehicle.

I’ll reiterate the key parts of a few of the cases above.

..the appellant presents additional arguments relating to whether his automobile is a “motor vehicle” … whether he is exempted from such regulations because of his “use” of his automobile;  and whether he is required to obtain a Tennessee driver’s license…The appellant’s 1985 Dodge Daytona is a motor vehicle contemplated by the regulations, said vehicle is driven upon the public roads of this state...These issues are without merit.

… argues the State failed to define “driving” and “operating.” She claims harm in the fact that these words were used interchangeably at trial and in the charging instruments. These terms are synonymous; there is no error.

Appellant next complains of that portion of the court’s charge in which he instructed the jury that they might convict if they found that the appellant did “drive and operate” a motor vehicle on the grounds that the complaint and information charged only that he did “operate” a motor vehicle. We hold such terms to be synonymous, and the court’s charge to be proper 

The right to operate a motor vehicle is wholly a creation of state law … What is at issue here is not his right to travel interstate, but his right to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways…

Ms. Port’s argument that this provision requires a license only for those operating commercial vehicles is clearly without merit. RCW 46.04.370 eliminates any alleged ambiguity with respect to the violation here because the section defines an operator or driver as “every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle. Since Ms. Port was in actual physical control of her vehicle when stopped, she came under the provisions of RCW Title 46.”

Davis next contends that he was not operating a motor vehicle, but was merely “travelling in a conveyance”His reasoning for this premise that the statute in question is for the purpose of regulating commerce and has no application to individuals who are merely “travelling,” is not based on any relevant statute or case precedent, and has no merit Since Davis was in actual physical control of the pickup truck, he was operating a motor vehicle.

Summary

The state laws that require driver licenses are simple, clear and all the folderol about commerce and definitions for a motor vehicle are simply Mr Magoo Legal Research; cases cited in support of these theories show that proper reading of the cases supports restrictions on travel, or explicitly support driver licensing.

None of the cases holds that license requirements are improper or unconstitutional. Quite the opposite. And further, there are a number of additional cases that explicitly found licensing requirements proper.

Although one sees the assertion that people have defeated tickets on this kind of claim, proof in the form of a court decision saying why is never forthcoming. Surely at least ONE court has gone on record??  Yet no citations, rulings, decisions or opinion is ever presented.

=                                  More Blogs by Philipem 1000                                  =

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http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fD
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=                                                          The Law                                                          =
Sources Of Law and Authority
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Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-Od
Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters
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(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant
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& Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency
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81 Responses to Who or What Says You Need a License to Drive?

  1. philipem1000 says:

    I did not approve the comment of Xinachtli on this topic because of its considerable length and lack of accuracy. More on that in a moment.

    His post dealt extensively with question of citizenship and Congressional jurisdiction. Since driver licenses are a state matter it is irrelevant to this post, another reason I did not approve it.

    UPDATE: After a number of exchanges Xinachtli pasted a link to a site that is so full of false and outright forged legal cases that I know he didn’t check or read any of them. I give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t actually know how bad the information was, but it clearly demonstrates to me that he has nothing to offer in terms of facts or logically constructed arguments. So I have removed the vast bulk of his prolix contribution.

    If he can’t comment intelligently and accurately and offer a position supported by the real content of real decisions, then he’s just repeating the debunked lies I countered in the blog itself and adds nothing at all to the conversation.

    • philipem1000 says:

      [Responses to irrelevant points deleted.]

      In the absence of national legislation covering the subject a State may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles — those moving in interstate commerce as well as others. And to this end it may require the registration of such vehicles and the licensing of their drivers, charging therefor reasonable fees graduated according to the horse-power of the engines — a practical measure of size, speed, and difficulty of control. This is but an exercise of the police power uniformly recognized as belonging to the States and essential to the preservation of the health, safety and comfort of their citizens; and it does not constitute a direct and material burden on interstate commerce. The reasonableness of the State’s action is always subject to
      inquiry in so far as it affects interstate commerce, and in that regard it is likewise subordinate to the will of Congress.

      Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 US 610 – Supreme Court 1915
      https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13681451034893205402&pageId=117606535009728002375

  2. Xinachtli says:

    A series of serious problems there. The prosecutor is not an eyewitness testifying with firsthand knowledge. (See Trinsey V Pagliaro.) So who is? The law-enforcement officer makes and prove no claim of being the injured party. So, then what ? Further, no charge has been filed. Also, it’s a civil matter and not a crime. If you were to go through line by line with the prosecutor’s schtick and disasseble it and consider all of the violations of one’s unalienable rights that are just accountable within the first 11 amendments, the results would be astounding. That’s why knowing your Rights and how they apply is so very important.

    • Loco Taco says:

      I noticed the author of this blog made a post regarding location/jurisdiction on a YouTube video by tackticalguy – I have this huge question. In the Federal Constitution, it says “In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.”

      Obviously this is talking about the Federal Supreme Court. It seems to me that is there to prevent conflict of interest – the cities, counties – bascially all of the political subdivisions in a state exisit subject to the state. The so called attornies practice subject to a license granted by the State, The judge, prosectuor, clerk, everyone has their job subject to the state and sometimes even paid by the State. So if the State is a party to the case and in my State, they always are in traffic cases, DWI’s, drug cases, etc. and you are having a trial in a court where everyone of the court officials is subject to the state in some way, it seems to me that there is no way you can get a fair trial.

      So – how is it that we have all of these ST – VS – John Doe’s on the dockets of our state courts when Article III, Sec 2 para 2 of the federal constitution says the supreme court has original jurisdiction in these cases where the State is a party (or the party is a political subdivision of the state).

      Just askin…

      REPLY: Perhaps you should read ALL of the Constitution: Amendment XI The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

      Second — Art III of the Constitution has nothing to say about the State’s relations with its own citizens; because the state itself is sovereign it is immune to lawsuit. It may not be sued by its own citizens without its consent, and the Constitutional provision originally in effect does not cover the case of a citizen suing his own state. That is purely a matter of STATE law, unless the citizen raises an issue that the federal courts can address under the Constitution.

      In state court the individual within a state has to point to a provision of state law that allows the state to be sued. To bring his case to federal court he must show the Constitution gives him a right, such as deprivation of a constitutional guarantee. And that was ALWAYS the case even under the provision you cited. And constitutional rights suits are expressly within the jurisdiction of the Federal District Courts.

      Even in such a case you cannot sue the State because it has immunity, but you can sue the officer responsible for enforcing that law typically (but not always) the Attorney General of the state to have him enjoined from enforcing it.

      Finally the state as plaintiff is the executive acting; the court is the judiciary acting. So you are getting a trial by an impartial party. Further the judge’s employment or compensation are not based on the outcome of your trial so that excludes that as a basis for challenge to impartiality.

      Now as to Xinatchli’s points, the prosecutor is not a WITNESS who you are entitled to confront and the officer is usually a WITNESS providing evidence to support the charges the state is bringing. You are entitled to confront the WITNESSES against not you are not entitled to confront the COMPLAINANT.

  3. Oh, and BTW, a “natural person” is not the same as a “private person.” A private person is a man or woman under the common law which is our birthright as American Citizens/Sovereigns as all judicial power courts in each state (with the possible exception of Louisiana) are to be courts of record which means courts of common law. “Natural persons” are people subject to the CIVIL law (where the government/emperor actually OWNS them as his private chattel). Actually, if you look in the California Penal Code you will see that the term “person” is a recursive definition (i.e. defined as a “natural person”).

    http://1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/courtrec.htm

    http://private-person.com/Welcome.html

    • philipem1000 says:

      And every legal dictionary and many court decisions consulted define person first as “Human being;” so a natural person is a natural human being, used to distinguish them from a corporate person, which is an artificial construct whereby a group of people can legally act as a single entity by the act of incorporation (from the Latin, in corpus, in a body).

      So. No. Sale. There is no such thing as an American Citizen-Sovereign, there is no tradition in our legal history of such, there is not one single court rulilng recognizing such a creature in the law.

      Courts of record are not “courts of common law”. A court of record is one which keeps a transcript of its proceedings, a record. Duh. Each state defines the jurisdiction and power of its own courts. All person are subject to the civil and criminal law of the jurisdiction in which they exist at any moment.

      In California vehicle code (not for other purposes):V C Section 470 Person
      470. “Person” includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.

      Note “includes,” not “means”. Person includes “natural person” (natural human being” and the things that follow.

      • Loco Taco says:

        So the freemen, so called soverign citizens, etc. are all crazy huh? How come most of the states have legal obfuscation/trickery included somewhere in the rules of the court, etc.

        The first one I could find. Missouri Supreme court rule 38.05 – Read the definition of Person.

        http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=832

        Don’t tell me that includes widens the scope – it acts like a fence around only the things in the definition. Just like a fence includes or encloses livestock. in legal definitions and statutory interpretation. Blacks Law 4th edition even names the jury cases that decided this in the USA.

