pageok
pageok
pageok
Interstate Recognition of Licenses:

A reader asks:

Could you possibly cover the subject of states recognizing other state licenses? I have a driver's license from state A that state B must recognize. I have a marriage license from state A that state B must recognize. I have a carry license from state A that state B refuses to recognize. Why? How can this be changed?

The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution generally requires states to recognize out-of-state court judgments. There is, if I recall correctly, some authority (though not completely clear) that a state must also recognize out-of-state marriages.

But the Constitution otherwise leaves each state with the authority to decide who is licensed to do what within that state. Congress may in many situations preempt such licensing with federal legislation. If the activity is constitutionally protected, a state by definition may not interfere with it through a discretionary licensing scheme -- a state may not, for instance, require a discretionary license to publish newspapers (though it may sometimes require speakers to get licenses that must be issued under content-neutral conditions, for instance parade permits). And in some situations, if the activity is interstate and a licensing requirement will gravely and without adequate justification burden the activity, the state rule may violate the dormant Commerce Clause. But those are exceptions; the rule is that a state decides for itself who is licensed to do things there.

Thus, a state has no constitutional obligation to recognize driver's licenses from other states. I'm not sure whether there's some federal law mandating such recognition, or whether states just do it as a matter of "comity," which is to say out of a desire to work well with other states (and to get reciprocity for their own citizens). But in any event, such recognition was a democratic choice, not a constitutional command. Likewise, states can often do refuse to recognize out-of-state professional licenses, such as licenses to practice law or medicine.

So how can one get one's licensed recognized in another state? Well, if courts conclude that there's a constitutional right not just to own a gun but to carry one on one's person -- which a very few state courts have, some as to a right to carry open and one as to a right to carry concealed -- then the question will become moot: One then wouldn't need a license to carry concealed (or at least would be categorically entitled to such a license upon showing that one is a law-abiding adult and perhaps paying a nominal fee).

But if that doesn't happen, then the answer to "How can this be changed?" is through state-by-state legislation, and possibly also federal legislation (for instance, legislation conditioning various kinds of funding on a state's willingness to recognize out-of-state licenses). Not very likely at the federal level, I realize, but my understanding is that many states have indeed provided for recognition of out-of-state licenses, especially if the other state reciprocally recognizes such licenses.

BruceM (mail) (www):
As I recall from ConLaw, the basic rule is that a state has to recognize a license or privilege granted by another state unless it has a articulable, rational reason not to.
7.18.2007 3:50am
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
There is a uniform driver's license reciprocity act - I forget its actual name - that all or nearly all the states have enacted.See also UNIFORM COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE ACT. Ah, here's utah's: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53/53_03.htm
Loaded question: can states require voting licenses?
7.18.2007 5:07am
PersonFromPorlock:

Loaded question: can states require voting licenses?

Don't they already? What's voter registration if not a license to vote in a particular place?
7.18.2007 5:17am
D K Warren (mail):
In interpreting the Full Faith &Credit Clause, the courts have said that states are not required to automatically accept another state's laws if to do so runs afoul of the second state's own laws. In other words, the clause only requires that the second state enforce the first state's laws only to the same extent as the second state enforces its own laws in the same matter.

Up until 1967 when the miscegenation laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, many states refused to recognize any interracial marriages that were made in other states. Couples had to fight for their rights on a state-by-state basis.

This same phenomenon has occurred over same-sex marriages.

"The Supreme Court has clearly established that 'the Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require a State to apply another State's law in violation of its own legitimate public policy.' Nevada v. Hall, 440 U.S. at 422, 99 S.Ct. 1182 (citing Pacific Ins. Co., 306 U.S. at 493, 59 S.Ct. 629). Florida is not required to recognize or apply Massachusetts' same-sex marriage law because it clearly conflicts with Florida's legitimate public policy of opposing same-sex marriage."


