Driver Privacy Protection Act

As a result of Federal legislation known as the Driver Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. §2721 et seq. ("DPPA"), new restrictions on the disclosure of personal information contained in the records of the Registry of Motor Vehicles ("RMV") became effective on September 13, 1997.

Under the DPPA, personal information can be disclosed ONLY to certain categories of requestors, and for those permitted uses identified in the statute. The definition of personal information in the context of this law has been expanded to include name, address and driver license number. Information concerning motor vehicle offenses, vehicular accidents or driver's status, however, is not considered personal information.

The DPPA also restricts the re-disclosure of personal information from RMV records. An authorized recipient of personal information may re-disclose information only for another permitted use. Furthermore, the DPPA requires that a record of such re-disclosure, including the identity of the party to whom the information was disclosed and the permitted purpose for which it was to be used, to be retained for five (5) years.

Persons found to have knowingly violated the DPPA may be subject to both criminal penalties and civil liability.


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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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