A-16687, DECEMBER 31, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 432

A-16687: Dec 31, 1926

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IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF FEES CHARGED BY MUNICIPALITIES FOR LICENSE TO DRIVE GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLES OPERATED BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IN SAID MUNICIPALITIES. EVEN WHEN THE FEES ARE PROPERLY IMPOSED. FOR THE REASON THAT THE MATTER OF SECURING A DRIVER'S PERMIT IS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE AS AN INCIDENT TO QUALIFYING FOR THE POSITION FOR WHICH EMPLOYED. ANY FEE WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR SUCH PERMIT IS A PERSONAL CHARGE TO BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 10. AS FOLLOWS: IN VIEW OF A DECISION RECENTLY REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. " I HAVE TO REQUEST AN ADVANCE RULING ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: IN ORDER TO PROVIDE DRIVER-S' PERMITS TO EMPLOYEES IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHO ARE REGULARLY ASSIGNED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER TO OPERATE GOVERNMENT-OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES IN THE DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY.

A-16687, DECEMBER 31, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 432

LICENSES - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA "DRIVERS' PERMITS" THE APPROPRIATION FOR PUBLIC PRINTING AND BINDING, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, 1927, IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF FEES CHARGED BY MUNICIPALITIES FOR LICENSE TO DRIVE GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLES OPERATED BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IN SAID MUNICIPALITIES, EVEN WHEN THE FEES ARE PROPERLY IMPOSED, FOR THE REASON THAT THE MATTER OF SECURING A DRIVER'S PERMIT IS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE AS AN INCIDENT TO QUALIFYING FOR THE POSITION FOR WHICH EMPLOYED, AND ANY FEE WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR SUCH PERMIT IS A PERSONAL CHARGE TO BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, DECEMBER 31, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 10, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

IN VIEW OF A DECISION RECENTLY REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO THE EFFECT THAT DRIVERS OF FEDERAL AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AUTOMOBILES SHALL HEREAFTER PAY $3.00 FOR THEIR "DRIVERS' PERMITS," I HAVE TO REQUEST AN ADVANCE RULING ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

IN ORDER TO PROVIDE DRIVER-S' PERMITS TO EMPLOYEES IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHO ARE REGULARLY ASSIGNED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER TO OPERATE GOVERNMENT-OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES IN THE DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY, MAY AN EXPENDITURE FOR SUCH PERMITS BE PROPERLY MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR PUBLIC PRINTING AND BINDING, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, 1927?

THIS OFFICE HAS NOT BEEN OFFICIALLY ADVISED OF THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REFERRED TO BY YOU REQUIRING DRIVERS OF FEDERAL AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AUTOMOBILES TO PAY $3 FOR THEIR DRIVERS' PERMITS, BUT IN THAT CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE CASE OF JOHNSON V. STATE OF MARYLAND, 254 U.S. 51, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT THE LAW OF A STATE PENALIZING THOSE WHO OPERATED MOTOR TRUCKS ON HIGHWAYS WITHOUT HAVING OBTAINED LICENSES BASED ON EXAMINATION OF COMPETENCY AND PAYMENT OF A FEE CAN NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY APPLY TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WHILE ENGAGED IN DRIVING A GOVERNMENT MOTOR TRUCK OVER A POST ROAD IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY.

REGARDLESS, HOWEVER, OF THE LEGAL EFFECT OF ANY DECISION WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN RENDERED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RELATIVE TO THE MATTER WITH RESPECT TO DRIVERS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLES, THE MATTER OF SECURING A DRIVER'S PERMIT AND THE PAYING THE FEE THEREFOR, IF NECESSARY, IS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE AS AN INCIDENT TO QUALIFYING FOR THE POSITION FOR WHICH ENGAGED BY YOUR OFFICE,. THEREFORE, THE PAYMENT OF SUCH FEE IS NOT ONE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO PUBLIC FUNDS UNDER THE APPROPRIATION SUGGESTED BY YOU AS MADE BY THE ACT OF MAY 13, 1926, 44 STAT. 550. SEE 3 COMP. GEN. 663.