Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/07/1996 08:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 110 - CONFIDENTIALITY OF MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 110. CHAIR JAMES called on Eleanor Roser, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Ramona Barnes, to present the sponsor statement. Number 1687 ELEANOR ROSER, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Ramona Barnes, read the following sponsor statement into the record. "This legislation was introduced at the request of two of my constituents who had experienced stalking by persons who had obtained their addresses from the (DMV) through license plate information. Additionally, in 1994, confidentiality of license plate information was included in the President's Crime Package. "The intent of the federal legislation (18. U.S.C. 2721) was to protect the personal privacy of persons licensed by states to drive a motor vehicle or persons who register a motor vehicle by prohibiting disclosure of information on drivers maintained by the state. This information is only to be disclosed under permissible uses. "If Alaska is not in compliance with the federal law by September 13, 1997, the DMV could be liable for civil fines of $2,500.00 per day and the state could be subject to fines of $5,000.00 per day until compliance is reached. "This bill is supported by the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the Anchorage Police Department. "I appreciate your consideration of this bill and request your support." MS. ROSER said she would be happy to answer any questions of the committee members. Number 1745 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered how HB 210 would affect this bill. Number 1774 CHAIR JAMES replied HB 210 would not affect HB 110. Number 1785 CHAIR JAMES wondered what the language "legitimate interest" meant in the bill. She cited in previous business expenditures she needed to research information through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using a license plate number. There were many reasons why a private individual would have a legitimate interest to research vehicle information. Number 1883 MS. ROSER deferred to Juanita Hensley, Department of Public Safety, to answer the question. CHAIR JAMES called on Ms. Hensley to join the committee members at the table. Number 1921 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered if legislation was needed due to the federal requirement. Number 1940 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, explained HB 110 would bring the state one step closer into compliance with the federal law. The President's Crime Bill required that more vehicle records be confidential. If the state did not comply with the federal law, the federal law would preempt the state law and DMV would be subject to a fine. Therefore, the DMV would either have to violate a federal law and be subject to a fine, or violate a state law. She explained there were provisions to allow the information to be released for legitimate business interests. Number 2023 CHAIR JAMES asked if a legitimate business interest was specified in the federal law? MS. HENSLEY replied it was defined in the federal law, and left to the states to adopt the regulations. She cited mechanic or storage companies, towing companies, banks or finance companies, and insurance companies, as examples that would have a legitimate business interest. CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness via teleconference in Anchorage, Jay Dulany, Department of Public Safety. JAY DULANY, Director, Central Office, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, said he was available to answer any policy questions. He suggested including language to refer to 18 U.S.C. 2721 in Section 1. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Anchorage, Bob Motznick. Number 2168 BOB MOTZNICK explained in his business a log was kept of all inquiries made. He said that was a far better way to handle the stalking concerns. His company experienced 300 to 500 inquires everyday. The bill was preventing help to those that needed it because as written it would not allow legitimate business interests. He recommended deleting Section 1, and implementing the minimum that the federal law required. Number 2376 CHAIR JAMES commented this was a typical quandary between the state and federal government. It was distressing, however, to not be able to obtain information from a license plate, if needed. She agreed the stalking concerns were serious. She wanted to leave as little as possible to regulations, and put as much as possible into statute. MS. HENSLEY replied the DMV preferred everything in statute because it was easier to defend its actions. She would be happy to work with Chair James to incorporate some of her concerns within the limitations of the federal law. TAPE 96-31, SIDE B Number 0000 MS. ROSER explained the bill could include model language from the various states Attorney's General. The sponsor was not opposed to including all the requirements in a statute. It was drafted as such to keep it simple. Number 0020 MS. HENSLEY explained the model language was developed last year by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators because every state was in the same position. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness in Juneau, Jayne Andreen, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety. Number 0044 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety, said the Council supported HB 110. It did not have a problem including more in the statute. The primary issue was to provide safety for the victims of domestic violence and stalking, whose batterers used DMV to locate the victims. Number 0070 CHAIR JAMES suggested working with Ms. Roser further to develop a committee substitute for the next hearing on Thursday, March 14, 1996. MS. ROSER said she not foresee a problem with that.