Kane v. New Jersey,
242 U.S. 160 (1916)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kane v. New Jersey, 242 U.S. 160 (1916)

Kane v. New Jersey

No. 51

Argued October 31, 1916

Decided December 4, 1916

242 U.S. 160


In regulating the use of motor vehicles upon its highways (Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U. S. 610), a state may require nonresident owners to appoint a state official as agent upon whom process may be served in legal proceedings brought against them, and resulting from the operation of their motor vehicles, within the state.

A registration fee, not unreasonable in amount, which is exacted by a state from residents and nonresidents alike as a condition to the use of its highways by motor vehicles, is not a discrimination against the citizens of other states either (a) because the amount of the fee is fixed for each calendar year without reference to the extent

Page 242 U. S. 161

to which the highway are used, or (b) because the liability of nonresidents to pay is not tempered by the allowance of any period of free use in reciprocation for like privileges allowed by the states in which they reside.

It is clearly within the discretion of the state to determine whether the compensation for the use of highways by automobiles shall be determined by way of a fee, payable annually or semi-annually, or by a toll based on mileage or otherwise.

The power of the state, in the absence of national legislation upon the subject, to regulate the use of its highways by motor vehicles moving in interstate commerce applies as well to such as are moving through the state as to such as are moving into it only.

As applied to vehicles of nonresidents moving in interstate commerce as well as to vehicles of residents, the amount of the registration fee may properly be based not only on the cost of inspection and regulation, but also on the cost of maintaining improved roads. Hendrick v. Maryland, supra, explained and followed.

81 N.J.L. 594 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 242 U. S. 164

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