Records & Types of Information

DMV uses a credit/debit card processing company to process credit/debit card transactions for services, and does not retain, share, store or use personal information for any other purpose except pursuant to a search warrant, subpoena, court order, or investigation of a crime. For making payments using our site, you must provide your name as printed on your credit/debit card, as well as your card type, card number, expiry date, security code, and zip code. DMV uses industry standard safeguards to protect the financial information we collect.

California Vehicle Code (CVC) §1808 and the Public Records Act (Government Code §6253 et seq.) provide that information collected by DMV 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.

Under the Information Practices Act, “personal information” is 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.” Under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, “personal information” is information that identifies an individual, including an individual’s photograph, social security number, driver identification number, name, address (but not the five-digit zip code), telephone number, and medical or disability information. Information regarding official government actions relating to a person’s driving privilege, such as records of convictions, driving violations, accidents, driver’s status, driver license suspensions, and revocations of the driving privilege, are open to public inspection under CVC §1808 and are not a driver’s “personal information.”

Release of personal information must be in accordance with the Information Practices Act of 1977 (Civil Code (CC) §1798 et seq.), the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA) (Title 18 United States Code (USC) §§2721-2725), and other applicable laws.

Confidential information includes, but may not be limited to, an individual’s home address,CVC §1808.21 home telephone number,GC §6254.3 physical/mental information,CVC §1808.5 social security number,CVC §1653.5 and photograph.CVC §§12800.5 and 13005.5Confidential home addresses will only be released when DMV determines the release is necessary to complete a DMV transaction or is authorized by law. Other requests for disclosure of 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 (commencing with §16000) of Division 7 (Financial Responsibility Laws), or the person’s authorized representative, employer, parent, or legal guardian.

DMV 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.

California Vehicle Code (CVC), Division 6 (commencing at §12500), requires DMV to collect personal information for the purposes of determining eligibility for the issuance of a driver license or identification card. Examples of this information are true full name, date of birth, physical description, mailing address, residence address, and social security number. 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.

Effective March 20, 2019, driver records formerly referred to as an “H6” or “10 year record” that included information intended for internal department purposes are no longer available.  Driver records will only include all reportable information:  convictions for three, seven, or ten years, departmental actions, and accidents on a person’s driver record as required by CVC §1808.

CVC §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.

CVC §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.

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 CVC. Failure to provide the information is cause for refusal to issue a license or to withdraw the driving privilege.

All records of the DMV relating to the physical or mental condition of any person are confidential and not open to public inspection.CVC §1808.5

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.

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 CVC. Failure to provide this information required under CVC §34621 is cause for refusal to issue a Motor Carrier of Property Permit.

International Registration Plan (IRP) & Intrastate Operations Branch

Administers the IRP 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 §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 DMV. 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.

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 §§3402(a), 6011, 6051, and 6109) and the regulations thereto.
  • Federal Public Health and Welfare Code (42 USC §403).
  • California Government Code §§12470 – 12479 and 16391 – 16395.
  • California Unemployment Insurance Code §13020.
  • Delegated authority from the State Personnel Board.
  • Delegated authority from the Trustees of the California State University.

DMV 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.

DMV 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 DMV 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.

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

  • A DMV 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 DMV employee may only disclose information from Department files or databases to individuals who have been authorized to receive it through appropriate Department procedures.
  • A DMV 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 DMV employee must take reasonable precautions to maintain the secrecy of any password used to access information.
  • A DMV 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.

CVC §§1808 and 1810 allow any person or entity to obtain the public driver’s license record or vehicle registration record for a permissible use by filling out the Request for Driver License/Identification Card Information, the Request for Vehicle/Vessel Registration Information, or Request for Record Information form (INF 70D/70R/70) and submitting the appropriate fee (provided on the form) for each request.

If DMV provides information pursuant to a request for information submitted on forms INF 70D, INF 70R, or INF 70, CVC §1810 (b) requires the department to notify the person whose record was requested.

CVC §§1810 and 1810.2 allow government and commercial requesters who have been issued a requester code by DMV to obtain the public driver’s license record or vehicle registration record for a governmental or legitimate business use without notifying you.

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

DMV maintains the integrity of its database, which contains approximately 26 million driver license/identification card records. DMV receives conviction information from the courts. If you believe that your DMV driver’s license record contains incorrect information regarding a traffic violation/conviction, you can request a review and correction of that information by contacting the court or by completing and submitting a Driver License Record Correction Request (Traffic Violations/Convictions Only) (DL 207).

For a suspected error regarding a traffic accident that appears on your DMV driver license record, you can request a review and correction of that information by completing and submitting a Traffic Accident Record Correction Request (Traffic Accident Information Only) (DL 208). You may:

  • Download these forms, or
  • Call 1-800-777-0133 to have the forms mailed to you, or
  • Pick up these forms at any DMV field office.

For additional information on these matters, contact DMV’s Mandatory Actions Unit at (916) 657-6525, or write to them at:

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

Other laws that may interest you

The CVC contains many of the laws that govern the disclosure of information from DMV records. Personal information acquired by DMV is subject to certain requirements set forth in the Information Practices Act of 1977, Civil Code §1798 et. seq., and the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, which is intended to protect the privacy of individuals by prohibiting the disclosure of “personal information” unless one of the statutory exceptions applies.

The California Public Records Act, Government Code §6250 et. seq., provides the laws governing the release of information by a government agency. 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.


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

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