Wilson v. Ake, 354 F.Supp.2d 1298 (M.D. Fla. 2005) (holding that the federal Defense Of Marriage Act does not violate the Full Faith &Credit Clause).
7.18.2007 6:18am
NicholasV (mail) (www):
Well, if courts conclude that there's a constitutional right not just to own a gun but to carry one on one's person -- which a very few state courts have, some as to a right to carry open and one as to a right to carry concealed -- then the question will become moot: One then wouldn't need a license to carry concealed (or at least would be categorically entitled to such a license upon showing that one is a law-abiding adult and perhaps paying a nominal fee).

Now, I'm just a lay-person, but I can use a dictionary. The second amendment says (emphasis mine):

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

And the dictionary (dictionary.com) says, ignoring non-applicable meanings:

bare (v):
1. to hold up; support: to bear the weight of the roof.
7. to hold or carry (oneself, one's body, one's head, etc.): to bear oneself erectly.
12. to carry; bring: to bear gifts.

So, it doesn't seem entirely clear whether concealed carry is a constitutional right, but the ability to carry a weapon certainly seems to be one. Am I missing something? How can you read the amendment such that you believe it makes owning a weapon to be a right, but not carrying it, at least in plain view?
7.18.2007 7:09am
Dave1L (mail) (www):
Not to be too pedantic about this, but I know of no dictionary that includes that definition of bare. However the vast majority of dictionaries have similar definitions of bear.

To answer your substantive question, there are a variety of interpretations of the reading of the clause, involving founder's intent literal interpretation, etc. Wikipedia seems to have a decently balanced view of the variety of interpretations of the 2nd amendment aimed at a layperson. If you actually are interested in the answer to your question and not asking it rhetorically to make some sort of political point, you might start there.
7.18.2007 8:37am
AntonK (mail):
NicholasV: I'd stay as far away from Wikipedia as possible. Go here for a good primer on the 2nd Amendment
7.18.2007 9:15am
NicholasV (mail) (www):
Sorry, I had to retype the word since I didn't want to paste all sorts of unnecessary mark-up and such, and made a mistake.

Yes, I am interested in the answer, but am pretty bewildered since the meaning seems rather plain to me. It's not like I have to re-read the sentence multiple times because I can't understand what it's trying to say.. hence, I don't see a lot of room for ambiguity.

I will check out the links.
7.18.2007 9:20am
TheGoodReverend (mail) (www):
Wouldn't a state refusing to recognize out-of-state drivers' licenses implicate the right to travel and the dormant commerce clause?
7.18.2007 9:32am
NicholasV (mail) (www):
Heh.. I went and read Anton's link and I came across a discussion which linked to here. The name Eugene Volokh rings a bell. Where have I heard it before?

BTW I am not American, so it doesn't have a very big effect on me one way or another, but I must say that I find much of the language in the U.S. constitution relatively easy to understand, and am constantly scratching my head at the many ways it is interpreted.

I could believe that maybe back when those words were written, they were generally understood to mean something else. But otherwise I don't see how one could argue that an amendment doesn't mean exactly what it says.
7.18.2007 9:33am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I would guess that the above poster is right, and that the Dormant Commerce Clause is really the reason that drivers' licenses work state to state. Imagine the problem if they didn't - you would have to take the tests, pay the fees, etc. every time you crossed into a new state. Driving along the East Coast of this country could cause you to do that up to maybe a half dozen times in one day (ok, maybe an exaggeration). But I do cross through four states to get from CO to Las Vegas, and a similar number of states driving from here to Phoenix and back. And what happens if you have all the kids loaded in the car, are taking such a trip, and end up failing one state's driving test?

The interstate pact that other posters mention is a bit different. It really doesn't affect whether you can drive across different states, but rather what happens when you get a speeding ticket in one in which you don't live.

I can remember a time some 30+ years ago, when I got a ticket outside of Cheyenne, WY, and the cop followed me all the way into town, and made sure he saw me put cash into the envelope he provided and put it in a mailbox. My choice was to spend the night in jail, and get bailed out a couple days later the next time court was in session. He was just making sure that the state of Wyoming was going to get paid for that speeding ticket. And that is what the interstate pact does, if both states belong, then you don't have to post bail, but if you don't pay your ticket or show up in court, then the points end up on your license (or something like that). Note though that the pact is voluntary among the states, and if both states haven't joined, you face the sort of situation I ran into above.
7.18.2007 9:47am
JB:
It seems to me that the right to bare arms would preclude constitutional protection for concealed carry permits.
7.18.2007 9:54am
uh clem (mail):
Thus, a state has no constitutional obligation to recognize driver's licenses from other states. I'm not sure whether there's some federal law mandating such recognition, or whether states just do it as a matter of "comity," which is to say out of a desire to work well with other states (and to get reciprocity for their own citizens).

