97-H 5972 am
Approved Jun. 16, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows

SECTION 1. Chapter 27-49 of the General Laws entitled "Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Reporting -- Immunity Act" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:

{ADD 27-49-3.1. Disclosure of personal information obtained in connection with motor vehicle records. -- ADD} {ADD (a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to implement the federal driver's privacy protection act of 1994 ("DPPA"), 18 U.S.C. section 2721.

(b) Definitions. As defined in 18 U.S.C. section 2725, the following definitions apply to this section:

(1) "motor vehicle record" means any record that pertains to a motor vehicle operator's permit, motor vehicle title, motor vehicle registration, or identification card issued by the department of motor vehicles;

(2) "person" means an individual, organization, or entity, but does not include a state or agency thereof; and

(3) "personal information" means information that identifies an individual, including an individual's photograph, social security number, driver identification number, name, address (but not the 5 digit zip code), telephone number, and medical or disability information, but does not include information on vehicular accidents, driving violations, and driver's status.

(c) Prohibition on release and use of certain personal information from state motor vehicle records.

(1) In general. Except as provided in subsection (c)(2), the department of motor vehicles, and any officer, employee, or contractor, thereof shall not knowingly disclose or otherwise make available to any person or entity personal information about any individual obtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record.

(2) Permissible uses. Personal information referred to in subsection (c)(1) shall be disclosed for use in connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft, motor vehicle emissions, motor vehicle product alterations, recalls, or advisories, performance monitoring of motor vehicles and dealers by motor vehicle manufacturers, and removal of nonowner records from the original owner records of motor vehicles 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, and anti-car theft act of 1992, and the clean air act, and may be disclosed as follows:

(a) For use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, in carrying out its functions, or any private person or entity acting on behalf of a federal, state, or local agency in carrying out its functions.

(b) For use in connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft; motor vehicle emissions; motor vehicle product alterations, recalls or advisories; performance monitoring of motor vehicles, 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.

(c) For use in the normal course of business by a legitimate business or its agents, employees, or contractors, but only:

(i) to verify the accuracy of personal information submitted by the individual to the business of its agents, employees, or contractors, and

(ii) if such 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.

(d) For use in connection with any civil, criminal, administrative, or arbitral proceeding in any federal, state, or local 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 a federal, state, or local court.

(e) For use in research activities, and for use in producing statistical reports, so long as the personal information is not published, redisclosed, or used to contact the individuals.

(f) For use by any insurer or insurance support organization, or by a self-insured entity, or its agents, employees, or contractors in connection with claims investigation activities, anti-fraud activities, rating or underwriting.

(g) For use in providing notice to the owners of towed or impounded vehicles.

(h) For use by any licensed private investigative agency or licensed security service for any purpose permitted under this subsection.

(i) 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 that is required under the commercial motor vehicle safety act of 1986 (49 U.S.C. App. 2710 et seq.).

(j) For use in connection with the operation of private toll transportation facilities.

(k) For any other use in response to request for individual motor vehicle records, unless such use is prohibited by the individual.

(l) For bulk distribution for surveys, marketing or solicitations, provided that the information will be used, rented or sold solely for bulk distribution for surveys, marketing, and solicitations and that surveys, marketing, and solicitations will not be directed at those individuals who have requested in a timely fashion that they not be directed at them.

(3) The department of motor vehicles shall provide in a clear and conspicuous manner on forms for issuance or renewal of operators permits, titles, registrations or identification cards, notice that personal information collected by the department may be disclosed to any business or person and provide in a clear and conspicuous manner on such forms an opportunity to prohibit such disclosures; provided, further, however, that social security numbers and medical or disability information shall not be subject to disclosure under this chapter. ADD}

SECTION 2. This section shall become effective September 13, 1997 in accordance with the DPPA, 18 U.S.C. section 2721, and shall remain in effect so long as the DPPA remains effective.

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