Talk:Driver's license

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Driving a privilege or a right?[edit]

My understanding is that the driver's license in the US was not always required and driving was a right and not a privilege. This stands up to reason when you consider that the mode of transportation being replaced was the horse, horse driven buggy, or oxen and wagon. None of these required a license or had age restrictions. Driving animals was common place and the motorized vehicle was considered unusual. Before I left my hometown in 1971, there was a law still on the books that required drivers of automobiles to call ahead to the town constable. Ostensibly this was so he could warn the horse owners in the city that a motor vehicle was coming into town.

I would like to know exactly how the concept of licensing drivers came about and became accepted in everyday life.

Why didn't the same thing happen with aircraft and boating licenses?

Doug

Driving is a right not a privilege, at least in the UK it is - although some politicians seem to think the opposite. I've changed the word grant [a licence] to issue. Grant implies it's a privilege. Arcturus 18:25, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
In the United States the operation of a vehicle is treated as a privilege granted by the state that is revocable at any time. For example, California Vehicle Code Section 14607.4 begins as follows: "The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Driving a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways is a privilege, not a right." Numerous sections of the California Vehicle Code refer to the "privilege of operating a motor vehicle" — just run a Google search. --Coolcaesar 02:27, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
For a country that prides itself on being the beacon of democracy in the world, and yet believes that the state grants privileges to the people, is absolutely amazing. Surely it's the other way round. Still, I obviously can't argue with the facts of US law. In the UK, driving certainly isn't defined as a privilege - so far as I know, but as I alluded to earlier, there are plenty of bumptious politicians and other assorted bureaucrats who consider it so. I think the term issue licence covers all eventualities. Arcturus 12:49, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, although the US law identifies driving as a privilege, now a days it is really treated as a right although, it is a privilege that may still be revoked for reasons. Mac Domhnaill 01:19, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

When I was reading the book on Vehicle Traffic Law (which I added a cite for to the MUTCD article) there was some explanation of this. If I recall correctly, the reason for why it is treated as a privilege is due to some early legal decisions treating gasoline-powered automobiles as a public nuisance because they were noisy and extremely dangerous. Because states have plenary power to ban public nuisances, the courts reasoned that they could also ban automobiles if they wished. In turn, automobiles are allowed to operate on the roads only at the pleasure of the state. That's how we got from the original concept of the right of driving a wagon or stagecoach or riding a horse, etc. to the modern idea of the privilege of operating a motor vehicle. I forgot to write down the page numbers for that section, though. --Coolcaesar 19:41, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Driving a car on your own property is a right, hence the reason that a driver's license is not required to drive on your own land (though allowing a small child to do so would probably be considered endangerment). Driving on public roads is generally legally considered a privilege, which is why you need a license (that can be revoked). --SodiumBenzoate 09:15, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
This should be mentioned in article, some of this stuff. Also, this article should be expanded to explain whether people who refuse to learn to drive, or never get around to it simply have no viable means of identification. It says that the US has no public ID, but if this is the case, then driving isn't really a right or privilege but something expected or else one becomes an outcast. It also follows that it must be a right, because without which you would be able to give up your license (in the face of rising gas prices, for instance). Bulmabriefs144 (talk) 10:44, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


Technically, you are not "driving" per se unless you are involved in "carriage", you are moving. Yet we use the term "driving" as we do say "zerox" me a copy when in fact you are not using a "zerox". The law does not use language saying you are "driving" a passenger automobile or station wagon. "Driving" or "operating" refers to commercial conduct in the law as "register" refers to surrender. "Vehicle" means Vessel or auxiliary of and has its roots in customs. Your STATE vehicle laws originate from usc title 49 and are not laws but regulations respecting commerce. So who actually "requires" a driver license or registration? Your insurance company. Since insurance is a maritime contract they require a maritime nexus. In CARGILL it is ruled that a license will impose no obligation if a right is to be surrendered. Nevertheless, the state dmv will be happy to accommodate you, and that is mandated by title 49. Chiefsteve —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chiefsteve (talkcontribs) 22:38, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like the above editor either never studied or flunked U.S. constitutional law. The states are still sovereign pursuant to the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The federal government exerts some jurisdiction through Spending Clause tactics like tying federal aid for highways to compliance with federal standards, but a state can always theoretically break away from the federal transportation regs. It just has to fund its highway system on its own, that's all. --Coolcaesar (talk) 11:03, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, the above editor is incorrect about insurance being a maritime contract and requiring a maritime nexus. I am educated in law and a licensed insurance agent in 49 states, and SOME insurance coverage is marine based, but much is not. Inland marine coverage is to insure property being transported - that does not mean that auto, homeowners, or umbrella coverage is a marine based coverage. Also, insurance companies do not require licenses - the law does. Insurance companies would insure absent a driver's license if state law allowed such.12.109.73.226 (talk) 18:52, 9 January 2009 (UTC) -Subjugator

"Reception Provision of the Delaware Constitution, 1776, art. 25:: "The common law of England, as well as so much of the statute law as has been heretofore adopted in practice in this state, shall remain in force unless they shall be altered by a future law of the Legislature, such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and privileges contained in this Constitution and the declaration of rights, & agreed by this convention.""-Deleware "30. No sheriff or bailiff of ours, or other person, shall take the horses or carts of any freeman for transport duty, against the will of the said freeman"-Magna Carta Delaware and some other states have this(or similar) as their law.

