Republicans should support providing Drivers Licenses at no charge to the individual.
UPDATE: I should explain the format of this post, which has caused some confusion. I typed in the “Republican Oath” from a leaflet I picked up at the Arlington GOP booth on Town Day, hopefully verbatim, including the capitalized “I BELIEVE”s. After each part of the oath, in italics, I typed in my thoughts about how it supports the idea that licenses should be provided for the people at no charge.
I BELIEVE the strength of out nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability, and responsibility must be honored. To honor each person’s dignity and freedom ability and responsibility, we should not withhold the right to drive from anyone unless there is a darn good reason why they should not be allowed to drive.
I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age, or disability. Equal rights means an equal right to drive. Driving is a right not a privilege, though like all rights it can be taken away as punishment by a court or denied if it would be unsafe.
I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, growth and prosperity. So we should encourage people to have their license, since being able to drive increases their opportunities for growth and prosperity.
I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn. So we shouldn’t make individuals pay $50 every five years and use everyone’s need for a license as a cash cow to fund government.
I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and the best government is that which governs least. Well people certainly cannot keep unsafe drivers off the streets by themselves, or keep track of people’s identities themselves, or through a private roganization. Only government can do license drivers and provide secure ID’s with legal authority. And note that it says the proper role of government is TO PROVIDE FOR THE PEOPLE those critical services, not to charge the people for them. It’s wrong to force people to pay a fee just to have the basic freedoms that all people should have.
There are some more clauses to the oath, but that is enough to establish my point. Republicans should support the idea that driving is a right not a privilege, and government should provide licenses at no charge to all individuals who are allowed to drive, and only deny individuals a license for a supportable reason that they would be dangerous drivers and should not be allowed to drive.
And yes, marriage licenses should also be provided at no charge, because marriage is also a right not a privilege. Fishing and gun ownership also are rights and there should be no charge for the license. Duplicates and second tries at tests should cost money, but not the first one. The costs of first licenses and tests should be born by the state, if the state believes that the activity should be licensed, then the state should pay for licensing people.