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Secure File Transfer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Secure File Transfer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General FAQ

What is Secure File Transfer?

Secure File Transfer (SFT) is a service that allows DMV customers to transfer files to and from DMV through a secure internet website.

The benefits include:
  • User friendly system
  • Single sign on and authentication via web browser
  • No additional cost to the customer
  • Point and click transfer of files
  • Reduction or elimination of costly outdated alternatives
  • File storage for retrieval up to 21 calendar days
  • End to end security
  • Industry standard encryption of data in transit and at rest
  • Audit trail

How do I get started?

  • Contact the Electronic Access and Security Section (EASS) at (916) 657-5582
  • They will ensure that you have the correct contracts in place to do business with the DMV
  • You will be provided with a questionnaire and an information list to complete, sign, and return. You will also be provided additional documents to assist you with data formatting
  • There are two ways to receive EPN information electronically. If you prefer to receive this information through an EPN agent instead of directly, see the listing at

What kind of data can I get using SFT?

The DMV collects vehicle registration and driver license data. Depending on your company's authorization you will be granted access to one or both data types.

I want to send data to the DMV. How do I create the records that I need to put in my DMV file?

DMV can provide you with an application to help you format your data. DMV can also provide a manual to use if you want to format your own data.

I submitted my questionnaire to the DMV's Information Services Branch (ISB). Now what?

DMV's Electronic Access and Security Section (EASS) will review your Questionnaire for completeness and ensure all necessary contract paperwork is current. They will then forward your completed Questionnaire to the DMV's Production Support Team (PST) where it will be assigned to a technical analyst. You should be contacted within three weeks of submitting your Questionnaire to the DMV.

Who do I call at the DMV if I have general questions about SFT?

Before submitting any paper work, you can contact the EASS at (916) 657-5582 for general questions. For specific technical questions you can contact PST at (916) 657-8861.

Does DMV process on holidays and what are the state holidays?

DMV does not process on state holidays. To view a copy of the state holidays you can go to This page is updated annually to reflect the current holiday schedule.

I have a vendor who does all of my processing for me. Can the vendor call DMV on my behalf?

DMV would be more than happy to work with your vendor; however, we are prohibited from disclosing User IDs and passwords directly to the vendor. It is perfectly acceptable for you to give your vendor those credentials. The DMV's Communication Programs Division (CPD) will provide you with a third party authorization form to complete.

Implementation FAQ

What is a requestor code and why do I need it?

A requestor code is a five digit code the DMV assigns to each customer who wants to share data with the DMV. This code allows access to DMV data. Access is determined by business need and assigned by the DMV's Accounts Processing Unit (APU) (916)657-5564. The requester code is a confidential, non-transferable number that is specific to your business and should not be shared unless authorized by the DMV.

What is the expected timeframe to set up SFT and start submitting files to DMV?

The setup may take up to three (3) to six (6) weeks.

Technical FAQ

What is a VR Non-Urgent Inquiry?

Customers can send vehicle identification data and receive back vehicle registration data such as who owns the car, their address, status of the car's title, etc.

What are Tape Image and Card Image (VR Inquiry)?

Although the names are misleading, tape image and card image are vehicle registration inquiry formats (input and output). For customers needing basic information such as registered owner name and address, card image is the appropriate format to choose, while customers wishing more detailed information should choose tape image. The Non-Urgent VR Inquiry Manual (blue color, available by calling ISB at (916) 657-5582) gives in-depth information.

My VR inquiry did not return many record matches, what can I do to improve the match rate?

Often removing the vehicle year and make will improve the match rate of your inquiry.

What is a Driver License Inquiry?

By sending in basic information (driver license number, the first three characters of the last name and your requestor code) you will receive back driver license record information from the DMV.

What is a Soundex Search (SS) DL Inquiry and why would I use it?

If you want to find a person's driver license record but you don't have their driver license number, you can submit an SS inquiry to obtain DL information by supplying some basic data elements (such as complete name and date of birth).

What is the Employer Pull Notice (EPN) program and where can I find additional general information on this program?

The EPN program allows your organization to monitor driving records of employees who drive on your organization's behalf. For general information on this program, please visit or contact the DMV EPN unit at (916) 657-6346.

I received an e-mail that a DL inquiry output file was ready for pickup, but I didn't send anything to the DMV. Why did this occur?

Whenever one of your drivers receives some type of activity (i.e., moving violation, accident, medical certification expiration, driver license expiration, etc.), this will generate an activity record that will result in a Driver License inquiry output file. Also if a driver has no activity for 12 months, an annual printout will be generated automatically.

Can I upload multiple files to DMV via SFT in one day?

No. There is a standard file name that must be used for each process:
Drivers License Inquiries = dlinquiry.txt Employer Pull Notice Adds/Deletes/Changes = epn.txt Only place one file for each file name in the SendToDMV folder in your SFT account. The DMV only processes files once a day; if you use SFT to upload more than one file with the same file name you will overwrite the file previously uploaded.

Password Questions - SFT Server

What is a "default" password for the SFT Server?

The default password is used only for the SFT server. The first time you log on or anytime you have your password reset you will be required to use the default password to establish a new password. You cannot log on to the system using just the default password; you must establish a new password at logon.

How many logon attempts to the SFT server do I have?

You have five attempts before you are locked out.

What do I do if I'm locked out?

Send an E-mail to giving your contact information and asking to have your password reset to the default. DO NOT E-MAIL YOUR REQUESTER CODE NUMBER, E-MAIL IS NOT SECURE. As an alternative, you can phone or e-mail your Production Support Team contact.

E-mail Notification Questions

When I receive my e-mail notification from DMV, does that mean that the data was processed at that time? How soon can I expect my responses to my inquiries?

The default password is used only for the SFT server. The first time you log on or anytime you have your password reset you will be required to use the DMV will send an e-mail notification when the customer has placed data in their input data set name; however, this does not mean that the data was processed. DMV requires that the customer send their data only once a day by 4:30 P.M. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, except weekends and holidays. DMV should have the output file available by 7:00 A.M. the following working day after the file is sent to the DMV.

Why didn't I receive an e-mail notification from DMV when I sent my data?

Some customers are unable to receive e-mails from DMV due to customers placing filters (SPAM or network filters) on their incoming e-mails. Check with your network team to see if you are filtering out any e-mails coming from the general address of @MVSSY4.TEALE.CA.GOV.

CRA InformationTerms and ConditionsMore InformationRequester Packets
Note: Requesting DMV record information in order to perform your own business function (example: Attorney/Law Office, Auto Action, Dealer/Agent, Financial Institution, Insurance Co/Agent, Lien Sale Co., etc.)
Note: Requesting DMV record information in order to perform a legitimate business service on behalf of another CRA applicant (End User) such as pass through/reformat services (Reseller) or other contracted services (Parking Service Agent).
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