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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 government in the form of the issuance of a permit or license to that Particular individual.  Legislators, police officers and court officials are becoming aware that there are now court decisions that prove the fallacy of the legal opinion that" driving is a privilege and therefore requires government approval, i.e.  a license".  Some of these cases are:

"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.  NOT a privilege that requires permission i.e.- licensing, mandatory insurance, vehicle registration, 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 or permit 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 579.

It could not be stated more conclusively that Citizens of the states have a right to travel, without approval or restriction (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 U.S. 116, 125.

"...completely within the protection of the Constitution as the... liberty to go when and where one will." Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U.S. 1, at 14, 23-24 (1915).

"Undoubtedly the right of locomotion, the right to remove 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 l4th Amendment and by other provisions of the Constitution." - Schactman v Dulles, 96 App D.C. 287,  293.


As hard as it is for those of us 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 another.

Government, in requiring the people to file for "drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, mandatory insurance, and demanding they stop for vehicle inspections, DUI/DWI roadblocks etc., without question, are "restricting," and therefore violating, the Peoples common law right to travel.

Is this a new legal interpretation on this subject of the right to travel?  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 the area of "Citizens right to travel." In an interview a spokesmen stated: "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 has always been a fundamental right of every Citizen."

This means that the "beliefs and opinions" our state legislators, the courts, and those of as 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 in determining that to restrict, in any fashion, the movement of the individual American in the free exercise of their 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, and most state Constitutions, i.e. - it is Unlawful.


The first of such questions may very well be - If the States have been enforcing laws that are unconstitutional on their face, it would seem that there must be some way that a state can legally put restrictions, such as - licensing requirements, mandatory insurance, vehicle registration, vehicle inspections, D.W.I. roadblocks, to name just a few, on a Citizens constitutionally protected right.  Is that not so?

For the answer to this question let us look, once again, to the U.S. courts for a determination on this very issue.

The case of Hertado v. California, 110 U.S. 516  states very plainly:  "The State cannot diminish rights of the people."

"The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice."- Davis v. Wechsler, 263 U.S.  22,  24.

Would we not say that these judicial decisions are straight to the point - that there is no lawful method for government to put restrictions or limitations on rights belonging to the people?

Other cases are even more straight forward:

"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them."  - Miranda v.  Arizona, 384 U.S. 436,  491.

"The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime." - Miller v. U.S., 230 F 2d 486, 489.

"There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of Constitutional rights."- Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F.  945.  (There is no question that a citation/ticket issued by a police officer, for no drivers license, no current vehicle registration, no vehicle insurance etc., which carries a fine or jail time, is a penalty or sanction, and is indeed "converting a Right into a crime.")

We could go on, quoting court decision after court decision, however, In addition, the Constitution itself answers our question- "Can a government legally put restrictions on the rights of the American people at anytime, for any reason?'"  (Such as in this particular case - when the government believes it to be for the safety and welfare of the people).

The answer is found in ARTICLE SIX of the U.S.  Constitution:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; ...shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary not withstanding".  (This tells us that the U.S.  Constitution is to be upheld over any state, county, or city laws that are in opposition to it.)

In the same Article it goes on to say just who it is within our governments that is bound by this Supreme Law:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution;"  - ART.  6, U.S. CONST.

We know that Police officers, are a part of the Executive branch.  We are "Executive Officers".

Article 6 above, is called the SUPREMACY CLAUSE, and it clearly states that, under every circumstance, the above listed officials in these United States must hold this document's tenets supreme over any other laws, regulations, or orders.  Every U.S.  Police officer knows that they have sworn an oath to the people of our nation that they will not only protect their lives and property, but that we will uphold, and protect their freedoms and rights under the Supreme laws of this nation. - the U.S.  S.  Constitution.

In this regard then, we must agree that those within government that restrict a Citizens rights, (such as restricting the peoples right to travel,) are acting in violation of his or her oath of office and are actually committing a crime against such Citizens.  Here's an interesting question.  Is ignorance of these laws an excuse for such acts by officials?

If we are to follow the "letter of the law (as we are sworn to do), this places officials that involve themselves in such unlawful acts in a unfavorable legal situation.  For it is a felony and federal crime to violate, or deprive citizens of their Constitutionally protected rights.