        That is taught in any 101 course or book. – so much so that most of the code uses this word IMHO deceptively for the average layman because they will take it to mean it broadens the scope as in person also means “corporation”. In this definition, it can only mean person is DEFINED AS A corporation. That is the only logical interpretation – there is no amount of legal juggling that will get you anywhere else – or it could not be called a DEFINITION. They also run with the fact that when you get your drivers license, you are expressly stating that there is a commercial corporation sole – in your name that you are requesting a license to do commercial business on the roads. They will assume and presume that you are operating under this license at all times. Blacks Law 4th also has a very perceptive definition of the word License – “permission from a competent authority to do something that would otherwise be unlawful.” – In the case of the drivers license, that is the permission to conduct for profit commerce on the roads dedicated to public use. You know this is the truth – as they say, it is self evident once you see it.

      • philipem1000 says:

        “Don’t tell me that includes widens the scope”

        OK well you referred me to a rule which ends up being definitions. You mean “person includes corporation” but I prefer to look at “county includes the city of St. Louis” which means that a list of counties would exclude a city but the definition “includes St Louis” would in fact EXPAND the definition of county for the purposes of the law to show it applies to St Louis city. That’s because I speak fucking English. My ass includes a hole, that does not define my ass as a hole. ENGLISH.

        And just in case you want to quibble don’t do it in Washington:

        RCW 46.04.405 “Person” includes every natural person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association, or organization.
        RCW 46.04.356 “Natural person” means a human being.

        Therefore “person” in this law means “every human being”. When it says Person includes corporation, just in case you thought a person Must be or is Only a corporation that clearly shows that is not the case. What it does mean is “person, defined in law as a human being, in this law also includes a corporation” And as I said in the blog how absurd it would be to put a corporation in physical control of a motor vehicle. It takes a human being to do that. That is interpreting a word in CONTEXT and avoiding absurd results also a statutory construction rule.

        What you are thinking of is that in some situations the court has to decide whether an inclusive list is comprehensive, or means “includes and to the exclusion of all others” and lawyers frequently write “including but not limited to” in a contract to be sure that a list is not taken as exclusive. But then as I said courts usually interpret text to avoid absurdities and interpret in
        context.

        Mr Magoo legal interpretations are not looked upon with favor in court.

        Yeah. English.

        Also you are wrong that include usually or invariably is limiting as you suggest:
        “…recent cases in which the verb include is given a restrictive meaning are few and far between. More common are cases such as DIRECTV, Inc. v. Crespin, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 6279 (10th Cir. Mar. 16, 2007) (referring to “the normal use of ‘include’ as introducing an illustrative—and non-exclusive—list”). People v. Perry, 2007 WL 495285 (Feb. 16, 2007 Ill.) (relying in part on “the plain and ordinary meaning” of the word includes in holding that the absence of additional verbiage such as but not limited to did not preclude the following list from being illustrative); Auer v. Commonwealth, 621 S.E.2d 140 (Va. Ct. App. 2005) (“Generally speaking, the word ‘include’ implies that the provided list of parts or components is not exhaustive and, thus, not exclusive.”)

        “Presumably it is the everyday meaning of the verb include, plus the paucity of cases giving a restrictive meaning to it, that allows Black’s Law Dictionary to conclude that phrases such as including without limitation and including but not limited to “mean the same thing” as including.
        http://www.adamsdrafting.com/including-without-limitation/

      • Ken S. says:

        Wow, I didn’t know that the city of St. Louis was the only county in Missouri!

      • philipem1000 says:

        See you learn all kinds of shit from these guys!

      • philipem1000 says:

        But if you are going to cite Texas law give me a damn link to the exact law you are citing

      • philipem1000 says:

        Oh and I did not say the sovs were all crazy. But a huge portion of those who I encounter based on the representations they make are either slow witted, religiously convinced, irrational, or ignorant. The IDEA is crazy. It propagates without critical thinking or even interpretation via the cut and paste function. I wish I had a dollah for every time Thompson v Smith is misquoted, miscited and misunderstood. I would return one dollah for each guy I encountered who cited it and had actually read it. I would return zero dollahs.

      • The American Indian or Native American is sovereign or am i mistaken?

        REPLY: IN the past Indian NATIONS were recognized as sovereign. Not individuals. The sovereignty of recognized tribes is as the sovereignty of a state and is strictly limited by federal laws.

    • philipem1000 says:

      As one more example of how ridiculous your assertions are:

      In construing these statutes and each and every word, phrase, or part hereof, where the context will permit: …. (3) The word “person” includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations.
      http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0001/Sections/0001.01.html

      [Yes it is Florida; why would California be different? In any event Black’s said “human being” so….you are wrong again.]

      • Loco Taco says:

        Includes, including and include. All of which are different words with different meanings…and so was I…I am only a student and I will admit my ignorance and confusion about some things..but I am learning. The way you learn is to ask questions and study right/

        38.05. Definitions
        Whenever in this Rule 38 the following terms are used, they mean the following:

        So these definitions are only good in this rule 38 if you read the literal meaning of this. It uses the word mean..so in rule 38 person means corporation. Once more this makes me go hmmmmm….

        Here is what Blacks Law 4th says about include (was mistaken here about ‘includes’ and confusing it with include and not even remembering the definition clearly). Can we enter this into evidence. 🙂

        REPLY: The problem is you want to use a 4th Edition and prefer to ignore the current edition. But the current edition says what the term means today. And it means to expand rather than to limit the definition.

        Include (Lat. inclaudere, to shut in, keep within). To confine within, hold as in an inclosure, take in, attain, shut up, contain, inclose, comprise, comprehend, embrace, involve. INCLUDING may, according to context express an enlargement, express an enlargement and have the meaning of and or in addition to, or merely specify a particular thing already included within general words theretofore uses. It then gives a metric crap ton of case cites to read.

        So if it is according to context and I don’t see how rule 38 could be contextually interpreted any other way with that ‘means’ part at the top there. I also notice that this word is used IRS code ALOT!

        So my question to you would be where would I go for the definitive meaning. I guess I will have to read all of those cases Blacks lists.

        REPLY: If you need a definitive meaning you would go to a court of law.

        I was taught by a teacher that when a definition says something like “fruit trees includes apple and orange trees”,that the rules of “statutory interpretation” say it can only mean apple and orange trees. This teaching sort of stuck in my mind because that is not how the average layman would interpret that sentence.

        REPLY To the contrary statutory construction says you START with the common everyday meanings and go beyond only if they don’t work and make sense in the context. Then you go to a legal dictionary and if the question still remains you try to divine the intent of the legistlature.

        Also, you refer to ‘sovs’ what the heck is a sovs? Is that a derogatory or dehumanizing term? Do you get made fun of around here for asking questions?

      • Ken S. says:

        “Sov” is shorthand for “sovereign citizen,” one of the flavors of people who make really, really bad assertions about law based on misinterpretations, fabrications, philosophical hooey, and other things that don’t actually affect the law or its implementation. Asking questions is good, but unfortunately there’s a lot of downright false stuff out there designed to make money for scammers, satisfy the egos of contrarians, or prank the gullible.

  4. philipem1000 says:

    Puzzle me a riddle Sir Kevin. If all judges are lawyers, and all lawyers use my definitions, how the fuck are you ever gonna win a single case using definitions no judge or lawyer accepts?

    You realize you went so far as to quote the law saying Common Law applies in California (and that section clearly means case law, btw, my definition) (OH and for the record since California at no time in its history was ruled by Great Britain, COMMON LAW does not and has never applied there.)…but you are then applying YOUR definition of Common Law; yet the law was written as you say, by LAWYERS and will be read by JUDGES all of whom are LAWYERS and none of whom accept your theories.

    Just one of those minor obstacles.

    While you are at it, see my blog which explains that sovereignty is the power to control a territory and its people. Control.

  5. William says:

    I think there needs to be a distinction made between Black’s Law Dictionary (early editions, eg. 2nd edition) that defines drive and travel quite differently. The Miller v. Reed is discussing drive and not travel. Could that be the reason for the court ruling the way they did?

    • philipem1000 says:

      Yes of course, to travel is not to drive, and the RIGHT is to travel; to drive is a privilege and merely a incidental modality of travel.

      I believe they are using the state law definition of drive. The courts do not go to Black’s law or any legal dictionary first, btw, they start with the statute definitions if any, then if a word is not clear they look at common meanings in a regular dictionary, finally they may look to a legal dictionary if they still don’t think they have made sense of a word that fits the law and the legislature’s intention. And those who advocate that there is no license law applicable often like to go to older versions of Black’s were current meanings may not be found.

      (UPDATE CAL VC provisions have been updated in the BLOG and are removed here as duplicative.)

