When I’m boarding a plane, I trust the pilot had a proper education and passed all examinations required for getting his license. I trust it’s not just his wishful thinking he can fly, and we all will find out he was wrong just seconds before dying.
Said that, I believe it is no good idea to transfer the “license concept” to all areas of life. Too much can not be licensed. For sure, most people would not prefer cooking a “licensed dish”, listening to “licensed music”, spending time with “licensed friends” or sharing their life with a “licensed partner”, instead of their favourite and cherished ones. We trust our taste, our brain or our feeling to make our choice. Asking for a license is nothing less than dedicating my own responsibility to a licensing authority, in a situation where I believe that I do not have the ability to judge with my own senses. Concerning pilots and bus drivers, this usually is a good and working concept … but what about your Zen or Budo teacher?
Delegating your responsibility to find out if your teacher is good for you or not can have very severe consequences … wasting years of your life with a person who got his shiny title for political reasons and/or money, or from an organisation he founded himself with his buddies, is by far not the worst what can happen!
Some good teachers I met had high ranks and titles, others didn’t. Some bad teachers I met also had high ranks and titles, others didn’t. It is meaningless … if rice fills your stomach well, don’t go for the carrots, just because they are “licensed”. You can find out yourself what is good for you, the best person to judge the qualification of your teacher is you! Make sure not to mix up entering a Dojo with boarding a plane …
P.S.: In case you or I do have some licenses and titles, never mind!