Our system of law dictates the fact that there are only two ways to legally remove a right belonging to the people.  These are - #1, by lawfully amending the constitution, or #2, 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" upon the roadways of the states and opted into the jurisdiction of the state for various reasons.  Those who have knowingly given up these rights are now legally regulated by state law, the proper courts, and "sworn, constitutionally empowered officers-of-the-law," and must acquire proper permits, registrations, insurance, etc.

There are basically two groups of people in this category:

#1 - Any citizen that involves themselves in "commerce," (business for private gain), upon the highways of the state.

Here is what the courts have said about this:

"...For while a citizen has the right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that right does not extend to the use of the highways, either in whole or in part, as a place for private gain.  For the latter purpose no person has a vested right to use the highways of the state, but is a privilege or license which the legislature may grant or withhold at its discretion..." - State v Johnson, 243 P.  1073,  1078.

Other U.S.  court cases that confirm and point out the difference between the "right" of the citizen to travel and a government "privilege" are - Barney v Board of Railroad Commissioners; State v City of Spokane, 186 P. 864; Ex Parte Dickey (Dickey v Davis), 85 S.E. 781; Teche Lines v Danforth, 12 So.2d 784.

There are numerous other court decisions that spell out the JURISDICTION issue in these two distinctly different activities.  However, because of space restrictions we will leave it up to officers to research it further for themselves.  (See last page for additional references).

#2 - The second group of citizens that are legally under the jurisdiction of the state is the individual citizen who has voluntarily and knowingly waived their right to travel "unregulated and unrestricted" by requesting placement under such jurisdiction through the acquisition of a state - drivers license, vehicle registration, mandatory insurance, etc.  (In other words "by contract only".)

We should remember what makes this "legal," and not a violation of the individuals common law right to travel "unrestricted" is that they knowingly volunteer, freely, by contract, to waive their right.  If they were forced, coerced or unknowingly placed under the states powers, the courts have said it is a clear violation of their rights.

This in itself raises a very interesting question.  What percentage of the people in each state have filed, and received, licenses, registrations, insurance etc. after erroneously being advised by their government that it was mandatory?

Many of our courts, attorneys and police officials are just becoming informed about this important issue and the difference between "Privileges vs. Rights".  We can assume that the majority of those Americans carrying state licenses, vehicle registrations etc., have no knowledge of the rights they waived in obeying laws such as these that the U.S.  Constitution clearly states are unlawful, i.e.  "laws of no effect".  In other words - "LAWS THAT ARE NOT LAWS AT ALL."

OUR SWORN DUTY! An area of serious consideration for every police officer is to understand that the most important law in our land he has taken an oath to protect, defend, AND ENFORCE, is not state laws, nor city or county ordinances, but, that law that supersede all other laws in our nation, - the U.S.  Constitution.  If laws in a particular police officer's state, or local community are in conflict with the SUPREME LAW of our nation, there is no question that the officer's duty is to "uphold the U.S. Constitution."

What does this mean to the "patrol officer" who will be the only sworn "Executive Officer" on the scene, when knowledgeable Citizens raise serious objections over possession of insurance, drivers licenses and other restrictions?  It definitely means these officers will be faced with a hard decision.  (Most certainly if that decision effects state, city or county revenues, such as the issuing of citations do.)

Example: If a state legislator, judge or a superior tells a police officer to proceed and enforce a contradictory, (illegal), state law rather than the Supreme Law of this country, what is that "sworn officer" to do?  Although we may not want to hear it, there is but one right answer, - "the officer is duty bound to uphold his oath of office" and obey the highest laws of the nation.  THIS IS OUR SWORN DUTY AND IT'S THE LAW!

Such a strong honest stand taken by a police officer, upholding his or her oath of office, takes moral strength of character.  It will, without question, "SEPARATE THE MEN FROM THE BOYS." Such honest and straight forward decisions on behalf of a government official have often caused pressure to be applied to force such officers to set aside, or compromise their morals or convictions.

As a solace for those brave souls in uniform that will stand up for law and justice, even when it's unpopular, or uncomfortable to do so...let me say this.  In any legal stand-off over a sworn official "violating" or "upholding" their oath of office, those that would side with the "violation" should inevitable lose.

Our Founding Fathers assured us, on many occasions, the following:

Defending our freedoms in the face of people that would for "expedients sake," or behind the guise, "for the safety and welfare of the masses," ignore peoples rights, would forever demand sacrifice and vigilance from those that desired to remain free.  That sounds a little like - "Freedom is not free!"

