DMV and Your Information


Electronically Collected Personal Information

See "Conditions of Use"


Your DMV information

California Vehicle Code 1808 and the Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6253 et seq.) provide that information collected by the Department is generally considered public information and is subject to inspection by the public. Exceptions to this public disclosure obligation include: Personal Information and Confidential Information.


Personal Information

Personal information is defined as information that identifies or describes an individual, including, but not limited to, his or her name, social security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history. An "individual" is defined as a "natural person."

Release of personal information must be in accordance with the Information Practices Act of 1977 (Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.) and the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA) (Title 18 United States Code Section 2721-2725).


Confidential Information

Confidential information includes, but may not be limited to, an individual's home address (California Vehicle Code Section 1808.21), home telephone number (Government Code Section 6254.3), physical/mental information (California Vehicle Code Section 1808.5), social security number (California Vehicle Code Section 1653.5), and photograph (California Vehicle Code Sections 12800.5 and 13005.5). Confidential home addresses will only be released when the department determines the release is necessary to complete a DMV transaction. Other requests for any confidential information must include a state or federal statute that authorizes or requires the department to release such information.

Information regarding any motor vehicle liability insurance policy or surety bond provided to the department is confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person, except to the following:

(a) A court of competent jurisdiction.

b) A law enforcement or other governmental agency.

(c) An insurance company or its assigns to verify a record the company or its assigns previously submitted to the department.

(d) A person whose vehicle or property has been involved in an accident reported to the department, or who suffered bodily injury or death in an accident reported to the department under Chapter 1 (commending with Section 16000) of Division 7 (Financial Responsibility Laws), or the person's authorized representative, employer, parent, or legal guardian.

The Department may further restrict the release of any information from its files if it determines that, on the facts of the particular case, the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.


Driver License/Identification Cards

California Vehicle Code Division 6 requires DMV to collect personal information for the purposes of determining eligibility for the issuance of a driver license or identification cards to the citizens of California. Examples of information are true full name, age, sex, mailing address, residence address, and social security, which are defined as personal information under Civil Code section 1798.3 (a). Failure to provide the information is cause for refusal to issue a driver license, or, in some cases cancellation or withdrawal of the driving privilege.


Vehicle Registration Information

California Vehicle Code section 4000 (a) requires that all vehicles being driven, parked, moved or left standing upon a highway, or in an off street parking facility must be registered and fees paid to DMV. Personal information is collected under authority of California Vehicle Code, Division 3, and is used to determine motor vehicle ownership. Failure to provide the requested information is cause for refusal to issue a motor vehicle or vessel title. Examples of data maintained in our registration records are owner name(s), lien holder name(s), address, vehicle identification numbers, vehicle plate numbers, registration expiration date, make, and type of vehicle.


Vessel (boat) registration

California Vehicle Code section 9850 requires that all undocumented vessels using the waters or on the waters of this state shall be currently numbered. In order to obtain a "Certificate of Number", the owner must supply certain information in order to identify the vessel on our database. The data maintained in DMV's vessel records contains owner name(s), address, lien holder name(s), hull identification number, and registration expiration date.


Driver Safety

The role of the Driver Safety Branch is to promote traffic safety by controlling the driving privilege and to provide timely due process and fair administrative hearings to drivers facing withdrawal of their driving privilege. Responsibilities include investigative reexamination of drivers who pose potential risks to traffic safety, and the imposition of appropriate actions against those motorists identified as traffic safety risks. The Branch also maintains appropriate liaisons and communication with other agencies and public entities such as law enforcement, offices of the district attorney, the medical profession, defense attorney organizations, and public interest groups who play integral roles in furthering traffic safety.
Medical information is required under the authority of Divisions 6 and 7 of the California Vehicle code. Failure to provide the information is cause for refusal to issue a license or to withdraw the driving privilege.

All records of the Department of Motor Vehicles, relating to the physical or mental condition of any person, are confidential and not open to public inspection (CVC Section 1808.5).


