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Drivers Privacy Protection Act

18 U.S.C. § 2721 et. seq.

(Public Law 103-322)

Section 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 motorvehicles, and any officer, employee, or contractor, thereof, shall not knowingly disclose orotherwise make available to any person or entity personal information about any individualobtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record.

(b) Permissible Uses -- Personal information referred to in subsection (a) shall bedisclosed for use in connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft, motorvehicle emissions, motor vehicle product alterations, recalls, or advisories, performancemonitoring 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 thepurposes of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act, the Motor Vehicle Information and CostSaving Act, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the Anti-Car Theft Act of1992, and the Clean Air Act, and may be disclosed as follows:

(1) For use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcementagency, in carrying out its functions, or any private person or entity acting on behalf of aFederal, State, or local agency in carrying out its functions.

(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; motorvehicle market research activities, including survey research; and removal of non-ownerrecords 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 --

(A) to verify the accuracy of personal information submitted by the individual to the business or its agents, employees, or contractors; and

(B) 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 arbitralproceeding in any Federal, State, or local court or agency or before any self-regulatorybody, including the service of process, investigation in anticipation of litigation, and theexecution 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, solong as the personal information is not published, redisclosed, or used to contactindividuals.

(6) For use by any insurer or insurance support organization, or by a self-insuredentity, or its agents, employees, or contractors, in connection with claims investigationactivities, anti-fraud 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 securityservice for any purpose permitted under this subsection.

(9) For use by an employer or its agents or insurer to obtain or verify informationrelating to a holder of a commercial driver's license that is required under theCommercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (49 U.S.C. App. 2710 et seq.).

(10) For use in connection with the operation of private toll transportationfacilities.

(11) For any other use in response to requests for individual motor vehiclerecords if the motor vehicle department has provided in a clear and conspicuous manneron forms for issuance or renewal of operator's permits, titles, registrations, oridentification cards, notice that personal information collected by the department may bedisclosed to any business or person, and has provided in a clear and conspicuousmanner on such forms an opportunity to prohibit such disclosures.

(12) For bulk distribution for surveys, marketing or solicitations if the motorvehicle department has implemented methods and procedures to ensure that --

(A) individuals are provided an opportunity, in a clear and conspicuousmanner, to prohibit such uses; and

(B) the information will be used, rented, or sold solely for bulkdistribution for surveys, marketing, and solicitations, and that surveys,marketing, and solicitations will not be directed at those individuals who haverequested in a timely fashion that they not be directed at them.

(13) For use by any requester, if the requester demonstrates it has obtained thewritten consent of the individual to whom the information pertains.

(14) For any other use specifically authorized under the law of the State thatholds the record, if such use is related to the operation of a motor vehicle or publicsafety.

(c) Resale or Redisclosure -- An authorized recipient of personal information (except arecipient under subsection (b)(11) or (12)) may resell or redisclose the information only for a usepermitted under subsection (b) (but not for uses under subsection (b)(11) or (12)). An authorizedrecipient 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 informationpursuant 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 aperiod of 5 years records identifying each person or entity that receives information and thepermitted purpose for which the information will be used and must make such records availableto the motor vehicle department upon request.

(d) Waiver Procedures -- A State motor vehicle department may establish and carry outprocedures under which the department or its agents, upon receiving a request for personalinformation that does not fall within one of the exceptions in subsection (b), may mail a copy ofthe request to the individual about whom the information was requested, informing suchindividual of the request, together with a statement to the effect that the information will not bereleased unless the individual waives such individual's right to privacy under this section.

Section 2722. Additional unlawful acts

(a) Procurement for Unlawful Purpose -- It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly toobtain or disclose personal information, from a motor vehicle record, for any use not permittedunder section 2721(b) of this title.

(b) False Representation -- It shall be unlawful for any person to make falserepresentation to obtain any personal information from an individual's motor vehicle record.

Section 2723. Penalties

(a) Criminal Fine -- A person who knowingly violates this chapter shall be fined underthis title.

(b) Violations by State Department of Motor Vehicles -- Any State department of motorvehicles that has a policy or practice of substantial noncompliance with this chapter shall besubject to a civil penalty imposed by the Attorney General of not more than $5,000 a day foreach day of substantial noncompliance.

Section 2724. Civil action

(a) Cause of Action -- A person who knowingly obtains, discloses or uses personalinformation, from a motor vehicle record, for a purpose not permitted under this chapter shall beliable to the individual to whom the information pertains, who may bring a civil action in a UnitedStates district court.

(b) Remedies -- The court may award --

(1) actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages in the amount of$2,500;

(2) punitive damages upon proof of willful or reckless disregard of the law;

(3) reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred; and

(4) such other preliminary and equitable relief as the court determines to beappropriate.

Section 2725. Definitions

In this chapter --

(1) "motor vehicle record" means any record that pertains to a motor vehicleoperator's permit, motor vehicle title, motor vehicle registration, or identification cardissued by a department of motor vehicles;

(2) "person" means an individual, organization or entity, but does not include aState 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 disabilityinformation, but does not include information on vehicular accidents, driving violations,and driver's status.