TECHNICAL ADVISORY

DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES

_______________________________________________________________________________________

To: Tax Collectors and License Plate Agents

From: Carl A. Ford, Director

Subject: Driver's Privacy Protection Act

Advisory Date: 09/20/04 Implementation Date: October 1, 2004

Advisory Number: T04-12

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act is a federal statute requiring the states to restrict public access to personal information contained in state motor vehicle records. Although the DPPA begins with a general prohibition against disclosure of personal information gathered by state departments of motor vehicles, their officers, employees, or contractors, there are exceptions to the general prohibition, which will be discussed later in this technical advisory.

Given Florida’s strong constitutional and statutory requirements of public access to government records, compliance with DPPA requirements of restricting such access has been problematic. A conflict between federal and state law raises the question of "preemption." However, the DPPA does not appear to preempt state law. Rather, the Act requires states to enact state laws. In the 2004 Legislative session, House Bill 1737 did just that. This Bill brought Florida into conformity with the federal DPPA laws.

How will HB 1737 be implemented?

What information is blocked?

What information is not blocked?

What are the exemptions? For use:

Opt-in vs. Opt-out

If a person wishes to opt out of the DPPA program, they should click on the link below, print and complete the form and mail it to the address shown at the bottom of the form:

http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/disclosure.pdf

If after opting out of DPPA (allowing/requesting disclosure of personal information), the customer then decides that they want their personal information withheld (re-blocked), they should click on the link below, print and complete the form and mail it to the address shown at the bottom of the form.

http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/withhold.pdf

How does this affect our business operations?

When a customer requests vehicle information, the Social Security Number (Section 119.0721, Florida Statutes, explicitly exempts SSN), Name, Address, Date of Birth, and Driver License or ID Card Number cannot be provided if the customer's record is blocked, unless the requesting customer qualifies for one of the prior exemptions.

To assure compliance with this law, you should no longer make screen prints to give to customers. Instead, always print the desired record using the MVR Report or the MV History Report. All personal information will be blocked from the reports unless the user has the DPPA_EXEMPT_INQ role. With this role, the user will be asked whether or not the recipient of the information qualifies for one of the exemptions. If so, then the user has the option to print the personal information. If not, the information will not print. You may request the DPPA_EXEMPT_INQ role if you have the need to print the MVR report or the MV History Report with the personal information.

If an applicant (other than the exemptions) needs to send a certified letter to an owner whose record has a DPPA block, the customer must submit the letter along with the title number or vehicle identification number, by certified mail, return receipt requested to:

Division of Motor Vehicles

ATTN: Julie Comer, MS# 68

Neil Kirkman Building

Tallahassee, Fl. 32399

The department would then forward the letter to the owner. If the owner does not respond or make arrangements with the applicant within a reasonable amount of time (7 – 10 business days), the applicant may apply for title using a copy of the letter and the return receipt along with all other proofs of ownership described in the appropriate DMV procedure.

The new DPPA regulations will not change "Tag Talk" procedures. The prior exemptions that were in effect before the law change still apply.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please contact your Help Desk Representative.

CAF/jwc/gra