So there is a right to a given extent. Bolegash (talk) 04:36, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

You're confusing property rights with the right to operate a vehicle. The clause you refer to in Magna Carta governs the right to own a horse or cart, not the right to drive a horse or cart. Keep in mind that many people frequently drive vehicles they do not own (either rental cars, a friend or relative's vehicle, or their employer's vehicle). --Coolcaesar (talk) 05:29, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Legal foundation for Driving a privilege[edit]

The concept of a "democracy" is a self-governing people. The government isn't some abstract entity, it is the just all the other people in your country. The 13 colonies, in passing the Constitution, established a process of government, which allows the individual to live largely free of other's anti-social behavior. The law defines anti-social behavior. When the automobile came along in the 1900s, the anti-social behavior that arose was leaving the scene of an accident in order to evade responsibility (accountability for damages). Auto accidents brought new types of serious injuries (blindness from shattering glass shards). Driver's licensing grew out of frustration with anonymity on the road, and its undermining of accountability. Would you like to drive in a world where other's could victimize you and your loved ones on the road, without any accountability? Without being able to be identified? On balance, the great majority would rather have accountability than some libertarian distopia where individuals are free to do whatever they want. They want the group to have some reasonable level of control over the individual. Looked at this way, driving an automobile makes sense to treat as a privilege with certain responsibilities toward the welfare of others. If driving were a right (as in "inalienable"), there would be no legal basis for placing driving restrictions on the blind, the severely retarded, those with advanced Alzheimers, 5 year olds, or chronic drunks. Even after a drunk had killed several motorists, what would be the legal basis for taking away driving, if driving were a right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by PbinCA (talkcontribs) 04:22, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

In every country that uses English as an official language the term used is Driver's Licence or Driver Licence. Only in the USA is the word "License" used. On that note Wiki certainly is demonstrating a non global position by continuing to use the word "license" as the primary format on this page. Even the Bangladesh licence you show as an example has it spelled the universal (non US) manner. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aamvanet (talkcontribs) 15:43, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

See below. There is a consensus on how to deal with this issue. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:31, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Driver's License vs Driver License[edit]

Just about every state uses the term "Driver License" on that actual license itself. Do a Google image search for verification. Is "Driver License" grammatically correct? Some states do use "Driver's License," but the majority seem to use "Driver License." Which is right? If "Driver License" is correct, should the title of the Wikipedia page be changed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.51.25.26 (talk) 18:51, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

I am making an assumption here, but by "State" I assume you mean a state in the USA. The term Driver's License or Drivers licence is used across the English speaking world and not just in the States and it would need a much more comprehensive survey of usage across the world to determine which of the two versions is correct. The term Driver's license would seem to be more logically correct indicating that it was the driver who owned or deserved the license. Driver licence seems a little odd grammatically but there are , no doubt, good reasons for its use. Oh, and I think this has been discussed before - see above and above that and above that etc.  Velella  Velella Talk   19:10, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I think we should continue as before, with the article title remaining the same and the article being written in US English but the licences of individual countries or states spelled as they are in that state or country. Martin Hogbin (talk) 20:58, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm curious now to know how many of each style there are in the anglosphere. I've always had a Drivers License. – RVJ (talk) 06:24, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


It's "Driver's License" that makes little sense grammatically. You wouldn't have a dog's license or a marriage's license or a hunter's license or a gun's license. If you have a chauffeur and somebody asks you for HIS license, you'd be showing your driver's license. A driver's license is a license that belongs to a driver. A driver license is a license to drive. You'd expect the adjectival form of the word to say what is being licensed, such as a dog, a marriage, hunting, a gun, or a driver (or driving.) Driving License and Driver License make the most sense.

However, this is not about opinion but accuracy. In the US, most states issue Driver Licenses, so that's what the article should mention. Hagrinas (talk) 18:16, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

A further suggestion[edit]

When we are referring to a specific licence, such as a 'UK driving licence' we should use the official spelling and form of words used for that specific licence in that specific country.

In all other cases, such as 'driving licences in Europe...' we should use more general terms like 'licenses to drive motor vehicles' or in some cases just 'licenses' (the readers will know what kind of licence we are referring to) to avoid endless argument about driver/driver's/drivers'/driving. In this case we should use US spelling as this is the consensus spelling for this article. I have started this change, does anyone object? Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:49, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

I have made the changes to the lead only to see what others think. Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:59, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

The change works for me. --Biker Biker (talk) 12:31, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

I made some more changes along the same lines, which I think are OK. There are a few places where I cannot think of a good way of removing driver's/driving.Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:26, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Spelling/terminology consensus[edit]

I think it is fair to say that there is a consensus to do the following:

