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Author Topic: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states  (Read 10736 times)

hbelkins

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Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« on: March 05, 2014, 02:44:04 PM »

Google isn't being exactly helpful on this subject, so I'll ask.

Say State A has a driving age of X. State B has a driving age of X+1.

Can a legally licensed driver from State A drive in State B even if the driver does not meet the age requirement of State B?

I know things have changed with the advent of graduated licenses and age restrictions, but once upon a time some of the western states allowed people as young as 14 or 15 to obtain licenses. Could those drivers legally drive in a state like Kentucky, where the minimum age for a learner's permit for as long as I can remember has been 16 and the minimum age for a license was 16 years, 6 months?
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 02:46:38 PM »

I know I was told I could legally drive in Ohio when I was 15 and I had a valid Idaho driver's license, even though 15 is too young to drive in Ohio. I was told that I could not use my learner's permit in Ohio, though, since I was only 14.5 and 14.5 year olds couldn't have learners permits in Ohio.

I think a valid license is a valid license. A valid learners permit doesn't have the same reciprocity.

1995hoo

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 03:43:26 PM »

Some states do not allow you to drive if you're underage pursuant to their law even if you have a valid license from another state. New York State has such a law. Nobody under age 16 may legally drive in New York, even with a valid license from another state. (Source: http://dmv.ny.gov/node/75 ) I believe I read somewhere, I think in a AAA guide, that New York City prohibits anyone under age 18 from driving, even with a valid New York State license.

Some states will recognize learner's permits from another state as long as you adhere to the law of the state in which you are driving, which may be stricter than your home state. Ohio requires that the person sitting next to someone with a learner's permit be 21 years old, for example. (Source: http://bmv.ohio.gov/faq_driver_license.stm#tog ) Virginia's law is more relaxed and allows the person to be 18 if he is a close relative.

What's interesting about it is that it theoretically raises a constitutional issue under the Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, Section 1), which requires a state to recognize acts of other states. But there is Supreme Court case law dating back at least to 1939 that holds otherwise:

Quote
[T]here are some limitations upon the extent to which a state may be required by the full faith and credit clause to enforce even the judgment of another state in contravention of its own statutes or policy. And in the case of statutes, the extra-state effect of which Congress has not prescribed, as it may under the constitutional provision, we think the conclusion is unavoidable that the full faith and credit clause does not require one state to substitute for its own statute, applicable to persons and events within it, the conflicting statute of another state, even though that statute is of controlling force in the courts of the state of its enactment with respect to the same persons and events.

Pac. Employers Ins. Co. v. Indus. Acc. Comm'n of Cal., 306 U.S. 493, 502 (1939) (citations omitted).

Of course, there may be serious reason to question this principle in view of the Court's most recent decision on the homosexual-marriage issue.
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hbelkins

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 04:00:13 PM »

I am pretty sure that if your car has equipment legal in your state but illegal in another state, you can't legally drive that car in the state where it's illegal. I'm thinking about window tint in particular. If your tint is legal where you live but darker than is legal in another state, you can be ticketed in that state, and your valid registration in your home state is not a mitigating factor.

AAA cautions that New York's liability insurance laws apply to non-residents as well as residents. So if your state's minimum liability is less than NY's, you can't legally drive that car in NY.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 04:09:09 PM »

Of course, there may be serious reason to question this principle in view of the Court's most recent decision on the homosexual-marriage issue.
Not really. Anti-homo laws are being struck down by the application of strict scrutiny to show that the real purpose is tagging bees. But preventing a 14-year-old from driving in NYC has obvious safety benefits.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 04:37:14 PM »

What the fuck is "tagging bees"?
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 07:12:51 PM »

What the fuck is "tagging bees"?
He thinks he's being funny by switching consonants for a derogatory slur for the Tea Party. If we wouldn't allow such references on here normally, we're not allowing them just because they're dressed up in other verbiage.

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 08:32:20 PM »

When I had a learner's permit in Connecticut it was explicitly stated that it was only valid within the state of Connecticut.

Also interesting is that, at the time I was learning to drive, Connecticut would only issue learners permits to minors, and they expired on your 18th birthday. If you were an adult in Connecticut you could legally do everything a learner's permit allowed without actually having a permit. I'm guessing this law has since changed - my learner's permit was a flimsy piece of paper with nothing but text on it, CT learner's permits today are full blown photo IDs.


