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Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

In order to have access to personal information on motor vehicle records, you must be one of the eligible agencies (see below) and you will need to sign and return the DPPA Agreement in addition to your subscriber application. You may submit you completed DPPA Agreement to Vermont Information Consortium at the same time as your completed subscriber application.

In 1994, Congress enacted the Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) to protect the personal information contained on an individual's motor vehicle records. Personal information is information that identifies an individual, such as a name, address, telephone number, medical or disability information, photograph or digital image, and license or social security number. Information relating to motor vehicle accidents, driving violations, or a driver's license or motor vehicle registration status is deemed public information under the federal law. A motor vehicle record includes a driver's license, permit, motor vehicle title and registration and identification card.

During the 1999 session Congress amended the federal DPPA. Under this amendment, states cannot release personal information on motor vehicle records to sales and marketing organizations and the general public, unless an individual specifically agrees to the release by completing an 'opt-in' form. In this manner, an individual's personal information is automatically protected from release to sales and marketing organizations and the general public without having to take any action. The exceptions from 1997 listed above were not changed under this amendment and are still in effect.

Congress in its 1999 amendment did identify specific personal information it deemed sensitive personal information and provided additional protections under the exceptions. Sensitive personal information includes photographs, digital images, social security numbers, and medical and disability information. This information may only be released in specific circumstances to government agencies, courts, and law enforcement agencies; to insurance companies; to commercial vehicle employers; and for legal proceedings.

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has rules in place that comply with the DPPA that allow eligible agencies to use motor vehilce records for the following uses:

  1. For use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, in carrying out its functions, or any private person acting on behalf of a government agency in carrying out its functions. Appropriate documents identifying requester are required.
  2. For use in connection with matters of motor vehicles or driver safety and theft; motor vehicle emissions; motor vehicle product alterations, recalls, or advisories; performance monitoring of motor vehilces, motor vehicle parts, and dealers; motor vehicle market research activities, including survey research; and removal of nonowner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers. An explanation that details the reason(s) why you feel you qualify under this category must be submitted with your DPPA agreement.
  3. For use in the formal course of business by a legitimate business or its agents, employees, or contractors:
    1. To verify the accuracy of personal information submitted by the individual to the business of its agents, employees, or contractors; and
    2. If the 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.
    Appropriate documents identifying requester are required.
  4. For use in the connection with any proceeding in any courts or government 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 any court. An explanation that details the reason(s) why you feel you qualify under this category must be submitted with your DPPA agreement.
  5. For use in research activities, and for use in producing statistical reports, so long as the personal information is not published, re-disclosed, or used to contact individuals. An explanation that details the reason(s) why you feel you qualify under this category must be submitted with your DPPA agreement.
  6. For use by any insurer or insurance support organization, or by a self-insured entitiy, or its agents, employees, or contractors, in connection with claims investigation activities, antifraud activities, rating, or underwriting. Appropriate documents identifying requester are required.
  7. For use in providing notice to the owner or lien-holder of a towed or impounded vehicle.
  8. For use by any licensed private investigative agency or licensed security service for any purpose permitted under this section. Appropriate documents identifying requester are required.
  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, which is required under the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1996 [Title XII of Public Law 99-570].
  10. For use in connection with the operation of private toll transporation facilities.
  11. For any use specifically authorized by law that is related to the operation of a motor vehicle or public safety. An explanation that details the reason(s) why you feel you qualify under this category must be submitted with your DPPA agreement.
  12. Unrestricted or specified use with written consent of the person who is the subject of the information.

Upon receipt of your DPPA agreement request by the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, it will be reviewed by appropriate departmental personnel to determine whether or not it conforms to DPPA protocol and requirements.