SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 2463


                                                           AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE


                                                                            C 232 L 90



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1990 Regular Session


By House Committee on State Government (originally sponsored by Representatives Van Luven, Morris, Silver, Anderson, Hankins, Winsley, Bowman, Beck, Jones, May, Wolfe and Miller)



Read first time 2/2/90.



AN ACT Relating to release of vehicle registration records; amending RCW 46.12.380; adding a new section to chapter 46.12 RCW; creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The legislature recognizes the extraordinary value of the vehicle title and registration records for law enforcement and commerce within the state.  The legislature also recognizes that indiscriminate release of the vehicle owner information to be an infringement upon the rights of the owner and can subject owners to intrusions on their privacy.  The purpose of this act is to limit the release of vehicle owners' names and addresses while maintaining the availability of the vehicle records for the purposes of law enforcement and commerce.


        Sec. 2.  Section 2, chapter 241, Laws of 1984 as amended by section 1, chapter 299, Laws of 1987 and RCW 46.12.380 are each amended to read as follows:

          (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 42.17 RCW, the name or address of an individual vehicle owner shall not be released by the department, county auditor, or ((other public agency except upon written request,)) agency or firm authorized by the department except under the following circumstances:

          (a) The requesting party is a business entity that requests the information for use in the course of business;

          (b) The request is a written request that is signed by the person requesting disclosure((, stating their)) that contains the full legal name and address of the requesting party, that specifies the purpose for which the information will be used; and

          (c) The requesting party enters into a disclosure agreement with the department in which the party promises that the party will use the information only for the purpose stated in the request for the information; and that the party does not intend to use, or facilitate the use of, the information for the purpose of making any unsolicited business contact with a person named in the disclosed information.  The term "unsolicited business contact" means a contact that is intended to result in, or promote, the sale of any goods or services to a person named in the disclosed information.  The term does not apply to situations where the requesting party and such person have been involved in a business transaction prior to the date of the disclosure request and where the request is made in connection with the transaction.

          (2) The disclosing entity shall retain the request for disclosure ((is itself a public record, subject to inspection and copying, and shall be retained by the disclosing agency)) for ((two)) three years.

          ((Notice that such a disclosure request has been honored shall be sent to the affected vehicle owner by the disclosing agency, indicating  the name and address of the person requesting disclosure.

          This section shall not apply  to persons who routinely request disclosure of vehicle registration information for use in the course of their business or occupation.))

          (3) Whenever the disclosing entity grants a request for information under this section by an attorney or private investigator, the disclosing entity shall provide notice to the vehicle owner, to whom the information applies, that the request has been granted.  The notice also shall contain the name and address of the requesting party.

          (4) Any person who is furnished vehicle owner information under this section shall be responsible for assuring that the information furnished is not used for a purpose contrary to the agreement between the person and the department.

          (5) This section shall not apply to requests for information by governmental entities or requests that may be granted under any other provision of this title expressly authorizing the disclosure of the names or addresses of vehicle owners.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 46.12 RCW to read as follows:

          (1) The department may review the activities of a person who receives vehicle record information to ensure compliance with the limitations imposed on the use of the information.  The department shall suspend or revoke for up to five years the privilege of obtaining vehicle record information of a person found to be in violation of chapter 42.17 RCW, this chapter, or a disclosure agreement executed with the department.

          (2) In addition to the penalty in subsection (1) of this section:

          (a) The unauthorized disclosure of information from a department vehicle record; or

          (b) The use of a false representation to obtain information from the department's vehicle records; or

          (c) The use of information obtained from the department vehicle records for a purpose other than what is stated in the request for information or in the disclosure agreement executed with the department; or

          (d) The sale or other distribution of any vehicle owner name or address to another person not disclosed in the request or disclosure agreement

!ixis a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment for each violation.

                                                                                                                           Passed the House March 5, 1990.


                                                                                                                                         Speaker of the House.


                                                                                                                           Passed the Senate March 2, 1990.


                                                                                                                                       President of the Senate.