The Tyranny of Vehicle Registration

Liberty activist Michele Seven recently had her truck and boat impounded by the Chesterfield, New Hampshire Police Department (and subsequently by the Dublin, NH PD) because she refused to “ask permission to use” her personal property.

Most people don’t give vehicle registration a second thought – it is accepted as something that MUST be done. While every State in these United States and the District of Columbia have statutes mandating vehicle registration, have you ever thought “why must one register a vehicle?” The simple answer is, “money” though a more complex answer involves some background information.

In 1892 the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill creating a Commission of Inquiry to report on the condition of roads in the Commonwealth that were becoming congested with automobiles, horse drawn carriages and pedestrians. The Commission reported that more than 90 percent of the roads were in poor condition and would only deteriorate further with continual heavy and unregulated use. The investigation led to the creation of the Massachusetts Highway Commission (MHC).[MassDOT] The Massachusetts DOT claims, that “no laws were governing the rules of the road which led to a great deal of confusion on the thoroughfares as well as a lack of public safety.” And in 1903 Massachusetts became the first State to issue licenses and registration plates for an automobile.

The ever popular “it’s for your own safety” excuse was used to mandate vehicle registration. Though vehicle registration does not guarantee “public safety” though it does provide a nice database of vehicle owners. Vehicle Registration (lack thereof or improperly displayed registration) also gives police a “justifiable” reason for stopping a motorist in an attempt to raise more revenue. Vehicle registration also unfairly taxes people that don’t use the roads as often as others. Michele Seven writes, “I understand that the roads need to be maintained and believe that until private roads, funding and maintenance are the standard; the use of fuel tax, which correlates to one’s actual use of the road, is the most equitable”

Mandatory registration of any kind is unjust, whether it be registration of vehicle, firearm or business. If you want your State legislature to take action on this injustice you may wish to circulate the following petition:

“We, the undersigned, hereby request that vehicle registration, including, but not limited to: automobiles, motorcycles, and recreation vehicles, be voluntary and the fees be, as well.”