NOJURISDICTION

Right to "travel" without a licence on hwy

188 posts in this topic

The right to travel does not mean the right to travel by driving a motor vehicle if you are not properly licensed. The websites and persons who tell you differently are wrong.

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Your question -- specifically, "go about this 'right to travel'" -- makes little or no sense.

The constitutional "right to travel" does not mean that states must issue licenses to everyone or that licenses cannot be suspended or revoked for numerous reasons. If that doesn't answer your question, you should clarify what you're talking about.

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can anyone tell me how one would go about this "right to travel" without major problems?

any thoughts would help thank you

Yes, I can tell you how to travel on the public roads without major problems: have in your possession a valid driver's license, ensure the vehicle is properly insured, and follow the state and local traffic laws.

The right to travel does not mean that you may drive a vehicle on a public road without a valid driver's licenses. Those web site that assert otherwise are giving you bad information.

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Free Enterprise Society

Traveling is a Right

For many years professionals within the criminal justice system have acted upon the belief that traveling by motor vehicle upon the roadway was a privilege that was gained by a citizen only after approval by their respective state governments in the form of a permit or drivers license.

Legislators, police officers, and court officials are being made aware that there are court decisions disproving the opinion that traveling is a privilege that requires government approval.

"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, 169 NE 22.

("Regulated" here means traffic safety enforcement: stop lights, signs, etc.)

"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 at will, but a common right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Thompson v.Smith, 154 SE 179.

It could not be stated more conclusively that citizens of the states have a right to travel, without approval or restrictions (license), and that this right is protected under the U.S. Constitution. Here are other court decisions that expound the same facts:

"The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the 5th Amendment." Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116, 125.

"Undoubtedly the right of locomotion, the right to move from one place to another according to inclination, is an attribute of personal liberty, and the right, ordinarily, of free transit from or through the territory of any State is a right secured by the 14th amendment and by other provisions of the Constitution." Schactman v. Dulles, 96 App DC 287, 293.

As hard as it is for those in law enforcement to believe, there is no room for speculation in these court decisions. The 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 others.

Government, in requiring the people to file for drivers license, vehicle registrations, mandatory insurance, and demanding they stop for vehicle inspections, roadblocks, etc. are restricting and therefore violating the peoples’ common law right to travel.

Is this a new legal interpretation on this subject? Apparently not. The American Citizens and Lawmen Association, in conjunction with the U.S. Federal Law Research Center are presently involved in studies in several areas involving questions on constitutional law. One of the many areas under review is that of the citizen’s right to travel. A spokesman stated in an interview:

"Upon researching this subject over many months, substantial case law has presented itself that completely substantiates the position that the ‘right to travel unrestricted upon the nations highways’ is and always has been a fundamental right of every Citizen."

This means that the beliefs and opinions of our state legislators, the courts, and those of us involved in the law enforcement profession have acted upon for years have been in error. Researchers armed with actual facts state that U.S. case law is overwhelming. To restrict in any fashion the movement of the individual American, in free exercise of the right to travel upon the roadways (excluding commerce, which the state legislatures are correct in regulating), is a serious breach of those freedoms secured by the U.S. Constitution, as well as most state constitutions.

Our system of law dictates that there is only one way to remove a right belonging to the people. That is by a person knowingly waiving a particular right.

Some of the confusion in our present system has arisen because many millions of people have waived their right to travel unrestricted, and opted into the jurisdiction of the state. Those who have knowingly given up these rights are legally regulated by state law, and must obtain permits, registrations, insurance, etc.

Every police officer should keep the following U.S. court ruling in mind before issuing citations:

"The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime." Miller v. U.S., F.2d 486, 489.

Reprinted from a special edition of "Aid and Abet" bulletin #11, P.O. Box 8787, Phoenix, AZ. 85066, by Officer Jack McLamb.

It is important to be aware of a different point of view about traffic since a near police state exists on America’s highways today. Traffic Support Services’ goal is to reestablish the RIGHT to travel!

