MSNBC: those Nazis in Texas with their driver’s license laws! (…Which are much like, erm, Maryland’s*.)

OK, let’s set the scene:

[Lynne] Messinger said she spoke to a clerk at the desk, and explained that she had a California driver’s license. She has houses in both California and Texas and goes back and forth between the two, but decided several years ago to switch her voting residency to Texas.

The clerk left for a few minutes, then told her to take a seat. At that point, Messinger said, a state trooper summoned her into his back office, saying he needed to speak to her. Once inside his office, Messinger said the trooper insisted on seeing all the documentation she had brought, and demanded to know where she lives and pays taxes. He even told her she could be jailed for driving with a California license.* It is illegal to drive in Texas on another state’s driver’s license 90 days after moving into the state.

The asterisk there is NBC’s shamefaced admission that, yes, it is in fact illegal for Texas residents – like, say, Lynne Messinger – to drive on an out-of-state license after a certain point.  But what NBC (and, presumably, MSNBC) forgot to mention is that this is not even remotely uncommon.  Take my own current state of residence (Maryland): new residents must get an in-state driver’s license within sixty days of moving.  If they do not, then they are considered to be driving without a valid driver’s license… which is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine of up to $500 and two months in jail.

I’m not going to research all fifty states, here.  I suppose that it’s possible that Texas and Maryland are the only two states in the country that consider it a crime to drive without a license, and that under certain circumstances that crime can be punished with jail time.  But I suspect that it is not – so how about it, MSNBC?  Are you ready to imply that the true-Blue state of Maryland a Nazi-like regime, too? – Because, honestly, I’d pay money to see MSNBC do that on their network*.


Moe Lane (crosspost)

*The part in parentheses is mine: unlike MSNBC, I at least try to look up stuff first before I go off on it.

**Or, preferably, on a network that people watch.


10 thoughts on “MSNBC: those Nazis in Texas with their driver’s license laws! (…Which are much like, erm, Maryland’s*.)”

  1. Here is CT you have 60 days to change your license and registration. Also your car insurance will not be valid if your car is not registered at your place of residence (has to do with complying with state rules for car insurance).

    Now if our progressive friends would like to champion national sale of car insurance and health insurance maybe we could have a little more sympathy

  2. Heck, California requires that you obtain a CA license within ten days of becoming a legal CA resident.

  3. Curiously, while there are many States in the union, most States don’t look favorably on the idea of “dual residency”, i.e. you may own a home in both Texas and Maryland, but *only one* is your legal residence of record.
    Now, what would be a better question .. and that I don’t know the answer to** .. is whether a person can have two drivers’ licenses, issued by separate States and to separate addresses, concurrently.
    ** I don’t *know* the answer .. but I do know that Junior Cat had a license in Illinois and in a non-Californian west-coast State for a while .. but he’s always been kind of a rebel.

    1. That’s why this is fishy. The driver’s license dictates her legal residence and her other house is a second home.

      Why she doesn’t get the TX driver’s license (and register to vote) is a mystery; especially because taxes are so much more favorable in TX. And you can drive in CA with a TX license.

      I think she’s trying to game the system in order to vote twice.

      1. “I think she’s trying to game the system in order to vote twice.”

        If that’s the case, she’d have been hard pressed to chose two states where her vote would be more irrelevant. I mean, the story itself doesn’t speak too kindly on behalf of her intelligence, but still…

    2. You can, but only the most recent one is actually valid.
      Of course, state databases don’t talk to each other all that much.
      You *can* have your official residence in one state while residing in another, but it’s a PITA, you can get in a lot of trouble if you don’t dot every legalistic i and cross every t, and it’s almost certainly going to make your taxes go up, instead of down.
      I’ve done it, don’t recommend it. (But on the bright side, I can honestly say I’ve never been a Californian. That was worth all the expense and headache.)

    3. No, you can’t have a Driver’s License for two states at the same time. Many states take and destroy your old State’s DL when you come in to get one from them, make sure you have a backup form of photo ID while you wait for your new DL.

      1. And yet, for a time period, Junior Cat had *exactly* that .. two perfectly legitimate licenses.
        The DMV in his new State copied some info off the Illinois license, then handed it back.
        I suspect that, at some point, the two DMVs will handshake and the old license will become junk, but .. if he had been stopped in the interim, he would have had a choice of which to surrender.

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