I can also confirm it's true that you cannot drive in New York City (technically I believe it's one of those state laws that says "a city of 1 million people or greater") if you're under 18, even if you have a valid license from elsewhere.


What I wonder is how teen driving restrictions would work. Let's say State A and State B both have a driving age of 16. State A says you can't drive with passengers under the age of 18 until you've had your license for 3 months, State B says you can't drive with passengers under the age of 18 until you've had your license for 6 months. Someone who has had a license from State A for 4 months drives with a passenger under 18 into State B. Is that legal?

I'd probably assume that as far as teen driving rules go, they would have to apply based on the state you are in, not the state you have your license in. After all, a state can only enforce it's own laws. I would see it as akin to having a license from a state that has no ban on texting while driving, and then getting pulled over for such in a state that does have such a ban. The ticket is legit.

Basically, full faith and credit requires states to honor licenses from other states, but it does not prohibit them from applying the same restrictions they apply to their drivers to drivers from out of state.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 10:16:58 PM »

What the fuck is "tagging bees"?
He thinks he's being funny by switching consonants for a derogatory slur for the Tea Party. If we wouldn't allow such references on here normally, we're not allowing them just because they're dressed up in other verbiage.

I will point out that my comment that apparently provoked him was an entirely unpolitical comment—I simply noted that the Supreme Court's DOMA opinion, which related to the controversy over homosexual marriage, may raise doubt over the continued validity of the principle discussed in the older Supreme Court opinion I quoted. Of course I also know NE2 apparently doesn't need much reason to make angry comments and I don't take his little screeds all that seriously.

I think the final paragraph of Duke87's post should be an accurate statement of the law, and I know some police departments in Virginia have relied on that rationale as the basis for issuing tint tickets to out-of-state motorists. But it's not necessarily clear just how far the principle would extend if someone with the time, money, and nothing better to do decided to fight this sort of thing.
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NE2

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 10:45:13 PM »

I did answer the question. You don't have to get your bonnets in a beehive.
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Duke87

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 11:52:17 PM »

I simply noted that the Supreme Court's DOMA opinion, which related to the controversy over homosexual marriage, may raise doubt over the continued validity of the principle discussed in the older Supreme Court opinion I quoted.

If my understanding of the situation is correct, the case in the 1939 decision was about which state's laws about workman's comp should apply to an individual who was temporarily relocated for business. They conlcuded that since he was injured in California, California's workman's comp applies, not Massachussets', which is where his permanent residence is. i.e., California gets to apply their own law in their own state regardless of what state the subject is a resident of.

I don't see the same-sex marriage case as quite the same thing - a perfect analogy would be a same-sex couple who lives in a state where same-sex marriage is legal attempting to get married in a state where it isn't. That hasn't happened (why would it?), what we are dealing with here is whether states must honor marriages performed in other states, even if they are illegal under their own law. The courts have been deciding that the answer is "yes".

This does more closely parallel the issue at hand with drivers licenses. Logically, if you got married in New York but would not be eligible to do so Georgia, and Georgia must honor your marriage anyway - then if you got a drivers license in Georgia but would not be eligible to do so in New York, you would think New York must honor it anyway. Perhaps the courts would rule as such if someone were to seriously take New York to task on this, but that is unlikely to happen given the nature of the law only impacting a small number of minors, and the fact that the consequences for violating it are no more than a traffic ticket.


Although, it's also worth considering that marriage is in general considered to be a right - while there will be restrictions on who you can marry and when, no individual can be permanently barred from getting married under any circumstances. On the other hand, it is often emphasized that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege - your license to drive can be suspended and even permanently revoked, and you can be deemed ineligible to ever have one if you are unable to pass a road test, vision test, etc. Because of this it is not necessarily inconsistent if the courts treat it differently.


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Jardine

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 12:00:44 AM »

I'm sure I will have trouble finding the reference, but I am sure there is (or was) a man serving time in a Nebraska prison for sex with an underage female, even though the man had a legal State of Kansas marriage certificate to the female. He should have stayed in Kansas, as it turns out.

