Right to travel

“All men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”

The United States Supreme Court has stated:
“The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by horse drawn carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city can prohibit or permit at will, but a common Right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Thompson vs. Smith, 154 SE 579

In other words, “You don’t need a driver’s licence to travel by unregistered automobile on public roads and highways.” A driver’s licence is permission from the state to conduct business as a paid employee, transporting people or goods on the highways for profit.

The legal deception is almost always in the definitions of words used in the statues. If you are told you are subject to certain statutes, and you believe you are subject without reading them and understanding them, and then you voluntarily and legally declare that you are subject to them, then that makes you subject to them, regardless of any double minded beliefs to the contrary, no matter how passionate your beliefs are. You have testified against yourself and given up your rights.

The supreme court has defined “automobile:” “The word `automobile’ connotes a pleasure vehicle designed for the transportation of persons on highways.”
American Mutual Liability Ins. Co., vs. Chaput, 60 A.2d 118, 120; 95 NH 200

And “motor vehicle” is according the Code of Federal Regulations Title 18 USC 31:
“Motor vehicle” means every description or other contrivance propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used for commercial purposes on the highways in the transportation of passengers, or passengers and property. “Used for commercial purposes” means the carriage of persons or property for any fare, fee, rate, charge or other considerations, or directly or indirectly in connection with any business, or other undertaking intended for profit.

Reference is made to the Internet source of these quotations, http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/DLbrief.shtml, accessed March 4, 2015.

What changes the legal status of an automobile into a motor vehicle? Why, you inform the government by way of motor vehicle registration that said automobile is to be treated as a motor vehicle under the statutes, and subject to the statutes of motor vehicles, (in Tennessee Title 55.) It is what you declare it to be, and if you declare it to be a motor vehicle, then so it is. Are you required to register an automobile? Only if you intend to use it for commerce on the highways. They control your automobiles as motor vehicles with your consent.

Now, in accordance with the do-it-first leadership principle, I can report what I have done. I came to Tennessee in January of 2012, exercising my right to travel for personal reasons. Since then I have asked the U.S. federal government for permission to stay here, which I shouldn’t have done because that was my right, but I was poorly informed of my rights. They have occasionally granted me permission, and also denied permission. Through the years I have driven motor vehicles with my Saskatchewan driver’s licence.

Immigrants are supposed to trade in their driver’s licence from their country of origin for a state driver’s licence within three months of arrival. I am not an immigrant, and I do not wish to become an immigrant. So I have been travelling with my Saskatchewan driver’s licence in the United States for the past three years, and using said licence to satisfy the various requests for identification from law enforcement and from local businesses. It has satisfied their requests every time.

I won’t go into much detail about my current travelling arrangements so as not to testify against myself with evidence permissible in court, but I will say that before I do anything, my plan is to finish my gasifier and then to initiate communications with the offices of the attorneys general of the United States and the State of Tennessee, to inform them of my understanding and intent, and to claim certain rights. As always, I will report back with my experiences. I am in the process of doing my due diligence.

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Brian, you should realize this is “letter of the law” thinking… ie if I can prove myself to a judge on this technicality then it must be OK. That never holds up in court. If they want you in jail, there’s where you’ll go. Driving without a license is a sure way to find this out.

Legal or not, this behavior is inadvisable and foolish. Please don’t promote it any more on this forum. Thanks.


Don’t get me wrong. I’m not angry and I have no feud with anyone.I have read all the pages I could on this new forum, and I have no access to the old site. I wasn’t aware of any taboo subjects. I wish to open this topic of conversation because I read that some folks were having problems with the legality of their wood gas vehicles, and I think that it is a worthy topic of discussion. I will gladly waive my right to free speech on this forum if you can do two things for me: show me the applicable rules that I agreed to that would forbid me to write about the applicability of state statutes, and also I have a question. You said, “if they want you in jail, there’s where you’ll go.” Are you saying that the police have the right to arrest anyone for any reason and to incarcerate them indefinitely with impunity and with no due process of law?

Of course, I would never advise anyone drive without a valid driver’s licence: that’s a violation of the motor vehicle statute; in Tennessee Title 55.


I can’t put my hands on it at this moment, but I’ll bet there’s a “TERMS OF SERVICE” agreement or something for this site that we all have to consent to. Chris will know. I’ll further assume that there is probably language in there that limits the scope of discussions, even in off-topic areas.

I’m no fan of government nanny regulations, but governments being what they are, all tend to gravitate in the same direction. Prudence dictates discretion in dealing with well-armed, well-funded authorities.

“Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.”

  • Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police
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What I love about this site is I get to learn about turning wood into shaft power.


As we’re transitioning the site, you will see multiple converging TOS, FAQ, and privacy policy pages. I haven’t got everything tuned just right, but here’s the links:


And a quote:

Forum rules: Please respect other members! Insulting another person or being disrespectful on this site for any reason will not be tolerated.

  • Do not post links to porn, warez or other degrading or controversial images or links here. Spam will not be tolerated.
    - This is a woodgas forum and not a forum to discuss politics or debate in heated arguments.
  • This is an international forum and I expect everyone to be proud of where they are from, but not to say anything disrespectful about a fellow member’s country, accent, race, spelling, or intelligence.
  • If you want to talk about the latest news, that’s fine, but all topics that get into debate territory will be removed.
  • Please try and keep this place a friendly environment. If you really feel the need to vent, rant, complain, or insult someone, do it elsewhere.

[emphasis added]

This is definitely a debatable claim (drivers licenses are optional); also “bending the law” falls very close to political discussion, in my mind.

Taboo is the wrong word. It’s unproductive and irrelevant to the purposes of this forum, which are very clear. Even off-topic posts must serve some constructive purpose.

Nobody’s expressly forbidden to talk about state statutes, or laws in general. Does it have to be illegal for you to stop? Or can you take a hint? I did ask nicely…

Don’t inflate what I said. All I said was, if they want you in jail, that’s where you’ll go. Pretty simple.

Whether it’s right or wrong, legal or otherwise, is irrelevant and I didn’t address it. I stated a fact.

Flouting any authority is a recipe for trouble. I don’t want troublemaking promoted here. There are other places to do that.

I think that there has been a misunderstanding. I am not promoting driving without a licence, nor flouting authority, and I do not wish to engage in political debates.I am definitely not the first person to openly and lawfully travel in an automobile on public roads with no driver’s licence. And there has been some talk about the legality of woodgas vehicles and liability insurance. I maintain that these are worthy topics of discussion, and I promise not to promote trouble making, illegal activity, flouting authority, or to debate politics.

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You don’t?

That’s opposite what I understood from your initial posting, in fact this whole topic.

I must have misunderstood you completely. For that I apologize. You’ve been extremely civil while I wrote heated words. Thanks for keeping a cool head.

You’re of course free to continue the discussion, while abiding by the aforementioned rules.