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What You Need to Know About the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act

Driver’s Privacy Protection Act

The US Federal Law implemented The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) in order to protect the personally identifiable information of drivers with licenses from improper use or disclosure in the United States.

Passed in 1994 by Congress, The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act was enforced as a reaction to the unlawful action of some state agencies that were trading driver’s information with direct marketing and automobile insurance agencies in order to increase revenue.

All states have been tasked by The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act to protect the privacy of personal information in an individual motor vehicle record. These include the driver’s name, address, phone number, gender, weight, height, driver identification number, social security number, age, fingerprint (in some states) and some medical information (if any disability).

The Driver’s protection Act has not made it prohibited by law to collect the information of drivers (i) for unlawful or unauthorized purposes or (ii) by any false representation. Noncompliance attracts criminal fines.

As a result of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, the personal information of drivers can only be retrieved from motor vehicle departments for certain purposes. These include:

  1. Lawful government agency purposes
  2. Issues of vehicle emissions, theft, safety, and recalls
  3. For insurance or indemnity purposes
  4. Notices for towed or confiscated cars
  5. Utilized by authorized investigators or security services
  6. Utilized by nongovernmental  toll transportation facilities
  7. Motor vehicle nonprofit market research and surveys

The information of drivers is also available in reaction to requests for the records of individuals if the state has received the permission of the individual. The records of each of the added disclosure must be maintained and identify the person or entity that is collecting the disclosure and for what reason.

These records must be maintained for five years. Please note that the law does not safeguard information about the license status, accidents, or traffic violations of drivers. We also have several laws in most US states that act as a supplement to the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

The Driver’s Privacy Act of 2015

There is an increase in the number of companies that have been installing and using some of the latest monitoring technologies in vehicles driven by individuals generally for safety and/or logistic management regardless of whether those vehicles are possessed by the company or an individual.

These technologies include event data recorders (EDRs) – a device that captures a range of information just before or during a crash event. 


Signed by President Obama on the 4th of December, 2015, The Driver’s Privacy Act of 2015 was enacted as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act and seeks to address privacy concerns for data collected on EDRs. Companies that have vehicle monitoring programs have been urged to review this new law..

Summarily, the idea of The Driver Privacy Act of 2015 is birthed to safeguard consumer’s personal identifying information and to prove the ownership of the data recorded and stored within an Event Data Recorder (EDR).

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