  6. Ken S. says:

    https://casetext.com/case/chicago-coach-co-v-city-of-chicago <- Here's the text of the Chicago Motor Coach v. City of Chicago decision! Here's a nice gem:

    "Many cases have been decided respecting the validity and construction of statutes and ordinances regulating their use upon public highways, and it has been uniformly held that the State, in the exercise of the police power, may regulate their speed and provide other reasonable rules and restrictions as to their use."

    • philipem1000 says:

      Thanks! I am updating the blog immediately.

    • Loco Taco says:

      NOTE: Edited by Blog Owner to shorten and delete matters ranging beyond the blog’s point that licenses are required. A few respnses have been inserted inline.
      So it is a ‘police state’ then? I thought that we were guaranteed a ‘republic’ form of government in the Constitution? I thought that the Bill of Rights expressly restricted these powers; It says that it is “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” and it’s purpose is to prevent “misconstruction or abuse” of it’s powers in the preamble. Take a look!
      REPLY: Republican form of government yes. That does not mean there is not a police power, that does not create a police state. The police power predates the constitution and every nation recognizes the power. It sources from Roman law.

      “THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added:”
      SNIPPED: Discussion of attorney’s oath of office in Missouri

      I think there is so much confusion, ignorance, and conflict, because the law contradicts itself in places, you cannot rely on the plain meaning of words, you must stumble through a confusing mishmash of code with recursive definitions, etc.

      One of the reasons I came into this whole thing because I was parked on the side of the interstate highway and an officer charged me with “parking in a space exclusively designated for emergency vehicles”. (words of the ordinance – not the ticket)
      (SNIPPED the long story about how the ticket was handled, it is not really relevant to whether the laws apply and are mandatory, the point of the blog. And especially has no relevance to whether a DL is required.

      You guys really want to go around saying the “State is Sovereign” when the king is doing stuff like that to people who are trying to do the right thing in life?… Where is the due process of law called a warrant and required to be based on sworn probable cause before being deprived of life, liberty or property required and defined by the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment.

      COMMENT: It would take me countless hours to look at the actual details of what you were charged with, and how Missouri handles infractions or violations, to begin to see whether or not you were offered due process — but you seem to say in the end you got a lawyer to plead you guilty; so you did have an opportunity to contest the charges…and that is due process

      • Ken S. says:

        The states have police power, but this doesn’t make them “police states.” Unless you consider any republic that authorizes the existence of law enforcement agencies to be a “police state.” It sounds like you’ve been mistreated and didn’t have the practical ability to challenge the state’s conduct. That sucks and it shouldn’t happen, but the misbehavior of government employees and the challenges that we face in addressing that misbehavior don’t establish wacky new doctrines of law. Warrants aren’t the only form of due process, and statutes don’t become invalid because somebody misapplied them. I don’t have a perfect solution to offer you, but refusing to recognize the validity of the law is a much more difficult path than seeking remedies through the existing government.

      • philipem1000 says:

        The police power predates the Constitution by at least five centuries; it was fully recognized in Common Law. I has its roots in Roman Law. It is given to the states in the Tenth Amendment “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”. Remember the Constitution created a federal system and is primarily designed to limit the Federal Government and not state governments; only with the 14th Amendment did parts of the Bill of Rights begin to apply against the states. The feds have police power mostly over federal territories, though there are I am sure exceptions, Congress can create laws and enforce them by “necessary (and convenient)” means which means police like power.

        Police power is not an unrestrained or unlimited power, its exercise is subject to the constitution and may only be used when and to a degree that is reasonable in the circumstances. So if people can be arrested for inciting riot that is a restraint of speech, sure but imminently dangerous speech is not protected. HOWEVER the courts have held the police power cannot be used to prevent speech that is not imminently dangerous.

        Another good example is that the Court in Lawrence v Texas ruled the police power may not be used to regulate private adult intimate conduct as it is an intrusion on the right to privacy and perhaps other rights.

        I suggest you read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_power_(United_States_constitutional_law)

        In my view the government exists to promote the general welfare, and within the restraints of the bill of rights and the enumerated powers clause for the federal govt that means government is able to do what is necessary to the betterment of society generally — and yes that sometimes means to the detriment of some. There are protections, there must be equal treatment of those equally situated, there must be due process, and there must a rational relationship between the law and the enforcement of the law, it must be “reasonable” and a rational basis and legitimate legislative purpose underlying the law. This is mostly a matter for state law.

        I do not deny that sometimes the law is complicated and confusing and that is the biggest reason why we have lawyers, but the law covers many different topics and fields and there is a long history to law. However most laws are really not hard at all to understand as I have shown in this blog, The laws on Driver Licenses are really quite simple and clear.

        I never said government was perfect but it is indispensable and every human society will create a government; you cannot find a single example of a society of sovereigns that existed at any time or place for much longer than a year or two because whatever the good or bad of our present and of any other type of government, a lack of government is much worse. And FWIW IMHO this system is about the best that has ever been created (and here I speak of British Law and its descendants like the US)

  7. astronavis says:

    You have the right to do as you like and no one has the right to stop you as long as you are not causing harm . Laws then do not apply to you . Laws made to help are good if you want them .Laws made to extract money are bad . If you drive a car under age you don’t get in any trouble even when stopped … you get in trouble once you have signed for the license entering their contract rules .so no you don’t need a license until you ask for one .

    • philipem1000 says:

      Well that’s a nice idea I suppose (actually I find it frightful since few will volunteer to respect my rights when their desires conflict with mine. This is anarchy and we will be subject, instead of the law, to the guy with the most guns or cronies…)

      However it is simply not true in any real world way. If you wish to believe it no one can stop you until the court convicts you and fines you or imprisons you. Neither in theory nor in fact is what you say true. Whether or not you believe you are subject to the laws, the courts will find you are; and will not ask you to sign a contract to be fined, imprisoned, or even put to death. The words of the laws are not voluntary, nor conditional on signing any agreements. I have shown this in the blog.

      I tire of this discussion. Provide evidence that the courts secretly insist on your agreement to the laws. Not general statements about philosophy or the supremacy of rights, something clear and concrete and direct,

      This is not in our long legal history. The idea of teh sovereign individual is about 40 years old now. The idea of sovereign states and being subject to the law is over 4000 years old.

      No court has ever at any time in history, in any nation or entity, at any location on earth, made anything like a declarative statement that people have to subject themselves voluntarily to the laws, or recognizing the sovereign individual.

      • Loco Taco says:

        You might want to watch Eddie Craig – What the police don’t want you to know about your drivers license – on YouTube. He does an excellent job of explaining the Texas Code and all of it’s grand deception.

        It is amazing if you listen all the way through, you will see all of the the trick and the turn and it is very clear in the code and the definitions. You might also want to check out USC 42 S 1983, USC 18, S 241, 242 – I call that powerful federal repellent for those that would rule and reign over others.

        Prosecutor won’t file a 241, or 242 case for you? Look into a writ of Mandamus (a.k.a.) the “Do your job letter”.

      • philipem1000 says:

        The problem with a 1983 action is that you have to actually have been deprived of a constitutional right. And despite your fervent opinions this blog shows clearly that the courts have said while travel is a right it may be regulated like any other right and driving is not a right at all. So yeah. You can file an action but you won’t get anywhere the courts will dismiss it and make you pay the other guy’s legal fees. And no court will issue a writ of mandamus against a prosecutor on civil rights grounds, dude because they know your perception of the issues is wrong.

  8. Stefen Randall says:

    Paradigm change in thinking.

    A cop gets its authority based on the precept that one gives their allegiance for the duty to protect. There are numerous court cases that claim there is no duty to protect which nullifies any reciprocal obligation to give one’s allegiance which makes a police officer no different than a security guard for Wal Mart.

    When a security guard for Wal Mart, violates one’s unalienable rights, they are a criminal.

    • philipem1000 says:

      Your argument is poorly framed if you claim that because there is no requirement to protect, there is no right to pass, or to enforce, a law that actually does protect people. And you have drawn a number of connections that simply don’t exist. For example, “A cop gets its authority based on the precept that one gives their allegiance for the duty to protect.” I don’t find that anywhere; is that a law, in the constitution, or some authoritative court case? No.

      In fact, you don’t give your allegiance in exchange for every cop always acting to protect you. And in any event, you don’t have to give your allegiance at all. It is true that the police power inherent in the powers of a state is a protective power, but you don’t have to give your allegiance in order to be subject to the laws, for example, non-citizens are subject to the laws, non-residents, foreign visitors, etc. are all subject to the laws. Plus specific court cases dealing with limited areas and specific situations are not all encompassing, I doubt that it is a rule recognized universally that police never have any obligation to protect. But even if they did that doesn’t mean there is not a police power, nor does it negate a law, like driver licensing, that actually DOES protect.