  • Use the exact national or regional spelling and terminology when referring to a specific country, for example UK "Driving Licence" or US "Driver's License" . (Note that the verb is still spelled with an 's' in Brit spelling, as in 'licensing'.)
  • Use the US spelling 'license' when referring the the document in general.
  • When referring the the document in general, avoid the terms driver's/drivers'/driving where possible and use terms such as 'license to drive...' or just 'license' as context makes it obvious what kind of licence is being referred to.
  • Use the article title 'Driver's license' where there is no alternative. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:37, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia already has a broad community consensus on spelling: it should be the same throughout an article, with three exceptions that don't apply here, except in the first sentence where the alternate spelling is noted. See WP:ARTCON. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 15:23, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
If you want to propose a move and change the whole article to UK English, that seems fine to me, if it will end the bickering. But trying to have it both ways is a solution that Wikipedia has long ago rejected. It needs to be one or the other. One spelling throughout the whole article, with only 3 exceptions listed in WP:ARTCON. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:48, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree that spelling should be the same throughout an article, where this is possible, but when referring to an object than has a name in a particular country, we cannot change its name for the sake of consistency. In the US the document is, I believe, a 'drivers license'. In the UK it is a 'driving licence'; that is what it says on it. If we were to be truly consistent the we would call them all 'drivers licenses' but the problem is that in WP we state facts, as given in reliable sources. If the facts are not consistent from country to country the we cannot make them so.
The above consensus states that we should use the consistent spelling of 'license' when referring to the subject of the article generally, that satisfies WP policy, however, no WP policy can turn one thing into another. Martin Hogbin (talk) 19:39, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
WP:ARTCON makes an exception for proper names. If you are directly referring to the actual document -- capitalized an all -- then yes, use local spelling. But that doesn't mean each section uses a different spelling of license/license when used as a common noun. To use UK spelling for the common noun usage of license, propose a move and shift the whole article. I think most entries in the article use UK spelling, so I'd support it. But then the US sections would have to say licence as well, except for proper names of documents. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:14, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I am not proposing changing the spelling throughout to UK. This is not a US/UK fight it is an argument against changing facts. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:54, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion, if you are referring to a specific document (even if it is not a proper noun and not capitalised) you must use the actual name of the document. So you should say, '...a UK driving licence', because that is what it is. If you want to be consistent throughout then you would need to say '...a UK drivers license', which is a non-existent entity. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:54, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
We agree there's no problem if it's a proper name for the document. But you also want to use local spelling for a common noun -- driver's license, lower case -- and that deviates from the MOS. Why is this article so different from all the other articles that fall under the MOS? If you want to IAR, you need to provide reasons why this is such a special case. Other articles refer to official documents, titles, places, and so on, and they are able to follow the distinction between common nouns and proper names. What makes this the exception? --Dennis Bratland (talk) 23:37, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I have explained above. The MOS is a style guide, that is all. More important is the inclusion of verifiable facts and these include the different names and spelling of the documents required in different parts of the world to be permitted to drive a motor vehicle. Are you proposing that all such documents should be called a 'drivers license', regardless of the name that is, in fact (as confirmed by reliable sources) used for them.
A consistent style is a good thing but we cannot change facts to achieve this. Martin Hogbin (talk) 14:47, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
You're clearly confusing proper nouns with common nouns. You're claiming every instance of the phrase 'drivers license' is a proper noun, and that is incorrect. The MOS allows use of local spelling for proper nouns, and that should be enough. And even then, we can "change facts". We change Köln to Cologne. We change Roma to Rome. We do this in order to communicate clearly. Note that the article Marriage license is able to follow the MOS without having to resort to changing the spelling in every section. Birth certificate has no need to change spelling for each national section, except for proper nouns, per the MOS. Do we need to see 50 examples to make the point?

Again, why is this article special? Why can't it follow the same policy as other articles about legal documents? Or on any subject? --Dennis Bratland (talk) 15:35, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

WP:ARTCON, part of WP:ENGVAR is a guideline yes, but that means its a reflection of consensus on the issue. Articles which have words that can be spelt more than one way are in British English or American English (or less often Canadian or some other variety), not a mix of them. The exceptions are very narrow, with very particular reasons. There's no need to use both British English and American English in this case. It's especially bad practice here as it leads to both British and American spelling being used in the same paragraph, which is just bad writing. Stick to one variety of English except for the allowed exceptions.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 15:41, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
I am not confusing anything, I know perfectly well the difference between a proper noun and a common noun. You are confusing facts with style. We cannot call a document which is, in fact, called a 'drivers license' a 'driving licence' because that is not what it is, and not what it is described as in reliable sources. We are free to choose the style of our own words but to to change the names (not chosen by us)of documents. When referring to a specific document we must call it by its real name, it is not open to us to rename it. The MOS is a default style guide; stating verifiable facts is not negotiable. Martin Hogbin (talk) 15:57, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with the notion that articles on Wikipedia must always use one spelling/phrasing style exclusively for common nouns within them. I don't think the WP:MOS really requires that, and in some cases, that is simply not a practical possibility. If you think it is, I invite you to give it a try in the Whisky article. Some people use the spelling 'whisky' and some use 'whiskey', and the regional spelling difference is considered significant by many people. When covering a global subject on which such variations exist, there is nothing wrong with describing the differences in spelling and wording within the article and using the variant for a particular country within the discussion of that country. Of course, care should be taken to avoid creating confusing mixes of such things within the same sentence or paragraph (in the absence of quote marks or some other clue about what is happening), but trying to uniformly impose the variant used in one country in a discussion of the practices in a different country is not a good solution in all cases. —BarrelProof (talk) 16:46, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Whisky cites only a blogger named Chuck Cowdery who has a couple blog posts about why the spelling of whisky matters, and why "we" write so much about the spelling of whisky. Cowdery seems to have a (self-published?) book that we could cite instead of his blog. So the first thing I would 'try' with Whisky is to replace the blog post citations in the spelling section with better sources. If they couldn't be found to support the assertion that 'the spelling of whisky matters' , I'd delete the section and use consistent spelling. But if we assume here in this discussion of license that this section over in Whisky is well sourced, and that it is verifiable that the spelling of whisky makes that much of a difference, then I'd probably support using different spellings throughout the article.

