i

ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

833 01736

GENEALOGY

977.7

P176C

1942

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THE IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

COPYRIGHT 1942 BY

THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OP IOWA

THE

IOWA JOURNAL

OP

HISTORY AND POLITICS

JOHN ELY BRIGGS

EDITOR

RUTH A. GALLAHER

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

VOLUME XL 1942

PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA IOWA CITY IOWA 1942

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CONTENTS

Ntjmbek 1 January 1942

The Administration of the Drivers’

License Law in Iowa Marcy G. Bodine 3

The Iowa Sawmill Industry George Bernhardt Hartman 52

Some Publications 94

lowana 99

Historical Activities 105

Notes and Comment 111

Contributors 112

Number 2 April 1942

Iowa Editors and the Second World War

International Affairs William J. Petersen 115

Peter Wilson in the Civil War

The Training Period 153

Some Publications 204

lowana 209

Historical Activities 219

Notes and Comment 223

Contributors 224

Vlll

CONTENTS

Number 3 July 1942

Lairds of North Tama Janette Stevenson Murray 227

Peter Wilson in the Civil War

In Battle and on Parole 261

Some Publications 321

lowana 324

Historical Activities 329

Notes and Comment 335

Contributors 336

Number 4 October 1942 Peter Wilson in the Civil War 1863-1865 339

Harvey Boyd Duncan Joseph G. Duncan 415

Some Publications 422

lowana 427

Historical Activities 437

Notes and Comment 443

Contributors 444

Index

445

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andPoliticS

The Administration of the Drivers’

License Law in Iowa Maboy G^, Bonii^E » j ; 'c i

The Iowa Sawmill Industry

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Some Publications

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lowana

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Historical Activities

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Notes and Comment .

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Contributors . '

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THE IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

JANUARY NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-TWO

VOLUME FORTY NUMBER ONE

XL

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THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DRIVERS’ LICENSE LAW IN lOWA^

Not many decades separate 1942 from the “horse and buggy” era when the automobile was a curiosity and its driver was warned to come to a full stop and give assist- ance to the driver of a horse frightened by the horseless vehicle. In fact some of our contemporaries can hark back to the period of American life when no motor cars trav- ersed our highways. In a little more than a generation this modern engine of transportation has become so com- mon that there is now about one automobile for every three to four persons in these United States. From a thing of curiosity and luxury the automobile has developed into a necessity for the American no matter what his “walk of life may be.

In 1900 only eight thousand automobiles were reported in the entire United States. Now there are more than thirty million motor vehicles, both passenger and commercial. The effect of such phenomenal increases has been to make long distances negligible and to bring regions formerly inacces- sible within easy reach. As the automobile has increased in numbers so also its efficiency has become greater. Cars have been made more beautiful, faster, and more durable.

While one may state with finality that the benefits accru- ing to the people of this nation as a whole from the increase in automobiles are phenomenal, a problem of sinister impli- cations has, at the same time, been created. In the hands of careless, incompetent, or indifferent drivers, the automo-

1 This article was prepared as a doctoral dissertation and was submitted to the Graduate College of the State University of Iowa in August, 1938. It has been condensed, edited, and brought down to date.

3

4 IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

bile has caused fatalities and accidents, and the fatalities have increased in proportion to the number of automobiles, the number of miles these cars are driven, and the growth in population.^

In 1911 deaths from automobile accidents in the United States were estimated at 2043. This was only three per cent of all accidental deaths in the country. By 1915, with some two and a half million motor vehicles, the United States reported almost four thousand fatalities due to car accidents, about five and a half for each 100,000 of the population. By 1920 almost ten million motor vehicles were registered in the United States which then had a pop- ulation of 105,710,620. The automobile fatalities had risen to 10.4 for every 100,000 persons. In 1930 the United States counted 122,775,046 inhabitants and 26,545,281 motor vehicles. Accidents due to cars had increased the death toll to 29,080 in registration areas alone, or 24.5 deaths for each 100,000 people. This was 30 per cent of all accidental deaths in the United States.