      And no, cops are not WalMart security guards. Just another unwarranted leap by analogy that you want to believe somehow is true.

    • Ken S. says:

      Where are you getting this crap? Law enforcement officers are employed by government agencies to enforce the law. They are not in a special contract with you depending on your political philosophies. Whether you’re a star-spangled American Hero who’s just volunteered for your tenth deployment to Afghanistan or a grumbling Pakistani illegal alien openly wishing death on the Yankee devils makes no difference. The only “reciprocal obligation” involved is for the police department to send the officers their paychecks in full and on time.

      As for there being no duty to protect you’re talking about decisions like Warren v. District of Columbia where courts have rejected the argument that law enforcement agencies owe you money if they’re unable or unwilling to prevent or stop a specific crime. If there were, then everybody who’s ever been the victim of a crime could sue the police for not preventing it. That’s what they call “an absurd result” in legalspeak.

      • Loco Taco says:

        Wouldn’t a duty/contract with the public be created by a sworn and subscribed oath of office? and by the words in the federal constitution, aren’t all executive officers of the united states required to swear and subscribe an oath?

        I have another question…

        How is WalMart not a political subdivision of the government?? Didn’t a government allow it to be created? Doesn’t the government regulate it? Doesn’t it collect taxes for the government?

      • Ken S. says:

        Police officers have a duty to the public, but this is not a contract binding them to provide specific service to you, individually. They do not have an obligation to make sure nothing bad happens to you, and you won’t get damages if you sue them for not preventing or solving a crime. Oaths of office are not contracts with individuals.

        As for Walmart, it is not owned by government agents, its corporate decisions are not made by government agents, it isn’t paid for out of government funds, it hasn’t been granted any authority to act as a government agency, and so on. Being affected by government is not even slightly the same thing as being an instrumentality of government.

      • philipem1000 says:

        As to Wal-Mart in our system it is a corporation which means it is legally a person, and it is subject to the laws just as a person is. Any company or any individual who runs a business is required to collect sales taxes in accordance with state law. The laws of incorporation do create it and do limit what it can do but that does not make it a PART of government or an ARM of government. The government in some ways regulates what it does just as in some ways it regulates what you do. Walmart cannot drive a car at all of course, but if it could it would have to have a license,

    • Ken S. says:

      P.S. If a security guard for Wal-Mart violates one’s inalienable rights, how are they a criminal? Who gets to decide what’s a crime and what isn’t? What if the security guard doesn’t give his consent or allegiance? 🙂

      • philipem1000 says:

        The laws apply to security guards and yes to police. If your rights are actually violated you go to court and make your case. If it is egregious you hope the US attorney for example will prosecute as a criminal violation.

        IF on the other hand you have imaginary rights or imaginary violations you will not get a lot of stisfaction, but then you were not going to anyway.

      • Loco Taco says:

        So if an officer (of the court, of the law, etc) violates his oath of office, what is the remedy? Is he committing perjury? Who enforces this? These are written oaths – it says it has to be sworn and subscribed to be admitted to the bar in the Missouri rules above.

        There is also the requirement for a bond in some states right?…is this how the oath is enforced? Is the bond with the people/public? That is another contract and in most cases it is even called a “performance bond” right?

        REPLY: Officers take an oath to constitution and laws in each state and may be disciplined by impeachment or indictment and trial. In the case of the Bar suspension or expulsion is possible. I don’t know about bonds, the only officials I know of that are bonded are notaries public.

      • Ken S. says:

        As far as the oath itself is concerned (as opposed to ordinary personal liability like you and I have), the remedies depend on the severity of the violation and may range from a warning or suspension to termination accompanied by criminal prosecution under a statute specifically applicable to sworn officials. Officials are generally insulated from civil liability to a certain extent, at least in the USA.

  9. Shaquana Bey says:

    How could anyone not bow down to natural law, and the constitution derived from natural law, not only that, but The UnionStates adopted the constitution. Socalled state laws aren’t laws they are policies enforced, outside of constitutional fold. Most of their policies break ,The Supream Law of The Land.
    And its not my job to show you documentation proof, its your Job To wake up and study harder.

    ======
    MY RESPONSE:

    1. “How could anyone not bow down to natural law, and the constitution derived from natural law,”

    The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land and there is NO other law above it. That is what the Constitution says. That IS the Law. Natural law is irrelevant if it even exists. The Constitution acknowledges no law above itself, not even natural law. period.

    2.”Socalled state laws aren’t laws they are policies enforced, outside of constitutional fold.”

    Just words, there is no legal basis for that. The states are sovereign in their own right. Their laws are laws. Period. The Constitution provides for and respects state sovereignty. If a state law contradicts the Constitution then the Courts determine that. Not you.

    If you want to show they are not laws then show it but don’t expect me to believe it because you made the claim. Don’t put the burden on me just because you cannot find support for your weird ideas.

    3. “And its not my job to show you documentation proof, its your Job To wake up and study harder.”

    If you want to make assertions without providing any support for them you have offered words which have zero value since they have NO support for them. Why on earth would it be MY JOB to find a way to agree with you? You don’t pay me enough for that.

    Here I can do that too:

    “I am the master of the Universe, I rule along with the Easter Bunny from my moon base Alpha. It is not for me to provide proof but for you to study harder so that you will understand that it is so.”

    Nonsense both ways. You want someone to believe you, support your positions and arguments. If it so happens that you cannot I am not impressed, persuaded, nor motivated to go find it simply because you don’t want to bother doing it and want me to instead. You make the claim, you prove it.

    I claim you cannot prove it because proof does not exist. I can study my ass off and never find something that does not exist. Your arguments are childish in the extreme.

  10. Fight within the rules says:

    Forget distant history when automobiles had not yet required state permission to operate on the road. Sadly, those days are in the past. Here is a good read about how we lost the right to drive without licenses or registration where the state demands we have drivers licenses and registrations.

    The Orphaned Right: The Right to Travel by Automobile, 1890-1950
    http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/orphaned_right.pdf

    There is one possible way left I can see to avoid the registration but not the drivers license requirement. Look at your states motor vehicle code. It may be written in such a way that your machine does not fit the legal definition required to register it. As an example. If your state legally defines an automobile in such a way that your car was not an automobile you could not legally register it as an automobile. If you are unable to legally register it as anything else you are registration exempt. Expect to spend time on the side of the road with flashing blue lights and in court proving how the law states something the courts do not realize it says.

    I have found this exact situation in my states registration law. I do not expect that legislative stupidity to remain in place for long. If you find your statute is also faulty keep looking for the law to change. You could face legal problems when the law changes if you do not know about that change.

    If your car, truck, motorcycle or other conveyance fits a legal definition for a vehicle type you must register it. I can find no exception to this.

  11. i agree with you but you are miss leading people from the get go
    statutes means it appears and looks as a law but in fact is not a law at all
    ====
    MY RESPONSE: Sorry but you are misled. Statutes are exactly and precisely laws, passed by legislatures. EVERY dictionary defines them that way. Please post your legal authority to claim they are not laws; there is no basis to say they are anything but laws. See in depth discussion at http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fF and http://wp.me/p3nYC8-Od

    • Ken S. says:

      You are contradicted by Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Macmillan, Cambridge, American Heritage. common sense, and history.

      Statutes have been a binding part of the common law system ever since King Henry II invented it. At no time has a court, established and operating under the authority of the sovereign, been free to ignore the explicit instructions of the sovereign, whether it is a king or a legislature delegated with lawmaking authority (as in the USA).

    • Ken S. says:

      Oh, also Black’s Law Dictionary, if that’s of interest to you.

  12. Fight within the rules says:

    “We have previously held that burdens on a single mode of transportation do not implicate the right to interstate travel.
    We conclude that by denying Miller a single mode of transportation-in a car driven by himself– the DMV did not unconstitutionally impede Miller’s right to interstate travel…
    Miller v. Reed, 176 F.3d 1202, 1205-06 (9th Cir.1999)

    “Without vehicle licenses, Dean is denied only “a single mode of transportation-in a car driven by himself…and this does not impermissibly burden his right to travel.”
    Matthew v. Honish, 233 F. App’x 563, 564 (7th Cir. 2007)

    “We have previously held that burdens on a single mode of transportation do not implicate the right to interstate travel. … (“A rich man can choose to drive a limousine; a poor man may have to walk. The poor man’s lack of choice in his mode of travel may be unfortunate but it is not unconstitutional

    After reading these court decisions I wonder how many different modes of transportation being denied are required implicate and impede the right to interstate travel.

    By law I am denied many different modes of interstate transportation if I do not wish or choose to register my personal machines with the state..