And so, by that standard, can we please see reliable sources which tell us that it makes an important difference whether we say license or licence? Or driver license, or driving licence? If it is really a fact that this difference is that important, then surely somebody other than some Wikipedia editors agrees that Driver's license is a special case.

Without sources saying Driver's license is different, then we ought to treat it the same as other articles, and follow the same MOS rules that other articles follow. Exceptions are possible. All you need is verifiable reasons for the exceptions. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:28, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Dennis, you have still not answered the question of whether you would like to impose on standard term for the subject of this article, for example, call all documents, 'driving licence'. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:34, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
We have no need to reinvent the wheel here. Wikipedia's has WP:ARTCON. The US defence minister is called the Secretary of Defense in an article that uses UK spelling. The UK defense secretary is the Defence Minister in an article that uses US spelling. The formal title, i.e. proper noun, is capitalized and spelled as per the local language. The name of the document, when referred to as its formal, proper noun, and capitalized, is in local spelling. My Washington driver's license is called a Driver License (reduced from all caps per MOS:ALLCAPS). It would be perfectly OK to refer to my Washington Driver License as a driving license, if this article is in UK spelling. But if the convention for this article going to remain US English, since there's no consensus on the move discussion below, then a New Zealand Driving License (proper noun) should be referred to as a driver's license when described as a common noun. All of the same arguments could be made in Marriage license. Do we want that article to be a melange of difference spellings?

Others have already pointed out that this is a Wikipedia wide guideline and other Wikipedians have already expended vast amounts of time reaching the compromise in WP:ARTCON. I would support deviating from WP:ARTCON if I were to see verifiable facts showing why driver's license is unique. Show evidence, and WP:IAR applies. Lacking evidence, then WP:ARTCON applies. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 23:54, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

It seems to me that if we are talking about the concept of a license required to drive a vehicle, then we are not tied to any one particular country, variety of English or document. Hence, any one of the suggested alternatives (Driver license, Driver's license, Driving licence, etc) would be suitable as the title of the article because all are attested names in the real world. There is little reason to choose anyone over any other, so WP:RETAIN and WP:ENGVAR say to continue using the existing the title. WP:ARTCON says that once a variety of English has been chosen then that variety should be used throughout the article. Exceptions would be for mentioning the name of an explicit document (in which case it should have leading capitals) and for listing alternative names it is known by. So, the majority of the article should say "driver's license" (to match the title) but sections such 'North America' can mention that it is known as "Driver License" while still continuing to use "driver's license" (without capitals) in the rest of the section. This is both accurate and consistent. To chop and change the name used for every section is against all WP policies to do with varieties of English and also makes it look like a disjoint article written by separate amateurs - very unprofessional.  Stepho  talk  22:20, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I think you and Denis are misunderstanding what I am suggesting. I agree that the title can be an national description. I also agree that when referring in the text to licences in general we should use one spelling but, when referring to a specific document, even if it is not capitalised we must use the actual factual name of that document. This is fundamental WP policy and not just a matter of style. Martin Hogbin (talk) 07:59, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Call it what you like but Stepho-wrs (talk · contribs), JohnBlackburne (talk · contribs), and I are saying this edit violates WP:ARTCON. The more editors who weigh in here, the more lopsided the support for consistent spelling will be. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 14:51, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Possibly that edit was wrong but it would have been easier if you had entered into a rational discussion with me rather than just changing everything. Stepho-wrs says above pretty well what I was saying. When referring to an actual document we must use the correct name and spelling. That is not a matter of style an is not negotiable. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:02, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Nonsense. Please point out any "irrational" edits I have made to the article, or "irrational" discussion here. We should follow the MOS, as I and others have been saying from the beginning. The MOS already says you should use local spelling for proper names, so touting WP:V is superfluous. What is irrational is to even have to talk about spelling when the issue was settled long ago. That's why an admin was so quick to protect the page as soon as a spelling edit war started. There's better things to be doing than talk about spelling. So follow the MOS and keep the peace. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 14:38, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Firstly, remember that you waded in and changed a long standing consensus, based own your own understanding of one WP policy whilst completely ignoring another. You made no attempt to try to understand the existing consensus and then edit warred when I reverted rather than discussing and waiting for a consensus. You then got an admin to protect the page immediately after your edits to consolidate your position.
The documentation required to drive a motor vehicle in the UK is called a 'driving licence' (Note this is not capitalised and not a proper noun). No policy can change that fact, so every time we refer to a specific national document we have to use the correct name of that document. Martin Hogbin (talk) 15:58, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Requested move to 'Driving licence'[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved. This is clearly not unanimous but overall I find that the arguments per WP:RETAIN that we should keep the first non-stub English variety used to be weakened by the potential new consensus that would justify changing; new local consensus trumps ruling-by-precedent. The only arguments that give me pause are the suggestion that both titles are not completely unambiguous (see: Technical 13's comment), but I believe that this is a common enough concept in this era that any potential confusion is minimal at best. Obviously, I'll also make sure all possible redirects exist.


