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Driver's Privacy Protection Act: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 is a United States federal statute governing the privacy and disclosure of personal information gathered by state Departments of Motor Vehicles. The law was passed in 1994 after the murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer. It is currently codified at Chapter 123 of Title 18 of the United States Code.[1]


Substantive provisions of the act

The statute prohibits the disclosure of personal information (as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2725) without the express consent of the person to whom such information applies, with the exception of certain circumstances set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 2721. These rules apply to Departments of Motor Vehicles as well as other "authorized recipient[s] of personal information", and imposes record-keeping requirements on those "authorized recipients".

The permissible uses are:

  • disclosure "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"
  • removal of non-owner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers to carry out the purposes of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act, the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Saving Act, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992, and the Clean Air Act
  1. for any government agency to carry out its functions
  2. For use in connection with "matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft"
  3. "For use in the normal course of business by a legitimate business or its agents, employees, or contractors", but only to:
    1. verify the accuracy of personal information
    2. correct information
  4. for use in connection with any matter before a court or arbitration proceeding
  5. for producing statistical reports and other research, provided that personal information is not published.
  6. for use by insurance companies
  7. For providing notice to owners of towed vehicles
  8. For use by private investigation agencies.
  9. For use by employers
  10. for use by private toll transportation facilities.
  11. for response to requests from motor vehicle departments.
  12. for the bulk distribution or surveys, marketing materials, or solicitations
  13. For other users specifically related to public safety.

The act also makes it illegal to obtain drivers' information for unlawful purposes or making false representations to obtain such information.[2] The act establishes criminal fines for noncompliance[3], and establishes a civil cause of action for drivers against those who unlawfully obtain their information.[4]

Legislative History

The bill was introduced simultaneously during the 103rd United States Congress in the House of Representatives (as H.R. 3365[5]) and the Senate (as S. 1589[6] on 26 October 1993. It was eventually signed by President of the United States Bill Clinton as part of Public Law 103-322 on 13 September 1994.[7]

The statute's constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court against a Tenth Amendment challenge in Reno v. Condon.[8]


External links



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