I haven't researched this in detail, but were I going to I'd look at federal highway funding legislation first. There are many things mandated by the fed in order for states to receive federal highway funds (e.g. minimum driving age, seat belt usage, max speed limits, blood alcohol limits, etc.) The states have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get their federal highway dollars, so I'd be surprised if there wasn't something about license reciprocity.

The interesting thing is that reciprocity occurs at the international level as well as the state level - my Michigan drivers license is recognized in Germany (for instance) and any citizen with a valid license from their own country can drive here (probably some exceptions, don't take my word for it, IANAL anyway).

Not so with most other licenses (fishing, law practice, etc.) For instance, I can't drive a motorboat in the Toronto Harbour - you need a special Harbour license for that.

So motor vehicle driver's licenses are somewhat of a special case. I know of no other license where international reciprocity is the norm. If you want to talk about how concealed carry permits should be recognized across jurisdictions, it makes more sense to look at the hundreds of other permits and licensing schemes rather than the special case of driver's licenses.
7.18.2007 10:43am
Rubber Goose (mail):
It's also somewhat interesting that all states, whether by statute or simply for reciprocity, recognize out-of-state licenses for driving, but many don't accept them for the simple purpose of identification/age verification - try buying alcohol in Massachusetts with an out-of-state license and you won't get very far.
7.18.2007 10:48am
Houston Lawyer:
Licensing gets pretty interesting when you practice across state lines. I routinely give advice to out of state clients. I also represent in-state clients when they acquire out-of-state businesses. Since I'm not a litigator, my practice doesn't require me to sign pleadings indicating my licensing. I've heard that some states, especially California, have been actively pursuing attorneys like me for the unauthorized practice of law. I, at least, am licensed in my home state. I'm aware of other transactional attorneys who have moved to a new state for a new job and have not bothered to get licensed there.
7.18.2007 11:15am
William Spieler (mail) (www):
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act also leads me to suspect that marriage is not accorded full faith and credit, or else it wouldn't be needed to establish continuing jurisdiction in the state issuing the original support order.

Just a quick thought based off one paragraph in my barbri book, so I certainly could be wrong here.
7.18.2007 11:48am
Oren (mail):

. . . try buying alcohol in Massachusetts with an out-of-state license and you won't get very far.


I have gone to the LQ virtually every week since I moved in with no complaints. Bars and restaurants don't complain either.

I have no intention of getting a Mass license anyway - my IL license is a lot cheaper and expires much less frequently.
7.18.2007 11:48am
riptide:
So Oren, you're willfully violating MA law? See here
Residents of Massachusetts (MA) are required to have a valid MA license to legally operate a vehicle in MA. Out-of-state or foreign-licensed drivers MUST obtain a MA driver's license upon becoming a MA resident.
As well, how did you register your car in MA? That's also required. Just out of curiosity, are you also committing insurance fraud by lying about where your car is primarily housed?

All these interesting questions - and you could be SOL if you get in an accident.
7.18.2007 11:55am
Oren (mail):

The interesting thing is that reciprocity occurs at the international level as well as the state level . . .


Funny story, when visiting Israel my dad asked the rental car folks and they said exactly that - if you can drive at home you can drive here. Turns out that they actually don't take kindly to 16 year olds (with a fully valid IL license - none of this graduated bullsh!t) driving when the legal age in Israel is 18. The cop didn't give me a ticket or anything but was pretty adamant about the law.

