Legal differences between "reciprocate" and "recognize"?

I swear, listening to NPR gets me all fired up. I just started another thread asking about the working hours of the US Senate. . . but I digress.

Listening to another NPR spot, they were talking about “recognition” versus “reciprocity,” although it was pointedly not about concealed carry permits. One interviewee brought up the example of drivers licenses. . . your US state’s license would be recognized by the other states. Same with marriage licenses, etc. “No papers. . . State to state.”

Now, drivers licenses are a fairly benign example–that’s just a piece of plastic that says you are who you say you are, and that you can operate a vehicle from point “A” to point “B”. Marriage licenses, I can imagine with the newly found swell in same-sex marriage laws, would have some benefits that may or may not cross state lines due to state-by-state interpretation . . . but that begs my original question: is there a legal difference between “reciprocate” and “recognize” within the US?

Splitting hairs, I know, but is it?

I will purchase a. . . recreational vehicle and travel around.

IANAL, but as “reciprocate” and “recognize” are completely different words with completely different and unrelated meanings in regular English, I should think that they have completely different meanings (quite possibly identical to their regular meanings) in a legal context too. If you are confused about waht they mean, you might do best to start by looking at a dictionary.

Reciprocity is two-way recognition. If I agree to recognize your thing, but you won’t recognize/honor mine, you are not reciprocating.

IANAL but maybe it’s based on whether the document in question is valid in another state.

For example if you have a New York state driver’s license, you can legally drive in Pennsylvania. If you have a New York state marriage certificate, you’re legally married in Pennsylvania.

But something like a gun carry permit or a fishing license is only valid in the state it was issued in. Even if you travel to another state that has its own equivalent documents, the ones issued by your state aren’t valid.

I’m probably just going to add to the confusion, but here goes. The constitution requires states to give “full faith and credit” to the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” But it’s not always clear how far that extends.

For example, if you get a moving violation in NY it doesn’t automatically count against your NJ driving record. The FFC clause above would seem to imply it would, at least to my mind but rather it requires a special compact between states for that to happen. And BTW, this is different from the agreement used to enforce such violations. That’s another interstate agreement.

As an aside, those two are supposed to be combined in a new one but so far according to wikipedia, only 3 states are members.

A marriage certificate from one state should be recognized by another, but a marriage license is unlikely to be. But most states will not recognize a gay marriage even if it was legal in the state in which it was consummated.

Florida has recently decided that it will not recognize foreign drivers’ licenses. Too many snowbirders, I guess. That could (but probably won’t) result in Florida licenses not being recognized here.

It would be really interesting if a similar tactic were used for marriage licenses- For example, Washington state not recognizing California marriages (including opposite sex) due to California’s not recognizing all Washington state marriages. I doubt it would happen, but it would be interesting to see the ripple effects.

By “foreign”, I assume you mean other states. Do you mean that Florida won’t recognize out of state driver’s licenses as in I can’t legally drive with my NY license when I visit Florida for a week? Or do you mean that Florida requires people who become residents or spend more than a certain amount of consecutive time there to trade in their out of state license for a Florida one? I think every state does some variation of the latter.

A conviction for a moving violation doesn’t require a judicial proceeding. If you get a DUI in NY it will certainly count against you in NJ.

Are you saying that would be true even in the absence of the interstate compacts that I referenced? :confused:

Of course.

That will be true. But I recall something recently indicating states don’t have to recognize the judicial decsions in other states.

Odd that your opinion contradicts the history of the statute.

The Compact is an agreement regarding the exchange of information, not enforcement.

Right. And the two are completely unrelated. :rolleyes:

Foreign meaning Canadian. They’re not going through with it though.

I’m still waiting to see what happens the first time somebody like Adam gets married to Steve in Massachusetts and then moves to Texas and marries Eve.

Texas has laws against bigamy. But would they be able to charge Adam?

4507.04 Nonresident exemption.

Nonresidents, permitted to drive upon the highways of their own states, may operate any motor vehicle upon any highway in this state without examination or license under sections 4507.01 to 4507.39, inclusive, of the Revised Code, upon condition that such nonresidents may be required at any time or place to prove lawful possession, or their right to operate, such motor vehicle, and to establish proper identity.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

I am not sure if the issue of interstate travel and a state mandated to recognize a DL from another has ever been “directly” challenged, but as you see, I would submit, all states have similar laws like Ohio’s above.

“Recognize” means as this law suggests, Ohio PERMITS a licensed driver from another state to drive here.
To “Recognize” simply means that legal doctrine is accepted in that state/area as good law.

“Reciprocate” can mean recognize in and of itself, OR it can mean it is recognized AND under a “memorandum of understanding”, like the DL Compact, there is a supplemental element involved.

An extradition treaty is probably a good example of reciprocation, where a country will place under arrest a resident or citizen who is wanted by another country. This is more than recognition, where the country takes positive action towards enforcement.

Sorry guys, had to take a break from the Internet for a bit.

Bear, I get what you’re saying, and maybe I was just overthinking it.

But lawbuff touched on something that I guess I was driving at; ‘recognize’ means “we’ll permit your activity,” where ‘reciprocate’ would mean more that “we understand the philosophy behind what you want and agree with it–we more than permit it”.

99% of my question, now that I think of it, probably would hinge on the particular topic of recognition/reciprocity though. So, probably splitting hairs. . .

Thanks for the discussion, y’all.