Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

What is the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)?

The DPPA is a federal law that regulates and restricts who has access to the information in DMV records. 1

The DPPA also regulates how a recipient of DMV records can share information with another person or organization. The law allows the DMV to release personal information only for the purposes that the DPPA defines.

For more information see the

If you are unsure if you may ask for another person's record see Permissible Uses for Personal Information.

 

What information does the DPPA restrict?

The DPPA restricts how personal information is released. The DPPA defines personal information as information that identifies a person including 2

  • photographs
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Client Identification Number (CID)
  • name
  • address (but not the 5-digit ZIP code)
  • telephone number
  • medical information
  • disability information

 

What information is not restricted by the DPPA?

The DPPA does NOT restrict information about

  • traffic accidents
  • traffic violations
  • status of a driver license

 
May I share the information I receive?

Most DMV records contain personal information and other information that is not personal. You may share the information you receive if

  • you remove the information that is personal and only share the information that is not personal
  • the other person has a permissible use 3

 

What if I share personal information with a person who does not have a permissible use?

There are criminal fines and civil liabilities for violations of the DPPA. Refer to sections 2722, 2733, and 2744 of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (MV-15 DPPA) for more information.

  • 1. The DPPA restricts
    • the use of a vehicle plate number or a vehicle identification number to search for the name of a vehicle owner
    • the use of the name of a driver to find the mailing address or the residence of the driver
    • a search for the names and the addresses of the previous owners of a vehicle

  • 2. The DMV does not release photographs, Social Security Numbers, telephone numbers, medical information, or disability information. This information is not available even to those persons who request the information and have a DPPA permissible use. This information is only obtainable via "so ordered" subpoena signed by a NYS or federal judge.
  • 3. When you share information with another person who has a permissible use, you must keep a record of the transaction for five years. The transaction record must include the name of the driver who is identified in the record; the recipient of the personal information; an explanation of the permissible use that the recipient has for the information