Side note: I wouldn't recommend driving in Israel at any rate.
7.18.2007 11:56am
Jinnmabe (mail):

I can remember a time some 30+ years ago, when I got a ticket outside of Cheyenne, WY, and the cop followed me all the way into town, and made sure he saw me put cash into the envelope he provided and put it in a mailbox. My choice was to spend the night in jail, and get bailed out a couple days later the next time court was in session. He was just making sure that the state of Wyoming was going to get paid for that speeding ticket


Same thing happened to me in Montana five years ago, except that I happened to have enough cash with me. He explained anyway what would've happened if I hadn't.
7.18.2007 12:12pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
It's worth noting in this discussion that a law license granted in one state is not automatically good in another. Some states have certain reciprocity rules with some other states. I think it comes down to states being able to collect all those pro hac vice fees :)
7.18.2007 12:28pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
riptide:

It's note clear if he has become a MA resident. Things like this get mighty unclear if you are a college student or similar situation. Of course the states could have made this simple and easy, you are a resident of whatever state you reside for a plurality of the year, but this would likely result in missing out on out of state tuition.
7.18.2007 12:44pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
All the national concealed carry bills introduced by Congress over the past few years seem to use the herpes theory of the commerce clause as their source of authority. The gun once moved in interstate commerce, so the feds and regulate carry among the states because of that.

I thought Lopez threw out the idea of the herpes theory, but I think a lot of federal gun regulations, particularly felon-in-possession still rely on it.

Thanks for clearing that up though, it's been a pretty common belief on the gun blogosphere that the Full Faith and Credit clause should apply to carry licenses, even though it doesn't to most other types of license. My understanding for drivers licenses was that all the states just automatically recognized all the other states.
7.18.2007 12:55pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

It's also somewhat interesting that all states, whether by statute or simply for reciprocity, recognize out-of-state licenses for driving, but many don't accept them for the simple purpose of identification/age verification...
I recall many years ago discovering that while every American state recognizes every other state's driver's licenses, many states do not recognize learner's permits. This tells me that whatever causes states to recognize each other's licenses, it is probably not constitutionally imposed on them.

In practice, many states (such as Idaho) recognize all permits to carry concealed in other states. Other states only recognize permits issued under substantially identical requirements. In some cases, state X will recognize permits issued by state Y provided that you are a resident of state Y. (Remember that many states now issue to non-residents.)

A few states have reciprocity agreements whereby "I'll recognize permits issued by your state, if your state recognizes permits issued by mine."

If you are interested in whether a particular state recognizes your state's permit, www.packing.org has this useful license tool where you click the boxes for all the states that have issued you a concealed carry permit, and then it shows you which states recognize each permit. Of course, you should still verify the statutes as well (and they have links to those) before carrying concealed.

I have permits from six states (Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Maine, and Connecticut). This gives me concealed carry permission in 34 states: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Georgia; Idaho; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; New Hampshire; New Mexico; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Wyoming.
7.18.2007 12:58pm
Laura S.:
The marriage license is really the interesting exception. First and foremost because it isn't the license that is transferable state-to-state. It is the marriage itself. The license is a license to complete the act of marrying within the state.

Marriage has its roots in civil contract. Well-to-do people routinely completed marriage contracts in the 18th century. Poor people usually had no contract--only social convention. Marriage laws, divorce laws... codified the civil contract practice into a unitary arrangement that could be used by both rich and poor.

Nonetheless, a marriage is still legally a civil contract-- albeit one with many provisions required by state-law.

An interesting side question: if you change states of residence after marriage by what legal mechanism do you renounce the contract terms of the first state and accept the contract terms of the new state (in which say your divorce would be handled).
7.18.2007 1:00pm
Armen (mail) (www):
I've heard that some states, especially California, have been actively pursuing attorneys like me for the unauthorized practice of law.

I think I just wrote a practice bar exam essay about you. Yep, definitely against Cal Rules. You're probably ok under ABA rules though (assuming out of state practice related to your in-state practice).
7.18.2007 1:16pm
6 days until the bar:
well, since i'm studying for the bar, here's what i think the bar answer to this question would be at least.

Regarding marriage and driver's licenses, these are fundamental rights (right to travel between states and "privacy"). So its the privileges and immunities clause, not just the dormant commerce clause, that would prevent states from discriminating against out-of-state citizens.

