BILL ANALYSIS Ó AB 2192 Page 1 Date of Hearing: April 23, 2012 ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair AB 2192 (Miller) - As Amended: March 29, 2012 SUBJECT : Home address confidentiality SUMMARY : Requires persons whose home addresses are afforded a higher degree of confidentiality by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to provide DMV with a current employment address for purposes of collecting traffic, parking, or toll evasion fines. Specifically, this bill : 1)Requires a person who requests the confidentiality of his or her home address contained within DMV records to provide DMV with a current employment address for purposes of processing the service and collection of a traffic, parking, or toll road violation. 2)Suspends the applicable statutory time periods for processing the service and collection of traffic, parking, or toll road violations until DMV provides the law enforcement agency, governmental agency, or issuing agency with the person's current employment address. 3)Provides that the use of a person's current employment address, when that person's home address is confidential, satisfies the requirement of the person's home address for purposes of serving a notice to appear or a notice of violation under the Vehicle Code. 4)Requires a person who has requested the confidentiality of his or her home address to notify DMV of any change in his or her employment address within 10 days. 5)Requires DMV to refuse to renew the registration of a vehicle if the owner or lessee has been served with a traffic, parking or toll violation and has been mailed a notice of delinquent parking violation or a failure to pay a traffic citation; the processing agency has filed or electronically transmitted to DMV an itemization of the unpaid parking or traffic citation penalty, including the administrative fee; and the owner or lessee has not paid the penalty and administrative fee.
AB 2192Page 2 6)Requires DMV to update the home address confidentiality request form to require the requestor to provide a current employment address and to distribute and make available copies of the updated form to the human resources office of each agency that employs any of the classes of persons eligible for this level of confidentiality. 7)Requires the human resources office of a new employee requesting confidentiality or an employee who has an existing confidentiality application on file with DMV to make the updated form available to new and current employees and require, on and after January 1, 2013, that all new employees requesting confidentiality or employees who have an existing confidentiality application on file with DMV complete and return the form with their current employment address to their human resources office. 8)Requires those offices to forward all new application forms to DMV's Confidential Records Unit (CRU) upon receipt from the employee and forward the completed updated forms of existing employees who have an application on file with DMV to the CRU by April 1, 2014. EXISTING LAW : 1)Lists 24 classes of persons primarily in law enforcement fields, plus the spouses and children of those persons, and allows them to request that their home addresses be held confidential by DMV. The home address of these persons may only be disclosed to a court, a law enforcement agency, the state Board of Equalization (BOE), or any governmental agency legally required to be furnished that information. 2)Affords confidentiality for the home addresses of all individuals contained within DMV records. These provisions similarly allow for disclosure to courts, law enforcement agencies, and other governmental agencies but also allow for limited disclosure to financial institutions, insurance companies, attorneys, vehicle manufacturers, and persons doing statistical research. FISCAL EFFECT : Unknown. However, a Senate Committee analysis of similar legislation in 2010 projected significant costs for DMV as well as increased collection of traffic, toll, and parking fines by local agencies. AB 2192 Page 3 COMMENTS : The author has introduced this bill to ensure that "even bureaucrats pay their traffic tickets. Over one-million government workers' mailing addresses are not displayed in the DMV public-access records. Because their addresses are hidden, they often do not receive traffic citations that are sent via mail. Without raising taxes or fees, AB 2192 generates additional revenue for transportation projects, by closing the loophole in the law that hides mailing addresses from toll road, traffic ticket, and parking citation enforcement." Until 1989, DMV records were considered public records, unless state law specifically made them confidential, as was the case for peace officers' addresses. Therefore, until 1989, home addresses were not considered confidential, and any person who gave a reason that DMV deemed legitimate and could present to DMV a person's driver's license number or license plate number could obtain address information on that individual. In 1989, actress Rebecca Schaeffer was stalked and killed. The murderer obtained her address from a private investigation agency doing business in Arizona. The private investigation agency acquired her address through a subcontractor agent in California, who obtained it from DMV. In response, the Legislature enacted AB 1779 (Roos), Chapter 1213, Statutes of 1989, which made home addresses in DMV records confidential, with specified exceptions. AB 1779 left in place, however, earlier confidentiality provisions that applied only to peace officers and certain other officials thought to be at risk. The home addresses of those on the statutory list of such officials (a list that has increased substantially in the intervening years) may only be disclosed to a court, a law enforcement agency, the BOE, or any governmental agency legally required to be furnished that information. The home addresses of everyone else may also be disclosed, in limited circumstances, to financial institutions, insurance companies, attorneys, vehicle manufacturers, and persons doing statistical research. The Orange County Register in 2008 conducted an investigation that uncovered thousands of unpaid parking violations and tolls accrued by a number of peace officers and other individuals whose DMV records are afforded enhanced confidentiality beyond the protections afforded under AB 1779. Those unpaid tolls and AB 2192 Page 4 fines had cost agencies in Orange County over $5 million over the prior five years. Parking and toll agencies throughout the state, including those in San Diego and San Francisco, had experienced similar abuses. When parking agencies or toll road operators attempt to collect fines from such individuals, DMV is not able to provide the offender's registered addresses in a manner timely enough for fines to be collected under the statute of limitations. Therefore, it is generally not cost effective for agencies to pursue money owed, so that fines for these violations are usually written off. While some agencies attempt to collect the money by sending a notice to the individuals' employing entities on file at DMV, there is no way to enforce the collection of violations because this practice is not authorized under the law. Since the enactment of AB 1779, there is not one documented case of any licensed driver or registered vehicle owner being tracked down for nefarious purposes through their DMV records. Therefore one might question whether there is any need for the confidentiality program that applies to peace officers and others on the statutory list. If the political will does not exist for the repeal of that program, at the very least it should not be used to enable individuals to avoid the payment of traffic tickets. In that light, this bill represents a long overdue reform that will both enable the prosecution of these violations and boost the revenue streams of the affected public agencies. The author concludes by saying, "By requiring a person with enhanced home address confidentiality to provide their business address, this bill would appear to close the above-described loophole that has been exploited by a number of individuals. It would allow toll facilities and parking agencies to avoid large revenue losses and would relieve DMV of the burden of having to respond to the thousands of requests from these agencies for delinquent vehicle owners' mailing addresses, a burden described by DMV as 'a major hassle for both us and the agencies.'" Legislative history : The author also carried AB 2097 in 2010 and, AB 3 in 2011 which were similar to this bill. AB 2097 passed all legislative votes unanimously until dying on Suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee. AB 3 passed this committee unanimously but died in Assembly Appropriations on AB 2192 Page 5 Suspense. AB 996 (Spitzer) of 2008, which was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger, would have allowed confidential home addresses maintained by DMV to be disclosed to a governmental agency when that information was necessary to serve or collect a traffic, parking, toll bridge, or toll road violation. REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION : Support None on file Opposition None on file Analysis Prepared by : Howard Posner / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093