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Legislators, police officers, and court officials are being made aware that there are court decisions disproving the opinion that traveling is a privilege that requires government approval.
However, not a single case that is quoted in that article deals with the specific issue of whether a state may require a license for persons to drive on the public roads. The problem with articles like the one you posted is that they take quotes from cases out of context that sound good in supporting the claim they wish to make. Simply quoting some general statements about the right to travel from cases that do not address specifically the issue of drivers' licenses is lousy legal research and argument when there are, in fact, cases that are right on point, but I suppose is good enough to convince some members of the public who have no experience in the law.

When you look the cases in which the specific issue was whether the "right to travel" is violated by driver's licensing laws, the uniform opinion of the courts is that they do not. For example, the 7th Circuit said recently:

But Dean has not articulated reasons to support his unexplained argument that state licensure and registration requirements violate the right to travel,
see
Fed. R.App. P. 28(a)(9). This is not surprising because such an argument is meritless.
Miller v. Reed,
176 F.3d 1202, 1205-06 (9th Cir.1999) (holding that there is no “fundamental right to drive” and affirming dismissal of complaint based on state's refusal to renew citizen's driver's license);
Hallstrom v. City of Garden City,
991 F.2d 1473, 1477 (9th Cir.1993) (finding no constitutional violation where valid Idaho law required driver's license, and plaintiff was detained for not having one). Without vehicle licenses, Dean is denied only “a single mode of transportation-in a car driven by himself,”
see
Miller,
176 F.3d at 1204, and this does not impermissibly burden his right to travel.
Id.
Accordingly, the district court's judgment dismissing Dean's case is AFFIRMED.

Matthew v. Honish, 233 F. App'x 563, 564 (7th Cir. 2007).

It is odd, isn't it, that the article didn't actually examine the cases right on point but instead chose only to quote from cases that don't deal with the license requirement? That should tell you a lot about the quality of the article.Those who try to challenge their tickets for driving without a license on the basis that the license requirement is an unconstitutional burden on the right to travel will be disappointed when they find the court rules against them, just as I'm sure Mr. Matthew was disappointed when the 7th Circuit ruled against his argument on that very point

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However, not a single case that is quoted in that article deals with the specific issue of whether a state may require a license for persons to drive on the public roads. The problem with articles like the one you posted is that they take quotes from cases out of context that sound good in supporting the claim they wish to make. Simply quoting some general statements about the right to travel from cases that do not address specifically the issue of drivers' licenses is lousy legal research and argument when there are, in fact, cases that are right on point, but I suppose is good enough to convince some members of the public who have no experience in the law.

When you look the cases in which the specific issue was whether the "right to travel" is violated by driver's licensing laws, the uniform opinion of the courts is that they do not. For example, the 7th Circuit said recently:

But Dean has not articulated reasons to support his unexplained argument that state licensure and registration requirements violate the right to travel,
see
Fed. R.App. P. 28(a)(9). This is not surprising because such an argument is meritless.
Miller v. Reed,
176 F.3d 1202, 1205-06 (9th Cir.1999) (holding that there is no “fundamental right to drive” and affirming dismissal of complaint based on state's refusal to renew citizen's driver's license);
Hallstrom v. City of Garden City,
991 F.2d 1473, 1477 (9th Cir.1993) (finding no constitutional violation where valid Idaho law required driver's license, and plaintiff was detained for not having one). Without vehicle licenses, Dean is denied only “a single mode of transportation-in a car driven by himself,”
see
Miller,
176 F.3d at 1204, and this does not impermissibly burden his right to travel.
Id.
Accordingly, the district court's judgment dismissing Dean's case is AFFIRMED.

Matthew v. Honish, 233 F. App'x 563, 564 (7th Cir. 2007).

It is odd, isn't it, that the article didn't actually examine the cases right on point but instead chose only to quote from cases that don't deal with the license requirement? That should tell you a lot about the quality of the article.Those who try to challenge their tickets for driving without a license on the basis that the license requirement is an unconstitutional burden on the right to travel will be disappointed when they find the court rules against them, just as I'm sure Mr. Matthew was disappointed when the 7th Circuit ruled against his argument on that very point

Thank you for your consideration. With all due respect, the article is quite clear to many of the unwashed masses, of which I humbly remain, the right to travel unrestricted under common law, which is protected by the Constitution. However, to your point of States requirement of licensing...

