Driver’s License Disobedience

August 29th, 2010   Submitted by Seth King

Well, today is my birthday as well as the day that my driver’s license expires. I have to say it feels quite liberating to soon be exercising my liberty without permission. In taking Gandhi’s advice I decided to be open about my disobedience. Gandhi says that civil disobedience should never be something that is kept secret or hidden from the authorities. I want the world to know that my conscience is clean and that if any crime gets committed it will have been the state who holds the guilt.

Last week I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper explaining my actions. My mother also forwarded the letter to many of her friends. Soon thereafter she received several emails warning her that she should discourage me from civil disobedience. She was warned that young men get raped and beaten in jail. Another noted that if I were to get into an accident that I would most likely be the one found guilty simply for lacking permission to drive in the first place. Secondly, if the accident were bad I could potentially spend years in prison. Others, including many commenters online figured I hadn’t fully thought this through.


Rest assured, I’ve thought all of this through. I’ve spent the last eight or so months considering all of this. I am well aware of the violence I am facing and the difficulties in life that accompany not having permission to drive.

I am thankful that people close to me have warned me against my actions. It means they care and what’s more it means they are thinking. But I cannot help to notice that in all of the warnings I received, there was never a moral argument against it. Nobody defended the current government monopoly of transportation or licensure in general. Every argument made to dissuade me was an argument of fear. Essentially, I was told I should continue obeying an immoral, dangerous, and inefficient system because of the repercussions I will face if I do not.

Perhaps it is my faith in God, or the knowledge that millions of men and women throughout the history of the world have risked everything for a little more freedom, that prevents me from kowtowing to a system I no longer consider legitimate. Whatever force that may be motivating me, I pray I have the strength and endurance to persevere through the coming storm that is facing me and the world in general.

Here is the online version of the letter to the editor published in the Auburn Journal: A License To Disobey Gov.

14 Responses to “Driver’s License Disobedience”

  1. JasonTX1No Gravatar says:

    Give ‘em hell!

    You’re not going to get gang-raped in prison for driving without a license, so you can tell all your mom’s friends to relax.

    If you really want to upset the apple cart, you might consider changing your name, but don’t file any State paperwork to do so. Why should you as a sovereign individual need the blessing of the State to call yourself something different?

    Pick a new name, let your current State-owned identity “expire” and break the bonds of slavery.

    Just a thought.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I know there are a lot of people in the anarchist community changing their names, but I don’t understand that. Is it to help mess up the paperwork? Anyways, I’m happy with my name. Glad to hear the punishment for driving without permission isn’t rape. Still, I suppose I’ll feel more comfortable in a New Hampshire jail than a California one.

    • trippwhyreNo Gravatar says:

      I agree that we do not need the state’s permission to call ourselves what we want. However, what happens when you apply for a job or go to a bank with a name that is not “legitimized” by the state?

  2. IntuitionNo Gravatar says:

    Yea, IMO, if you were in jail for that reason the other folks in jail would either think it was BS you were in jail for such little nonsense or respect you for saying “F the man”.

    I find it sad that all the comments on your letter have ignored morality. Not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      Can you see why I want to leave California?

    • unibongerNo Gravatar says:

      The comments are a direct result of the gov’t indoctrination centres, um I mean, public school system. Thankfully the odd person does figure it out. Check out this valedictorian speech http://americaviaerica.blogspot.com/2010/07/coxsackie-athens-vale dictorian-speech.html

      • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

        It’s funny you should say that. As I was reading the comments I couldn’t help but to feel I was back in high school. Pretty much any contrarian, intelligent thought was ridiculed. I’ll never forget the one time I spoke up in 11th grade english and told the teacher I thought it was bogus that we were having to learn what a simple sentence was. I said anybody who didn’t know what a simple sentence was at this point didn’t belong in the 11th grade. I was forever known as “bogus boy” thereafter.

  3. IntuitionNo Gravatar says:

    Absolutely agree on the public indoctrination centers. Every well-educated person comes to it on their own–mandatory anything is senseless, except mandating that people refrain from initiating force (or coercion) against anyone else.