    Here is a much longer list of denied modes of transportation for interstate travel if I do not choose to receive state permission via registration and licenses..
    1. automobile (already mentioned above)
    2. pickup truck.
    3. truck
    4. motorcycle
    5. moped
    6. Motorized bicycle
    7. Motorized scooter
    8. golf cart
    9. ATV
    10. snowmobile
    11. truck tractor (semi)
    12. Recreational vehicle
    13. Sport utility vehicle
    14. Street rod.
    15. Tractor.
    16. boat
    17. A personal water craft (PWC), also called water scooter

    Would 17 separate methods of interstate travel being denied be enough to win this fight? 17 is a lot more than 1. In fact, there are many more methods of interstate transportation that are blocked by registration and license requirements compared to what the court listed as other options for interstate access.

    I can not believe this argument would ever win in court. However, each machine mentioned is a separate type defined under law. This is just a very different way to look at the mentioned case law.

    • philipem1000 says:

      Thank you for the question, which is reasonable and well stated.

      I would not agree first of all because those are not different MODES of transportation. If a mode is involved here the mode is “by driving a motor vehicle on highways.” Note that traveling in a motor vehicle is not impinged, the regulation is to driving. Modes not involved by these laws would include being a passenger in a vehicle, flying, walking, swimming, by bicycle, on horseback, etc.

      Most of them are simply variations of a “motor vehicle,” which is usually defined as a self-propelled vehicle. Several types of vehicle do not require a license because they are exempted or not allowed on highways at all for safety reasons.

      As an aside, I see most of the arguments interposed to be not much different from someone claiming that laws regarding Cruelty to Animals impinge on the right to travel by horseback. I just think it’s ridiculous, based on an excessive idea of what a right is and when an impingement exists, or may be permissible.

      The right to travel can be reasonably regulated and by definition any such regulation would impinge on that right. So it is not the case that something which impinges on more than one mode is forbidden. It has simply said if only one mode is affected the regulation is likely permissible and is not an infringement of the right to travel per se.

      “The right to travel… is a natural right subject to the rights of others and to reasonable regulation under law“
      Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938

      No, the key is whether it is in fact “reasonable regulation.” If so the question of whether it impinges on one or more modes is no longer relevant. I don’t have the case at hand but one of the criteria the courts have looked at is whether a regulation or law prohibits or prevents travel by that mode, or altogether. Even that would not conclusively mean the travel regulation is impermissible. As with every other right, there is a balancing of the public interest/governmental need with the individual right. So this is simply an abbreviated way of stating what happens in the minds of the court.

      Thus if clearly regulating for safety of the public, as licensing surely does, the right MAY be impinged upon and perhaps extensively. One must have a court review any specific regulation, but licensing has been upheld over and over again for a century. Just as the right to free speech can be restricted in certain ways and situations. It would be necessary for someone to challenge by showing the regulation was not or was likely not, reasonable. Usually such a challenge must establish that their is no legitimate need being addressed or that the regulation is unreasonable in its impact. The exact rules are complicated.

      Indeed in Shactman v Dulles the court upheld the requirement that anyone leaving the US must possess a valid passport. That infringes on all possible means of travel.

      I have been addressing the license requirement for the most part. Registration is a slightly or perhaps very different question. I have not delved into the basis for registration much because the other side doesn’t argue it much. They focus on licensing. The one case that comes to mind is Hendrick v. Maryland in which the basis for charging registration fees was found to be reasonable as a way of paying for the roads used.

      However I think it appropriate to point out that regulating use of these different types of vehicle is not “denying” you the right to use them to travel. You have completely mischaracterized this. And you characterized other methods of travel as being blocked. But that is not the case.

      It is not “any regulation of any kind means I cannot travel” after all. Requiring you to pay gas tax on fuel is not denying you travel. Requiring a license is only denying you the right to drive if you cannot or refuse to obtain a license and still doesn’t deny you other methods of travel. Requiring insurance is merely a cost to travel not a bar. Animal cruelty laws do not stop you from traveling by horseback. And if you want to fly as a passenger in a plane, requiring you to pay for a ticket is not denying you the right to travel either.

      I doubt that this argument would find success in the courts.

  13. Fight within the rules says:

    I did not expect that argument would win in court and said so above. Being a passenger should also be considered the same mode of transport as you are in a metal machine with an engine controlled by another person regardless of whether that machine travels on the air, water, or land to go from one place to another..

    — But if you are a passenger you are not being regulated by the requirements placed on the driver. You are free to travel.

    “Thus if clearly regulating for safety of the public, as licensing surely does, the right MAY be impinged upon and perhaps extensively.” <— There is NOTHING that can not be claimed to be for the safety of the public. However, we also need to keep in mind that the police have no legal duty or obligation to protect the individual. This legally accepted conflict confuses me.

    — Several issues with this. REASONABLE regulation is allowed. There is a complex set of rules that the courts use to determine whether a regulation is reasonable, but you are basically assuming any claim of safety justifies any regulation. But that just is not what happens. Many regulations have been overturned because their rationale is too weak or their impact on rights too great. What is the alternative? NO safety regulation is acceptable? I think that would even more absurd.

    I agree that requiring people to know the rules of the road makes it safer for everyone. Having a drivers license that never expires (just like a license for an aircraft) is justifiable. A drivers license that expires arbitrarily protects no one. Making everyone pay more money to maintain a drivers license every few years by simply signing their name protects no one. If I had to take a test to prove I know about the changes in law since the last license renewal and also to prove that I can remember what the rules of the road are this argument could not exist. Now the state only takes my money for several license renewals so the expiration date gets extended. Not even my eyesight gets tested again until I get to be a certain age.

    — Well in my state driver licenses are good until age 65 then they expire every five years. And IMHO that is reasonable as well as the idea of periodic reevaluation of people’s abillity to see and drive safely. I doubt the government finds driver licensing a big revenue source, more like a break even. That said, if you don’t like there is a political process available to change it.

    I can not see how a registration (license) plate that expires every year makes anyone safer. The gas tax is supposed to pay for our roads.

    –Go talk to your representatives in the state legislature. However I have heard that new cars get so much better mileage the gas tax is failing to maintain the roads. But your argument here is purely a policy matter for the legislature to decide. Or the people through initiative, referendum, or voting on representatives who do something different.

    A license plate can be used against us in law. With the new license plate readers which the police can legally use our license plates have become a violation of our right to privacy and not to testify against ourselves. Further, the police now fit the legal definition of stalkers. They capture our license plate information. That includes where we are and the time. This information is uploaded to a central server and kept. The police can figure out where we go and what we do if enough police are around with those scanners. A stalker is defined very similarly. I have a right to protect myself from a stalker. This should include not being forced to display any information that a stalker can use to identify me.

    –That’s a lot of opinion. If you are right go to court, sue the state. I do have some concerns about the use of technology to track innocent movements. But I think what you say is a lot of exaggeration personally. Again you can sue or you can go to the legislature. Don’t scoff both methods have worked in the past and recently to protect people. But if those bodies don’t agree with you, that’s the name of the game. In my state you can start your own initiative petition to change the law, and it works IF enough people agree with you.

    Here is an absurd theoretical example to explain this point.
    After having left the liquor store I take my girlfriend to the abortion clinic. From there I go to a strip club I pick my girlfriend up after her abortion then we go to the marijuana dispensary. Next we go to the local casino. I finally drop my girlfriend off at her place. Later that night after having a wonderful dinner with my wife we go to church where I have a spotless reputation (I am very discrete). I repeat this pattern several times. At a later date my wife (she is the suspicious type) files a FOIA request for my license plate with the police. Because there was a cop with a license plate scanner at each of my stops my wife figures out what I was up to and who I was with. Now I am facing divorce and am at risk of losing most of my stuff. Worse yet, all of my non-imbibing and monogamous friends have disowned me. This situation could happen because license plate scanners are allowed to track our movements. This could not happen if we were not forced to have license plates on our cars. Without license plates there would be nothing to scan.

    — AFAIK there is no FOIA applicable to this information. I don’t disagree that the information should only be available on probable cause. I would rather it was not collected. But right now you’d be told “we catch terrorists and break their networks with this technology.” And that also may be true.

    My point is, every government ever conceived balances the role and rights of the individual vs those of the state, vs those of the society. They may have different core values in making those decisions, different methods, different goals, but they all do it and no matter how they do it someone won’t like it. The alternative is to have no government and let the guy with the most money or the biggest guns or the biggest gang make the decisions But they WILL be made and they WILL piss someone off no matter how.

    This is how it’s done here and now and if you want to change it political action, mass voting, raising funds for publicity, etc etc etc are all available to you. But I expect if you lose because people just don’t agree you won’t be happy. Well I suspect you won’t be happy anyway. There is not, never has been, and never will be, a society where everyone is happy with all the rules. Neverthless rules are necessary for pretty much ANYONE to actually have any degree of freedom.