Every police officer should keep the following U.S. court ruling, that was covered earlier, in mind before issuing citations in regard to "mandatory licensing, registration and insurance" - verses - "the right of the people to travel unencumbered":


More Miscellaneous legal support against driver licenses...

Driver Table of Authorities

Are you sure you're a "driver?"

DRIVER. One employed...
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856

DRIVER-- one employed in conducting a coach, carriage, wagon, or other vehicle..."

Driver - One employed in conducting or operating a coach, carriage, wagon, or other vehicle, with horses, mules, or other animals, or a bicycle, tricycle, or motor car, though not a street railroad car. See Davis v. Petrinovich, 112 Ala. 654, 21 So. 344, 36 L.R.A. 615; Isaacs v. Railroad Co., 7 Am. Rep. 418, 47 N.Y. 122. --Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd Ed.

DRIVER. One employed...Black's Law Dictionary, 4th Ed, 1951

"The activity licensed by state DMVs and in connection with which individuals must submit personal information to the DMV - the operation of motor vehicles - is itself integrally related to interstate commerce."

Seth Waxman, Solicitor General
U.S. Department of Justice
Reno v. Condon, No. 98-1464, decided January 12, 2000
Supreme Court of the United States


Sec. 31. Definitions

When used in this chapter 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;

Motor vehicle - Laws of Florida c. 14764 (1931)

The term "motor vehicle" shall include all vehicles or machines propelled by any power other than muscular used upon the public highways (but not over fixed rails) for the transportation of persons or property for compensation either as common carriers, private contract carriers or for hire carriers.

Traffic - Webster's Unified Dictionary and Encyclopedia, International Illustrated Edition (1960)

1. Business or trade, commerce. 2. Transportation. 3. The movement of vehicles on street or highway, as, the traffic is very heavy today.

Traffic - Bouvier's Law Dictionary (1856)

Commerce, trade, sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money and the like.

Traffic - Black's Law Dictionary 2nd

Commerce; trade; dealings in merchandise bills, money, and the like.  See In re Insurance Co. (D.C.) 96 Fed. 757. Levine v. State, 35 Tex. Cr. R. 647, 34 S.W. 969; People v. Hamilton, 17 Misc. Rep. 11, 39 N.Y. Supp. 531; Merriam v. Langdon, 10 Conn. 471.

Traffic - Black's Law Dictionary 3rd

Commerce; trade; sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money, and the like. The passing of goods or commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money. Senior v. Ratterman, 44 Ohio St. 673, 11 N.E. 321; People v. Horan, 293 Ill. 314, 127 N.E. 673, 674; People v. Dunford, 207 N.Y. 17, 100 N.E. 433, 434; Fine v. Morgan, 74 Fla. 417, 77 So. 533, 538; Bruno v. U. S. (C.C.A.) 289 F. 649, 655.

Traffic includes the ordinary uses of the streets and highways by travelers. Stewart v. Hugh Nawn Contracting Co., 223 Mass. 525, 112 N.E. 218, 219; Withey v. Fowler Co., 164 Iowa, 377, 145 N.W. 923, 927.

Traffic - Black's Law Dictionary 4th

Commerce; trade; sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money, and the like. The passing of goods or commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money. Senior v. Ratterman, 44 Ohio St. 673, 11 N.E. 321; Fine v. Morgan, 74 Fla. 417, 77 So. 533, 538; Bruno v. U. S. C.C.A.Mass., 289 F. 649, 655; Kroger Grocery and Baking Co. v. Schwer, 36 Ohio App. 512, 173 N.E. 633.

The subjects of transportation on a route, as persons or goods; the passing to and fro of persons, animals, vehicles, or vessels, along a route of transportation, as along a street, canal, etc. United States v. Golden Gate Bridge and Highway Dist. Of California, D.C.Cal., 37 F. Supp. 505, 512.

Traffic -Black's Law Dictionary 6th

Commerce; trade; sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money, and the like. The passing or exchange of goods or commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods and money. The subjects of transportation on a route, as persons or goods; the passing to and fro of persons, animals, vegetables, or vessels, along a route of transportation, as along a street, highway, etc.