Occupational Licensees

The Occupational Licensing (OL) Branch is responsible for licensing, monitoring and controlling a wide range of motor vehicle related businesses and individuals, including the following:

  • Vehicle Dealers - Automobile, Commercial, Motorcycle, Recreational Vehicle, Trailer, and Snowmobile.
  • Vehicle Salespersons, Lessor-Retailers, Manufacturers, Dismantlers, Distributors and their Representatives, Remanufacturers, Verifiers, and Transporters.
  • Vessel Agents and Registration Services.
  • Traffic Violator School - Owners, Operators, and Instructors.
  • Driving School - Owners, Operators, Instructors, Independent Driving Schools, and Instructors.
  • Mature Driver Improvement Course - Providers.

Occupational Licensing records are generally open to the public for inspection. However, residence address information is confidential and may only be disclosed to a court, law enforcement agency, government agency, or when authorized by a specific federal or state statute. Public requests for confidential residence address information must include the purpose and reason for the record, and the regulation, rule of court, or federal/state statute, identified by code name and section that requires or permits its use. If your request does not include authorization for the release of confidential residence information, the department will release a current record without the residence address.


Motor Carriers
(Motor Carrier Permit; International Registration Plan/Interstate Operations; Employer Testing Program)

The Motor Carrier Division functions as a liaison to the commercial motor vehicle industry and provides a central point of contact to resolve problems and obtain information and services. This includes all vehicles operating either wholly within the state or interstate as part of a business enterprise and requiring compliance with laws related to commercial operations and their drivers.

To carry out these responsibilities, Motor Carrier Division is comprised of several program areas that provide services to the commercial motor vehicle industry.

Motor Carrier Permit Branch: carries out the administrative functions for motor carriers of property, both for-hire and private carriers, formerly performed by the Public Utilities Commission.

The information provided on the Motor Carrier of Property Permit application is public record, regularly used by law enforcement agencies, and others, and is open to inspection by the public.

The only information designated confidential obtained by the Motor Carrier of Property Permit program is the list of employees provided annually by carriers with 20 or more vehicles for worker's compensation insurance purposes, EPN# number, and payment information.

Information required pertains to eligibility for issuance of a Motor Carrier of Property Permit and is required under authority of Division 14.85 of the California Vehicle Code. Failure to provide this information required under CVC Section 34621 is cause for refusal to issue a Motor Carrier of Property Permit.

IRP & Intrastate Operations Branch: administers the International Registration Plan for California; provides for interstate commercial vehicle operations through payment of fees apportioned on the basis of percentage of use in each state; and administers the Permanent Fleet Registration Plan for qualified intrastate commercial fleets.

Employer Testing Program Section: responsible for the Department's third party testing program pursuant to CVC Section 15250. The program allows specified employers who are assigned an Employer Number to conduct the drive test portion for there own employees to obtain a California Commercial Class A or B driver license upon passage of the written test administered by the department. Any personal information collected (i.e., telephone numbers, home addresses, driver license numbers, etc.) is for business purposes and is mandatory. The Department, as well as, the Federal Highway Administration or its representatives may have access to this data authorized by state and federal regulations.


Personnel Records

Information collected is requested by the Office of the State Controller and the Personnel/Payroll Services Division and is used by the State Controller's Office for personnel, payroll, retirement, and health benefits processing. Furnishing personal information is mandatory, unless specifically stated otherwise, and refusal to provide such information may result in refusal of employment, inaccurate determination of credit for State Service, payroll calculations, retirement and/or health benefits.

Authority to maintain this information by the State Controller's Office include: Federal Internal Revenue Code (26 USC Sections 3402(a), 6011, 6051, and 6109) and the regulations thereto; Federal Public Health and Welfare Code (42 USC Section 403); and California Government Code Sections 12470 thorough 12479 and 16391 through 16395; California Unemployment Insurance Code Section 13020; delegated authority from the State Personnel Board; and delegated authority from the Trustees of the California State University.

