TECHNICAL ADVISORY

DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES

A Safer Florida Logo.jpg

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To:                  Tax Collectors and License Plate Agents

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________                                                                                               

 

 

Subject:          Collier Settlement Agreement          __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Advisory                                             Implementation                                 Carl A. Ford, Director

Date:               June 12, 2009                         Date:   July 1, 2009

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Advisory Number:    R09-03

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles settled a lawsuit (Collier, et al. v. Dickinson, et al., No. 04-21351-CIV-MARTINEZ-BROWN ) involving alleged violations of the Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).  The Settlement Agreement (Agreement) includes a number of requirements, including crediting certain customers with $1.00 during their motor vehicle registration or renewal during the period of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.

 

To be eligible for the credit, the customers must have held a drivers license, motor vehicle registration, or identification card issued by DHSMV at any time from June 1, 2000 to September 30, 2004.  Those eligible are referred to as class members.

 

The Department has programmed FRVIS to apply the credit per the terms of the Agreement.  While the terms of the Agreement appear very straightforward, due to timing and other issues, we anticipate questions on the application of the Agreement.  We have created some Questions and Answers (attached) that should address questions that you may have or get from customers.

 

More information on the Agreement and DPPA is also available on our website at http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/Collier.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collier Settlement Q&A

 

Key Settlement Terms:

 

 

1.            Q:           What is the Collier Settlement all about?

A:            The lawsuit is known as Collier, et al. v. Dickinson, et al., No. 04-21351-CIV-MARTINEZ-BROWN.  This is a class action lawsuit that claims certain individuals violated the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”).  The Plaintiff’s claim that the Department disclosed DPPA protected information.  The Department denies this.  After years of litigation the Court ordered the parties to work out their differences.  As a result, the parties agreed to a Proposed Settlement to avoid the costs and risks of trial.

DPPA limits access to a customer’s personal information including social security number, driver license or identification number, name, address, telephone number, medical or disability information, and emergency contact information which are included in driver and motor vehicle records.  There are exemptions that allow for release of this information. 

 

2.            Q.            What does the Proposed Settlement (“Settlement”) include?

A.            The Settlement requires DHSMV, at their expense, to design, implement, and maintain specific, substantial written policies and procedures to enhance security measures, privacy protections, and compliance with DPPA when they obtain, use, and disclose personal information and highly restricted personal information from motor vehicle records.  The parties have agreed to provide the following:

v  Equitable Relief

o   Transparency

§  DHSMV to print statement on driver licenses and motor vehicle registration renewal notices and on GoRenew.com that refers the recipients to a webpage with DPPA information.  Information must also be posted in offices visited by the public.

§  The DPPA website must link to its public records request page and include information on companies and persons who have purchased DPPA protected information under an exemption.

§  DHSMV must create a website dedicated to DPPA.

 

o   Personnel Training.  DHSMV must implement training for its members on DPPA.

o   Customer Credentialing.  DHSMV must modify form HSMV 85054 and each of its memoranda of understanding with resellers of this information.

o   Adherence to Requirements of DPPA.  DHSMV must not knowingly obtain, disclose or use personal information not permitted by DPPA.

v  Monetary Relief.  DHSMV must provide a $1.00 credit to each class member who registers or renews the registration of a motor vehicle with the DHSMV between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. 

v  Expense of Relief.  DHSMV shall bear any and all costs for compliance.

 

3.            Q:           Who receives the credit under the agreement?

A:            Customers eligible for the credit must have held a driver license, motor vehicle registration, or identification card issued by DHSMV at any time from June 1, 2000 to September 30, 2004 (eligible period).  Those eligible are referred to as class members.

 

4.            Q:           Do customers file anything or fill out any forms to be eligible for the credit?

A:            No, they just have to meet the criteria above.  FRVIS will automatically generate the credit in the transaction.

 

 

5.            Q.           Why is this related to vehicle registrations or renewals and not driver licenses?

A:            While the lawsuit involves information from both driver license and motor vehicle records, since most motor vehicle registrations occur annually, tying it to motor vehicle registrations allows DHSMV to provide the $1 credit within a certain year.

 

6.            Q:           What is the time period during which the credit will be given?

A:             July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 (credit period).

