Fong signs into law legislation to prevent sale of tax payers personal inf

SACRAMENTO Assemblyman Vince Fong - July 16, Assembly Bill 398 by Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County) was signed into law by the Governor. The measure will ensure that taxpayers’ personal information is not for sale by removing “sell” and other profit-generating language associated with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from the Vehicle Code.

“The Governor signing my bill, AB 398, into law ensures the public that their DMV records are protected from being sold,” said Assemblyman Vince Fong. “This bill works to rebuild trust with the customers the DMV serves by making sure the selling of taxpayers’ personal information will never happen.”

“Transparency within state agencies is a fundamental pillar of our democracy and is necessary to ensure access and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. State agencies do work for the public good by providing services to individuals and organizations, and they should not have the authority to set individual costs for their services or impose service fees across the state to generate revenue,” Fong added.

Specifically, Assembly Bill 398 would prohibit DMV from issuing charges to individuals or organizations that exceed the actual cost of the service.

Existing law authorizes the DMV to sell information from its records concerning vehicle registration or driving records at a charge sufficient to pay “at least” the actual cost to the department.

Currently, when an individual, Commercial Requester Account, or other permitted entity requests information from the DMV, the cost to provide the information or service is set by the department. These services include individuals obtaining Public Record Act (PRA) requests.

The words “at least” in Section 1810 of the Vehicle Code enable the DMV to potentially generate profit off of the public by issuing a service tax on the public services they provide that exceeds the actual cost of the service rendered.

Given the potential savings, Assemblyman Fong’s measure is supported by KernTax and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Story First Published: 2021-10-15