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PennDOT, Real ID, Driver’s License, and Social Security Numbers.

on Sep 07 in Articles by

An individual who exercises a right does not need permission from government to exercise that right.

The first amendment to the US Constitution states in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”  Article I, Section 3, of the Pennsylvania Constitution states in part, “…no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience….”

Court opinions have created the following criteria with respect to religious freedom: For a free exercise claim to have any chance of success, two things must first be established.  First, it must be shown that the religious belief allegedly burdened by the government is central to one’s religious beliefs. Second, it must be shown that the religious belief that is allegedly burdened is sincerely held.  Once a good faith belief is established, the court’s inquiry should end:  there should be no attempt to determine whether the belief is true.

Since passage of the Real ID Act of 2005, PennDOT consistently refuses to issue a driver’s license to individuals who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) because of their religious belief based on several scriptural passages. The state is violating Article I, Section 3, of the Pennsylvania Constitution because the driver’s license has become the de facto ID card needed to open a bank account, travel on an airline, or exercise other rights.  In other words, it no longer just applies to one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle or know the “rules of the road.” Many individuals who do not have a SSN do have a tax ID number. PennDOT has turned a right to open a checking account or fly on a domestic airline into a privilege, requiring one to have a SSN, which, among other things, violates religious beliefs of many citizens.

Maybe operating the “conveyance of the day” to exercise their right to travel without permission from government is the only option left. “The right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, is a common right which he has under the right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness  and safety.  It includes the right, in so doing, to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day, and under the existing modes of travel, includes the right to drive a horse drawn carriage or wagon thereon or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purpose of life and business.”  [Teche Lines vs. Danforth, Miss., 12 S.2d 784, 787; Thompson vs. Smith, 154 SE 579,583]

County Sheriff Brigades of Pennsylvania, c/o P.O. Box 211, Elverson, Pennsylvania 19520

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