DMV Reportedly Pulling in $50M a Year Selling Drivers’ Personal Information, VICE Uncovers


DMV Fresno, Photo: KMJ.


FRESNO, (KMJ) – The California Department of Motor Vehicles has reportedly been making a heavy profit off of selling the personal information of drivers in the state, according to VICE.

A new investigation by VICE has uncovered that drivers names, addresses and car registration information is being sold to certain companies.

A document provided to the news source shows that the DMV has pulled in about $52.6 million in the fiscal year 2017-2018 off of the sales.

That personal information is being to sold to insurance and vehicle manufacturing companies, as well as potential or current employers.

DMV Deputy Director Anita Gore says that the agency will only sell information to authorized people or entities for specific purposes.

Gore said in a statement that the DMV’s goal is to provide essential information such as vehicle recalls, insurance availability, traffic studies and background checks.

You can read Gore’s entire statement below:

The DMV takes its obligation to protect personal information very seriously. Information is only released according to California law, and the DMV continues to review its release practices to ensure information is only released to authorized persons/entities and only for authorized purposes. For example, if a car manufacturer wants to send a recall notice to thousands of owners of a particular model of car, the DMV can provide information on California car owners.

California Vehicle Code Sections 1810 and 1810.2 allow government and commercial requesters who have been issued a requester code by the department to obtain DMV record information for a governmental or legitimate business. Providing information from DMV records, in addition to most records being open to public inspection (Vehicle Code sec. 1808), is specifically authorized pursuant to Vehicle Code sections 1810 and 1811, and furthers legislative objectives related to highway and public safety, including availability of insurance, risk assessment, vehicle safety recalls, traffic studies, emissions research, background checks, and for pre- and existing employment purposes.

The federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act states that information contained in a motor vehicle record cannot be released unless the information is requested and used for a “permissible use.” A permissible use only allows release on non-confidential information.