The gun permit, law permit etc., would not be fundamental rights (unless the 2nd amendment were interpreted differently) and thus states are free to discriminate, perhaps subject to the states having some rational basis for the law.

as for the marriage contract stuff, well the court you are in has personal jurisdiction, so can't they basically deal with all your rights, except maybe real property that's in another state? By going into court in that state you are taking advantage of its laws.

In CA, if you move from a non-community property state and then divorce in CA, CA considers all the stuff you acquired in your non-CP state to be quasi-CP, and basically treats it as if it was community property. Of course, this gets more confusing if one spouse tries divorcing in CA, and the other files in Idaho or somewhere else that's not CP. But generally I don't think courts have any trouble adjudicating these contracts under its own state law because you submitted to jurisdiction.
7.18.2007 1:17pm
gallileo:
Good grief, all these lawyers and no one has ever heard of the driver's license compact (now superseded by the drivers license agreement)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver_License_Agreement
7.18.2007 1:19pm
Krahling (mail):
Oddly, no one expects hunting and fishing licenses to be valid everywhere.
7.18.2007 1:19pm
aces:
It's also somewhat interesting that all states, whether by statute or simply for reciprocity, recognize out-of-state licenses for driving, but many don't accept them for the simple purpose of identification/age verification - try buying alcohol in Massachusetts with an out-of-state license and you won't get very far.

I was in a liquor store that had a sign saying they wouldn't accept non-US IDs for purchase. Ever since, I've wondered--if the store wouldn't accept your foreign passport as ID, could you sue them for national origin discrimination?
7.18.2007 1:20pm
Helen (mail):
This isn't the exact question under discussion here, but it's also an interstate issue, and it's an effect of federal law that seems wrong to me. I haven't been able to get a real answer on why it's not unconstitutional.

Federal law permits a person to purchase a handgun only in his state of residency. (There are narrow exceptions that aren't relevant here.)

This prohibition is in effect, even if the purchaser never transports the firearm into his state of residency. A person could belong to an out-of-state gun club that had a vault for secure storage of members' firearms.

If a particular type of firearm is outlawed in an individual's home state -- and there are many examples where this is the case -- residents of that state have no legal approach to obtaining an appropriate firearm to use for sporting purposes that are legal IN ANOTHER STATE.

I simply do not understand how a federal law that affects the actions of a resident of State A when that person is in State B is (federally) constitutional. I understand that State B is entitled to pass a law that restricts purchases to its own residents, if it wants to. I also understand that State A can prohibit its residents from bringing the firearm back home. I just don't understand how it is constitutional for the federal government to pass and enforce a law that has the effect of allowing State A to regulate the actions of its residents when they are out of state.
7.18.2007 1:29pm
K Parker (mail):
NicholasV,
Am I missing something?
Just the immense supply of sophistry brought to bear on these sorts of questions. It's not just the 2nd, either, though admittedly it's been sort of the red-haired stepchild for quote a while--think of McCain-Feingold and the 1st, for one recent disgusting example.

Clayton,

Thanks for the link to packing.org's license tool. You're right to advise double-checking the information, as some recent things aren't taken into account (e.g. didn't Colorado just remove non-resident permits from their reciprocity scheme--part of a growing trend, maybe even?)
7.18.2007 1:49pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
Does the Dormant Commerce Clause trump federal regulations on commerce by Congress? I would think if it would, then it would make a lot of the Controlled Substances Act constitutionally suspect. In the case of handguns (it used to be all guns until FOPA in 1986), Congress has chosen to restrict interstate commerce in handguns only to people who hold a federal license, and a few other narrow circumstances.
7.18.2007 1:54pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
Of course, it could probably be argued the second amendment could make this aspect of GCA '68 unconstitutional, but I think even a pretty liberal interpretation of the right to keep and bear arms probably wouldn't preclude Congress from regulating commerce in arms, provided it didn't put an undue burden on citizens ability to obtain them, and served a legitimate government concern.
7.18.2007 1:58pm
R. G. Newbury (mail):
"Not so with most other licenses (fishing, law practice, etc.) For instance, I can't drive a motorboat in the Toronto Harbour - you need a special Harbour license for that. "

Actually, the Toronto Harbour Commission rules have an exemption for out-of-Ontario registered vessels, although its unclear whether you are instead *required* to have some sort of pilotage licence from your own state. Also, it is quite unclear whether the Toronto licence is required of someone who lives and keeps their boat in Oakville and is just visiting Toronto.
And a federal small boat operator's permit is actually accepted in place of the Toronto permit by the Toronto marine unit, despite the mandatory language of the Toronto regulation.