Since 1930 the number of cars in the United States has increased more slowly. Deaths due to car accidents in- creased more rapidly than cars or population. The death toll for the United States in 1935 was 34,183, or 26.8 per 100,000 population. In 1939, 29,485,680 motor vehicles were registered in the United States, with 30,564 deaths reported as due to car accidents.

The most rapid increase in the number of motor vehicles in the United States came during the ten years preceding 1925. The number of accidents and fatalities, as might be expected, varies with the number of cars, although the ratio

2 Data conceming motor vehicles and fatalities in the United States have been taken from various volumes of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, The figures for a given year sometimes vary slightly in different vol- umes. See also Priority for Traffic Safety 1941 (Automotive Safety Founda- tion), p. 3.

THE DRIVERS^ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

5

is affected by other conditions, especially by the increase in traffic miles. It has been found that there is a mathematical increase in the danger of accidents as related to the number of cars. Where the highway mileage remains the same, doubling the number of cars will result in four times as many accidents. This rapid increase in the number and use of motor vehicles brought before State and local officials a new problem one which has not yet been solved.

At first the drivers of automobiles were governed only under the general rules of the road, enforced by local police, constables, and sheriffs, but the fact that automobiles had a much larger range than horse-drawn vehicles soon made it evident that the States must take at least some of the responsibility. A motorist was not always a member of the community. He might live in a distant county or in a neighboring State. The arm of the law had to be longer. Gradually the regulation of automobiles and automobile traffic came into the orbit of State government. Automo- biles called for better roads. Therefore a system of licens- ing motor vehicles soon came into use, both for the sake of identification and for revenue. The automobile, however, must have a driver and to fix the driver’s responsibility a license to drive came into use.

In the enforcement of these various laws the authority of the State came into question. Cases at law grew out of challenges to the authority of the States to give or with- hold the right to operate automobiles and to regulate their speed. Almost unanimously the courts have ruled that driving an automobile is a privilege and not a right and that the control of motor vehicles is a justifiable use of a State’s police powers.^

But the regulation of automobile traffic soon proved to be

3 Salberg v. Davenport, 211 Iowa, 612 ; People v. Diller, 24 California Appel- late Ds., 799; State v. Sterrin, 78 New Hampshire, 220; People v. Rosenbermer, 209 New York, 115; Commonwealth v. Kingsbury, 199 Massachusetts, 542.

6 IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

an inter-State problem. At least the advantage of uni- formity was recognized. The New England States were pioneers in the regulation of motor vehicle traffic. The first attempt in this direction came from the State of Maine.^ In 1915 the legislature authorized the Governor to appoint three commissioners who were to confer with other com- missioners from the States of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. These commissioners were to consider the possibility of uniform laws for licensing drivers in the States they represented.

In 1924, the Federal Department of Commerce began to take an interest in this problem of uniformity in the licens- ing of motor vehicle operators. It called a National Con- ference on Street and Highway Safety to investigate the problem. Nation-wide agencies such as the American Automobile Association, the National Safety Council, and the American Railway Association cooperated with the Department of Commerce in organizing and financing the conference.

This conference made detailed studies of highway safety. Significant recommendations for licensing drivers were made by the Committee on Traffic Control and the Com- mittee on Public Relations. The first group recommended a uniform drivers’ licensing law, a minimum age limit, and adequate means of determining a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. The Committee on Public Relations advo- cated ‘‘nation-wide uniform practices” in the matter of licensing the automobile operator.^

In a conference held in 1926, a uniform code for the licensing of chauffeurs and operators was drawn up and

4 Laws of Maine, 1915, Ch. 327.

5 Beport of Committee on Street and Sighway Safety, National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, 1924, p. 11; Beport of Committee on Public Belations, National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, 1924, p. 7.

