Hereís one Iíve been saving up for more than four
years, only now realizing its true relevance. Itís
not really about driversí licenses; itís about the
Internet and the future of communications.
First, the exchange. You may have read it on CompuServe.
From John, a disgruntled citizen, addressed to
CAN GOVERNMENT FORCE YOU TO CONTRACT WITH A THIRD
PARTY? (i.e. Auto Insurance, Health Insurance Alliances,
etc.) NO! This is also specifically prohibited here in
the Republic of Arizona by our Constitution. Are you
aware that the Federal Courts have decided that it is
UNCONSTITUTIONAL to require a person to obtain a
driverís license, auto registration or mandatory
insurance in order to travel on our nationís roads,
highways and waterways. See Chicago Motor Coach vs.
Chicago Volume 169 of the Northeastern Law Reporter,
p.†22 (in your local law library) where the court
stated that "Travel is NOT A PRIVILEGE requiring
licensing, vehicle registration OR FORCED INSURANCE."
Also see Sheer vs. Cullen Vol.†481 Federal Reporter
p.†945; Vol.†11 American Jurisprudence (1st)
Constitutional Law, Section†329, p.†1135,
which states: "The right of the citizen to travel
upon the public highway and transport his property
thereon, by horse-drawn carriage, wagon, OR AUTOMOBILE,
is NOT A MERE PRIVILEGE, which may be prohibited at will,
BUT A COMMON RIGHT, which he has under the right to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness." [Emphasis
Just so you know, my wife and I do carry liability
insurance, BUT only because we need it for asset
protection. We do not license or register our cars, and
we have revoked our driverís licenses. Instead we carry
a Sovereign Travel Permit (a photo ID imprinted with our
affidavit #, as recorded in our local county recorderís
office) issued to ourselves, by ourselves, as is
EVERYONEíS right under Common Law.
We know this information is correct, as Iíve already
been pulled over twice by law officers for expired plates.
As soon as they saw my affidavit, there was no ticket,
no warning, just a "Have a nice day, sir!"
Why are YOU letting the government steal your money in
the form of driverís license fees, vehicle registration
fees (hundreds of $ every year in some states), etc.?
Pretty scary, no? But soon there was this reply.
From Craig, a deputy attorney general who, fortunately,
happened to be passing by the CompuServe forum:
Just in case anyone else had decided to throw away
his license and registration, I spent a few minutes
today looking up the cases cited in the message to
which this is a reply. Chicago Motor Coach v.
Chicago, a 1929 case decided by the Illinois Supreme
Court, is a case about whether the City of Chicago
could require the Chicago Motor Coach Company to get
a license from the city to use public streets when
the company already had a certificate from a state
agency. The court said that Chicago didnít have that
power. The case contains this statement, "The
Legislature may prohibit by general law the operation
of motor vehicles upon the highways of the state. ..."
It says later, "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." John quotes the court as having
said, "Travel is NOT A PRIVILEGE requiring licensing,
vehicle registration OR FORCED INSURANCE." That
sentence simply doesnít appear in the case I read.
Perhaps itís missing because of some strange typo. It
would be surprising if the court had said it since the
case had absolutely nothing to do with driversí licenses,
vehicle registration, or forced insurance.
As for the other case John cites, Sheer v. Cullen, itís
a case in which a court said the IRS had unlawfully fired
an IRS agent for failing to produce certain documents when
the IRS tried to audit its own agent. John doesnít explain
how this case relates to his beliefs about the Constitution
and driverís licenses, auto registration, or mandatory
Our library doesnít have a copy of the other source John
cites, American Jurisprudence, 1st edition, since the first
edition was replaced long, long ago, by the second edition.
I was thus unable to check the quotation. (The quoted
language is a slightly surprising statement to find in a
legal treatise since it seems to imply that citizens have
direct rights under Constitutional law to "life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The quoted
language is from the Declaration of Independence, not the
In any event, though I canít give legal advice, I would
suggest that people might be acting in a rather dangerous
manner to their own liberty and property to ignore their
stateís laws on automobile registration, operation, and
All of which leaves me, and perhaps you, wondering:
How can someone bright enough to make legal citations
and find his way to a CompuServe forum be so nuts?
And, more to the point, how are we to tell truth from
fantasy in the great new world of cyber-publishing?
I attended a panel discussion a few years ago that
included such bright lights as Rich Jaroslavsky, who
headed The Wall Street Journal On-Line, and
Esther Dyson, who lived down the street from Einstein
when she was a little girl (suggesting that genius
may be contagious), and one of the few things on which
these cyber-seers seemed to agree was the increasing,
not decreasing, importance of "editorial input"
on the Internet. Sure, they said, anyone can publish
anything on the net. But with zillions of choices,
people will thirst more than ever for editors to do
two things: direct them to the good stuff and certify
its accuracy. So donít give up on the old brand name
publishers just yet.