Nebraska has also, IIRC, had some issue with Somali immigrants with underage and/or multiple wives, despite the legality of their situations in the nations (which I realize are not also US states) they are from.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 12:22:45 AM »

There are bee-taggers near me that set up tables full of literature about their so-called vision who won't stop nagging me to join them.  Like I'm going to put a hive on my frigging roof and start thinking of them as pets and it's going to change my life.  They're almost as bad as the LaRouche nuts.
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1995hoo

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 08:02:35 AM »

I don't think the issues are exactly the same either. I simply think there may (and I emphasize "may") be reason to question the continued viability of the principle of a state being able to disregard another state's valid action in light of portions of the Supreme Court's latest reasoning.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2014, 08:40:20 AM »

Anywayyyyyyyy.....

Glancing thru NJ's laws, I think the rule is contained within statute 39:5-1(b)(2): Make the reciprocal recognition of licenses to drive and eligibility therefor more just and equitable by considering the over-all compliance with motor vehicle laws, ordinances and administrative rules and regulations as a condition precedent to the continuance or issuance of any license by reason of which the licensee is authorized or permitted to operate a motor vehicle in any  of the party States.

I'm not a lawyer, but it sounds close enough.

Additionally, in a practical sense, PA has historically had a lower driving age than NJ.  Lots of PA teens drive to the Jersey Shore in the summertime, and I've never read or heard of an instance where they weren't permitted to drive because their age is lower than the age NJ teens are permitted to drive.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 10:29:18 AM »

Ahh, don't you love the supposedly banned political discussion going on here?  "homos", "bee taggers", SCOTUS rulings...all stuff that is germane to a road forum I guess...LOL!

Rick
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 10:54:18 AM »

Ahh, don't you love the supposedly banned political discussion going on here?  "homos", "bee taggers", SCOTUS rulings...all stuff that is germane to a road forum I guess...LOL!

Rick

It's not quite that simple. Obviously, Supreme Court rulings can very well be quite germane to a road forum. In some cases it might be direct—for example, Bibb v. Navajo Freight Lines, Inc., 359 U.S. 520 (1959), involved the application of the Dormant Commerce Clause to strike down an Illinois law mandating a particular type of truck mud flap that was not required by any other state and that was specifically banned in at least one other state. In other cases it can be indirect. My point in quoting the 1939 case was simply to note that there is a line of case law holding that a state is not necessarily required to give effect to acts of other states if they violate a strong public policy or the like. This is no doubt one way State A can make it illegal for someone with a valid driver's license from State B to drive in State A if the person is below the legal age in State B or some such. My mention of the DOMA case was because DOMA was premised on precisely that idea—it said that no state had to recognize homosexual marriage performed in other states if doing so violated statutes or public policy (and regardless of your opinion on the issue, let's face it—just about every state either defined or defines marriage as between a man and a woman). The Supreme Court struck it down, and now other courts are extending that to say that the other states that do not recognize homosexual marriage must do so.

Obviously a driver's license is a different issue from marriage, but the point is simply the constitutional issue underpinning the analysis, which is an issue that will no doubt continue to evolve. It's not unusual for a legal principle to find application to very disparate fact patterns. Frankly, if you do legal research in some southern states, you'll find various property law cases from the 1800s that are still good law even though they relate to ownership of slaves and slavery is clearly banned now. You have to separate the repugnant factual scenario of a human being owned as a chattel from the legal analysis regarding ownership of property. It isn't always easy to do!

The moderators haven't reprimanded me for my original comment, which leads me to conclude they don't have a problem with it. If I'm mistaken, they can delete or edit my posts. As far as certain replies go....well, that's up to the moderators too. Just because certain posters are unable to restrain themselves from being childish is not a reason to assume the original comment was out of line. Now, if I had referred to the homosexual-marriage issue as "sodomy-based marriages" (as I heard a commentator do), that would be a very different situation because it would be a comment clearly made to provoke. But "homosexual marriage" is a neutral and accurate expression.


