Data Privacy a Focus for State Legislatures


At ADD, we are constantly reminding our valued customers of the importance of appropriate use of the personal information contained in the state motor vehicle records available through DMV123. Protecting the integrity of that data by ensuring it is only used for permissible purposes under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) is something we are focused on every day.

There is growing concern by state legislatures regarding data privacy and the possibility that access to motor vehicle records can be misused. This year, the Texas legislature introduced several bills, that if passed in their original version, would have stripped all uses out of the Texas state statute. ADD and other data providers and industry representatives had to work very hard to educate these elected officials on the good uses of data.

While the sponsors of the legislation believed they were helping their constituents, the reality was that disallowing any of the good uses of data would have been harmful. For example, a tow company needing to send notification of impound letters wouldn’t have been able to get the data through our system. Salvage companies and automobile dealers verifying ownership to prevent fraud would not have access. Insurers performing claims investigations and finance companies verifying liens on titles wouldn’t be able to perform their work in a timely manner using ADD’s multi-state electronic platform.

Ultimately, each exemption was amended back into the legislation that passed. But it wasn’t without hard work and a lot of explaining about how legitimate businesses actually protect consumers and industry from fraud through proper use of the records. ADD has a team of industry experts that review and track this kind of legislation that has the possibility of impacting our customers all over the country.

Each state determines how its records can be used, which is why not every ADD account has access to all of the states we contract with. Audits, both internal and external, help us ensure that we are meeting those contract requirements and maintaining the important relationships that make ADD unique. That is why ADD can offer its customers access to real-time owner and lienholder records in more states than any other company of its kind.