Privacy Advocates Want Driver Data Protected

Because DMVs are playing pretty fast and loose with your information


Everyone hates going to the DMV. But even worse than having to wait in line for hours on end, is to learn that the personal information you provide to the DMV is being used for marketing purposes without your consent. So this month, we told the Supreme Court in an amicus brief that the release of this information needs to be strictly narrowed.

In 1994, Congress passed the Drivers Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA") to specifically protect driver information stored by state DMVs. Under the DPPA, information like your driver's license photo, social security number, or medical and disability information are considered "highly restricted personal information" which can be released by the state for marketing, solicitation and survey purposes only with the express consent of the driver. However, the DPPA has a few exceptions, allowing this information to be released without the consent of the driver to a government agency, an insurer, an employer to verify information about a commercial driver's license and finally in "connection with litigation." It's this last prong that's at issue before the Supreme Court: does the litigation exception to the DPPA include lawyers trying to solicit new clients?