The right to travel and freedom of movement are fundamental human rights, these are not privileges that require licensing. These fundamental rights are necessary in order to exercise other rights such as the right to economic freedom and the right to work. In 2019, within the United States, the primary mode of travel for most individuals is with a motor vehicle. Horses and animals are no longer allowed on public roads as a mode of transportation even if they can be used in limited circumstances such as on designated horse trails or on as ceremonial modes of transportation for police in major metros such as New York and London.
In New York, London, Paris, Minneapolis and Washington D.C. there are extensive rail networks and the buses are punctual and run quite often. These work great for short trips when visiting those cities or if you are lucky enough to live and work along one of the rail paths. However, not everyone will be able to live along a major rail and moving back forth along a predesignated path is not freedom of movement. The requirements for licensing your person and your car are also burdensome, unconstitutional and a human rights violation.
The requirement for a driver’s “license” is a fundamental violation of freedom of movement because it requires those without a “license” to only move along predesignated paths that have been set by city planners and policy makers. It prevents them from free movement throughout the state where they hold residency. Since the United States defines residency by state and not by municipality, council districts or counties freedom of movement would extend to movement within the entire state and can not be restricted for those on probation or parole. A “license” “requirement” also limits the forms of entertainment those without a “license” are allowed to travel to. For example, most national parks can not be reached without a motor vehicle and certain events occur outside the paths of public transportation. A “license” “requirement” additionally limits job opportunity and career choices since the goal of a 30 minute commute for work can be hindered by relying exclusively on public transportation and can eliminate the possibility of higher paying jobs with an established career ladder to work towards.
The Los Angeles National Forest is a federal park without public transportation to and from the park from one of the major rail lines that run inside Los Angeles. Those without a “license” are unable to freely travel to this park and even to any of the state’s public beaches or make a trip to the state’s capitol to express their grievances to the government. If they have a doctors appointment, they can not opt to take a vehicle to to the doctor’s appointment and arrive late to work. Instead they have to take the entire day off and lose out on those wages or take a cab to work half a day which may end up costing more than they would get paid to work for half a day.
The issue of public safety is often brought up as a reason to categorize driving as a “privilege” and not a right. These “public safety” measures include a “licensing” requirement, vehicle registration and the requirement to carry insurance in case of an accident.
As a fundamental human right, the right to travel and freedom of movement can not be restricted or categorized as a “privilege”. It is a required mode of transportation outside of heavily populated areas and even within many metros. A vehicle is also a piece of property and one where ownership can be proven through a notarized bill of sale. The notarized bill of sale shows proof of ownership so yearly registration, is redundant, a violation of privacy and creates an undue burden on the property owner.
In the cases of vehicle theft, license plate scanners often fail to capture the plates of a stolen vehicle and the vehicle is often found because it was abandoned and reported as a nuisance or because a vigilant officer noticed it matched a description of one of the stolen vehicles in the area. License plate scanners have a notoriously low hit rate of just 5% and have missed scanning plates of vehicles that were driving directly in front of an officer with a license plate scanner. So in addition to a driver’s license violating a person’s human right to travel and their freedom of movement; car registration serves no purpose and it is a violation of privacy rights.
A property owner should be free to lend their property at no charge to any individual they feel is responsible enough to properly care for their property during its use. This should not require a DMV or an insurance company to act as a liason nor should the DMV maintain a list of individuals who are “qualified” to exercise their right to travel or their right to freedom of movement. With regards to insurance premiums, on rental vehicles, insurance can be purchased on a daily basis for as little as $9 a day or $275 per month. This is done as a requirement by the car rental companies in order to be compliant with the DMV and it is a good business practice in case the driver does cause damage to their vehicle that they are not able to afford to repair. Given these costs, there is no reason an individuals insurance premiums should exceed these costs as these are standard costs available nationwide when renting a vehicle that do not fluctuate based on a driving record. It is important to address all three issues simultaneously because the three policies have been used together to restrict the populations freedom of movement and right to travel in violation of long established human rights.
When financing a new vehicle, which is a piece of property, the insurance premiums can be as high as $400 or more which often cause an undue financial burden and hinder people from exercising their right to travel and freedom of movement. If a car rental company can insure people for $9 a day or $275 a month regardless of driving record, this should be set as a mandatory cap on vehicle insurance costs nation wide. With these guidelines, a person using public transportation Monday through Friday and using a vehicle for weekend recreation only, should be capped at a yearly insurance cost of $936 or $78 per month. If they have multiple vehicles, they should also be able to select which vehicle they will be driving that weekend and opt not to insure any vehicles if they will not be driving that weekend. Vehicle insurance is a hindrance to property ownership which is another human rights violation and insurance does have its purpose, the process of obtaining and using insurance can be managed in a more efficient way and it should never be mandatory.
With the increased use of public transportation, many vehicle owners do not drive their vehicles on a daily basis anyways. So this is an issue of the DMV and insurance companies which are not Government Agencies acting in an unlawful manner. Many vehicle owners who take public transportation to work have an inexpensive vehicle paid in full which is used for travel outside their city limits or for travel within the city limits outside the designated public transportation paths or for use during an emergency. For example, a US Citizen in New York may take public transportation to and from work everyday and have a vehicle for traveling to and from Virginia, New Jersey, Vermont or the Carolinas. They may also occasionally use the vehicle to travel within New York City to places where a public transportation schedule would restrict their freedom to accomplish all their errands within a required time frame. In the Midwest where cities tend to be smaller; a person may live in the downtown area of Midwest city and walk to work or ride a bike to work on a daily basis but have a vehicle, which is a piece of property, for traveling to other states or even for traveling to other small cities within their state. When used for leisure, entertainment or pleasure, any requirement for “drivers license” or “driving license” is a human rights violation. Driving to and from a place of business also does not require a license. The reason motor coach licenses where required in the 1800s was because the motor vehicle was used business equipment and registered to a business for business purposes. The most common case when this would apply today is for cabs, limos, shuttles, buses, shipping companies.
Outside of using a vehicle as business equipment, none of the other scenarios should require a driver’s “license” or yearly registration for a vehicle since a vehicle is a piece of property and freedom of movement and right to travel are human rights. In the case of vehicle theft, a property owner can take their notarized bill of sale to the police department and file a stolen vehicle report. While insurance needs to be addressed in much more detail, in the interim, daily car insurance offered by rental companies should be a solution for driver’s whose insurance premiums are over $275 a month. The $9 a day insurance is also ideal for property owners who have garaged vehicles or vehicles parked in a private driveway because it allows the insurance to be assigned to each vehicle as needed.