Full Faith and Credit Clause

Federal statutory law provides that:
Such Acts, records and judicial proceedings or copies thereof, so authenticated, shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the United States and its Territories and Possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts of such State, Territory or Possession from which they are taken.  Some limitations upon the extent to which a state may be required by the full faith and credit clause to enforce even the judgment of another state in contravention of its own statutes or policy. See Wisconsin v. Pelican Insurance Co., 127 U.S. 265; Huntington v. Attrill, 146 U.S. 657; Finney v. Guy, 189 U.S. 335; see also Clarke v. Clarke, 178 U.S. 186; Olmsted v. Olmsted, 216 U.S. 386; Hood v. McGehee, 237 U.S. 611; cf. Gasquet v. Fenner, 247 U.S. 16. And in the case of statutes…the full faith and credit clause does not require one state to substitute for its own statute, applicable to persons and events within it, the conflicting statute of another state, even though that statute is of controlling force in the courts of the state of its enactment with respect to the same persons and events.

Judicial proceedings on the other hand, carry more weight when considering the full faith and credit clause of Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.  A judicial decision made in one state must normally be followed by the new state and the rules of leniency must be taken into consideration.  In plain terms of how this might apply to sex offender registration; the new state should not be allowed to increase the punishment, such as extending the number of years of registration, if it was set by the courts in the original state of conviction.

My thinking runs along this line, even though my examples are directly regulated by the State Departments’ Of Public Safety they are not directly related to the public safety issues raised by one being a traveling sex offender:

A state cannot force a “Visitor” or “Tourist” to that state to get that particular state’s driver’s license nor can they force a visitor to register their vehicle in the visited state.  The visited state must also accept and hold as valid a visitor’s vehicle insurance even if it does not meet the visited state’s minimum monetary standard that is required of a resident of that state.  Say your vehicle is a rust bucket but in your home state it still passes inspection and is considered road worthy, when traveling in another state, they can’t stop you and force you bring your vehicle up to that visited state’s standard’s of safety.  Say in your state you get four D.U.I.’s and yet are still allowed to operate a vehicle legally, when you go to another state that has a 3 strikes laws that bans those convicted of 3 D.U.I.’s with permanent and lifetime revocation, the visited state has to still recognize your driver’s license as valid.  Even though they consider it a severe public safety issue that you are still on the road, they can’t say your driver’s license is not good in their state.

So in your home state, if you are not considered a public safety threat with 3 D.U.I.’s but when you cross into another state where their legislation says you are a public safety threat with 3 D.U.I.’s, they still can’t take away your driver’s license or say it is invalid under their law.  They can’t even impose any restrictions upon you like requiring a vehicle breathalyzer or force you to carry a D.U.I. sign or plate on your car as some state’s would require of their own state residents.  If their legislation says your insurance is not up to the public safety standard and causes a public safety threat, they still can’t force you to buy more insurance and must accept yours a valid. If their legislation says your rust bucket is a hazard to the public safety and a danger to it’s citizens, they still have to allow you to drive it in their state and can’t enforce their standards above your home state’s standard.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause of Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution. says that if you have satisfied your home state requirements all other states must accept your driver’s license, or insurance or inspection as valid and can’t impose stricter requirements even if under the visited state’s laws you are considered to be a public safety threat.

1 comment for “Full Faith and Credit Clause

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.