    In the early days license plates were not considered a legal concern. There is no expectation of privacy in public. Now with computers and automated technology those same license plates can create a complete violation of our privacy in a way that was impossible to happen and probably even to contemplate just 40 years ago. One person did a FOIA request on their own license plate and found out it had 1,000 captures. This is not just a theoretical issue.

    — In my state at least you cannot get this kind of information on anyone else. Period. I don’t know if they have it or if they give it out to the owner of the tag. I don’t say it isn’t a concern, I think it should be strictly regulated in its use.

    And nothing said here changes the fact that driver license requirements exist, are lawful, and mandatory.

    • philipem1000 says:

      My reply is inline on your comment.

      Let me address your “no obligation to protect”. What the courts have held is that you cannot sue for damages if the police don’t protect you. That does not change the fact that most of the time they DO protect you and regulations using police power in fact do protect people. Further it is not a contract between the individual and the state with specific performance criteria. The police power exists, its fundamental purpose is to protect and you have an obligation to obey the lawful exercise of it whether you agree or not with how it is done, And you can go to court or the legislature or the initiative or move to another country that ‘does it better’.

      • Loco Taco says:

        I see nowhere to reply inline so I am replying to your points at the bottom. So you want to tell me that a “definition” is an illustrative list and instead of defining the meaning of a word it expands the meaning. I guess I would reply and say that IMHO an illustrative list is an illustrative list and a definition is a definition…if not, then why are their different terms in our language? I thought we were dealing in the precise language of law? This makes me crazy…really? In my humble opinion – For the purposes of Missouri rule 38 IF you include the part at the top, that definition of county holds true but only for rule 38! Did you read that part at the very top? these definitions only for rule 38 (that is not odd to you or “things that make you go hmmmm…”).

        RESPONSE: Actually so what if it is only for Rule 38 what is the point? It then has no meaning as to driver license laws,since a corporation cannot be behind the wheel and driving the car. But if it is to be interpreted then you got from me a very different take and a current Black’s law interpretation that means includes adds to the meaning it does not subtract or limit only to the part included, and I showed you how silly it is when you have to say St Louis city is the only county in Missouri in the very same section.

        OF COURSE the logical reading is “County means county and in this section it also includes St Louis City”

        And I linked you to a reputable legal blog on the subject that says your usage of includes is rarely if ever take nowadays, and again Black’s does not use that interpretation NOW.

        Finally I expect a court looking at it would say “It seems obvious that the wording of the section implies that it is adding to the already understood definition of person (“human being”)(or in the other term “county”) the meaning of corporation (or St Louis City)”

        If you read some state vehicle codes – Texas comes to mind you will see that it all contains an interesting little clause that says something like “FEDERAL DEFINITIONS APPLY WHERE THERE IS A FEDERAL DEFINITION” – so the state definitions are meaningless (another thing that makes you go hmmm). Oh yeah, better enter that into evidence so the jury can read it these days..

        REPLY: I cannot respond when you don’t cite the exact provision but in this BLOG there is a very clear example of five different states NOT including Texas — which has now been added at the end and is no different — using perfectly straightforward English language definitions. Try addressing them first– the Texas law I found has no such wording in it. So up to you to cite the part that you think brings it into question

        In my humble opinion, It makes the rules crazy not me – as in we are just going to arbitrarily define words to mean something other than their commonly held meaning…and then make the definitions recursive and hard to understand so you have to read every jot and tittle carefully? It makes you read a confusing mess of code to find out what the word actually means for the case/controversy. I guess they do call it ‘code’ after all – that is a secret language that only a few people understand or can interpret.

        When you see things like this within the law that don’t make logical sense, it tends to make people like me conclude that there is something wrong in our legal system. Formerly in USA Jurisprudence, I think/believe – but have no direct proof we used “no fact decided by a jury” (ninth article Bill of Rights) to determine the definitions of words. That didn’t seem to work out very well either – find a Blacks law 4th edition and you will see what I mean…

        REPLY: I don’t even see the relevance but try using a 21st century dictionary in the 21st century. The laws are using basically current everyday language in regards to driver licenses as I show in the Blog. And you have still not addressed the very clear examples in this blog. These are supposed to be comments on the blog.

        You want to say that the states are ‘sovereign’ but the first lines in the bills of rights of most State constitutions say otherwise. Are states political subdivisions of the Federal Government?

        SNIPPED a lot of rambling.
        REPLY: IN a different reply I show you the sovereign nature of the states which joined together to create the federal government and give some of their sovereign power to it. They are not political subdivisions they are sovereign entities. You cannot show me a state constitution that says otherwise They are admitted to a union of sovereign states.

        Nothing new under the sun…

      • philipem1000 says:

        Could you make more succinct comments here, I don’t intend the comments section to be a general discussion, but to comment on the content of this specific blog and present arguments that directly pertain to arguments offered in the blog. I would also ask you to go back and actually read all of the blog here because you are often touching on things already discussed in the blog. I will later remove a lot of that from your comments to make the section shorter and more readable.

        I have not looked in depth at Texas law on the subject. (UPDATE: I have added to the blog the relevant Texas law and definitions which include no reference at all to Federal Law or definitions. )SNIP SNIP my prior statements because they are irrelevant when I have looked at Texas law — unless you can actually cite a provision of that Law for me to examine.

      • philipem1000 says:

        So you do mean that St Louis city city is the only county in Missouri? Because you cannot have it both ways.

  14. philipem1000 says:

    I;m going to delete most of this, I don’t want to link to crackpot interpretations and in this very blog I explicitly show you “the very letter of traffic laws.” Those exact laws, definitions and words are in this blog and I show how they work together to make a perfectly clear and consistent set of licensing laws, So the rabbit trails if there are such are here in this blog, and if he claims they mean licenses are not required he is both wrong and I’m not interested in giving him a platform on my blog.

    I deal in this blog with those “Federal definitions” and in fact I explore every defense that has been trotted out to me, and show why they do not make sense or do not work or no not conform to the law and courts rulings.

    And if you are going to cite Texas law at least cite and link to the exact law for god’s sake.I’m not going to plow through the entire Texas traffic code to look for what you are talking about. See the blog? Every single thing is linked.

  15. philipem1000 says:

    “You want to say that the states are ‘sovereign’ but the first lines in the bills of rights of most State constitutions say otherwise.”

    I would bet they say the people are sovereign. They surely do not say the state is a component of the Federal Government. And what you are ignoring is that the people are creating the state government to express and carry out that sovereignty and it is not the people as individuals it is the collective people. Read my blog on sovereignty. And I’ll just clip the most relevant court decision, done within four years of the Constitution:

    Chief Justice John Jay:
    ““From the Crown of Great Britain, the sovereignty of their country passed to the people of it… and thirteen sovereignties were considered as emerged from the principles of the Revolution….the people nevertheless continued to consider themselves, in a national point of view, as one people; and they continued without interruption to manage their national concerns accordingly …and then the people, in their collective and national capacity, established the present Constitution…Every State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner and the Constitution of the United States is likewise a compact made by the people of the United States to govern themselves…

    Justice Wilson:
    “…Is it congruous that, with regard to such purposes, any man or body of men, any person natural or artificial, should be permitted to claim successfully an entire exemption from the jurisdiction of the national government? Would not such claims, crowned with success, be repugnant to our very existence as a nation?”

    Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

  16. Loco Taco says:

    Read the entire rule 38 including the part at the top and tell me how you could interpret it any other way?! Watch the Eddie Craig video I referred to please! He does a great job of explaining the definitions and showing what looks like a built in deception to me. I don’t consent to you modifying my posts or abridging what I have to say on this public forum. I will cease replying here.

    COMMENT: Its my blog NOT a public forum and I control what is posted. You can start your own blog if you want. I edit long comments to remove off point discussion or to reduce length. I have commenting standards and I expect people commenting to focus on what is in the blog. You can stop responding if you wish.

    • philipem1000 says:

      Not going to bother with that video, if you want to cite a specific part of Texas code I will look at it. And your point about the definition of person is completely lost. You and I see the definition completely differently so applying it is not going to get agreement. Why don’t YOU go look at five different sets of state law where I showed the definitions involved which are all perfectly clear and understandable — I have already gone down the “rabbit trails” which were quite simple to follow. Tell me how you take issue with THOSE definitions and interpretations?

      And in the process you can also see what I offer on the question of federal definitions.

    • philipem1000 says:

      I put the Texas laws at the bottom of the blog, I see no reference at all to federal law. Please read them and tell me what is missing and link me to whatever part of Texas law you think matters to refute the direct and rather clear meaning of what I have shown.

    • philipem1000 says:

      I just noted your objection to my editing your comments. Too bad, it is not as you stated “A public forum” it is MY BLOG. You are free to control your blog. I do not edit to mislead or mischaracterize, I edit so that comments remain readable and on point. It is up to you if you want to comment here, it is up to me what appears.

