No Faith and Credit: No Third-party "Coupons" for Ohio
Carl Bussjaeger

Those following the unfortunate case of Jeff "Hunter" Jordan (details here and here), who was arrested in Ohio for legally carrying a firearm for defense while traveling through a state plagued for years by an "Interstate sniper," know that the State of Ohio has based their entire case against Mr. Jordan on their choice to not recognize a license properly issued in New Hampshire. This is particularly odd and discomfiting because Ohio did choose to recognize Mr. Jordan's driver's license at the same time.

Viewed humorously, one can imagine Ohio highway patrolmen sitting at the side of the road with point-of-sale barcode scanners, sorting through the contents of your wallet like so many store coupons: "Sorry, sir. We don't take coupons from other stores," says the uniformed checkout clerk. "No, wait," says his partner. "This is Wednesday, double day; he can drive a car and a truck simultaneously!"

Of course, when the Kroger cashier refuses your coupons, you simply fail to get a discount. When Ohio ignores the US Constitution (Article 4, Section 1), to pick and choose which out-of-state licenses it will accept, you go to jail.

Personally, so long as Ohio pursues this anti-freedom (and unconstitutional, and unAmerican, and ... ) policy, I think you'd be wise to avoid traveling in -- and spending money -- the state whenever possible. But realistically, some people simply have to travel into Ohio on occasion. Such unfortunate folks should CYA.

Now that we know Ohio is likely to disregard your out-of-state license, and demand you have one of theirs ...

Get one.

Or at least ask for one. Here's the address to which your license information request should be sent.

    Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    P.O. Box 16520
    Columbus, Ohio 43216-6520
    If you like the personal touch, you can also telephone them at 800-477-0007.

And here's a sample request, ready for your personalization:

To whom it may concern,

It has recently come to my attention that the State of Ohio no longer recognizes licenses issued by other states within the United States of America, this being the basis of "STATE OF OHIO vs. JEFFREY L JORDAN" (Ashland County Common Pleas Court docket number 03-CRI-117), in which a license issued by another state is refused recognizance in the State of Ohio.

I may, at times, find it necessary to drive through portions of Ohio for purposes of business or pleasure. Since I wish in such a case to be fully compliant with Ohio law, please provide me with the information needed for me to apply for and obtain an Ohio driver's license, to be carried while in Ohio in addition to the license issued by my home state.

In the event that Ohio should choose to give "full faith and credit" (US CONSTITUTION, ART 4, SEC 1) to out-of-state licenses in the future, or if it has already changed its policy to do so, please provide me with a written and signed statement that Ohio recognizes any and all licenses properly issued by other states of the United States of America. Should I encounter an Ohio law enforcement official who is not fully cognizant of that policy, I believe that such statement will avoid a great deal of misunderstanding.

Thank you for your assistance.



Note that you don't really need to approve of licenses in order to yank Ohio's chain by using it against itself.

Doesn't it make you feel better about traveling in Ohio to know that you've done your best to bring this confusing situation the attention of the Ohio bureaucrats? Doesn't it give you a warm fuzzy feeling to know that those bureaucrats will be struggling to find some way to deal with thousands of such requests?

Let's get writing!

Permission to reprint this article in its entirety, giving it the widest possible publication, is granted -- indeed, requested.

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