☺ · Salvidrim! ·  20:47, 24 May 2014 (UTC)


Driver's licenseDriving licence – Dennis suggested that because, worldwide, it is a more common term, we should move the article to 'Driving licence'. Let us do that.

I think you will find that many US editors will object because their actual licence has 'Drivers license' written on it, and I would support them. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:07, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

  • Support moving the whole article to UK English. Note that this means we still must follow WP:ARTCON and use consistent spelling except for proper nouns. It's unlikely any US readers will object on the grounds that the document has "Driver's license" written on it. Mine says "DRIVER LICENSE" in all caps, with no S or apostrophe, but this difference is of no consequence. I can still, somehow, comprehend what "drivers license" and "driver's licence" mean in spite of the all caps and other differences. We have only one editor who has voiced this objection to WP:ARTCON, and otherwise there seems to be strong consensus in favor of following the MOS. Please note that this move is pointless if the original spelling disagreement isn't resolved. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 16:19, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  • note I made this into a formal RM, just so it's listed as a potentially controversial move, I hope you don't mind.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:42, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  • support looking at the history and first versions it started off at 'driving licence' and so if there's disagreement and no clear reason to prefer one or the other it should default to that, with the language updated to match.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:42, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - as per comment above by JohnBlackburne.  Velella  Velella Talk   20:44, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is a license for drivers, not a license allowing to drive a particular vehicle, which are also licensed for road use. "driving license" shows no indication it is not a license for a vehicle instead of a person. -- 65.94.171.206 (talk) 04:12, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
    • It's also a licence that allows driving! Both forms are perfectly good English. "Driving licence" probably looks odd to an American; "driver's license" looks odd to me as a Briton. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:19, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Question At the beginning of this RfC is the suggestion that "Driving licence" is preferred because "worldwide, it is a more common term". Is it? Source? HiLo48 (talk) 04:34, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - all combinations of Driver's/Driver/Driving and licence/license are valid candidates for the article, depending on which country you living in and which regional variant of English you use. When variations of English are in dispute we rely on WP:ENGVAR, which says use the language of strong national ties (doesn't apply in this case, being an international topic) or continue using whichever English variant the article started with. It also says only one variant should be used in the article, although the lead paragraph could also list the other names it is known by. We should not base our choice on whether US or UK editors will have a hissy fit.  Stepho  talk  07:40, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with you but that is a separate issue from the move, which is essentially on the basis of MOS:RETAIN as described below. You might want to join in the discussion in the section above about using the factually correct names for specific licences. Martin Hogbin (talk)
  • Comment - as JohnBlackburne noted above, this article started as "Driving licence" which strongly suggest that under WP:ENGVAR, that is what it should return to. However, I for one would welcome debate, only so that later on I can indulge in a therapeutic " hissy fit" ! 09:57, 10 May 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Velella (talkcontribs) 09:57, 10 May 2014‎ (UTC)
WP:RETAIN (as a subsection of WP:ENGVAR) says that if consensus has settled on a variety then that should be retained. If no consensus was settled on then we follow the first non-stub version. In this case, it was created in Feb 2002 as "Driving license". 3 edits later in April 2002, it became "Driver's license" and has remained that way for the intervening 12 years. I'd say that 12 years without being changed or seriously challenged constitutes an implicit consensus for "Driver's license". If we can get an explicit consensus to change it now then the title will change but if we can't agree then it has to remain as "Driver's license".  Stepho  talk  22:33, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per MOS:RETAIN. Move to the spelling the article was started in, and remained at for 4 years before undiscussed move. Zarcadia (talk) 13:28, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per WP:RETAIN. A careful reading of WP:RETAIN says that we keep the variety used in the first non-stub revision of the article. By any standard, that's a version whose first words include "driver's license". I picked (before I looked) 3,000 bytes as my cut-off and found this version, but then I looked closer and any version from that first page besides the two-sentence original had "driver's license". So we retain the first. Red Slash 16:35, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
    • Note: That version also used 'motorised' and 'recognise' and 'licence' and didn't have any WP:-IZE spelling variations, and also included 'driving licence' in multiple places. It was somewhat of a mix. —BarrelProof (talk) 17:58, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
" I picked (before I looked) 3,000 bytes as my cut-off" Sorry but that's completely arbitrary. Zarcadia (talk) 06:15, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
