Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (18 U.S.C. Section 2721 et. Seq.) Prohibition on Release and Use of Certain Personal Information From State Motor Vehicle Records
See also Permissible Uses for the Driver's Privacy Protection Act
Sec. 2721. Prohibition on release and use of certain personal information from State motor vehicle records.
(a) In General. - Except as provided in subsection (b), a State department of motor vehicles, and any officer, employee, or contractor, thereof, shall not knowingly disclose or otherwise make available to any person or entity personal information about any individual obtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record.
(b) Permissible Uses. - Personal information referred to in subsection (a) shall be disclosed for use in connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft, motor vehicle emissions, motor vehicle product alterations, recalls, or advisories, performance monitoring of motor vehicles and dealers by motor vehicle manufacturers, and removal of non-owner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers to carry out the purposes of title I and IV of the Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992, the Automobile Information Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1231 et seq.), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and chapters 301, 305, and 321-331 of title 49 (49 U.S.C.S. 30101 et seq., 30501 et seq., 32101 et seq.-33101 et seq.), and may be disclosed as follows:
(2) For use in connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft; motor vehicle emissions; motor vehicle product alterations, recalls, or advisories; performance monitoring of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and dealers; motor vehicle market research activities, including survey research; and removal of non-owner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers.
(3) For use in the normal course of business by a legitimate business or its agents, employees, or contractors, but only -
- to verify the accuracy of personal information submitted by the individual to the business or its agents, employees, or contractors; and
- if such information as so submitted is not correct or is no longer correct, to obtain the correct information, but only for the purposes of preventing fraud by, pursuing legal remedies against, or recovering on a debt or security interest against, the individual.
(4) For use in connection with any civil, criminal, administrative, or arbitral proceeding in any Federal, State, or local court or agency or before any self-regulatory body, including the service of process, investigation in anticipation of litigation, and the execution or enforcement of judgments and orders, or pursuant to an order of a Federal, State, or local court.
(5) For use in research activities, and for use in producing statistical reports, so long as the personal information is not published, redisclosed, or used to contact individuals.
(6) For use by any insurer or insurance support organization, or by a self-insured entity, or its agents, employees, or contractors, in connection with claims investigation activities, antifraud activities, rating or underwriting.
(7) For use in providing notice to the owners of towed or impounded vehicles.
(8) For use by any licensed private investigative agency or licensed security service for any purpose permitted under this subsection.
(9) For use by an employer or its agent or insurer to obtain or verify information relating to a holder of a commercial driver's license that is required under Chapter 313 of Title 49.
(10) For use in connection with the operation of private toll transportation facilities.
(11) For any other use in response to requests for individual motor vehicle records if the motor vehicle department has provided in a clear and conspicuous manner on forms for issuance or renewal of operator's permits, titles, registrations, or identification cards, notice that personal information collected by the department may be disclosed to any business or person, and has provided in a clear and conspicuous manner on such forms an opportunity to prohibit such disclosures.
(12) For bulk distribution for surveys, marketing or solicitations if the motor vehicle department has implemented methods and procedures to ensure that -
- individuals are provided an opportunity, in a clear and conspicuous manner, to prohibit such uses; and
- the information will be used, rented, or sold solely for bulk distribution for surveys, marketing, and solicitations, and that surveys, marketing, and solicitations will not be directed at those individuals who have requested in a timely fashion that they not be directed at them.
(13) For use by any requester, if the requester demonstrates it has obtained the written consent of the individual to whom the information pertains.
(14) For any other use specifically authorized under the law of the State that holds the record, if such use is related to the operation of a motor vehicle or public safety.
(c) Resale or Redisclosure. - An authorized recipient of personal information (except a recipient under subsection (b)(11) or (12)) may resell or redisclose the information only for a use permitted under subsection (b) (but not for uses under subsection (b)(11) or (12)). An authorized recipient under subsection (b)(11) may resell or redisclose personal information for any purpose. An authorized recipient under subsection (b)(12) may resell or redisclose personal information pursuant to subsection (b)(12). Any authorized recipient (except a recipient under subsection (b)(11)) that resells or rediscloses personal information covered by this title must keep for a period of 5 years records identifying each person or entity that receives information and the permitted purpose for which the information will be used and must make such records available to the motor vehicle department upon request.
(d) Waiver Procedures. - A State motor vehicle department may establish and carry out procedures under which the department or its agents, upon receiving a request for personal information that does not fall within one of the exceptions in subsection (b), may mail a copy of the request to the individual about whom the information was requested, informing such individual of the request, together with a statement to the effect that the information will not be released unless the individual waives such individual's right to privacy under this section.
Sec. 2722. Additional unlawful acts
(a) Procurement for Unlawful Purpose. - It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to obtain or disclose personal information, from a motor vehicle record, for any use not permitted under section 2721(b) of this title.
(b) False Representation. - It shall be unlawful for any person to make false representation to obtain any personal information from an individual's motor vehicle record.
Sec. 2723. Penalties
(a) Criminal Fine. - A person who knowingly violates this chapter shall be fined under this title.
(b) Violations by State Department of Motor Vehicles. - Any State department of motor vehicles that has a policy or practice of substantial noncompliance with this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty imposed by the Attorney General of not more than $5,000 a day for each day of substantial noncompliance.
Sec. 2724. Civil action
(a) Cause of Action. - A person who knowingly obtains, discloses or uses personal information, from a motor vehicle record, for a purpose not permitted under this chapter shall be liable to the individual to whom the information pertains, who may bring a civil action in a United States district court.
(b) Remedies. - The court may award -
- actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages in the amount of $2,500;
- punitive damages upon proof of willful or reckless disregard of the law;
- reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred; and
- such other preliminary and equitable relief as the court determines to be appropriate.
Sec. 2725. Definitions
In this chapter -
(1) "motor vehicle record" means any record that pertains to a motor vehicle operator's permit, motor vehicle title, motor vehicle registration, or identification card issued by a department of motor vehicles;
(2) "person" means an individual, organization or entity, but does not include a State or agency thereof; and
(3) "personal information" means information that identifies an individual, including an individual's photograph, social security number, driver identification number, name, address (but not the 5-digit zip code), telephone number, and medical or disability information, but does not include information on vehicular accidents, driving violations, and driver's status.
The amendments made by section 300002 shall become effective on the date that is 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act (Sept. 13, 1994). After the effective date, if a State has implemented a procedure under section 2721(b)(11) and (12) of title 18, United States Code, as added by section 300002(a), for prohibiting disclosures or uses of personal information, and the procedure otherwise meets the requirements of subsection (b)(11) and (12), the State shall be in compliance with subsection (b)(11) and (12) even if the procedure is not available to individuals until they renew their license, title, registration or identification card, so long as the State provides some other procedure for individuals to contact the State on their own initiative to prohibit such uses or disclosures. Prior to the effective date, personal information covered by the amendment made by section 300002 may be released consistent with State law or practice.
Pub. L. 103-322, title XXX, Sec. 300002(a), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2102.