Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/09/1996 01:45 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HOUSE BILL 110                                                               
                                                                               
       "An  Act relating  to  the  confidentiality of  certain                 
       information in motor vehicle records; and providing for                 
       an effective date."                                                     
                                                                               
  ELEANOR   ROSER,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  RAMONA   BARNES,                 
  testified in support  of HB 110.   She pointed out  that the                 
                                                                               
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  legislation   was   introduced   at  the   request   of  two                 
  constituents who had experienced stalking by persons who had                 
  obtained their addresses from the Division of Motor Vehicles                 
  through license plate information.  In 1994, confidentiality                 
  of license plate information was included in the President's                 
  Crime Package.                                                               
                                                                               
  The intent  of the federal  legislation was  to protect  the                 
  personal  privacy of persons  licensed by states  to drive a                 
  motor vehicle or  persons who register  a motor vehicle  and                 
  would  prohibit   disclosure  of   information  on   drivers                 
  maintained by the  state.   That information is  only to  be                 
  disclosed under permissible uses.                                            
                                                                               
  If Alaska is not in compliance with federal law by September                 
  13, 1997, Division of  Motor Vehicles (DMV) would  be liable                 
  for civil fines in  the amount of $2.5 thousand  dollars per                 
  day and the State could be subject to fines in the amount of                 
  $5 thousand dollars  per day  until compliance was  reached.                 
  Ms. Roser  pointed out  that the  bill is  supported by  the                 
  Council  on  Domestic Violence  and  Sexual Assault  and the                 
  Anchorage Police Department.                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown asked  about federal  requirements not                 
  included in the  bill.  Ms.  Roser replied that Alaska  does                 
  not  license  private   investigators,  consequently,   that                 
  section was removed.                                                         
                                                                               
  JUANITA HENSLEY, CHIEF, DRIVER  SERVICES, DIVISION OF  MOTOR                 
  VEHICLES,  DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY, explained  that the                 
  version before the  Committee had been prepared  by attorney                 
  general  offices  throughout  the  nation  and  the American                 
  Association of Motor Vehicle administrators in order to meet                 
  the standards of compliance with federal law.                                
                                                                               
  In response  to Representative  Brown, Ms. Hensley  informed                 
  members that  there  are private  investigative agencies  in                 
  Alaska.  Representative Brown asked  if those agencies would                 
  have access  to  information referenced  in the  bill.   Ms.                 
  Hensley   stated  they   would   not   under  the   proposed                 
  legislation.     Federal   law   allows   licensed   private                 
  investigating  firms  to  access  that   information.    She                 
  reiterated   that   Alaska   does    not   license   private                 
  investigators.                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Brown asked if the State could legally differ                 
  from federal law regarding that concern.  Ms. Hensley stated                 
  the federal law lists regulations  that must be included  in                 
  order to  meet compliance.  Almost anyone  with a legitimate                 
  business use, could  obtain the record, although  they would                 
  be restricted as to how they can use it.  The federal law is                 
  less restrictive than state law.                                             
                                                                               
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  Representative Brown voiced  concern with Community  Service                 
  Patrols (CSP) having access to  the record information.  Ms.                 
  Hensley commented that as the information was being used for                 
  a legitimate purpose, they would continue to be eligible  to                 
  receive  the  record.   Discussion  followed  regarding  the                 
  security of information being released.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  questioned how  the relationship  with                 
  Mr.  Motznik  would  be  affected  through  passage  of  the                 
  legislation.   Ms. Hensley  replied that  Mr. Motznik  would                 
  receive  the  entire   DMV  file,  continuing  to   get  the                 
  information but would  not be able release  that information                 
  without  knowing to  whom and the  purpose of  that release.                 
  The  list  could   not  be   sold  for  mail   distribution.                 
  Representative Brown  pointed out that  Page 3, Line  6, (9)                 
  indicated that it could be available  for distribution.  Ms.                 
  Hensley  countered that  federal law  prohibits release  for                 
  that purpose.  Discussion followed regarding Section (9).                    
                                                                               
  Ms. Hensley noted that  at present time, if a  person wanted                 
  to receive information on someones  address, they could walk                 
  into the Anchorage  field office  and obtain a  copy of  the                 
  vehicle certificates.  It is  not difficult.  Representative                 
  Mulder  suggested  that  the legislation  would  provide  an                 
  "additional  hurdle" for  someone  wanting to  receive  that                 
  information.    Ms. Hensley  agreed,  noting that  under the                 
  proposed legislation, an individual would  no longer be able                 
  to obtain this information from the DMV office.                              
                                                                               
  Discussion followed among Committee members and  Ms. Hensley                 
  regarding Mr. Motznik's access to the files as written in HB
  110.    Representative  Brown  reminded  members  that   the                 
  Permanent Fund  Dividend list  was available  to the  public                 
  which   contains   similar   information.     She   strongly                 
  recommended  that  state government  not intervene  in state                 
  records management.                                                          
                                                                               
  Ms. Hensley advised  that the  Association of Motor  Vehicle                 
  Administrators  lobbied  against  the  legislation  as  they                 
  thought it could be a "night mare" to monitor.                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley asked the consequences  if State law was not                 
  changed.    Ms. Hensley  replied that  when the  federal law                 
  takes effect in  1997, the State  and the Division would  be                 
  subject to  fines due  to violations.   She  added that  the                 
  proposed  legislation  would  be  "minimum compliance"  with                 
  federal law.                                                                 
                                                                               
  JAYNE  ANDREEN,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  COUNCIL  ON  DOMESTIC                 
  VIOLENCE  AND  SEXUAL  ASSAULT, JUNEAU,  testified  that the                 
  Council  supported the proposed  legislation.  Accessing DMV                 
  records is one way that batterers  track their victims.  She                 
                                                                               
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  added, the  Council requests  that private investigators  be                 
  denied access to  the records,  as they are  often hired  by                 
  abusers to locate their victims.                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder MOVED to report CS HB 110 (STA) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.  There being  NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CS HB  110 (STA)  was reported out  of Committee with  a "no                 
  recommendation" and with a fiscal  note by the Department of                 
  Public Safety dated 3/18/96.                                                 

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