Transportation - Webster's Unified Dictionary and Encyclopedia, International Illustrated Edition (1960)

1. The act or business of moving passengers and goods. 2. The means of conveyance used. 3. Banishment, esp. of convicts to a penal colony.

Transportation - Black's Law Dictionary 3rd

"The removal of goods or persons from one place to another, by a carrier." See Railroad Co. v. Pratt, 22 Wall. 133, 22 L.Ed. 827; Interstate Commerce Com'n v. Brimson, 154 U.S. 447, 14 Sup.Ct. 1125, 38 L.Ed. 1047; Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U.S. 196, 5 Sup.Ct. 826, 29 L.Ed. 158.

Under Interstate Commerce Act, (49 USCA sec. 1 et seq.), "transportation" includes the entire body of services rendered by a carrier in connection with the receipt, handling, and delivery of property transported, and includes the furnishing of cars. Pletcher v. Chicago, R. L. & P. Ry. Co., 103 Kan. 834, 177 P. 1, 2.

In a general sense transportation means merely conveyance from one place to another. People v. Martin, 235 Mich. 206, 209 N.W. 87.

Transportation - Black's Law Dictionary 4th

"The removal of goods or persons from one place to another, by a carrier." Railroad Co. v. Pratt, 22 Wall. 133, 22 L.Ed. 827; Interstate Commerce Com'n v. Brimson, 14 S.Ct. 1125, 154 U.S. 447, 38 L.Ed. 1047; Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 5 S.Ct. 826, 114 U.S. 196, 29 L.Ed. 158.

Transportation - Black's 6th

The movement of goods or persons from one place to another, by a carrier.

Transportation - 49 U.S.C. 5102(12)

"transports" or "transportation" means the movement of property and loading, unloading, or storage incidental to the movement.

Transportation - Words and Phrases

See State v. Western Trans Co. (1950, Iowa) 43 N.W.2d 739 [The judge, after giving his conclusion, goes on to give examples of "transportation" - all involving the movement of persons or goods for hire.]

"Prior to November 2, 1926, the Statutes of 1925 imposed a license tax ... on those operating motor vehicles over the public highways for hire, ... On November 2, 1926, the People adopted an amendment to article XIII, section 15, of the Constitution, changing the tax rate ... on carriage of passengers and ... on transportation of property, and relieving the carrier of municipal licenses and taxes. ... The amendment contained the provision that 'Such taxes shall be in lieu of all other taxes and licenses' upon the property of such companies."

--People v. Borderland Express (1933) 218 Cal. 680, 681.

"It is obvious that those who operate motor vehicles for the transportation of persons or property for hire enjoy a different and more extensive use of the public highways. * * * Such extraordinary use constitutes a natural distinction and a full justification for their separate classification and for relieving from the burden of the license tax those who merely employ the public highways for the transportation of their own property or employees."
--Bacon Service Corporation v. Huss, 129 Cal. 21, 248 P. 235, 238." (State v. Karel, 180 So. 3 at 8.)

"... [T]he exemptions provided for in section 1 of the Motor Vehicle Transportation License Act of 1925 (Stats. 1925, p. 833) in favor of those who solely transport their own property or employees, or both, and of those who transport no persons or property for hire or compensation, by motor vehicle, have been determined in the Bacon Service Corporation case to be lawful exemptions. --In re Schmolke (1926) 199 Cal. 42, 46.

"The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which he has under his right to enjoy life and liberty.... It includes the right in so doing to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day; and under existing modes of travel includes the right to drive a horse-drawn carriage or wagon thereon, or to operate an automobile thereon for the usual and ordinary purposes of life and business. It is not a mere privilege, like the privilege of moving a house in the street, operating a business stand in the street, or transporting persons or property for hire along the street, which the city may permit or prohibit at will."

Key emphasis added. Indisputable wisdom recorded in Thompson v. Smith, 154 S.E. 579, 1929.

Right to Drive - 2

Right to Drive Handout: to hand out when you get a police stop for some innocent "infraction."

Driving brief and memorandum of law: Template can be used to challenge your state's driving laws.

This is the actual material I sent to the Colorado DOR. (An updated version is available with more case law and evidence. General format can be used to challenge your state's driving laws... just replace relevant information and be sure to include your state's driving code, and send certified mail. (Could be updated with above added material...)

Driving Right Affidavit - PDF File Could be updated with above added material...

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