Resolving The Transportation Codes Maryland

I have notes on this for Maryland some place. Need to get them here. In MD boils down to no local definition of the word Transportation so must go to the federal level and well, that leads to a definition including commerce.

The following doesn't apply to MD but remains to help me navigate through the maryland stuff again.

Does anyone know of any good citations detailing “transportation”? Looks like PA’s vehicle code all comes down to this word. I haven’t been able to find any opinions to really pin it down to being a commercial activity. (Justin Carlson AF 8/18/23)

[In reply to Justin Carlson]
it’s federal code that the states adopted.

look at 49 CFR (maybe start with §390.5) and you can also see it reflected in the definitions of 18 USC 31(6) and (10)

[In reply to Jimmy Jones]
Texas code does not even contain a definition for “transport “, no surprise. Consult legal dictionaries such as, Bouvier’s. Transportation is a commercial term. As far as I can ascertain, every states’ transportation code only applies to commerce and government only has the power to regulate commerce, not the people. A guy in Texas, Eddie Craig, presents brilliant info. regarding TX transportation code. He doesn’t entertain Patriot mythos as well and like AF, he says to take the codes and laws and smack public servants with them when they misbehave. Although, I’m not a fan of scripts for when one is stopped by a policy enforcer. Assert your basic rights, shut up and get out alive.

[My reply] Back to the original question here about transportation. I prefer to look at the USC which are the federal laws from which the CFR’s are derived. The idea of the Drivers License being required all boils down to commercial activities. None of the USC codes state it specifically so you have to go by 2 things – first the definition of Transportation as per the USC and then second by which authority controls your actions (state or federal).

The USC –  as per the definition of Transportation in 49 USC § 13102(23) – The term “transportation” includes— (A) a motor vehicle, …related to the movement of passengers or property, or both,…and (B) services related to that movement…

It is a 2 part definition joined by AND meaning both parts must be met to meet the definition. Since the whole Title 49 is about Transportation, all activities under that title must meet that 2 part definition. So if you are not providing services (ie operating in commerce) nothing under Title 49 Transportation applies to you.

Now the second part is the authority. I can’t find this definition at my state level. And I’m having a hard time finding references in the statutes to the USC Codes proving that the state has adopted the federal codes. 

However it has been mentioned in another channel that because the state implemented the full Title 49 federal program, the USC definition will be the controlling authority.

I’m still researching this more, but I think the definition of transportation in the USC Title 49 should suffice. 

Let me know if anyone has other thoughts.

[Continuing] I’m just continuing documenting my research for Maryland. This is pretty funny. The Transportation article has no definition for transportation! In fact I can’t find a definition for Transportation in any of the Maryland statutes! Imagine that!! A department formed by statutes without first defining the meaning of the department or the article which forms it!!

So that being the case, one may use the federal level (49 USC) definition used in my previous comment.

Next the “laws” requiring a person to have a driver’s license, MD. Transportation Code § 16-101 (2022) (a)(1) state – An individual may not drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on any highway in this State unless …

So now we search for the definition of motor vehicle, and guess what??!! That isn’t defined either in any of the Maryland statutes. Again we may resort to the federal level (49 USC) that talks about motor vehicles and again it will fall under the definition of Transportation which is commercial. 

So I think I’ve pretty well established that in Maryland you can travel using your private automobile without a driver’s license or without a registration. Let me know if anyone disagrees. I’ll start putting all this into court cases in November and see how I do.