 

7.            Q:           How will DHSMV apply this credit?

A:            FRVIS was programmed to identify eligible customers (class members) and automatically give credit to each class member when they do one of the following within the credit period:

·         Obtain a new registration

·         Renew an existing registration

·         Transfer a registration with extension of the registration period for 12 or more months

 

8.            Q:           Will the fees quoted on the renewal notice include the credit?

A:            As renewal notices are printed, if the class members on the registration have not received the credit (or been assigned a different registration), that registration will be assigned to the class member and the $1 credit will be calculated into the total cost of the fees.  Once a registration has been assigned to a class member that class member can only receive the credit if they renew the assigned registration.  This process assures that the total of the renewal fees calculated by FRVIS will match the fees quoted on the renewal notice.  Due to the timing of the effective date, renewal notices for July, August and September of 2009 were printed and mailed without the $1 credit being included.

 

9.            Q:           Will the credit be applied to registrations set to expire in July 2009 if the customers renew in June 2009? 

A:            No.  The Settlement does not allow the Department to apply the $1 credit for renewals done prior to July 1, 2009. 

 

 

10.          Q:           How will customers receive credit if they renew before the credit is applied?

A:            The Department will run a “clean up” program that will identify class members who did not receive their credit.  These class members will be assigned a registration where credit will be given for the overpayment they made when one of their registrations was renewed during the credit period and the $1 credit was not applied.  This credit for overpayment may be applied until June 30, 2010.   

 

11.          Q:           Customers’ registrations expire in August and they can renew up to 90 days early.  If they renew in July 2009 and then again in June 2010, will they be credited twice?

 

A:            No.  The Settlement only allows one credit per class member. 

 

12.          Q:            If customers have two vehicles, do they get credit for both?

A:            If there is one class member with two vehicles the answer is no.  Under the terms of the Settlement a class member is entitled to only one $1 credit regardless of the number of motor vehicles he or she registers. 

 

13.          Q:           If customers have multiple vehicles, which vehicle will the credit be applied to?

A:            If class members come into an office before the renewal notice program has assigned a registration to them and register new vehicles or renew existing registrations, the credit will be given then.  Otherwise, the credit will be applied to the registration that is assigned to the class members during the renewal notice process. This will be the first qualifying motor vehicle registration that comes up for renewal.

 

14.          Q:           A husband and wife own two vehicles jointly.  Do they get credit for both?

A:            If both husband and wife are class members and thus eligible for the credit, then yes, credit will be applied for both.  If only one of the two is a class member, only one credit ($1) will be applied.

However, if both husband and wife are class members and if only one vehicle is owned jointly and the other is owned singly, and the primary registrant on the jointly owned vehicle is also the sole owner of the other vehicle, there is a possibility that the second class member will not be given the credit.  This situation can be corrected by contacting the Help Desk.

 

15.          Q:           Are a husband and wife both eligible for the credit?

A:            As long as each spouse held a driver license or was a registrant on a motor vehicle registration during the eligible period, both will be eligible for the credit. However, whether or not each spouse receives the credit depends on the number of vehicles they own jointly or singly.

Example A:  John and Jane Doe are married.  Both had Florida driver licenses during the eligible period.  They now own two vehicles jointly.  Since both are class members, each will receive a $1 credit if both vehicles are renewed during the credit period.  However, let’s say John and Jane Doe only have one vehicle and do not obtain and register another motor vehicle during the credit period.  The $1 credit could only be applied once during the credit period to the renewal of the registration of the jointly owned vehicle and therefore only one of the class members would receive their credit.

 

Example B:  Jim and June Smith are married.  Jim had a Florida driver license during the eligible period, but June lived in another state and did not have a Florida driver license, ID card or vehicle registered in Florida.  They own two vehicles jointly.  Since only Jim is a class member, the $1 credit will be applied on only one of their registrations.  

 

16.          Q.           Does it matter if a name is listed first or second on the registration to receive the credit?

A.            No.  If the primary registrant is not a class member, has already received his credit, or has been assigned to a different registration, the credit will be applied (or the registration will be assigned) to the next registrant who is still eligible for the credit.

 

               

17.          Q:           If customers renewed my registration for 2 years (biennial) rather than 1 and are not required to renew during the credit period, will they get the credit?

A:             Yes.  Technically class members with biennial registrations overpaid for their 2nd year of registration and are eligible for the credit if they didn’t renew any other registration during the credit period.  The “clean-up” program will identify those class members.  Credit for this overpayment will be applied when the biennial registration is renewed before July 2011. 