And you do not need a licence if the boat has no engine. (Although there was an officious Police Officer, who being officious was thereby rendered incapable of reading, and it required an Inspector to teach him to read....) My boat has no engine.
7.18.2007 2:09pm
DiverDan (mail):
Houston Lawyer makes a point that hits home with me. I am licensed to practice law in Texas, but practice primarily in commercial bankruptcy, and I regularly will appear in Bankruptcy Courts in other states. The Bankruptcy Courts (and the Judges) in some make it fairly easy to practice (I got admitted to the Federal District Courts in Louisiana, Arizona, and California with little problem), while Federal Courts in other states seem to use the state licensing statutes as a means to generate revenue and/or ensure full employment for local attorneys. The Northern District of Georgia, for example, charges a filing fee of $150 when I filed a Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice ("For This Matter" for you non-lawyers, a means of appearing in just a single case without getting admitted to the District Court bar), while several Districts, including Delaware, will not allow outside lawyers to appear without engaging local counsel (even if it is a matter which is unlikely to EVER need a court appearance). In matters such as Bankruptcy, where state law issues may not even be involved, or federal litigation on purely federal matters such as copyright, trademark, or patents, there is no real purpose served by requiring an out-of state lawyer to either get admitted by a particular state or retain local counsel in order to pursue a national practice.
7.18.2007 3:00pm
uh clem (mail):
My boat has no engine.

Neither does mine, which is why I'm not as well informed about the Toronto Harbour rules as I might be if I had a motorboat.

Thanks for the clarification. The main point is that reciprocity is not automatic, although there appears to be more reciprocity than I thought.
7.18.2007 3:02pm
Steve2:
Krahling, the way the booklet 'o info they give you when you get your hunting/fishing license (you know, the booklet that's got the limits for every type of fish from every lake, river, or stream in the state) presents it (at least going off of this year's fishing ones for Georgia and Minnesota), the hunting/fishing license seems less a license for the activity of hunting or fishing in the sense of shooting at animals or tossing hooks on strings into the water than a license for killing and taking possession of a critter that the state regards as public property. So, by that reasoning, a fishing license from one state is a license to take possession of some of that state's property (in the form of fish), and I think it's obvious why (excluding agreements with bordering states) that's non-transferable. Why should Nevada let someone take Nevada's fish just because they've paid North Carolina for a license to take North Carolina's fish?
7.18.2007 3:27pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
K Parker writes:


Thanks for the link to packing.org's license tool. You're right to advise double-checking the information, as some recent things aren't taken into account (e.g. didn't Colorado just remove non-resident permits from their reciprocity scheme--part of a growing trend, maybe even?)
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation carry permit reciprocity page does confirm that the law has just changed, so that only resident permits from other states are recognized. I'll bring this to the attention of the keeper of the packing.org page.
7.18.2007 4:41pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
Clayton:

Packing is kind of unreliable these days, and isn't being kept as up to date as it probably should be. I'd recommend handgunlaw.us, which are former packing.org admins. They are keeping that stuff a lot more up to date, and include the Colorado law change.
7.18.2007 7:28pm
jimbino (mail):
I like the Brazilian rule for treating stupid Amerikan laws, like that requiring Brazilians to pay a special $100 visa fee not required of, say Europeans. The Brazilian rule is "Tit for Tat," which means that every Amerikan, (but not a Brit) has to pay a special $100 fee for a Brazilian visa.

I can't wait until Brazil and all other countries extend that rule to marriage. Brazil recognizes common-law and gay marriage, for example, and I would love for them (and for the Dutch, Danes, Germans, French and Spanish) to refuse to recognize any and all Amerikan marriages until Amerika recognizes all of theirs.
7.18.2007 9:19pm
ReaderY:
In many states a registered "domestic partnership" is a kind of business entity and contain multiples partners of any gender.