THE DRIVERS’ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

7

adopted. The Committee on the Uniformity of Laws and Regulations reported that ‘‘safe, economical, and conven- ient use of the highways requires uniformity in state vehicle acts, and state administration regulations.’’®

Iowa has conformed to motor vehicle trends in the nation both as to the number of cars and fatalities. Automobiles came into Iowa with the twentieth century but it was more than ten years before their number attracted more than curious attention. The following table indicates the num- ber of motor vehicles registered in Iowa, some data as to the number of accidents due to automobiles, and the number of deaths due to such accidents. Loss of time and expendi- tures for medical care are not recorded.

FATALITIES AND ACCIDENTS IN IOWA EELATIVE TO THE NUMBER OF CARS REGISTERED

Date

Motor Vehicles Registered

Accidents Reported

Fatalities

1913

75,068

80

1915

152,134

129

1920

440,105

161

1925

661,630

261

1930

788,675

619

1931

760,284

582

1932

691,637

13,612

530

1933

636,379

13,268

546

1934

676,254

11,011

544

1935

709,691

10,335

575

1936

740,550

11,842

526

1937

760,634

13,977

571

1938

773,503

12,712

486

1939

805,525

14,981

530

1940

900,735

19,835

538

6 Report of Committee on Uniformity of Laws and Eegulations, National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, 1926, p. 9.

7 Except for the fatality figures for 1913, 1915, and 1920, the data given in this table was furnished by Mr. Karl W. Fischer, Commissioner of Public Safety, Des Moines, in a communication dated October 7, 1941. The first three fatality figures were furnished by the Iowa Department of Health on October 20, 1941.

8 IOWA JOURNAL OP HISTORY AND POLITICS

These figures indicate that the number of cars in Iowa approximately doubled between 1913 and 1915, increased three-fold during the next five years, and was one-third larger in 1925 than in 1920. Thereafter the number of cars increased only slowly. Indeed the number decreased slightly during the depression period of the early thirties, being 788,675 in 1930 and only 636,379 in 1933.

The death toll in Iowa follows the same general trend, but shows the greatest increase between 1925 and 1930, being almost three times as large in 1930 as in 1925, al- though there was no large increase either in population or number of cars. This increase was apparently connected with the increased mileage of paved and graveled roads, more travel, and the greater speed at which cars could be driven.

There is no record of. the number of miles driven by the thousands of Iowa cars, but gasoline consumption is an approximate indication of traffic. In 1925, with 661,630 cars registered, Iowa gasoline consumption for traffic uses was approximately 208 million gallons. The fatalities num- bered 261. Five years later the number of cars had in- creased to 788,675 or about 19 per cent, while gasoline con- sumption had increased to more than 382 million gallons, about 83 per cent. Fatalities had jumped to 619 or about 137 per cent. By 1935 the number of cars had decreased by about 10 per cent and gasoline consumption was down to about 302 million gallons, a decrease of about 21 per cent. The death record, however, was down only 7 per cent.

The increase in the number of cars and especially the increase in accidents and fatalities soon made Iowa officials realize that the old laws of the highway were no longer sufficient. Automobile drivers could no longer be controlled by county and municipal authorities. As early as April, 1904, the General Assembly passed a law ^‘requiring regis-

THE DRIVERS’ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

9

tration of motor vehicles and regulating their use or oper- ation upon highways or streets”.® Each owner of a car was required to file with the Secretary of State a statement of his name and address, with a description of the car. The filing fee was one dollar. The motor vehicle was then as- signed a number which was to be displayed on a plate fixed to the back of the car. No one even thought of asking the owner or driver of the car whether he knew how to drive or not. In 1907 the fee for the registration of an automobile was raised to five dollars.®

In 1911 the Iowa General Assembly rewrote the law gov- erning the operation of motor vehicles. That such means of transportation had achieved an economic status is evi- dent from the fact that this law defined ^‘chauffeurs”. The owner was required to describe his automobile in detail. Two number plates were now required. The only limitation on the operator of an automobile was the provision that no person under fifteen years of age was permitted to operate or drive a motor vehicle unless accompanied by the owner.

