Thursday, July 23, 2015

No License Required

At least that's what "Todd Foster" (if that's his real name) claims.

I'm more than a little dubious about his claim. He bases his argument mostly on legal statements that go back to the mid-nineteenth century, well before motorized vehicles were commonplace. If you can't come up with a precedent from the age of automobiles, I don't think you have much of a case.

He says there's no law against driving without a license for personal, non-commercial travel, but I took the liberty of looking up Tennessee law on the subject and found the following:
TN Code section 55-50-301: No person, except those expressly exempted in this section, shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless the person has a valid driver license under the provisions of this chapter for the type or class of vehicle being driven.
So it would appear that it is at least illegal to drive without a license on a "highway".

Foster's video strikes me as the sort of thing which is likely to get some gullible citizen arrested or fined (or killed, given recent police excesses) because they unquestioningly accept his claim. It's libertarian nonsense, based on quote mines of case law that probably isn't applicable or has at least been superseded by subsequent law and court precedent.

Of course, I'm not a legal expert, so I can't say with certainty that his claims are complete BS, but I don't think I'm the one making an extraordinary claim here. Besides, he can prove his claims quite easily.

He can let his license expire (assuming he has one, which I bet he does), and then publicly announce that he is going to go on a cross-country drive (or even just a long intrastate drive, like Miami to Pensacola in his home state of Florida). In the announcement, dare the state police to arrest him for driving without a license, giving them his plate number, vehicle description, planned route, and date(s) of travel. When they do, all he needs to do is use his cited precedents to challenge the arrest in court and win.

Until then, I'll keep my license current.

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