  4. johnsm7No Gravatar says:

    W. Lee Hassell v. The State, 149 Tex. Crim. 333; 194 S.W. 2d 400. “An information alleging that the defendant operated a motor vehicle upon a highway without a “drivers license” was held insufficient to charge an offense since driver’s license is not known to law.” And… “There being no such license as a “driver’s” license known to the law, it follows that the information, in charging the driving of a motor vehicle upon a highway without such a license, charges no offense.”

    Keith Brooks v. State, 158 Tex. Crim. 546; 258 S.W. 2d 317.
    “An information charging the driving of a motor vehicle upon a public highway without a driver’s license charges no offense, as there is no such license as a driver’s license known to the law.”

    Claude D. Campbell v. State, 160 Tex. Crim. 627; 274 S.W. 2d 401. “We have held that there is no such license as a driver’s license known to our law.”

    Granted these are all Texas court cases, but it all has to do with legal definitions. The legal definitions are the same across states. Get a copy of Black’s Law Dictionary.

  5. randallstevensNo Gravatar says:

    Just out of curiosity, will you still carry automobile insurance? If so, how does your insurance carrier feel about you not having a license? I do not plan on renewing mine when it expires either, but I haven’t gone so far as to do any research about insurance coverage yet. I figure that insurance companies will use any excuse possible not to pay a claim and not having a license would probably violate their policies.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      To tell you the truth, I think I’m under my mother’s plan. She takes care of all of the insurance for the different automobiles. I don’t ever plan to purchase corporate insurance. I’m hoping some day in the not-too-distant future there will be underground insurance companies. I’ll buy those all day long.

      The vehicle I currently drive belongs to my parents and is registered under their name. This means they’re on the hook if the car gets impounded, which I’m not happy about. Hopefully soon I’ll scrape enough money together to get my own cheap car so that if it gets stolen by the police I can just let it go. I have a hard time with the idea of paying the towing company to get my own car back. Consequently, this means I’ll be driving cheap-o cars for a while to minimize the risk of theft.

      There is a moral here and that is I will purposely be driving an older and less safe vehicle because of fear of theft by the government. Does this remind you of anything? Maybe Haiti? There, everybody is in poverty because anybody who accumulates wealth without government permission will get it stolen from them.

      • Ya WooNo Gravatar says:

        Create a business, marketing, consulting, or get an EIN#, have the business as the registered/legal owner, have a written authorization permitting your using the car. You do not have to do business, just intend to. And with a business there will be certain expenses you can write of your taxes as well. And if it should get impounded the registered/legal owner can get it released in most instances. I have not had a drivers license since 1980. My automobile is in my business name, and I have written authorization to use the automobile, and as hard as I (sometimes try) my business can not make any $$$ or profit. And I am a commission agent for the company, but a terrible employee, I sometimes almost can meet expenses. Good luck to you

  6. deltajentNo Gravatar says:

    I live in the People’s Republic of Oregon and the “citizens” through their “representatives” have decided that in order to obtain or renew a driver’s license one must participate in a federal welfare program (Social Security) and supply the number furnished by the SS bureaucracy. Since I rescinded the number that was fraudulently issued to me some 50 years ago, I now use the public roads without benefit of State blessing.
    My “representative” is working on a legislative fix for those of use who have a moral or religious objection to the use of this number, but it may take longer than my lifetime to complete.

    I must say that since I have no desire to waste my time hassling with the court system, I do drive far more carefully than I did when I had a valid license.

    As for the insurance, I read my policy over carefully and found no requirement to possess a valid license. I have yet to check with the insurance company itself to verify coverage. I think it should depend on competence, not compliance with arbitrary State requirements, but that’s just me.

  7. RaleighNo Gravatar says:

    I have been curious about this for years. Keep us posted. I would love to hear how this works out for you. And I am tempted to do this myself. You have a right to travel under the Constitution, but some argue that you have a choice not to use public roads, and that’s how they get you. I look forward to the follow ups on this post. Thank you for your courage in doing what you think is right, damn the consequences… I like this site already!

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