“I do not need a license or any kind of identification,” Trent Goodbaudy can be heard on video telling a police officer.
“Well I’m going to place you under arrest,” is the officer’s reply.
“No, you need to read that before my rights are violated,” Goodbaudy says, handing him a card with an explanation of beliefs on it.
Goodbaudy is what some might call a modern day sovereign citizen, but he doesn’t like that title.
“God is my authority, and He is the only sovereign that there is,” Goodbaudy said.
The Riverside resident believes there is too much regulation in government, so he’s taken his fight to the road. Goodbaudy travels without registration, without plates, without a license and without insurance.
“Insurance is a scam,” he said.
Knowing police will pull him over, he’s always ready with a camera. Goodbaudy posts all of his run-ins with the law on his YouTube Channel “Freedom from Government.” His videos have racked up more than 18 million views.
He’s now even selling what he uses in lieu of a license plate. The tag reads “Private” – “Not for commerce use – private mode of travel,” and it often gets the attention of police on the road.
“If a cop comes up to me and asks me for my license, registration and insurance, I would ask him if he’s planning on using any of those against me in court,” Goodbaudy said.
Because he believes in his right to travel freely, he doesn’t think he is breaking any laws and doesn’t need to prove himself to police either. Goodbaudy isn’t the only follower of this growing movement.
There are thousands of people with similar beliefs all across the country who defy what most of us believe is the law and then post their confrontation online. It’s impossible to know how many like-minded people there are, however, because there’s no centralized leadership.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, who would classify themselves as sovereigns, said the movement has been growing at a fast pace since 2000. Some estimates put numbers at several hundred thousand to half a million people.
“I think there’s been a major awakening of consciousness, and I can’t explain why I just feel like people are finally coming out of their fog,” Goodbaudy said.
You might be surprised to learn Goodbaudy isn’t anti-government, he’s just sick of government using police as a way to make a buck off him.
“I feel like police have been misinformed to go out and generate revenue off the people they’re supposed to be protecting and serving,” he said.
He doesn’t support building a wall, because that would represent government restricting people’s travel.
“We didn’t make this land. We came here, just like anybody else would,” he said.
Goodbaudy just wants to be free with what he views as his natural born rights.
“As long I’m not doing any harm or causing any property damage, I should be able to do what I want,” he said. “It’s America. It’s supposed to be a free country.”