Our system of law dictates that there is only one way to remove a right belonging to the people. That is by a person knowingly waiving a particular right.

Some of the confusion in our present system has arisen because many millions of people have waived their right to travel unrestricted, and opted into the jurisdiction of the state. Those who have knowingly given up these rights are legally regulated by state law, and must obtain permits, registrations, insurance, etc.

State statutes and codes apply only to those who waive their rights under common law. Sounds like you have waived your rights and signed on with the state. Thats ok with me goodman, though I wonder if you knew you were waiving your rights as a freeman would you still consent? Just curious.

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The article is incorrect from its premise to its conclusion. As was already explained, the cases cited do not support the position taken and the conclusion is pure fantasy when it comes to what the law is. The right to travel does NOT mean the right to travel by motor vehicle if you are not properly licensed just as you cannot travel by plane or bus or train if you didn't pay for the ticket.

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Our system of law dictates that there is only one way to remove a right belonging to the people. That is by a person knowingly waiving a particular right.
Some of the confusion in our present system has arisen because many millions of people have waived their right to travel unrestricted, and opted into the jurisdiction of the state. Those who have knowingly given up these rights are legally regulated by state law, and must obtain permits, registrations, insurance, etc.



The problem is, that premise is wrong — the case law does not support the idea that drivers' licenses are only required for those that somehow "waived" some asserted right to unrestricted travel. Note that the article did not cite a single case supporting the quote you provided above. Instead, that's merely the author's wishful thinking. I cited a case on point — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit said that licensing laws are not an unconstitutional burden on the right to travel. The Court did not condition that on any "waiver" of the right to travel. I could cite a number of other cases that have reached the same conclusion. The article you quoted is, quite simply, wrong. Anyone who has truly studied the case law in the matter would know that. As I said before, it is very telling that the article you quoted relies on cases that are not about whether licenses constitutionally restrict the right to travel and ignores the cases that address that very point. Why would someone who has really done the research and is writing an unbiased view of the law completely ignore the cases that are actually on point? My answer to that: he's not interested in presenting what the law really is, but instead trying to put out a view of what he wishes the law were.

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Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right;(2) In England in 1215, the right to travel was enshrined in Article 42 of Magna Carta:It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to go out of our kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land or by water, .(3) Where rights secured by the Constitution of the United States are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation that would abrogate these rights. The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime. There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon an individual because of this exercise of constitutional rights;(4) American citizens have the inalienable right to use the roads and highways unrestricted in any manner so long as they are not damaging or violating property or rights of others. The government, by requiring the people to obtain drivers' licenses, is restricting, and therefore violating, the people's common law and constitutional right to travel; (5) In Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969), Justice Potter Stewart noted in a concurring opinion that the right to travel "is a right broadly assertable against private interference as well as governmental action. Like the right of association...it is a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all." The Articles of Confederation had an explicit right to travel; and we hold that the right to travel is so fundamental that the Framers thought it was unnecessary to include it in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights;(6) The right to travel upon the public highways is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will but the common right which every citizen has under his or her right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Under this constitutional guarantee one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his or her inclination along the public highways or in public places while conducting himself or herself in an orderly and decent manner; and(7) Thus, the legislature does not have the power to abrogate the citizens' right to travel upon the public roads by passing legislation forcing the citizen to waive the right and convert that right into a privilege.

 

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I see you've gone to the sites that misread case law and use parsed quotations to make it seem as if the case supports their position and posted their argument, which, as you've already been told is wrong.  Yes, there is a right to travel.  What there isn't, is a right to travel by driving a car when you are not licensed.  Licensing drivers so the state and its citizens are guaranteed that those on the road have met a basic standard of ability and knowledge is a compelling state interest.  Public safety and the safety of citizens when traveling is a compelling government interest.  Where no citizen is denied a license based upon citizenship and where any citizen who meets the basic ability and knowledge requirements is licensed, it's not unconstitutional.   The government can lawfully and constitutionally impose restrictions where there is a compelling state interest, be it requiring vehicle drivers to be licensed or gun purchasers to undergo a background check or air travelers to show a valid ID at the ticket counter.... 

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Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.