Driving a car while intoxicated was made a misdemeanor and for a driver to leave the scene of a personal injury without giving his name and address and the number of his car to the injured person or to a police officer was made a felony. Conviction upon either of these charges was to be reported by the court to the Secretary of State, who, upon the recommendation of the court, was to suspend the regis- tration of the motor vehicle which had been operated by the

8 Laws of Iowa, 1904, Ch. 53. The maximum speed in the built-up sections of cities and towns was ten miles per hour; in other places in towns, fifteen miles. An average speed of twenty miles an hour was fixed for country driving. At a signal from a person riding or driving a horse, team, or other domestic animals, the operator of an automobile was required to stop his car until the horse-drawn vehicle had passed, if the two travelers were going in opposite directions or, if going in the same direction, he was to use caution in passing the slower conveyance and give assistance if necessary.

9 Laws of Iowa, 1907, Ch. 68.

10 IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

person convicted or his own car if he owned one and had been driving a car belonging to another person. If no appeal was taken or the conviction was upheld, the regis- tration was to be revoked. A person operating any motor vehicle while his registration certificate was suspended or revoked was guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon a fourth conviction of a chauffeur or owner, the vehicle owned or used by the guilty person could not be re-registered for six months, and not thereafter except at the discretion of the Secretary of State.^®

The enforcement of these provisions was left to the local officials and the regularly established courts and to the Secretary of State, and no special agency was established. The Secretary of State reported a ‘‘Clerk Auto M. DepU’ at a salary of $1200 a year, apparently under a blanket appropriation for clerical help.^^

As the work of keeping track of automobile registrations and delinquent drivers increased, the Secretary of State organized a Motor Vehicle Bureau within his office and in 1913 the General Assembly appropriated $10,200 for sala- ries in the “Motor Vehicle Department The Secretary of State, however, listed the clerks and other employees engaged in this work under “Motor Vehicle Bureau’’.^®

ATTEMPTS TO SECUEE LEGISLATION ON DEIVEES' LICENSES

These earlier laws dealt with cars rather than with drivers. It was not until 1919 that the Iowa legislature gave direct attention to the licensing of drivers of auto- mobiles. Chapter 275 of the acts of the Thirty-eighth Gen-

10 Laws of Iowa, 1911, Ch. 72.

11 The Iowa Official Register, 1911-1912, p. 194; Laws of Iowa, 1911, p. 306.

^zLaws of Iowa, 1913, p. 433, Joint Eesolution No. 15. See also Laws of Iowa, 1917, pp. 327, 328.

13 The Iowa Official Register, 1913-1914, p. 184, 1915-1916, p. 176, 1917- 1918, p. 127.

THE DRIVERS^ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

11

eral Assembly embodied new legislation relative to the ‘^Licensing and Regulation of Motor Vehicles’’. Section 11 of that law provided that persons employed as chauf- feurs should be required to secure a license. Any person might make application for such a license and set forth his qualifications on forms furnished by the Secretary of State. The applicant was required to state whether he was single or married, whether he had ever been convicted of a viola- tion of the motor vehicle laws of the State or of intoxication during the year previous, and give his age, residence, color, and business. The license was not issued, however, until there was satisfactory evidence that the applicant was at least eighteen years of age and ‘‘a fit and proper person to receive such license ’.

Chapter 370 of the acts of the same session of the Gen- eral Assembly provided that the word ‘‘chauffeur” should not apply to employees engaged in operating motor trucks for persons, firms or corporations engaged in mercantile and agTicultural enterprises. Hence the law with regard to licensing the operators of cars was very limited in its scope. The chauffeur’s license fee at this time was $2 an- nually. The law explained that where the word “depart- ment” was used, it meant the office of the Secretary of State.^^

At the next session of the General Assembly, in 1921, a measure was introduced in the House of Representatives to provide for “the licensing of all motor vehicle drivers or operators”. This measure was indefinitely postponed in the House and no further action was taken during that ses- sion.^® Although this law failed of passage the wording of the proposed measure indicates that regulation was coming

^*Lams of Iowa, 1919, Chs. 275, 370.