 

18.          Q:           Does this credit apply to heavy vehicles issued an IRP registration?

A:            No.  IRP registrations are issued to a business customer.  Per the Settlement, the credit only applies to “natural” customers. 

 

19.          Q:           What types of vehicles will receive the $1 credit?

A:            The credit applies to a registration for any type of motor vehicle, except a vessel or mobile home, as long as one of the registrants is a class member.  This includes automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and RVs. 

               

20.          Q:           Does the credit apply to mobile homes?

A:            No.  The credit does not apply to mobile homes.

 

 

21.          Q:           Does the credit apply to vessels?

A:            No.  The credit does not apply to vessels.

 

22.          Q:           Can customers get the $1 credit in cash rather than applied to their transaction?

A:            No.  The credit has been programmed in FRVIS to ensure that the credit is applied per the Settlement.

 

23.          Q:           Can a customer decline the credit?

                A:            No.  Per the terms of the Settlement the credit must be applied.

 

24.          Q:           Can customers who had a driver license, identification card or motor vehicle registered during the eligible period have the $1 credit applied to their driver license transaction?

 

A:  No.  Per the terms of the Settlement the credit can only be applied to a motor vehicle registration transaction.

 

25.          Q:            Can customers request that their credit be applied toward a voluntary fund instead of toward their transaction?

A:            No.

 

26.          Q:            If customers mail in the full registration amount, without deducting the $1 credit, how do I proceed?

A:            Use a FRVIS mail transaction (which includes High Speed, Scanner, Annual Express, and Biennial Express, and all the transactions under Renewal/Mail). FRVIS mail transactions only give the credit if the registration being processed has been assigned. Beginning with the October 2009 renewal notices, the fee quoted will include the credit if that registration was assigned to one of the class members.  Until then, DO NOT USE REGULAR RENEWAL to process mail-in renewals.

 

27.          Q:           Do I have to verify that customers are eligible and held a driver license, identification card or vehicle registration during the eligible period?

A:            No.  FRVIS is programmed to identify class members and give the credit only to class members and only when the class members are still eligible. 

 

28.          Q:           If customers are just moving to Florida and are registering their vehicle during the credit period, will the $1 credit be applied?

A:            If customers held a driver license, identification card or registration during the eligible period, they are class members so the $1 credit will be applied when they register a vehicle during the credit period.  If they are not class members, they are not eligible to receive the credit. 

 

29.          Q:           What if customers had a driver license or identification card during the eligible period, but no longer own a vehicle – are they still eligible for the credit?

A:            The customers are class members, but credit cannot be applied unless they register a vehicle (in Florida) during the credit period. 

 

30.          Q:           What if members of the military were residents of Florida during the eligible period, but have been deployed and not required to renew during the credit period?

A:            Class members not registering or renewing during the credit period will not receive the credit.

 

31.          Q:           If customers have a registered vehicle during the eligible period and now come in to register a different vehicle, will FRVIS automatically apply the credit? 

A:            Yes. As long as the class members have not already been assigned to a registration, FRVIS will give credit to the first original registration or regular renewal that occurs within the credit period. 

 

32.          Q:           If customers only held an identification card during the eligible period, moved out of state, and are now returning to Florida and registering their vehicles, are they entitled to the credit?

A:            Yes.  These class members would receive credit so long as their ID card was held during the eligible period and they are registering their motor vehicle during the credit period.

 

33.          Q:           What if customers held title to a vehicle during the eligible period, but did not register it or obtain a Florida driver license or ID card – are they eligible for the credit should they register a vehicle during the credit period?

A:            No.  The customers would not meet the requirements if they only titled (and didn’t register) a vehicle during the eligible period.

 

34.          Q:           What if a company owns multiple vehicles, registered them during the eligible period and is registering them again during the credit period – are they eligible for the credit?

A:             No.  The $1 credit applies only to natural persons and not companies or other organizations.

 

35.          Q:           What do I do if customers have documentation evidencing they had a driver license, identification card or motor vehicle registered during the eligible period, but FRVIS is not applying the $1 credit to their vehicle registration during the credit period?

A:            Contact the Help Desk.

 

36.          Q:           Who should I contact with questions or requests for more information?

A:            Please continue to contact your Help Desk Representative.

 

37.          Q.           Where can I get more information?

A:            As part of the Settlement requirements, the Department has posted information on the Collier Settlement on its website at http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/Collier.htm.