The Department will not disclose personnel, medical, or similar files where disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, unless there is express written permission from the individual to whom the information pertains. Certain items of personal information furnished may be transferred to the following governmental or private agencies where authorized by law: State Personnel Board, Department of Personnel Administration, Trustees of the California State University, Employment Development Department, Department of Social Services, Department of Finance, Public Employees' Retirement System, employing State agencies and campuses; Social Security Administration; Federal Internal Revenue Service; California State Franchise Tax Board, other state income tax bureaus and other governmental entities when required by state or federal law, organizations for which deductions are authorized by law, and collective bargaining organizations.


How DMV protects your information

The Department has security measures in place to protect against loss, misuse, unauthorized access, or alteration of the information under its control. Information that is physically located within the Department is protected by various security measures which may include the following: access to confidential or sensitive information only by authorized individuals; secured entry to the different divisions that maintain the information; storage of confidential information in locked desks, files cabinets, and/or rooms; storage of confidential data files on floppy disks which are then stored in locked desks or file cabinets; saving confidential files to a private drive on the Local Access Network; and computer password protection of confidential data files.

Department employees, consultants, contractors and student assistants responsible for handling and protecting information maintained by the Department are required to sign an annual information security and disclosure statement that includes the following:

  • A Department employee may only access information when necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and objectives. Information is not to be accessed or used for personal reasons.
  • A Department employee may only disclose information from Department files or databases to individuals who have been authorized to receive it through appropriate Department procedures.
  • A Department employee may not enter false or incomplete data or delete existing valid data in any database or file or taken an unauthorized action that would cause the interruption or denial of services, or the destruction or alteration of data or software.
  • A Department employee must take reasonable precautions to maintain the secrecy of any password used to access information.
  • A Department employee must take reasonable precautions to protect equipment from unauthorized access.

Failure to comply with these policies will result in disciplinary action in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


Notification when your information is released

California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 1810 allows the public to obtain your DMV information by filling out the Request for Driver License/Identification Card Information or the Request for Vehicle/Vessel Registration Information form (INF 70D/70R) and submitting the appropriate fee (provided on form) for each request.

Any request for information submitted on forms INF 70D or INF 70R, CVC section 1810 (b) requires the department to notify the record subject of the request.

CVC sections 1808.21 and 1810.2 allow government and commercial requesters who have an account with the department that has been approved to obtain DMV record information for a legitimate business use to access your information without notifying you.

CVC section 1808.22 requires the department to notify you when DMV releases your residence address to an attorney for a motor vehicle related incident.


Request for Amendment of a Record

DMV maintains the integrity of its database, which contains approximately 24 million driver license/identification card records. If your record contains incorrect information, request a correction by completing a Driver License Record Correction Request (Traffic Violations/Convictions Only) (DL 207) or Traffic Accident Record Correction Request (Traffic Accident Information Only) (DL 208). You may

  • download the form or
  • call 1 (800) 777-0133 to have one mailed to you or
  • pick one up at any DMV field office.

For additional information contact the Mandatory Actions Unit at (916) 657-6525 or write to them at:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Mandatory Actions Unit, Mail Station J233
P. O. Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290-0001


Other laws that may interest you

The California Vehicle Code contains many of the laws covering release of your record. Any information acquired by DMV is subject to the limitations set forth in the Civil Code section 1798 et. seq. and is known as the Information Practices Act of 1977. The Government Code section 6250 et. Seq. provides the laws governing the release of information by a government agency and is know as the California Public Records Act. An agency can limit access to information if it is determined not to be in the public's best interest or is limited by law.

In order to impose restrictions on the release of information, Congress enacted the Public Law 103-322, the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) of 1994 on September 13, 1997. The intent of the legislation is to protect the personal privacy of individuals licensed by the states by prohibiting certain disclosures of "personal information" provided by the driver and maintained by the states. This law also requires a Department of Motor Vehicles to provide an opt-out provision if personal information is released for direct marketing or solicitation purposes. Since California law (California Vehicle Code Section 1808.23) prohibits residence address information from being used for direct marketing or solicitation purposes, NO OPT-OUT provision is required or offered in California.


Questions

Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Chief Privacy Officer - MS F127
PO Box 932328
Sacramento, CA 94232-3280