HBA-KDB H.B. 1544 77(R) HBA-KDB H.B. 1544 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1544 By: Uher State Affairs 77/19/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (Act) sets forth provisions for all states regarding the release and use of personal information from state motor vehicle records and prohibitions against the release and use of such information. One provision of the Act allows personal information, if an individual consents, to be made available for release to bulk distributors to obtain or verify information relating to a holder of a commercial driver's license. House Bill 1544 takes the provisions set forth by the Act a step further by eliminating the sale of records for such purposes and addresses enforcement of resale or redisclosure of personal information, and provides that a person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person uses accident information for pecuniary gain. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 1544 amends the Penal Code to provide that a person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person obtains accident information from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or other governmental entity and the information is subsequently used for the direct solicitation of business or employment for pecuniary gain by the person, an agent or employee of the person, or the person on whose behalf the information was requested. The bill provides that a person who employs or engages another to obtain accident information from DPS or other governmental entity commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person subsequently uses the information for direct solicitation of business or employment for pecuniary gain (Sec. 38.18). The bill removes the provision that a magnetic tape provided to a purchaser of information is authorized to contain only the names, addresses, and dates of birth of individuals who have not prohibited the disclosure of personal information. The bill requires DPS to impose and collect a fee of $2,000 for each magnetic tape of all personal driver's license information provided to an eligible purchaser and, if DPS provides a weekly update of the information on the tape, $75 for each update. The bill removes the provision that a purchaser of the information must agree to delete the name, address, and date of birth of an individual whose name is also included on the mail or telephone preference list maintained by a recognized trade association that is used to remove the name of an individual who has requested that the individual's name not be made available for solicitation purposes (Sec. 521.050). The bill adds, to the exceptions of information that DPS is prohibited from disclosing, the requirement that DPS provide any person eligible to receive such information a certified abstract of the record of conviction of a person for violation of a law relating to the operation of a motor vehicle or the record of any injury or damage caused by the person's operation of a motor vehicle (Sec. 521.052). The bill provides that a release of information to persons eligible to receive information under the Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act occurs each time a query is made of the interactive system (Sec. 521.055). The bill requires the release of the information if the requestor can provide two or more specified facts relating to an accident. The bill removes the provision requiring DPS or a governmental entity to request the information on a written form adopted by DPS or the entity to determine whether the person or entity requesting the information is entitled to receive the information. The bill increases from $4 to $6 or the actual cost of preparation, whichever is less, the fee for a copy of the vehicle accident report or accident information (Sec. 550.065). The bill adds political subdivision to the definition of an "agency." The bill also excludes the accident report from the definition of "motor vehicle record," and excludes information contained in a report from the definition of "personal information" (Sec. 730.003). The bill provides that personal information obtained by an agency in connection with a motor vehicle record may be disclosed to any requestor by an agency if the requestor represents that the use of the personal information will be strictly limited to use by a consumer reporting agency, as defined by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, for a purpose permitted under that Act. The bill specifies that its provisions do not prohibit the disclosure of a person's photographic image to a law enforcement agency or a criminal justice agency for an official purpose or an agency of this state investigating an alleged violation of a state or federal law relating to the obtaining, selling, or purchasing of a benefit authorized by a financial and service or nutritional assistance program, or prevent a court from compelling by subpoena the production of a person's photographic image. The bill requires personal information obtained by an agency in connection with a motor vehicle record to be disclosed to a requestor by an agency if the requestor provides the requestor's name and address and any proof of that information required by the agency and represents that the intent of the requestor is to use personal information in the motor vehicle record only for the purpose of preventing, detecting, or protecting against personal identity theft or other acts of fraud and provides any proof of the requestor's intent required by the agency (Sec. 730.007). The bill prohibits an authorized recipient of personal information from reselling or redisclosing the personal information in the identical or a substantially identical format the personal information was disclosed to the recipient by the applicable agency. The bill authorizes an authorized recipient of personal information to resell or redisclose the information only for the uses permitted by the provisions of permitted disclosure. The bill provides that it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $25,000 if a person violates the provisions regarding resale or redisclosure (Sec. 730.013). The bill provides that a person who is convicted of an offense under the Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act, or who violates a rule adopted by an agency relating to the terms or conditions for a release of personal information to the person, is ineligible to receive personal information. A person is considered to have been convicted in a case if a sentence is imposed, the defendant receives probation or deferred adjudication, or the court defers final disposition of the case (Sec. 730.016). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.