FAQs - Driver Privacy Protection

  1. What is the Driver Privacy Protection Act?
  2. When did the DPPA take effect?
  3. What information does the DPPA restrict?
  4. Is all information maintained by the RMV restricted?
  5. Who can obtain personal information from the RMV?
  6. If I qualify to obtain personal information, may I redisclose it to others?
  7. What if I redisclose personal information to an individual who does not have a permissible use?
  8. If I need personal information from RMV records, what do I do?
  9. What if an individual misrepresents to the RMV the reason(s) for requesting and attempting to obtain personal information?

  1. What is the Driver Privacy Protection Act?

    The Driver Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA"), 18 U.S.C. §2721, et seq, is a federal law that regulates the disclosure and use of certain information from motor vehicle records.

    • It restricts to whom and for what purposes certain information can be disclosed.
    • It regulates how the recipients of information can use or redisclose that information.


  2. When did the DPPA take effect?

    September 13, 1997.


  3. What information does the DPPA restrict?

    The DPPA restricts the disclosure of personal information, as defined in 18 U.S.C §2725. Personal information is information that identifies an individual, including name, address, driver's license number, social security number*, photograph* and medical information*.

    *The disclosure of these items of information is further restricted under State law.


  4. Is all information maintained by the RMV restricted?

    No. The DPPA only restricts personal information. Information on vehicular accidents, driving violations and driver's status is not personal information. Also, information that does not pertain to an individual would not be considered personal information.


  5. Who can obtain personal information from the RMV?

    The categories of permissible users of personal information are listed on the attached List of Permitted Users.

    *The RMV may require the submission of certain documentation to establish permissible user status.


  6. If I qualify to obtain personal information, may I redisclose it to others?

    The DPPA places restrictions on your ability to share personal information from RMV records with others. You may re-disclose the information only to another permitted user, for a permitted use. In addition, you must keep a record of the disclosure, identifying each person or entity that receives the information and the permitted purpose for which it was used. Federal law requires that these records be retained for a period of five (5) years.*


  7. What if I redisclose personal information to an individual who does not have a permissible use?
    You will be subject to criminal fines and civil liabilities for knowingly violating the provisions and requirements of the DPPA. 18 U.S.C. §2721, et seq.

  8. If I need personal information from RMV records, what do I do?

    The RMV has established certain procedures for determining if a requestor qualifies to receive personal information. First, you should carefully review the List of Permitted Users. If you believe you qualify, and you need information about a specific individual,* you should complete a Request for Personal Information from RMV Records (Individual) Form, which can be obtained on the RMV website at http://www.massrmv.com, by calling the RMV Telephone Center at 857-368-8000, or from an RMV service center.

    * Entities who believe they qualify to receive groups of records, rather than records on specific individuals, should contact the Production Control Department at 617-660-4330 for further information.


  9. What if an individual misrepresents to the RMV the reason(s) for requesting and attempting to obtain personal information?

    The individual(s) will be subject to criminal fines and civil liabilities for knowingly violating the provisions and requirements of the DPPA. It is unlawful for any individual to knowingly obtain personal information for a use not allowed by the DPPA, or to make any false representations to obtain personal information. 18 U.S.C. §2721, et seq.


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