House File, 1921, No. 375; Journal of the House of Eepresentatives, 1921, pp. 515, 516.

12 IOWA JOURNAL OP HISTORY AND POLITICS

more and more into public consciousness. Under the pro- posed law parents were required to sign with minors who made application for licenses. And provision was made for the revocation of licenses in punishment of offenses against the law.

In 1923 Senator J. 0. Shaff introduced in the Fortieth General Assembly a measure to provide for operators’ as well as chauffeurs licenses. Application was to be made to the motor vehicle department, through the county treas- urer. Each person was to be given a distinguishing num- ber or mark and was to receive a certificate, including among other data, a description of the licensee. No fee was required for an operator’s license. Section 3 of this meas- ure provided that anyone operating a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition should be guilty of a misde- meanor, and be subject to a fine of not to exceed five hun- dred dollars or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both fine and imprisonment. In addition to this the oper- ator’s license should be suspended for six months, and upon conviction of a second such offense the license was to be ‘‘revoked permanently”. This measure, like the one in the previous session, however, failed of passage being rejected in the Senate by a vote of twenty-four to four, twenty-one Senators, including the author of the bill, being listed as not voting. So the law remained as it was enacted in 1919.16

During the session of the Forty-first General Assembly in 1925 no measure was introduced dealing with the subject of drivers licenses.i’’^

In the Forty-second General Assembly, in 1927, Senator Shaff again introduced a bill “relating to the licensing of motor vehicle operators and chauffeurs”, taken almost

Senate File, 1923, No. 391; Journal of the Senate, 1923, p. 1053.

17 historical and Classified Index to Legislative Bills, 1925, pp. 22, 23.

THE DRIVERS’ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

13

verbatim from the uniform Motor Vehicle Operators’ and Chauffeurs’ Licensing Act drafted in 1926. This measure was comprehensive in scope and would have gone far in codifying the law on this subject, if it had been enacted into law. But like the previous measure it was defeated in the Senate the ayes being 16 and the nays 21.^®

In the following session of the General Assembly (the Forty-third) Senator Shaff introduced his licensing meas- ure a third time as Senate File 69. This act was similar to the one presented in 1927. Senator Shaff ’s measure also had additional support due to the fact that in his message to the legislature Governor John Hammill had specifically recommended the adoption of the ‘^Uniform Motor Vehicle Operator’s and Chauffeur’s License Act”. Uniformity, he said, ‘‘will promote law observance, comfort and safety.” Senate File 264, a second bill by Senator Shaff, intro- duced on February 19th, and House File 275, identical bills, were finally substituted for Senator Shaff ’s original bill. For the first time, an operator-licensing measure passed the Senate by a vote of twenty-seven to seventeen, six mem- bers being absent or not voting. The House bill, introduced by Harry C. Paulson of Clinton County, on February 20th, was referred to the Committee on Motor Vehicles and Transportation. It was placed on the House calendar from which it was never taken. Senate File 264, the companion bill, was given the first and second readings in the House, but was lost in the Sifting Committee.^®

THE FIRST DRIVERS' LICENSE LAW

In 1931 Senator L. H. Doran introduced two bills relating to the operators of motor vehicles. One of these was soon

18 Senate File, 1927, No. 149; Journal of the Senate, 1927, pp. 1192-1194.

Senate File, 1929, Nos. 69, 269; House File, 1929, No. 275; Journal of the Senate, 1929, p. 43; Journal of the House of Bepresentatives, 1929, pp. 421, 937, 1301.