  17. Example of an appeal;

    Appeal to the Higher Court

    i, “john” a living breathing man God gave life to when He gave me my soul, respectfully stand before this Court of Law, and proclaim to be an idiot to legalese, and ignorant to the municipal courts jurisdictional restrictions. As the living man, that self evidenced as i enter my Original Reregistration of Live Birth with 2 legal signatures from official corporate representatives. That the document is Verified Original by the Affixed Raised Corporate Seal, all done before God, and is Watermarked. That it be enter it into this Court of Record, a Court of Law, with all previous evidence as marked, from the lower courts, trial by judge, and ask it to be overturned and dismissed with prejudice, to be null and void complete for failure to show Legal Cause for which relief can be granted, as i so requested and ignored by the lower court.

    REPLY: Well that’s a hypothetical appeal that will denied. The grounds of your appeal — failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted — is not an appeal that can be used in a criminal matter. It is most commonly used in Federal Courts because they can only entertain certain types of cases, whereas State Courts do not have the limitation of Article III of the Constitution. They may be limited by their own constitutions. Even so, then you have to say WHY the claim or charge pursued cannot be acted on to provide relief. However, the State is not seeking relief, it is seeking to punish you for driving without a license or whatever traffic infraction you have been charged.

    And all that stuff about a living breathing man who is an idiot and ignorant to law, etc etc is just a lot of words that have no effect whatsoever, since, contrary to your beliefs, the courts do not believe in the strawman theory, or the idea that a human being is not a person, or any of that nonsense. The courts expressly believe and say that the states have sovereign jurisdiction over every person within the boundaries of the state or the United States.

    “The several States of the Union …except as restrained and limited by [the Constitution], they possess and exercise the authority of independent States, and the principles of public law to which we have referred are applicable to them… One of these principles is that every State possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory…
    Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1878)

    “A person found within the United States cannot somehow exempt himself or immunize himself from the application of state or federal law by declaring himself a non-citizen…”

    Estate of Brandon Casimir ex rel et al v. State of New Jersey,
    No. 1:2009cv04004 – Document 2 (D.N.J. 2009)
    http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-jersey/njdce/1:2009cv04004/231470/2/

    • Thank you for responding, it is very much appreciated.
      So in easy to understand language, the “city’s” court can not hear or rule on Constitutional matters or violations of those matters. I asked the court to to produce a living person to swear under oath that I damaged someone’s property or hurt someone which is the necessity of a Civil Conviction and since they could not, nor could they produce a signed legal contract that claimed I gave up my right of travel to be then charged for a right granted me. In the first Arraignment, without crossing the Bar, I stated in open court that I did not recognize the Admiralty Law and Maritime Court the city used and would not cross over the Bar without all of my inalienable rights intact. I had signed in on arrival followed by ucc1-308 The sitting Magistrate threw my file at the Clerk and said, I do not recognize you then sir, and called the next case. Before they reached the podium, I asked; “so am I free to go” at which she replied yes.

      To make a long story short, the court finally posted on the public access, Judicial Branch Case Look Up, 9 days later; CB-Police Commander. That was a call back which they did that went to voice-mail and he was unsure as to why he was calling referencing a different matter from previous years that was settled. Then again 7 days following that call, a new Arraignment was set now 60 days since the Driving on Suspended ticket was issued. I was set free as far as I was concerned but with the resetting of the Arraignment I showed up in court and probably should not of. (that idiot thing) They refused my request for trial by jury, and I did not plea for which the judge entered a plea of Not Guilty for me, which I objected to as it was practicing law from, the bench. Before he set a trial date by judge, I requested that all charges be dropped as the State could not produce a signed agreement, or a person to say I hurt or damaged someone’s property or person as required in a Civil matter. He denied it of course and set the trial.
      Again, longer story shortened, I was found guilty of course despite submitting all of the above evidence as well as several violations to my rights granted me and given to me by the founders and those given to me by God.

      So that leaves me filing a lawsuit in a District Court in the State of Arizona, skipping the Appeal process as Superior Court will only view that in respect to the City Courts Jurisdictional constraints, and not from a Federal Standpoint. Is that a correct assumption from a disabled idiot to legalese. or do I just accept that I was pulled over in a Walmart Parking Lot, and all the other things that went wrong there?

      I understand it is not legal advise and only your opinion if you choose to respond and either way, you have already gone the mile as far as I am concerned.
      Thanks again,
      Duane

      • philipem1000 says:

        Duane I don’t think you will like my answer much. But you are seeing exactly what I am saying in your real outcomes.

        1. There is no requirement for there to be an injured party in a civil traffic infraction. Whoever has told you that is wrong.

        2. You do not have to sign a contract, the state considers its laws to be binding on everyone within its borders, and they do not see this as a matter of contract law. The state is not a corporation it is a sovereignty.

        “The States of the Union…possess and exercise the authority of independent States, and the principles of public law to which we have referred are applicable to them… One of these principles is that every State possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory
        Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1878)

        “The Court therefore feels some measure of responsibility to inform Defendant that all the fancy legal-sounding “things he has read on the internet are make-believe. … at the end of the day, while sovereign citizens and Defendant cite things like “Universal Law Ordinances,” [UCC #2012096074] they are subject to both state and federal laws, just like everyone else.”
        United States v. Kenneth Wayne Leaming, DC WD Washington
        Order, docket entry 102, 2/12/2013,

        3. Go to Wikipedia and read what it says about the Uniform Commercial Code. It has absolutely no applicability whatever.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Commercial_Code

        As demonstration of 1-3 I point to the actions taken on your case. The court did not accept or act on any of the principles you stated, they do not recognize them.

        4. It is not an admiralty or maritime court by any stretch of the imagination. You will note that the court rejected that as well.
        http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fV

        5. Crossing over the bar is also another myth, you are subject to jurisdiction no matter whether you show up or enter the court. See #2 above. If you refuse to identify or enter the court you will be shown as “failed to appear” and subject to prosecution for that. The bar is a bit of furniture that sets aside the area for the litigants and has no other significance. If you refuse to appear you will be penalized. This is binding law not contract in any sense. See #2, the state asserts is sovereign power and jurisdiction over you.

        6. Your right to travel does not include the right to drive without a license or to contravene the traffic laws. It is subject to “reasonable regulation” and these regulations are enacted and enforced under the police power of the state to make the roads safer for those who are traveling. Your license is a license to operate a machine, a dangerous one, not to travel.

        “The right to travel… is a natural right subject to the rights of others and to reasonable regulation under law
        Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938

        …a State may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles … And to this end it may require the registration of such vehicles and the licensing of their drivers
        Hendrick v. Maryland 235 US 610 (1915)

        7. Trial by jury for a civil infraction for which imprisonment is not possible is not required per SCOTUS. Your hearing will be heard under civil rules, and the balance of the evidence is the standard. Your word against the police means inevitable conviction unless you have actual evidence to show them wrong. Duncan v. Louisiana 391 U.S. 145 (1968)

        8. When a defendant does not plea the court will either enter a plea of not guilty or of nolo contendere which is the same as guilty. They always do a not guilty. You have no obligation to speak but the court has no obligation to wait for you to speak once you refuse.

        9. You may file a case in superior court or federal district court but I suggest to you it will be a massive waste of money. You will not prevail on any of these arguments. They are simply not recognized by the courts at all. Your pleadings will probably result in a summary judgment against you. You will be assessed costs. You have already seen what will happen — none of these arguments prevailed at the lower level and none will prevail at any appeal or suit.

        Your story is neatly summed up with “I was found guilty of course despite submitting all of the above …”

        Because the REAL law as opposed to the imaginary law propounded endlessly over the internet is exactly as the courts have said.

        You don’t have the rights you are claiming, the relationships are not what you have identified, the principles of law are not what you think.

        I am sorry to have to tell you that, but that is why I have my blogs posted, because in the real world when you get into a court, NONE of that is true or accepted.

  18. juan galt says:

    I’ve come across a different approach by these “internet lawyers”. It is claimed that the Highway Safety Act of 1966 preempts State law from governing motor vehicle operation. It is because of this that you must use the federal definitions of driver, motor vehicle, etc and these definitions clearly use the word commercial in their definitions. Therefore, no commercial use – no license required. I thought you might want to include this approach in your blog. I’ve got a great response to this assertion if you want it.
    I’ve also got some pretty good, easy to understand stuff on Common Law that would supplement what you have written.

    • philipem1000 says:

      Juan I’d be thrilled to have your suggested response to it and you can just post it as a reply if you like.

