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Experienced User
Username: stevenbrown

Post Number: 42
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 23 December, 2008 - 19:14:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I'm having a small issue. I live in 3 sometimes 4 U.S states and have "legal" residence in Canada. I have a valid Canadian driver's license, its convenient to be "resident" at least someplace. for snail mail, bank statements, credit bills, and other paper trail. I have a girl who looks and files that stuff, forwards important needed, etcetera. Without this, would not get important more personnel mail, income tax would be forgot!

About 2004 renewed driver's license and received a paper temporary permit, valid identification with passport. Got pulled over for B.S reason. Received ticket for "no drivers license on person" Did not bother arguing. Went to court house to take care of it, showed had permit and photo id. Girl said dispute the ticket and I'll just put it as you won. Fine.

So I'm driving the other day, and running late, deserve speeding ticket. But don't need the hassle of having a license suspended for not paying the "no license on person" criminal citation. Go to arraignment because its a misdemeanor up to 90 days in jail if found guilty. So I'm ticked, but can be polite when warranted. See prosecutor at "arraignment". Tell him the "story", he's not interested and informs: "you lost the dispute". I had a paper permit that said valid as a driver's license with identification "passport". Still says it does not matter. I sort of lost the temper and told him he must not have gone to a very good law school. Judge also being a little bit unreasonable because I'm stubborn and refuse to plead guilty. Said: "for wasting time asking for a trial, when your found guilty I'll make sure you spend the full 90 days" "you could send me to GITMO for 20 years, I'll never give up!"

Seems Washington State creates a driver's license number in your name, record your traffic offenses. When you fail to pay they suspend that license. Not your nonresident. American law, a driver's license is significant private interest. Before the state suspends, the give you due process. Problem I was driving a rental car with the original ticket, that led to this hassle. Gets worse: RCW 46.20.320 provides that:

"Any suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a vehicle driver's license shall be in effect notwithstanding the certificate itself is not delivered over or possession thereof obtained by a court, officer, or the director."

The licensing authority who created the license has a policy when they see a "new" address for a licensee, they update their records. Have a readiness hearing tomorrow, cause I'm going to trial, if lose, I'll appeal, lose, I'll appeal, lose. I will go to Federal court. So I'm angry, just the your guilty and we sent you notice we have you red handed. I discovered that state law a driver's license issued by their department without licensee supporting identity documentation cant be used for identification purposes. RCW 46.23.010 provides in relevant part that:

"6) If the applicant is unable to prove his or her identity under this section, the department shall plainly label the license "not valid for identification purposes."

Also discovered Canada, The United States and 149 other countries have signed The Convention on Road Traffic (1949); 3 UST 3008; TIAS 2487; 125 UNTS 22. The Supremacy Clause is the common name given to Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, in relevant part that:

"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 establishes, the Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. treaties as "the supreme law of the land." see: Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 (1920); Eskew v Young, 992 F Supp 1049, 1052-1053 (SD Ill, 1998); Schofield v Hertz Corp, 201 Ga App 830, 831-832; 412 SE 2d 853 (1991).3; Asakura v. City of Seattle, 265 U.S. 332 (1924). The Convention on Road Traffic (1949); 3 UST 3008; TIAS 2487; 125 UNTS 22. Article 24 in relevant parts that:

"1. Each Contracting State shall allow any driver admitted to its territory who fulfills the conditions which are set out in Annex 8 and who holds a valid driving permit issued to him, after he has given proof of his competence, by the competent authority of another Contracting State or subdivision thereof, or by an Association duly empowered by such authority, to drive on its roads without further examination motor vehicles of the category or categories defined in Annexes 9 and 10 for which the permit has been issued."

5. A Contracting State or a subdivision thereof may withdraw from the driver the right to use either of the above mentioned permits only if the driver has committed a driving offense of such a nature as would entail the forfeiture of his driving permit under the legislation and regulations of that Contracting State. In such an event, the Contracting State or subdivision thereof withdrawing the use of the permit may withdraw and retain the permit until the period of the withdrawal of use expires or until the holder leaves the territory of that Contracting State, whichever is the earlier, and may record such withdrawal of use on the permit and communicate the name and address of the driver to the authority which issued the permit."

Moral of the story. I'm glad I have a pretty good chance of winning. When you leave your "country" check and see what could help you when hassled by local "police", etcetera.
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Bill Payne
Experienced User
Username: wimpy

Post Number: 15
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Tuesday, 23 December, 2008 - 21:52:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Were both of these tickets in Washington state?

Have a cousin who got a speeding ticket, hired a lawyer in the jurisdiction who asked for several continuances. As a result of moving, cousin didn't receive the notice to appear. Was in the area almost 2 years later, got stopped, arrested, spent 2 nights in jail because of the outstanding failure to appear conviction.

Reciprocity in the states can be a bitch. I drive for a living in both Carolinas, got stopped in SC for 74 mph in 45 by a deputy sheriff, advised me to ask for a reduction(54 in 45),pay the fine and nothing would appear in my home state(NC)license file.

These states have reciprocity, resulting in the infraction appearing immediately in my file. The next ticket becomes an onerous burden due to potential horrendous increases in insurance premiums.

The moral of my story...Hire a local lawyer who makes the proper payments to the appropriate people and the ticket(s) will simply go away.

In most jurisdictions, you can't ask for a jury trial as the system is really set up to generate the optimum(not maximum)revenue with the least amount of judicial time. Get the suckers into the plea area, bunch of junior DAs offer a reduction of infraction and costs and collect the money.

Good Luck!

(Message edited by wimpy on 23 December 2008)
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Experienced User
Username: stevenbrown

Post Number: 43
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, 25 December, 2008 - 04:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP


The ticket led to a misdemeanor criminal charge. I frequently travel across the US/Canadian border. So a charge and conviction would likely become a real issue with customs agents. On the charge it can be a jury of 6. If pay the past ticket, then I'm "guilty" enough for them to convict. So made an objection that the state licensing cannot use a state license number for identification purpose. The state admitted this is not a driver's license. Yet the charge is driving with that very license being suspended. Readiness hearing so if they want to go further and they do. Thinking of hiring a lawyer to sue them and the department of licensing in Federal court, along with the state. In trial brief I'm going to argue that this administrative tool robs the state of its due process because it violates individuals rights in their name secured under both U.S and State Constitutions................... Their case is weak because he mentioned the original plea deal offered would have been easier and less expensive for me! Being found not guilty is worth every penny I have was my counter.