US Code Title 49 Chapter 331, section 33107 defines VOLUNTARY vehicle identification standards for the purpose of theft prevention. These standards are completely voluntary and no penalties or enforcement actions can be imposed for failure to comply with these voluntary standards.
(c) Voluntary Compliance.—Compliance with the standard under this section is voluntary. Failure to comply does not subject a person to a penalty or enforcement under this chapter
The federal statute or legislation states that the voluntary registration may be registered with the Secretary [of the Department of Transportation] or with a person designated by the Secretary [of the Department of Transportation]
The standard may include provisions for registration of the identification with the Secretary or a person designated by the Secretary.
Article 1, section 1 of the US Constitution states
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Article VI, paragraph 2; known as the Supremacy Clause; of the US Constitution states
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, 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 notwithstanding.
The Supremacy Clause applies to the US Code, because every piece of legislation within the US Code is passed by Congress that start as Public Acts. In regards to the last sentence of the Supremacy Clause, based on historical usage of the word, “notwithstanding” has a definition of “will not resist. So the last sentence can be read as
Anything in the [US] Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary [of the US Constitution] will not resist.
The reason the Constitution would reference itself is because an amendment can modify the constitution and any subsequent amendments to the US Constitution must remain compliant with the original IV articles. Because the US Code is enacted by Congress under the authority of the United States, the US Code is in pursuance of the US Constitution. In regards to Amendment 10 of the US Constitution, the States are allowed to legislate for their own state areas of law that are not yet defined in the US Code. Because the US Code is written in a constitutionally compliant way by Congress, the powers defined in the US Code have already been delegated to the United States by the US Constitution. The states then have the power to legislate in areas not defined by the US Code.
Although exceptions have been made with implementation of certain areas of the US Code, it is usually due to lack of training or lack of resources to enforce the legislation by the states and not because those powers are reserved to the state.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
In the case of vehicle registration, vehicle license plates are claimed to be used for the purpose of vehicle theft prevention by state DMVs and their state police such as the California Highway Patrol. Because there is already legislation in the US Code pursuant to this area of law, vehicle registration is voluntary. Penalties and enforcement such as impounding a vehicle or placing a boot on a vehicle for failing to register a vehicle are unconstitutional.
Furthermore, in the case of California, the DMV is defined under under California Vehicle Code Division 2, Chapter 1, Article 1. The California DMV has not been designated by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to register vehicles for the purpose of theft prevention and if the Secretary had made that designation the registration would remain voluntary under the US Code and mandatory registration would still be unconstitutional.
The US Declaration of Independence, US Constitution with all its amendments, Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights and UN Declaration of Independence are all human rights articles which set to document the common law rights that have been agreed upon by developed nations or the pinnacles of society in a dialect that is widely understandable to the populations of that era. It is generally understood that once human rights have become customary and not merely a privilege for a class of nobility, that those human rights are irrevocable. It is because of this that governments are extremely conservative in giving the population new rights. Two of the rights that have become customary prior to the invention of modern transportation are the freedom of movement and the right to travel. Modern transportation is merely a means to exercise those rights and those rights existed and became irrevocable when the Ford Model T started being mass produced and sold to the public without a requirement for car registration or for the owner to have a “drivers” license.
In regards to mandatory registration of vehicles in the United States, this is also a privacy violation and violates Article 12 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights since it allows the vehicle owners location to be tracked as documented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, even if it is not in real time. Police departments also have a “success rate” of 0.05% (half of one percent) in finding vehicles using the most up to date technology called ALPRs which stands for Automated License Plate Reader’s. These ALPRs are tax payer funded even if developed by private corporations who then sell the technology back to the public in the form of public safety purchase agreements. The EFF has a web page that allows you to review the number scans and the number of vehicles it actually found through these scans. The California Highway Patrol’s 2017 Vehicle Theft Fact Sheet states that 11.4% of vehicles stolen remain unrecovered and it would be dishonest to claim that the license plates are the reason for recovery of the vehicles that were found since it would be contrary to the data obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
As already mentioned, a notarized bill of sale would be adequate to take to the police when a vehicle is stolen. In California, the vehicle recovery rate is 89.6% despite license plate scanners only having a success rate of 0.05%.
