Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1544
By: Uher
State Affairs


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, if an individual consents,
personal information be made available for release to bulk distributors and
marketing systems.   House Bill 1544 takes the provisions set forth by the
Act a step further by eliminating the sale of records for bulk
distribution, solicitation, and marketing purposes.  The bill also
addresses enforcement of resale or redisclosure of personal information. 


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. 


House Bill 1544 amends the Transportation Code to modify provisions
relating to the release of certain personal information from motor vehicle
records and information relating to motor vehicle accident reports. 

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 also 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 the Department of
Public Safety  (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 authorizes 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 (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 removes the provisions that authorize the disclosure of personal
information from motor vehicle  records for the purposes of bulk
distribution for surveys, marketing, or solicitations.  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 prevent a court from compelling by subpoena the
production of a person's photographic image (730.007).  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 Class A misdemeanor if a
person violates the provisions regarding resale or redisclosure  (Sec.

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). 

The bill repeals provisions relating to agency notification to license
holders, vehicle registrants and title holders, and identification card
holders of the possible disclosure of individual records,  requests to
prohibit disclosure, and the disclosure on the Internet of personal
information from motor vehicle records (Secs. 730.008 and 730.009 and
Chapter 731). 


September 1, 2001.