14 IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

withdrawn. The other was adopted by a vote of 37 to 6 in the Senate and 81 to 16 in the Honse.^® The layT’^^ thus enacted was comprehensive and detailed. All persons driving motor vehicles upon the highways must obtain licenses except persons driving road rollers, road ma- chinery, farm tractors, or similar agricultural implements, and persons in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States who had official permits and were operating official motor vehicles. A non-resident over fifteen years of age duly licensed in his home State or country was exempt from the Iowa license requirement. Residents of States and countries in which operators’ and chauffeurs’ licenses were not required were permitted to drive cars registered for the current year in the State or country of their resi- dence upon Iowa highways for a period of thirty days within the year without registration. Any person, whether non-resident or not, whose driver’s license had been sus- pended or revoked under the act was, however, prohibited from operating a motor vehicle under a license from an- other jurisdiction, and no new license was to be granted during the period of suspension or for one year following revocation.

No license was to be issued to a person under fifteen except that a child fourteen years of age or over might, at the request of a parent or guardian, be given a license to drive to and from school. The application of a person under eighteen must be signed by his father, if living and having the custody of the minor, or otherwise by the mother or guardian, or in case there was no parent or legal guard- ian, by the employer. Chauffeurs must be at least eighteen years of age.

Journal of the Senate, 1931, pp. 76, 77, 197, 201, 683, 1475, 1563; Journal of the House of Sepresentatives, 1931, pp. 902, 1705.

21 Laws of Iowa, 1931, Ch. 114.

THE DRIVERS’ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

15

No person, whether licensed or not, under the age of sixteen was permitted to drive a school bus and drivers of passenger-carrying buses must be at least twenty-one. Persons under fifteen were, however, still permitted to drive a car if accompanied by a person at least nineteen years of age. There was, apparently, no requirement that this older person must have a driver’s license. Licenses were not to be issued to habitual drunkards, narcotic ad- dicts, or persons who had been adjudged insane or an idiot, imbecile, epileptic, or feeble-minded unless such per- son had been restored to competency by court order or by release from an institution upon certificate from the super- intendent that he was competent to carry on normal activ- ities, but even in such cases the license could be withheld at the discretion of the Motor Vehicle Department.

Licenses were to be granted only upon examination ‘^as to his physical and mental qualifications to operate a motor vehicle in such manner as not to jeopardize the safety of persons or property . . . but such examination shall

not include investigation of any facts other than those directly pertaining to the ability of the applicant to operate a motor vehicle with safety, or other than those facts de- clared to be prerequisite to the issuance of a license under this act. Examinations might, however, be waived by the department in case of applications for renewals for either operators’ or chautfeurs’ licenses and for three months after the act took effect examinations might also be waived in case of a new applicant otherwise qualified who could furnish satisfactory evidence that he (or she) had satisfac- torily operated a motor vehicle in Iowa for not less than a year.

Although these licenses came from the Motor Vehicle Department in the office of the Secretary of State, the De- partment was to designate local officers county sheriffs.

16 IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

chiefs of police, town marshals, or other persons to take charge of the actual work of examination and investiga- tion. This work was usually entrusted to county sheriffs. They were required to report their findings to the Motor Vehicle Department and might issue the licenses to resi- dents of their counties or to non-residents. The Motor Vehicle Department was required to keep a record of all operators' and chauffeurs' licenses issued, denied, sus- pended, and revoked.

The license issued was to carry the number assigned to the license and contain data as to name, age, and residence, as well as a brief description of the person to whom it was issued. The licensee was to sign it. In addition to his license, a chauffeur was also to display a badge with his license number. The license was to be in the immediate possession of the licensee at all times when he was driving a car and was to be displayed upon demand.

The fee for an operator's license was twenty-five cents, for a chauffeur's license two dollars. Fifteen cents from the operator's fee and fifty cents from the chauffeur's fee was to be retained by the local office ; the remainder went to the State Treasurer, ‘^as provided for herein". Owners of motor vehicles were, however, to be granted individual operators' licenses without the payment of the fee. Oper- ators' licenses were to be valid for two years, expiring on December thirty-first of odd-numbered years. Chauffeurs' licenses were good for only one year.