How long would you suggest is long enough to not be a stub? Wherever you pick, as long as it's more than three sentences long, the argument still stands. Red Slash 22:29, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment In New Zealand our's are a Driver Licence. I'd suggest that if the change is accepted that redirect's be inserted for the different styles. NealeFamily (talk) 06:34, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
I see no problem with redirects but the question here is what name to have for the actual article. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:36, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:RETAIN and WP:ENGVAR. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:19, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as ambiguous. The proper term is "Automotive driving license" and leaving the "automotive" keyword out is what make it ambiguous. For all I know, based on the title it could be a license for driving a horse and buggy or a golfball... — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 01:16, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Move back to Driving license. "Driving license" "Driver license" and "Driver's license" are the same thing, completely synonymous everywhere. One dominates over another in particular areas not for any good reason. There is no good reason to be changing it. The original version of this article used "Driving license". Return to that per WP:RETAIN and WP:ENGVAR. There is no stub/non-stub division. Reverse the evident rename by Enchanter (talk · contribs) on 6 April 2002 [1]. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:22, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
WP:RETAIN and WP:ENGVAR say to keep the last consensus. The first non-stub is the deciding factory only when there is no previous consensus. 12 years of being "Driver's license" without contention means that is the consensus, which means your argument is to keep it as "Driver's license". To quote from the policy "When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, it is maintained in the absence of consensus to the contrary. With few exceptions (e.g. when a topic has strong national ties or a term/spelling carries less ambiguity), there is no valid reason for such a change."  Stepho  talk  22:52, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
No, I dispute that there was 12 years of consensus. There was 12 years of nobody noticing. There was no good reason to have moved it, so put it back. To not respect an original version is to create incentive to do things on the quiet, or create artificial drama. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:14, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Well, you have to build a case for whether 12 years of silence means 12 years of nobody noticing versus 12 years of agreement - very subjective and no supporting evidence. Whereas my case depends only on the dry facts of 12 years of "consistent usage", in agreement with WP:RETAIN's exact words. The change to "Driver's license" was made in the 3rd edit. If it was done today then yes, I would agree with reverting it back but it was done before WP:RETAIN was written and the title has now been there for 12 years. Therefore the title is the status quo that we retain if no consensus is found. Of course, if we all agree to change it (ie a consensus) then we change to the new title that we all agree to.  Stepho  talk  22:36, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
WP:Silence is the weakest evidence of consensus, and it prevails only until disputed. I see no evidence of agreement to have changed, and the edit making the change was not substantial. Returning to British English, with "driving license", a descriptive title for the topic, as per Dennis, makes for the most sensible, and simple solution. Mention of specific documents with proper names won't be affected. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:18, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
12 years is a long time on Wikipedia. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:34, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
No, the article should not be moved back to "Driving License". I moved the article from "Driving License" (12 years ago!) with good reasons which were discussed at the time. "Driving License" is not correct usage in the UK (which uses "Driving Licence", with UK spelling), and it's also not normal usage in the US (which uses Driver's License), Canada, or anywhere else that I'm aware of. It doesn't really matter whether we use US, UK, or other usage, but it doesn't make sense to use a title that appears to be wrong for everyone! I am from the UK, and changed the title to the normal US usage to be consistent with the article itself, which used US spelling. Enchanter (talk) 09:59, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
  • OK then. If it is wrong for everyone, there was a good reason to change. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:56, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Move to driving licence, as it appears to have been created as a fork of that article then histories merged. Spelling used in the article should be British (as in the earliest revisions) or mixed (as it remained at least until the end of 2004). Peter James (talk) 22:19, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per RETAIN. I simply don't see a good reason to move it at this time. Calidum Talk To Me 23:08, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This article was created in 2001 by a Polish editor, using US spelling in the title ("license"), and British spelling in the article "licence", and there's been confusion ever since! In 2002 I renamed the article from "Driving license" (which uses US spelling but not US terminology) to the normal US usage "Driver's License" for consistency in the title and the article. This was discussed at the time and I don't think there is any reason to change now - there is no problem with the title, which is understandable for everyone. (I wonder if this will still be discussed in another 12 years!). Enchanter (talk) 11:31, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Comment from an IP user[edit]