 

No, that premise is wrong. Licensing does not require surrendering an “inalienable right.” Every right secured by the Constitution is subject to some limitations. Court decisions that directly address the issue have consistently said that requiring a license to drive on the public roadways does not violate the right to travel. Unfortunately, there are some web sites out there with bad information on the subject, and I see you've been reading some of those. Those sites make a number of errors, notably citing law that has no relevance to the issue and at the same time ignoring law that is directly on point. Your post is a great example. You cite the Magna Carta and English common law, neither of which have any bearing on the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. At the same time, you’ve not addressed the various U.S. court decisions that have upheld licensing laws, like the decision I mentioned earlier in this thread by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, that specifically stated: “But Dean has not articulated reasons to support his unexplained argument that state licensure and registration requirements violate the right to travel, see Fed. R.App. P. 28(a)(9). This is not surprising because such an argument is meritless.”

 

It’s not a suprise to me that those sites use arguments like the Magna Carta that don’t apply to the issue but do not discuss the actual court decisions that do apply: if they did, they’d be forced to concede that their argument that a state cannot require driver’s licenses is a failure — the courts have rejected that contention over and over again. 

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"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 at will, but a common right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Thompson v.Smith, 154 SE 179." So I guess this is legalese and doesn't mean what I think it says? I have read been taught that common/inalienable rights can not be made subject to licensing, because if they are they become privileges not rights. The definition of a licence according to Blacks is "permission to do something that would otherwise be illegal" I dare say God given rights are not "otherwise illegal". Rights cannot be converted to privileges or they are not rights.      

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can anyone tell me how one would go about this "right to travel" without major problems?

any thoughts would help thank you

Google & youtube are the best, on this site you can look up case law but don't look for any help from professionally indoctrinated lawyers they make their living with today's legal jungle and most will never admit their first allegiance is to the court not you the defendant/client. Do your own research and use this site to look up the case law and you should be good to go. 

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So I guess this is legalese and doesn't mean what I think it says?

 

If you think it means that a state may not constitutionally require you to have a driver's license in order to operate a motor vehicle on public roads, yes.

 

By the way, it's worth pointing out that the case you cited is binding authority only in the state in which it was decided (GA, SC, NC, VA, or WV -- I can't tell which googling the case simply produces a bunch of crackpot nonsense, none of which properly cite the case by including the reference to the state in which it was decided).

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That's because the citation is incorrect.  It's Thompson v. Smith, 154 S.E. 579, 155 Va. 367 (Va. 09/12/1930).  The holding also doesn't remotely support the argument it's being used for (which is no surprise).  The case involved the city having an ordinance which gave the chief of police the power to revoke a person's permit to drive in that city.  Mr. Thompson had the required permit to drive his car and police chief, Smith, revoked it under a provision in the city code that gave him basically the unfettered discretion to do so.  With regard to the right of the government to require licensing or permits to drive, what the Virginia Supreme Court held was "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; but such permits may not be arbitrarily refused or revoked, or permitted to be held by some and refused to other of like qualifications, under like circumstances and conditions."  At 378. 
 

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NOTE: I realize that an answer to the below is speculative and that most who work within the law do not like to deal in “what ifs” and or speculative scenarios however once something has been restricted or banned by an act of government it is then more often than not too late to do anything about it.  That’s not to say no act of government is ever reversed but that it is rare.

 

Q: If my right to travel without the use of a motorized vehicle of any kind is Constitutionally guaranteed as many of you have stated then what prevents the state (or government at any level) from requiring licensing to travel on these same roads by any non-motorized means including but not limited to my own body or more precisely my legs?  Before replying along the lines of “that’s an absurd statement” please keep in mind that in recent years the government at many levels has tried to enact laws, statues, ordinances for a variety of acts that just a few years back would have been perceived as being absurd.  This would include both unsuccessful and successful passing of these restrictions.  Failed examples include banning large sized sodas.  Successful examples include making it illegal to catch and retain use of rain water that falls on your property. 