Detailed provisions were made for the suspension and revocation of such licenses on certain conditions. The maxi- mum period of suspension was fixed at one year. Courts were required to forward to the Motor Vehicle Department a record of the conviction of any person for a violation of the laws of Iowa relative to the operation of motor vehicles, and might recommend the suspension or revocation of the

THE DRIVEKS’ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

17

license of the person convicted. The Department, however, could use its discretion about following this recommenda- tion except in certain specified cases.

The licenses of persons convicted of the following crimes must be revoked : manslaughter, resulting from the opera- tion of a motor vehicle ; driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic drug; per- jury or making false affidavits under the motor vehicle act or any act regulating the use of motor vehicles ; any crime punishable as a felony under the motor vehicle laws of Iowa or a felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle was used ; conviction or forfeiture of bail upon three charges of reckless driving in the preceding twelve months ; and conviction of a driver involved in the death or injury of another person upon a charge of failing to stop and dis- close his identity at the scene of the accident.

Upon receiving a report of the conviction of a person upon a charge of operating a motor vehicle while his license was suspended or revoked, the Department was to extend the period of suspension or revocation for an additional like period. In the case of revocation this apparently meant the extension of the period before another license could be granted. Driving a car during the period for which one’s license was suspended or revoked was made a misdemeanor and was to be punished accordingly.

In addition to the must revocations, the Department was authorized to suspend, at its discretion, the licenses of the following licensees : any person believed to have committed any of the crimes for which conviction made revocation mandatory, any person whose reckless or unlawful opera- tion of a motor vehicle caused or contributed to accidents resulting in death or injury to any other person or serious property damage; any person believed to be mentally or physically incompetent to drive a car; or any person be-

18 IOWA JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND POLITICS

lieved to be an habitual reckless or negligent driver. In such cases the licensee was to be notified of the suspension and afforded an opportunity for a hearing on the charge in the county of his residence. After such hearing the Depart- ment might rescind the suspension or it might add to the period of suspension or revoke the license entirely.

The Department was also authorized to suspend or re- voke the right of a non-resident to operate a motor vehicle in Iowa for any cause for which the license of a resident might be suspended or revoked and a non-resident who operated a motor vehicle after such suspension or revoca- tion was to be guilty of a misdemeanor. The Department might also suspend or revoke the license of an Iowa resi- dent upon receiving notice of his or her conviction in an- other State for an offense which was a ground for such action under the Iowa law. The Department was further authorized to forward a certified copy of the record of the conviction of a non-resident to the proper authority in the State in which the person so convicted resided.

Upon suspension or revocation of either operators’ or chauffeurs licenses, the license must be surrendered and a chauffeur was required also to surrender his badge. Both badge and license were to be returned at the end of the suspension period. Following revocation, a new license was not to be issued or applied for until the expiration of one year from the date of revocation.

Any person refused a license or any person whose license was revoked for causes not made mandatory in the law was permitted to appeal within thirty days to a court of record in the county of his residence for a hearing. This hearing (in equity) was to be held ^^upon ten (10) days’ written notice” to the Motor Vehicle Department. Following the hearing, the court was authorized to decide whether or not the applicant was entitled to a license.

THE DRIVERS^ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

19

Possession or display of a fictitious operator's or chauf- feur’s license or of such a license which had been cancelled, revoked, suspended, or altered was made unlawful as was lending a license or permitting the use of a license by an- other person, displaying a license not one’s own, failing or refusing to surrender a license which had been revoked, suspended, or cancelled, and giving a false or fictitious name or address in applying for a license. It was also made unlawful to cause or knowingly permit an unlicensed person under eighteen years of age to drive a motor ve- hicle on the highway, to employ an unlicensed chautfeur, or to permit the illegal use of a motor vehicle.

