What Is A Motor Vehicle?

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Why is it advantageous not to describe your car as a 'motor vehicle' when involved with the law?

It could be assumed as an admittance to operating in commerce

In what context does the word 'drive' take on a commercial meaning according to the text?

When associated with a chauffeur or one who drives a vehicle for hire

What does the text recommend when reading terms like 'motor vehicle' in your state's motor vehicle literature?

Understand their true meaning and significance in the context of your circumstance

What is the definition of a 'term of art' in law?

A word or phrase that has special meaning in a particular context

Which code is generally controlling when it comes to the subject of traffic in the United States?

The federal code as written in the United States Code

According to the U.S.C. Title 18, Section 31(a)(6), what is the definition of a 'motor vehicle'?

Every description of carriage or other contrivance propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used for commercial purposes on the highways in the transportation of passengers, passengers and property, or property or cargo

Study Notes

Understanding Legal Definitions in Government Literature

  • It is important to have a working knowledge of legal definitions in government literature to correctly understand the information being communicated.
  • The phrases "term of art" or "legal words of art" refer to words or phrases that have special meaning in a particular legal context.
  • The federal code in the United States, as written in the U.S.C., generally supersedes any state motor vehicle code when it comes to traffic laws.
  • According to U.S.C. Title 18, Section 31(a)(6), a motor vehicle is defined as any carriage or contrivance propelled by mechanical power and used for commercial purposes on highways.
  • Section 31(a)(10) further clarifies that "used for commercial purpose" means the carriage of persons or property for any fare, fee, rate, charge, or other consideration, or in connection with any business or profit-making endeavor.
  • Describing your car or automobile as a "motor vehicle" may be seen as an admission to operating in commerce under traffic codes, so it may be advantageous not to use this term.
  • The term "drive" or "driver" can have a commercial meaning depending on the context of its use.
  • When associated with a commercial activity, such as a chauffeur or a driver of a vehicle for hire, "drive" and "driver" are construed in connection with that commercial activity and fall under regulatory codes.
  • It is important to understand the true meaning and significance of these terms in your state's motor vehicle literature, rather than assuming a common definition based on everyday language.

Test your knowledge of legal definitions and terminology used in government literature. Enhance your understanding of statutes, codes, and department descriptions by correctly identifying key terms. Gain the necessary skills to comprehend and interpret information accurately in this quiz.

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