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People Angry with Department of Motor Vehicles Violating their Privacy

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Charlotte, NC“It’s reassuring that attorneys are trying to stop the DMV from selling our private information,” says Gary. “I wondered how these companies got my address and phone number—until I read on LawyersandSettlements about an attorney filing complaints about DPPA violations.”

Gary is referring to attorney Joseph Malley, who discovered that Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) in at least 37 states are selling private driver information to thousands and thousands of entities. And Malley has filed cases involving about 145 million people. He has recently made countless vehicle owners aware that DMVs are selling your personal information for direct marketing, without your express consent. This is in direct violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), and it’s a multi-billion dollar business from which you get nothing.
“Even if the DMV asked me and offered money to sell my private information I would still say NO,” says Gary. “It’s not worth all this junk mail I’m getting and these companies don’t stop unless you send them a cease and desist letter. And it makes you wonder who else is buying our information? The government is supposed to protect the consumers--not sell their information. This isn’t right.”

Soon after Gary bought a truck last summer he began to get letters and phone calls from service warranty companies. “They all told me that my warranty was running out and it was important that I extend it to 100,000 miles, immediately. I always ask how they get my information but they avoid the question and try their best to sell me something I don’t need.

I’m pissed off with the DMV. Of all people and agencies, you’d think the DMV would be safe and private. Instead it is making money selling our phone numbers and addresses to companies they don’t even know! For instance, I got a speeding ticket recently and then I got a call from several lawyers saying they could take care of it and save me hundreds of dollars. Does the North Carolina DMV even know what’s going on? I don’t appreciate it and I’ve filed a complaint.

Connie from Florida also wondered how companies knew her warranty was about to expire. “Myself, my son and my husband have all received cell phone calls and cards in the mail informing us that our car warranties had expired, when in fact they hadn’t,” she says. “It’s scary that our information is out there, available to anyone. We never consented to the DMV selling our information, and they didn’t ask.” Although angry and concerned, Connie is also relieved to find out that attorneys are banging on the DMVs doors and filing complaints. “I want to know what can be done to stop this. And is it too late to protect our privacy and security?”

According to, a public interest research center in Washington, DC., the DPPA prohibits the release or use by any State DMV of personal information about an individual obtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record. It sets penalties for violations and makes violators liable on a civil action to the individual to whom the released information pertains.

The DPPA requires states to get permission from individuals before their personal motor vehicle record may be sold or released to third-party marketers. Further, the DPPA limits the use of a driver's motor vehicle record to certain purposes. These purposes are defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2721:

* For bulk marketing distribution if State has obtained express consent from the individual.
* Use by any requestor where the requestor can show written consent of the individual.

Clearly, the DMV is violating the DPPA by not getting consent. And trying to sell a vehicle warranty does not come under the following:

* Motor vehicle market research and surveys.
* Use in matters of motor vehicle safety, theft, emissions, product recalls.


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Posted by

Every year the DMV harassed me the medical DMV of North Carolina harassment about my hypertension that I see a doctor on the regular basis and the harass me every year to go get it done again my doctor says I'm able to drive in fact two doctors have said it and they still harass me who can I talk to about this situation I'm tired of this they all give them to say I'm able to drive. And I tell them I want to be removed off the medical board but they still insist on doing constant harassment for nothing. I am tired of the constant overreach. This has been going over for 10 years if it ain't that it's a stress test and I'm the only one black person in America that has hypertension or any other race that's driving. Already doing the same harassment to millions of people in America I don't think so this needs to be investigated

Posted by

I went to great lengths to keep the DMV from giving out my personal information however they are still very actively doing it putting me at risk and compromising my safety and security. My case is a book, so outrageous and egregiously; actionable.

Posted by

When ever I purchase a new car, I get several phone calls, e-mails and letters telling me that My warranty is about to expire and need to purchase a extended warranty. Always wondered how they got this information. Is there a way I can sue or make it stop?

Posted by

I was mailed several Warranty offers after each purchase of each and every car I bought. I agree this is a violation of my privacy. The Privacy Act of 1974 (Pub.L. 93–579, 88 Stat. 1896, enacted December 31, 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a), a United States federal law, establishes a Code of Fair Information Practice that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifier assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act requires that agencies give the public notice of their systems of records by publication in the Federal Register. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records absent the written consent of the subject individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions. The Act also provides individuals with a means by which to seek access to and amendment of their records, and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.


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