Oddly, I was just discussing with a friend this very topic as we both have boys who are old enough to become licensed.
There's no law or licensing requirement that prevents anyone from owning and driving a motorized vehicle. A state license gives permission (or license) to drive on public roads. An important distinction.
Anyone who grew up on some land knows this. The parents would let you practice -- all alone -- in the half-mile driveway, in the field, in the back 40 roads. Many of us learned to drive this way. It was not against the law; it's still not against the law.
Your twelve-year-old can drive. You can even drive drunk. You can drive a truck with no plates. You can be a drunk twelve-year-old driving a truck with no plates and no brakes. These things are not illegal. Once you take any of them onto a public road, they become illegal. (You can see the proof with various states' attempts to deal with this gap in how they try to work out of this boundary when comes to boats and off-road vehicles.)
Nothing comes between a buyer and a car dealership. Some folks, who get financing through a dealership that acts as a go-between with buyer and a bank, will find licensing and proof of insurance requirements. But if you go with cash, you'll see that those bits aren't laws but financing hoops -- loan requirements.
This right vs. privilege dichotomy seems a bit of a red herring. You don't have a right to drive a vehicle. It's not something inherent in being human. Neither is riding a horse a right. If you can amass the resources to buy a horse or a car and gather the skills to do so, you can ride/drive either. It's your right to try, not to succeed. If you want to take that horse/truck on public roads, the public may require that you prove those skills to the rest of the riders and drivers. You've got the right to attempt to acquire the resource and skill necessary and ride/drive on your own property all you want. If you prove up, your community may include you in the privilege to use it's communally-funded roads.
Not either or. But first you exercise your right to try and then you prove to the community, which will be impacted by your abilities, that you are worthy, that you pass, and they give you the privilege of sharing communal roads.
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