      • juan galt says:

        Here’s that approach I was telling you about –

        The case Hendrick v. Maryland, was from “1915”. In “1966” the federal government passed the Highway Safety Act Of 1966…. Now the Federal Department of Transportation has priority claim over the nations motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, roads, drivers and traffic laws in every state of the union. The Highway Safety Act Of 1966 created the states Department of Motor Vehicles! AND ONLY REGULATES THOSE IN COMMERCE if you don’t know…. You have to study federal law for this information. Any case before 1966 is irrelevant. Once congress used their Commerce Power to pass motor vehicle laws at the federal level, under the Highway Safety Act of 1966, the states become subservient to the federal law due to the Supremacy Clause!
        Under Titles 23 and 49 state licensing laws originate and the states must follow the feds guidelines…..and those guidelines only regulate motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in commerce, using the roads for profit or gain, not private property consumer goods such as automobiles! That is why every state has a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) agency of state government. The states DMV was created by congress under the Highway Safety Act of 1966. This department or agency of government is not for the regulation of private property automobiles not used in commerce period!
        The U.S. Supreme Court case that proves…. YOU DO NOT NEED A DRIVERS LICENSE unless “driving” is your profession is; Reno v. Condon 528 U.S. 141(2000).
        In the case the Supreme Court en banc ruled in favor of US Inc.. Here’s what the then Solicitor General’s interpretation of law was based upon and asserted in the Petitioner’s brief for US Inc.:
        The activity licensed by state DMVs – the operation of motor vehicles –
        is itself integrally related to interstate commerce.
        Seth Waxman, Solicitor General U.S. Department of Justice BRIEF FOR THE PETITIONERS, /Reno v. Condon/, 528 U.S. 141, January 12, 2000, Supreme Court of the United States. It was an en banc ruling where every judge was in agreement with the DOJ’s take. It was a 9-0 ruling in favor of the interpretation that interstate COMMERCE is what DMVs REGULATE and the license permits engagement in. What’s that mean? A driver license is an occupational license. If your occupation isn’t that of a “driver” then you don’t need a “driver license”.
        The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the federal government’s lead agency for planning and support of the nation’s land, air and sea-based travel systems. DOT develops, implements and enforces federal regulations governing use of America’s roads and highways, airports and air corridors, railways and seaports. Each state is also authorized by the federal government to pass laws and create administrative agencies governing transportation within its boundaries. As a result, each state has its own variant of a department of motor vehicles (commonly called a DMV). The states are required to comply with federal law. State law must be interpreted against that background of federal law.
        When Congress chooses to expressly preempt state law, the only question for courts becomes determining whether the challenged state law is one that the federal law is intended to preempt. Commerce power can give Congress the power to legislate in many areas that otherwise would fall within the scope of the states’ police power.
        In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), the Supreme Court held that the states cannot pass legislation for the regulation of internal affairs that would normally fall within the scope of the states’ police powers, if such legislation is inconsistent with federal law enacted under the commerce power. As the Supreme Court stated in Altria Group v. Good, 555 U.S. 70 (2008), a federal law that conflicts with a state law will trump, or “preempt”, that state law: Consistent with that command, we have long recognized that state laws that conflict with federal law are “without effect.” Maryland v. Louisiana, 451 U. S. 725, 746 (1981).
        Since there is only one federal authority defining a “motor vehicle operator’s license” issued by a state, 49 U.S. Code §30301(5), and a state issued “driver’s license” under 49 U.S. Code §31301(6), and a state issued “commercial driver’s license” under 49 U.S. Code § 31301(3) by the authority of the Department Of Transportation (DOT), the state issued drivers/operators license must then mean every vehicle bearing a state license plate is a business, or acting in some form of commerce.
        When Congress legislates pursuant to its delegated powers, conflicting state law and policy must yield, Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 1, 210–11 (1824). See also Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 505 U.S. 504 (1992); Morales v. TWA, 504 U.S. 374 (1992); Maryland v. Louisiana, 451 U.S. 725, 746 (1981); Jones v. Rath Packing Co., 430 U.S. 519, 525 (1977).

        My response to this will be in another reply.

  19. juan galt says:

    FYI – Back in June 2016 you had a discussion with Loco Taco wherein he stated: “Don’t tell me that includes widens the scope – it acts as a fence around only the things in the definition.”
    He was referring to Rule 38 of Missouri Sup Ct Rules and that definition said: “Person includes a corporation.” So to Loco Taco a person is ONLY a corporation, according to Rule 38, period. Looking up Rule 38 you find it governs all violations of Chapter 302 of Missouri Revised Statutes (MRS) which covers drivers’ & commercial drivers’ licenses. In the definitions of that chapter is the definition of operator.
    302.010.16 “Operator”, every person who is actual control of a motor vehicle upon a highway.
    In light of this definition you could have asked Loco: How can a corporation be in actual control of a motor vehicle? Just sayin’.

    • philipem1000 says:

      Agreed but I actually say that in the blog. Other than a human being, who or what can be in physical control of or operate a vehicle? In fact I substitute several bogus definitions of person into the laws and show how absurd they are.

      (oops accidentally deleted your response to this, Juan.)

  20. Ken S. says:

    Yes. It *includes* entities other than human beings. That does not mean that it *excludes* human beings. It does not.

    The definition of “aircraft” includes things other than fixed-wing airplanes. Fixed-wing airplanes are still “aircraft.”

    • philipem1000 says:

      Yes Ken a common sovereign characteristic is to confuse words like “include” and “exclude” or “each” and “some” and “every” and “none”…Also conjunctions like “or” and “and” seem to trouble them. it makes for frustration. They also cannot imagine a word having two meanings, like “commerce” or well, any word they want to define in one way only. Person is a good example.

  21. Ken S. says:

    You’re lying, though. That’s why you won’t tell us what the document is or who the witness is.

  22. juan galt says:

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this -http://constitution.org/lrev/roots/orphaned_right.pdf

    Interesting history.

  23. juan galt says:

    Wondering if you would be interested in opening up a blog on the subject of Marc Stevens’ Project No State? I’ve been in debates on his blog and since I started challenging him he disabled comments on his YouTube videos. If you haven’t already check out some of his videos. If you have an interest, there’s some great evidence of this charlatan’s fraud.

    • philipem1000 says:

      I just noticed this; I am not familiar with this subject can you give moe a few links to read so I can see what it’s all about?

      • juan galt says:

        Hey, I found you again. Here’s my response from the other blog on
        the 2nd Amendment. Hope it works here.

        You are interpreting the wording of the 2nd Amend as if it were written today and NOT by the original intention of those who wrote it. In today’s English, the term “well regulated” probably implies heavy and intense government regulation. However, that conclusion is erroneous. The words “well regulated” had a far different meaning at the time the 2nd Amend was drafted. To ascertain the meaning of the term “well regulated” as it was used in the 2nd Amend, it is necessary to begin with the purpose of the 2nd Amend itself. The overriding purpose of the Framers in guaranteeing the right of the people to keep and bear arms was as a check on the standing army, which the Constitution gave the Congress the power to “raise and support.” In the Federalist Papers #29 and #46 Hamilton, Jay and Madison defended the need for the people to be armed against a tyrannous government. They realized that in the future the army would have superior munitions but counted on the sheer numbers of armed citizens to make up for it.

        The debates held while writing the Constitution made it clear that the “militia” was defined as every able-bodied male 15 years and older. And “well-regulated” meant that these militia should possess weapons equal to the govt’s army, sufficient ammunition and be proficient in their use to the extent of being able to defend against the govt. It must be remembered that the Framer’s mindset was in fear of govt.

        A widely reprinted article by Tench Coxe, an ally and correspondent of James Madison, described the 2nd ‘s overriding goal as a check upon the national government’s standing army: “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”

        Thus, the well regulated militia necessary to the security of a free state was a militia that might someday fight against a standing army raised and supported by a tyrannical national government. Obviously, for that reason, the Framers did NOT say “A Militia well regulated by the Congress or Government, being necessary to the security of a free State” — because a militia so regulated might not be separate enough from, or free enough from, the national government, in the sense of both physical and operational control, to preserve the “security of a free State.”

        Now, “free State” was understood, by the Framers to mean “free country, free of despotism,” which supports the INDIVIDUAL rights view of the Amendment. “The people” would then more easily be read as referring to a right of the people as individuals, such as the term “people” is understood in the First and Fourth Amendments to mean individual rights. What did the phrase “free state” mean at the time the Constitution was written?. Political theory of the era often divided the world into despotisms and free states. In 18th century political discourse, “free state” was a well-understood political term of art, meaning “free country,” which is to say the opposite of a despotism. “State” simply meant country; and “free” always meant free from despotism. That is how the phrase was used in the sources that the Framers read. And there is no reason to think that the Framers departed from this well-established meaning, and used the phrase to mean something different from what it meant to Blackstone, Montesquieu, the Continental Congress, Madison, Adams, or others.

        To understand the Constitution AND the meaning of the words and phrases used within – one MUST research ALL literature and debates of those Framers who wrote it to determine the REAL intentions laid out in the US Constitution.

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