The Albuquerque Journal carried a story today
about a state agency denying access to driver's license applications that are alleged to be false or fraudulent. This is the latest development in a convoluted open-government story that has been unfolding since 2006. At the heart of this story is a privacy law that protects personal information in MVD records. Congress mandated these protections in the mid-1990s after receiving testimony about crime victims whose home addresses had been obtained through public records. More
It's always important to go straight to the source. Here is how New Mexico's version of the law reads:
66-2-7.1. Motor vehicle-related records; confidential.
A. It is unlawful for any department or bureau employee or contractor or for any former department or bureau employee or contractor to disclose to any person other than another employee of the department or bureau any personal information about an individual obtained by the department or bureau in connection with a driver's license or permit, the titling or registration of a vehicle, the administration of the Ignition Interlock Licensing Act [66-5-501 NMSA 1978] and the interlock device fund or an identification card issued by the department pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Code [66-1-1 NMSA 1978] except:
(1) to the individual or the individual's authorized representative;
(2) for use by any governmental agency, including any court, in carrying out its functions or by any private person acting on behalf of the government;
(3) for use in connection with matters of motor vehicle and driver safety or theft; motor vehicle emissions; performance monitoring of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and dealers; motor vehicle market research activities, including survey research; motor vehicle production alterations, recalls or advisories; and removal of non-owner records from original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers;
(4) for use in research activities and for use in producing statistical reports, so long as the personal information is not published, redisclosed or used to contact individuals;
(5) for use by any insurer or insurance support organization or by a self-insured entity or its agents, employees or contractors in connection with claims investigation activities, antifraud activities, rating or underwriting;
(6) for providing notice to owners of towed or impounded vehicles;
(7) for use by an employer or its agent or insurer in obtaining or verifying information relating to a holder of a commercial driver's license;
(8) for use by any requester if the requester demonstrates that it has obtained the written consent of the individual to whom the information pertains;
(9) for use by an insured state-chartered or federally chartered credit union; an insured state or national bank; an insured state or federal savings and loan association; or an insured savings bank, but only:
(a) to verify the accuracy of personal information submitted by an individual to the credit union, bank, savings and loan association or savings bank; and
(b) if the information as submitted is not correct or is no longer correct, to obtain the correct information, but only for the purpose of preventing fraud by pursuing legal remedies against or recovering on a debt or security interest from the individual;
(10) for providing organ donor information as provided in the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act [repealed] or Section 66-5-10 NMSA 1978; or
(11) for providing the names and addresses of all lienholders and owners of record of abandoned vehicles to storage facilities or wrecker yards for the purpose of providing notice as required in Section 66-3-121 NMSA 1978.
B. Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.