 

With regards to the question of can one travel on public roads without a government provided license I would ask this, if it’s not legal to do this then why would a law enforcement officer such as a police officer, let an unlicensed driver who has no tags on their vehicle and who is driving on public streets,  go about their way without even so much as a warning ticket or citation after the officer has pulled the individual and knows that they are traveling in an automotive vehicle without a license or tags?  While some might be tempted to say it was because the officer was cutting the guy a break please keep in mind that such an explanation sounds far more ludicrous then the statement that we can travel on public roads with a government issued license.

 

Legitimate and logical comments only please.  I’m not looking to argue that you are wrong about not having the right to travel via motorized vehicle on public roads.

 

 

 

Thank You

 

 

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What is "legitimate" or "logical" is a very subjective thing, so that kind of dictate seems odd.

There are laws as it relates to people traveling highways by "non-motorized means, including but not limited to [your] ... body."

 

What prevents a legislature from passing a licensure requirement would be, presumably, the desire to enact such a statute.

 

"... I would ask this, if it’s not legal to do this then why would a law enforcement officer such as a police officer, let an unlicensed driver who has no tags on their vehicle and who is driving on public streets, go about their way without even so much as a warning ticket or citation after the officer has pulled the individual and knows that they are traveling in an automotive vehicle without a license or tags?"

You'd have to ask the law enforcement officer; they have discretion whether to issue citations.

 

"While some might be tempted to say it was because the officer was cutting the guy a break please keep in mind that such an explanation sounds far more ludicrous then the statement that we can travel on public roads with a government issued license."

Sorry, but this is fairly garbled; you may want to take another crack at what it is you intended to say.

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What is "legitimate" or "logical" is a very subjective thing, so that kind of dictate seems odd.

There are laws as it relates to people traveling highways by "non-motorized means, including but not limited to [your] ... body."

 

What prevents a legislature from passing a licensure requirement would be, presumably, the desire to enact such a statute.

 

"... I would ask this, if it’s not legal to do this then why would a law enforcement officer such as a police officer, let an unlicensed driver who has no tags on their vehicle and who is driving on public streets, go about their way without even so much as a warning ticket or citation after the officer has pulled the individual and knows that they are traveling in an automotive vehicle without a license or tags?"

You'd have to ask the law enforcement officer; they have discretion whether to issue citations.

 

"While some might be tempted to say it was because the officer was cutting the guy a break please keep in mind that such an explanation sounds far more ludicrous then the statement that we can travel on public roads with a government issued license."

Sorry, but this is fairly garbled; you may want to take another crack at what it is you intended to say.

 

I will attempt to make an non-garbled version of this statement and address your comment about asking the officer.

 

In this day  (the year 2000 and up)  police officers in all major cities and in most suburban areas have ticket quotas.  These quotas have been increased in more recent years to increase revenue for the local governments due to harder economic times that have hit most areas. 

 

Based on that scenario (where there are ticket quotas) it is extremely difficult to believe that any office who has pulled someone over would then let that same person go without a citation when the individual operating the automotive vehicle has no government issued license and no tags/plates anywhere on their vehicle.  It would be equivalent to allowing a drunk driver to continue driving the same as if they had not been pulled over by the officer.

 

Is that clear enough?

 

Thank You

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Q: If my right to travel without the use of a motorized vehicle of any kind is Constitutionally guaranteed as many of you have stated then what prevents the state (or government at any level) from requiring licensing to travel on these same roads by any non-motorized means including but not limited to my own body or more precisely my legs? 

 

I am not one who will claim that there is any unfettered right under the Constitution to walk wherever one pleases because it’s not true. All rights in the Constitution are subject to some limitations. It is, for example, illegal in my state for anyone to walk on limited access highway or shoulder of such a highway. The reason for that is pretty simple: it’s dangerous for people to walk on highways where cars are zipping by at 65+ mph. It is also illegal in my state for people to jaywalk, i.e. walk across a street at a place other than at the corners of the block or at designated cross walks. Again, the reason for that rule is for public safety. The government could, if it wanted, issue people with a license (presumably who have passed some kind of safety test) to walk on the shoulder of a limited access highway or jaywalk, and still make it illegal for others who do not have the license to walk there. (Although I don’t see any state actually doing it.) I see no constitutional issues with that any more than I do with requiring a license to drive a vehicle on the roads of the state. 

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