Anyway, returning to driver's licenses....I'd be interested in knowing how many people over the years have been ticketed or arrested for driving "underage" while possessing a valid license. I don't know how one would find that information, though. To be clear, what I'm envisioning is that someone who is, say, 15 years old with a valid license from State A drives into another state where the minimum age to drive is 16 (say, New York, using the example I cited earlier), gets pulled over for speeding, and then gets arrested for illegally operating a motor vehicle while underage. I'd be further interested in knowing how the courts have ruled on such things. Nowadays it wouldn't be hard to envision someone with too much time on his hands trying to fight a case like that through the appellate process (that guy in California who keeps trying to fight the Pledge of Allegiance comes to mind as the type of guy who might do this), but of course the practical difficulty here is that the typical person who would be affected by this sort of thing—a teenage kid—won't have the money for an attorney and most adults won't feel strongly enough about the issue for it to matter.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 11:20:02 AM »

...To be clear, what I'm envisioning is that someone who is, say, 15 years old with a valid license from State A drives into another state where the minimum age to drive is 16...

It may be a matter of wording.  In most states (let's exclude NYC here), I believe the wording is "the minimum age to OBTAIN a drivers license".  While a lot of people may talk about the penalities for underage driving, what they are really talking about is the penalities for driving without a valid license.  In many states, there's an additional penalty if the driver without a valid license is under a specific age. 

Going back to my post, I would imagine most or all states are similiar to NJ in having some sort of reciprocal recognition of licenses.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 11:21:42 AM »

On the other end of the spectrum, some states require drivers of a certain age to be retested in some fashion before they can renew their license.  In states that don't require such testing, there's no issues with those drivers driving in states that require such testing.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 11:28:19 AM »

I don't quite get the "bee tagging" thing either. 
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 11:37:09 AM »

...To be clear, what I'm envisioning is that someone who is, say, 15 years old with a valid license from State A drives into another state where the minimum age to drive is 16...

It may be a matter of wording.  In most states (let's exclude NYC here), I believe the wording is "the minimum age to OBTAIN a drivers license".  While a lot of people may talk about the penalities for underage driving, what they are really talking about is the penalities for driving without a valid license.  In many states, there's an additional penalty if the driver without a valid license is under a specific age. 

Going back to my post, I would imagine most or all states are similiar to NJ in having some sort of reciprocal recognition of licenses.


Take a look at the link in my first post in this thread. I'll quote the paragraph containing the link for convenience. When you click the link, note the footnote.

Some states do not allow you to drive if you're underage pursuant to their law even if you have a valid license from another state. New York State has such a law. Nobody under age 16 may legally drive in New York, even with a valid license from another state. (Source: http://dmv.ny.gov/node/75 ) I believe I read somewhere, I think in a AAA guide, that New York City prohibits anyone under age 18 from driving, even with a valid New York State license.

....
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 12:03:49 PM »

...To be clear, what I'm envisioning is that someone who is, say, 15 years old with a valid license from State A drives into another state where the minimum age to drive is 16...

It may be a matter of wording.  In most states (let's exclude NYC here), I believe the wording is "the minimum age to OBTAIN a drivers license".  While a lot of people may talk about the penalities for underage driving, what they are really talking about is the penalities for driving without a valid license.  In many states, there's an additional penalty if the driver without a valid license is under a specific age. 

Going back to my post, I would imagine most or all states are similiar to NJ in having some sort of reciprocal recognition of licenses.


Take a look at the link in my first post in this thread. I'll quote the paragraph containing the link for convenience. When you click the link, note the footnote.

Some states do not allow you to drive if you're underage pursuant to their law even if you have a valid license from another state. New York State has such a law. Nobody under age 16 may legally drive in New York, even with a valid license from another state. (Source: http://dmv.ny.gov/node/75 ) I believe I read somewhere, I think in a AAA guide, that New York City prohibits anyone under age 18 from driving, even with a valid New York State license.

....

"Ah", says me who now clicks on the footnote.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 01:59:43 PM »

I think New York's basically the exception to the rule though.  I was already aware of that rule, but while I haven't researched all 50 states, I've yet to come across another one with a similar rule.  Generally speaking, if you have a valid license, you're free to drive anywhere (except NY), but the same does not hold true for learner's permits.
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Re: Driving ages and reciprocity between the states
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 02:54:48 PM »

I think New York's basically the exception to the rule though.  I was already aware of that rule, but while I haven't researched all 50 states, I've yet to come across another one with a similar rule.  Generally speaking, if you have a valid license, you're free to drive anywhere (except NY), but the same does not hold true for learner's permits.

Yeah, I will freely admit that, given my age, I have had no reason to worry about that issue and so haven't looked into it in any great detail!
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

 


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