Wiki contributors' extant dialog -- which appears below my entry's incisive, apt and correct content -- has been left unmodified, for what their chatter may prove worth.

Tersely, attributive nouns ie, nouns that behave as adjectives [recall: an adverb modifies a verb; an adjective modifies a noun ...] omit the otherwise imperative grammatical apostrophe (possessive form, whether singular or plural). Hence, the singular appellation (the title in our case forms a compound proper noun) Driver License prevails as grammatically apt, coherent usage and supportable above all alternatives ... even though it may appear a bit awkward and resonate as an unfinished phrase.

Your apprehension of the true mechanics (pun | allusion) of Driver License entails your understanding of its component parts, their integrated and literal placement (or position) as well as operative relationships, which ignite their engine power plant aka rationale, steering Driver License and its standardized form and usage.

All that is optimally explained by way of a pit stop, first, which involves the parsing a comparable example that, too, figuratively often crashes minds, leaving road kill and other unseemly litter on the printed page and monitors alike, and can turn off astute audiences, by many would be, if well informed, conscientious and otherwise road-worthy users of the English language, as they unwittingly speed along, creating abysmal communications, for lack of knowing how to improve their writing and speech.

Consider the much maligned and often confused use of the noun veterans (the plural form of veteran) in Veterans Day [the US of A or USA holiday by that name]:

(a) its singular possessive reads veteran's;

(b) its plural possessive should read veterans' [Useful Tip 1: often it appears without its needed possessive apostrophe; hence, ought is used verses should when issuing corrective notification of such an error; whereas, for added clarity and reference, in the instance of the proper noun (eg, a person's name) Charles (already ending in an "s"), ought to read as Charles's: William Strunk | E.B. White | Roger Angell: "The Elements of Style"; Rule #1 [do not misconstrue my citation of that "mini-tome" as my advocacy that any or all of those three gentlemen rate(s) expert, current or correct on most of the points posited therein]; but,

(c) when used as part of a compound proper noun eg, in an appellation (aka title aka name of holiday), such as Veterans Day, the "s", because the noun behaves as attributive noun (yet plural) omits its apostrophe;

(d) applying that same construction logic to our quandary, the plural form of driver, drivers [indicating all drivers referenced, re a pool, whether by association organizationally, locally, regionally, or on a state, national, international, continental or worldwide level(s)], teamed with license [the second part of our compound new noun or noun phrase; because, drivers, its first position part, reads plural form, then its second position part (since all drivers would do not drive on a single license), license, needs to read correspondingly | congruently plural: licenses]: they join forces, creating drivers licenses: sans the apostrophe [again, owed to drivers behaving, in our noun phrase, as an attributive noun]. In other words, it (drivers) contributes to or can be said to clarify the secondary noun, licenses. Hence, in its new plural appellation form [proper noun: capitalized when used as a header, and in order instances according to one's operative Writing Style Guide's strictures], it should (again: ought implies that in most instances it is used ineptly and needs correction) read as Drivers Licenses (that plural usage appears typically in formal professional communications, such as this:

".... State of New York's drivers licenses database is managed and accessed by authorized IT contributors and operations staff ... during SDLC's Phase III reengineering ....."; likewise,

(e) pared down, were you to refer to a single driver's official State of New York license, its formal and correct appellation should [Useful Tip 2: again, use ought where and when you correct an error] read driver (singular) license (singular): combined, as compound noun (specifically, in our case its forms an appellation aka compound proper noun), whose first noun behaves attributively; hence, as a header is should read: Driver License (which, that all said and done ... it does tend to "hang on the top of one's tongue, unfinished, forcing a unsatisfying dry utterance").

Now you know that the attributive form is what accounts for the Driver License plague besetting all individual holders of a card that grants driving "privileges in most of the US of A" aka ID; now, you only need to concern yourself with buying auto insurance ... and database entries?

PS. FYI, my SAT Verbal: 790. Know and thrive!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.68.191.25 (talk) 00:01, 9 November 2012‎ (UTC)

Wikipedia should contain information on the world as it is not as our contributors would like it to be. Martin Hogbin (talk) 00:44, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Post closing discussion[edit]

  • User:Salvidrim!, I don't think your close took into account the development and change in direction following User:Enchanter's input. I for one was just getting around to striking my into bolded !vote. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:55, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
  • As I said on my own talk page, I don't have the strongest conviction about this close either (I was patrolling old, unclosed RMs), so a move review is an absolutely appropriate option to get a second opinion about the consensus (or lack of). Please speak with Used:Red Slash who already expressed intentions of opening an MRV. ☺ · Salvidrim! ·  14:29, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree this move needs a bit more thought. We now have an article with UK spelling in the title, which then switches to (mostly) US spelling in the article itself. Following the move, do we really want to switch the body of the article from US spelling to British spelling? I don't think that solves any problems. The proposer of the move says that "Driving licence" is "worldwide, the more common term", but I'm unconvinced - as far as I'm aware, "Driving licence" is used only in the UK and a handful of countries closely influenced by the UK (such as Ireland and Hong Kong). Driving licence is not the term used in the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. If we go through the article to change the US English to UK spelling, I don't think there will be any improvement in consistency to justify the work involved. Switching an article from US to UK spelling or vice versa is something we should only be doing with very good reason, and I don't think we have that here. That's particularly so as the title has used the US spelling (license) ever since it was created 13 years ago. Enchanter (talk) 14:55, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
The whole point of the discussion was to change the spelling of the whole article, not merely the title. Now the spelling throughout the article needs to change to UK English. Except for proper names of specific documents, which would be capitalized. This does not need more discussion. There was a long discussion by many editors, and now it's settled. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 15:23, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree except that specific documents are not necessarily proper nouns and need not be capitalised. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:10, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
But you lost that debate. Shouldn't you let it go? I don't see what good it is to continue to beat that dead horse. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:15, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
In what sense did I lose that debate? I accept that I was a little over zealous in pressing for national spellings within the article although that was partly because of your heavy handed editing.
You seem to agree that when referring to a specific document, for example 'a UK driving licence', we should use the correct name and spelling but that does not mean that we 'driving licence' is a proper noun and should be capitalised. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:31, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
You failed to convince anyone that using a variant spelling for a common noun is not "factually correct". You failed to convince anyone that WP:ARTCON allows using variant spelling for anything but proper names, quotations, and passages that describe spelling variation itself. If it's not normally capitalized, then it's not a proper name -- exceptions to that rule are very rare and the term driver's license is not one of the rare exceptions. The change you wanted to make was rejected. Regardless of whether this article keeps US or UK spelling, there is consensus that WP:ARTCON is the last word on consistency. There is consensus that WP:ARTCON is clear and unambiguous. Hence the need to drop it and use consistent spelling throughout the article, with three and only thjree well-defined, widely-understood exceptions. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:38, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

To summarise, I suggest that the decision to change the article from US to UK spelling is reviewed, because:

  • The original reason given for the move to "Driving licence" was "Dennis suggested that ... worldwide, it is a more common term". However, there is no backing information given for this and it is not at all clear that that is true. "Driving licence" is to my knowledge only used in the UK and a handful of other English speaking countries with close links to the UK (such as Ireland, Hong Kong and South Africa). It is not the term commonly used in the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • The requested move had six in favour and six opposed. Of those in favour, four specifically gave as their reason that they believed that the article had started off with UK spelling "Driving licence" and moved later. This is not the case (although it's an easy mistake to make given the cut and paste moves). The original article had the title "Driving license" (US spelling), and was later moved (by me) to "Driver's license" (still US spelling, with more consistent terminology). The reasoning for most of those in favour of the move was based on a mistaken understanding of the facts.