AMENDMENTS TO THE DRIVEES’ LICENSE LAW

At the regular session in 1933 the General Assembly picked up a few loose ends in the 1931 drivers’ license law. The “department” as used in the law was specifically de- fined as the “motor vehicle department of the state of Iowa under the secretary of state”. The fees turned over to the State Treasurer were to be placed in the maintenance fund of the Motor Vehicle Department and the Department was authorized to expend these funds to carry the provisions of the act into etfect. The fees for duplicate licenses had been the same as for the original licenses, but the 1933 amend- ment reduced the fee for a duplicate chauffeur’s license to fifty cents fifteen of which were retained by the county issuing the duplicate and thirty -five were to be sent to the Treasurer of State to be placed in the Motor Vehicle De- partment’s maintenance fund.--

The General Assembly also provided that all operators’ licenses expiring on December 31, 1933, and not heretofore revoked were to be extended until December 31, 1935.-^

22 Laws of Iowa, 1933, Ch. 77; Code of 1931, Sec. 5000.

23 Laws of Iowa, 1933, Ch. 81.

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The statutory provisions concerning the form of the licenses were general, but the Motor Vehicle Department was given broad powers to promulgate rules and regula- tions. It was apparently under this authority that the Department issued the licenses with two detachable stubs, in addition to the main section. These could be removed one at a time. This form was possibly devised to fit the provision in the general law that three convictions for reckless driving meant loss of the license. In 1934 the General Assembly amended the drivers’ license act to pro- vide that in case revocation of the entire license was not mandatory, a court should, upon the conviction of an oper- ator or chauffeur for minor offenses concerning the motor vehicle code, detach one stub of the license and send it to the Motor Vehicle Department as a record of the convic- tion.^^

In 1935 the General Assembly made another addition to the drivers’ license law. Examiners appointed by the De- partment were given the authority of peace officers for the purpose of enforcing laws relating to motor vehicles and the operation of motor vehicles. This provision indicated that the Motor Vehicle Department had taken over the examination and investigation of applicants for drivers’ licenses, as authorized by the phrase ‘‘or to appoint other persons within this state to act for the department for the purpose of examining applicants for operators’ and chauf- feurs’ licenses.” The next section in this law was possibly connected with the first. It amended the section concerning the transfer of drivers license funds to the Department by adding “to be used for the purpose of making effective the uniform operators’ and chauffeurs’ license law”. The ex- emption of the owner of a car from the payment of the

Laws of Iowa, 1933-1934, Special Session, Ch. 55; Code of 1931, Sec. 4960-1)32.

THE DRIVERS’ LICENSE LAW IN IOWA

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twenty -five cent fee was also removed and drivers licenses which were, by a law passed in 1933, to expire on December 31, 1935, were now to expire on June 30, 1935.-‘'*

THE PRESENT DRIVERS’ LICENSE LAW

The Forty-seventh General Assembly enacted a compre- hensive motor vehicle law.-® This law is the basis for the sections on drivers’ licenses in the Code of 1939 , which are presented below. In 1939 the General Assembly created a Department of Public Safety, directly responsible to the Governor, with a Commissioner of Public Safety in charge, and transferred to the new Department, among other re- sponsibilities, the licensing of operators of motor vehicles and chautfeurs. By another law the entire Motor Vehicle Department was transferred from the office of the Secre- tary of State to the newly created office of Commissioner of Public Safety.^”^

The acts passed in 1937 and 1939 seem to have covered the field of drivers’ licenses rather satisfactorily for only one change was made by the Forty-ninth General Assembly in 1941. These laws, as presented in the Code of 1939, Secs. 5013.01 to 5015.09, are presented below in ten point type, with some explanatory comments.

5013.01 Operators and chauffeurs licensed. No person, except those hereinafter expressly exempted shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid license as an operator or chauffeur issued by the department of public safety. No person shall operate a motor vehicle as a chauffeur unless he holds a valid chauffeur’s license.

5013.02 Chauffeurs exempted as operators. Any person holding a valid chauffeur’s license hereunder need not procure an oper- ator’s license.

25 Laws of Iowa, 1935, Ch. 46.

26 Laws of Iowa, 1937, Ch. 134, Secs. 205-255.

27 Laws of Iowa, 1939, Ch. 120, Secs. 32, 33, 41-46, and Ch. 121.

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5013.03 Persons exempt. The following