It is important to look at other Permanent UN Security Council members to see how license plates are affecting the freedom of movement and right to travel. In Beijing, license plates are affecting people’s freedom of movement and right to travel even in cases where an individual has the economic means to afford and responsibly maintain a vehicle. Beijing has a goal of only licensing 6 million vehicles despite having a population of 21 million people according to the New York Times. It’s main driver with these policies are controlling air pollution and traffic congestion in areas of the city where most professionals work. The policies are not centered around restricting people’s ability to own property or tracking people’s whereabouts. People are free to drive without plates a tax sticker outside of Beijing and they can even obtain temporary one week passes to drive into Beijing.
In the United Kingdom, according to a representative from the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the need for a driver’s license was not required until 1988 and vehicle registration was not required until 1994. These requirements were enacted through the Road Traffic Act of 1988 and the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act of 1994 respectively. Both acts are fairly recent developments considering that the vehicle was invented between 1885 and 1886 by Carl Benz and that Henry Ford released his first vehicle in 1896 and released the Model T in 1908 . In either case, the UK still allows vehicle ownership and allows unregistered vehicles to travel as long as they stay off public roads. However, as in the United States; human rights activists are protesting the requirement to drive a vehicle with a license and registration on public roads since public roads are built using tax money collected from the people.
In the United States, a requirement for vehicle registration remains unconstitutional under US Code Title 49, Chapter 331, section 33107. It is important to continue discussing the privacy implications as well as the hindrances to property ownership and the violation of the human rights to travel freely and of freedom of movement.
The unlawful policies of the last 70 years have not held up well in the United States and it is time to update those policies to be more respectful of human rights, especially since the US is a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. Security does not only involve war, it involves freedom of economic prosperity, freedom of thought, and freedom to pursue ones passions. The US Declaration of Independence describes this as the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In examining the polices related to a “mandatory” vehicle registration, the 0.05% success rate on ALPRs are especially disappointing. It is a waste of resources and a waste of tax payer money that can be spent on other endeavors.
The “requirement” for a driver’s “license”, registration and insurance also disproportionately affect minorities as outlined in these additional documents.
- The Constitutional Right to Travel – Examines the bias in building infrastructure that favors motor vehicles.
- Gonzalez v. Commissioner of Georgia Department of Driver Services – Denial of a driver’s “license” to a US Citizen who is a minority.
- Civil Rights Groups urge Lawmakers to Change Unlicensed Drivers Laws – Makes it a felony to obtain 4 “charges” of driving without a license which disproportionately targets families in poverty because an adult must usually drive to work to pay all the bills on time.
- Facing Deportation for Driving Without a License – Being used to give legal residents a felony charge in order to deport them.
- Denial of Driver’s License to Illegal Aliens – Illegal aliens need to be processed for VISA’s, asylum, refugee status or temporary residency under Title 8 of the US Code and these enforcement actions should not affect the freedom of movement and right to travel for US Citizens or legal residents.
- Do You Need a Drivers License – some law studies.
There is a reference of case studies regarding freedom of movement and right to travel online and originally posted by Jefferey Phillips:
U.S. Supreme Court Says No License Necessary to Drive Automobile on Public Roads.
Aside: This same article is posted elsewhere and references both Jefferey Phillips and the original site that the work was posted on which is how canonical links work. Canonical links allow the the US Copyright Office, WIPO and Berne Treaty signatories to monitor copyright for compulsory licensing fees if any money is made while still allowing authors to have their work posted on multiple sites so they can gain recognition and it allows the site owners to gain traffic with the authors work while still allowing researchers and other professionals to find the original author for compensation, work opportunities or a more detailed explanations of the original works.
More recently, the California Supreme Court ruled not having a Driver’s License does not give police probable cause to search a vehicle which is another positive step in respecting US Citizens right to travel and freedom of movement. For identification purposes, a US passport card can be presented for traffic citations related to certain municipal ordinances or for property damage resulting from reckless driving both of which should be payable online within 30 days or contestable through online court. During the first online court date, a person who has created property damage or agrees they knowingly violated a city ordinance while exercising their right to travel and freedom of movement should be able to make a payment arrangement if they can not pay in full. At no point now or in the future, should a permit, license or driving endorsement ever be affixed to a US Passport Card. Drivers operating a commercial vehicle, can have a badge issued by the corporation their driving for that documents they have permission to drive that vehicle during business hours. The State Police should be able to verify that a corporate badge is valid and active through the US Department of Transportation’s technology systems.