For this comic to work we have to assume that gym badges aren’t required for using HMs out of battle. Figures that out of everything I had to make sense of in the Pokemon universe the thing that has me stumped is people needing a permit to use their Pokemon for reasons other than violence. Also, this joke is totally not stolen from a friend of mine’s. It’s completely my own idea and no one else’s. I am most definitely not going to link you to to TV Tropes in order to further explain this joke.