If a states offers benefits to registered domestic partners of employees or students, can it turn down domestic partnerships registered in other states because it considers them to have a gender, number, or purpose it finds disagreeable?
7.18.2007 10:43pm
Truth Seeker:
...refuse to recognize any and all Amerikan marriages until Amerika...

Why do so many unrelated threads get turned into gay marriage rants? Marriage is for one man and one woman. Get over it.
7.18.2007 11:01pm
Oren (mail):

So Oren, you're willfully violating MA law? See here

Residents of Massachusetts (MA) are required to have a valid MA license to legally operate a vehicle in MA. Out-of-state or foreign-licensed drivers MUST obtain a MA driver's license upon becoming a MA resident.

As well, how did you register your car in MA? That's also required. Just out of curiosity, are you also committing insurance fraud by lying about where your car is primarily housed?

All these interesting questions - and you could be SOL if you get in an accident.


Those are good questions that I will take to a qualified attorney. Here is my understanding: My car is registered in MA and my insurance company has been fully informed of the correct zip code of housing and my license information (which is IL).

Furthermore, as long as I maintain residency in IL (IIRC, I spend enough time there), they are bound to respect my license (MA and IL have reciprocity). What's even better, is that MA has very strict residency requirements on account of very generous in-state tuition at state schools. Finally (and most crucially), I have no intention of actually living in this state permanently - I'm getting a degree and then out*.

At any rate, I'm not very worried about it.

This raises an interesting conundrum :

Suppose that IL had a similar law to the one quoted and further suppose that I spend enough time in both MA and IL to be considered a resident of both states. Would I then be required to convert/reconvert every time?



* Pro: Gay marriage, public transit that works, university/research culture, music scene

Con: Taxes (my locality took a .5% excise tax on my damned car!), Guns (lack), Idiots, The Big Dig
7.19.2007 1:03am
Garth:
what about DOMA. i think the whole idea behind it was that most states do recognize the validity of out of state marriage and that Federal legislation was passed [?] to prevent gays from being married in states where it was legal then seeking to enforce their rights in states that don't recognize gay marriage.

the spirit, if not the text, of Full Faith &Credit would be violated if states refused to recognize as valid, marriages consummated in other states. granted, anti-gay bias will be claimed as sufficient to refuse to recognize the legitimacy, but i think it's a loser. that's why the Candidates are being asked about a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage.

i recall from my conflicts of law class, the hypothetical of a man marrying a "cousin" in one state where it was legal and then returning with his bride to his home state.

the default position is that the marriage is recognized unless a "real" interest of the state would be violated.
7.19.2007 4:13pm
Garth:
interesting article.

Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Vol. 1, 2005


Abstract:

Now that same sex marriages have been occurring in Massachusetts for almost a year, the issue of interstate recognition is no longer merely a theoretical issue. Most scholars have either argued that the full faith and credit clause does not mandate recognition of same sex marriages or that it does so for limited purposes or for marriages of Massachusetts residents but not nonresidents seeking to evade their restrictive home state marriage laws. This article argues that the full faith and credit clause should be interpreted to require interstate recognition of same sex marriages validly celebrated in Massachusetts and that Congress does not have the power to deny such recognition under the "effects thereof" language of the full faith and credit clause. Rather than focusing on the rights of same sex couples to have their valid Massachusetts marriages recognized elsewhere, we should focus on the obligations inherent in the marriage relationship. Both Congress and the majority of states have passed so-called Defense of Marriage Acts (DOMAs). If these laws are constitutional, they effectively authorize partners in same sex marriages to relocate to other states and evade their obligations as spouses and parents under Massachusetts law. Those states have made themselves havens for fleeing debtors. Using traditional and modern choice-of-law analysis, as well as analogies to the law of divorce and corporate governance, this article argues that the full faith and credit clause should be interpreted to require recognition of marriages that are valid where celebrated to avoid inconsistent obligations, to allow free interstate travel and commerce, and to prevent the states from authorizing married partners to walk away from their concededly valid and persisting obligations under Massachusetts law.
7.19.2007 4:19pm