In summary, if the move is to stand, I think that someone needs to set out the rationale for the move more clearly - looking at the discussion I don't think anyone has set out a clear, compelling argument for why this article should change from US to UK spelling. We shouldn't go moving articles from US to UK spelling without good reasons. Enchanter (talk) 17:22, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

This is a very poorly justified close after a sloppy discussion. Like Enchanter just above, I too questioned the original premise for this discussion. It was never answered. Many editors just made more unsupported claims of mainly unsupported opinion. When a whole discussion is based on an unexplained and possibly incorrect premise, it's unacceptable to claim consensus from it. HiLo48 (talk) 17:28, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Hey chaps, this really does not matter that much. I abstained from voting for that very reason. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:31, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
If it doesn't matter, why was it changed? HiLo48 (talk) 20:54, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I do not know. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:38, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Concur with Enchanter and HiLo48. It also looks as if at least some of the editors who pushed this unnecessary move and style change are moving very quickly to create the false illusion of consensus for their position. Acting in good faith would mean holding the move discussion open for at least a month and advertising it on the village pump to solicit community input on such a high-profile topic. If there is any more hijacking of articles for which there is longstanding consensus in favor of American English (the dominant dialect of English by native speakers), someone needs to get the admins or ArbCom involved. --Coolcaesar (talk) 04:45, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I have not participated in this debate, but it may be worth noting that the above statement by Coolcaesar, often repeated by others, is not borne out by English language#Geographical distribution which shows that the numbers of people speaking commonwealth derived variants of English (395,356,020 speakers) slightly out number the North American variants(336,684,369 speakers). These numbers are not material to this discussion but should not be left uncorrected to create a false impression.  Velella  Velella Talk   08:47, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
As a writer in English, an English writer and a long-time student of the language, this storm in a teacup has kept me amused for decades. I once tried to read American and British English spelling differences and got a headache halfway through. I don't believe the discussion does Wikipedia (surely a global project) any favours or favors. Of more concern to me is that people understand what I write. On this particular topic: since there are separate articles on "driver's license" and "driving licence", why is this discussion so important? As we say in Britain: "Vive la difference", eh? Tony Holkham (talk) 09:54, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Actually, Velella, English spelling and grammar are atrocious (even in formal written documents like court opinions and newspapers) in many (if not most) Commonwealth nations because English is not the first language in which the local population is immersed from birth. The result is not so much real English as it is pidgin. That's why I used the qualifier native speakers. --Coolcaesar (talk) 08:46, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Any chance of a reference for that outrageous statement? Not sure how my friends in NZ would feel about being described as speakers of pidgin English .  Velella  Velella Talk   10:51, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Filed a move review[edit]

See WP:MRV Red Slash 22:49, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Can't see it there. HiLo48 (talk) 01:53, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
At the top of Wikipedia:Move review/Log/2014 May. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:54, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Pennyslvania[edit]

"Delaware has a reciprocal license exchange for Germany and France.[31]"

I am quite sure PA does too. Bolegash (talk) 04:28, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Kentucky[edit]

Kentucky is listed as one of France's reciprocal states.[1] --Troyeseffigy (talk) 21:37, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Poland[edit]

There is no law saying that one has to carry ID card along with Driving License. Only documents needed are car registration papers and aforementioned License. Furthermore, having ID card for all people above 18 years of age is mandatory but carrying it - isn't. 22:12, 27 March 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.160.40.42 (talk)

A query[edit]

Since when have "[the] Dominican Republic, Spain, Sweden and Venezuela" been in Asia? Peridon (talk) 10:24, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 11 May 2014[edit]

Currently, the United States section states:

"The eligible age varies substantially by state. Nationally by age 16 one can obtain a license after passing the requisite tests and drive without adult supervision."

As the first sentence states there is no national law determining when one can obtain a license and it varies by state from 14 years 3 months to 17 years. The wording of that second sentence is also a bit unclear. I propose changing the sentence to read:

"The eligible age to obtain a drivers license varies substantially from state to state. In a majority of states one can obtain a license that allows driving without adult supervision by age 16, after passing the requisite tests." Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 21:46, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Note: I endorse and support this request as non-controversial and would have made the edit myself if not for the full protection which appears inappropriate. I could see full move-protection, but there shouldn't be more than semi edit protection at best. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 01:19, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, the protection wasn't over the proposed move, it was due to edit warring over spelling within the article, and whether WP:ARTCON allows different sections of the article to use different spellings for non-proper nouns. See the discussion just above the proposed name change. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 01:53, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Padlock-bronze-open.svg Not done: The page's protection level and/or your user rights have changed since this request was placed. You should now be able to edit the page yourself. If you still seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:36, 16 May 2014 (UTC)