Matt Willhite Looks to Protect Personal Information in Motor Vehicle Records

With legislators planning to hit Tallahassee next week for the start of the regular session, a South Florida Democrat is looking to protect Floridians’ personal information.

This week, state Rep. Matt Willhite, D-Wellington, filed a bill looking to protect drivers’ personal information.

“Currently, a motorist’s information can be obtained in multiple ways. This bill aims to expand protections by limiting access by certain entities to crash reports and traffic citations. Individuals will also be able to request certain information not be disclosed, with some exceptions,” Willhite’s office noted. “The inspiration for this legislation comes from news reports that have shown that third parties can obtain an individual’s personal identifying information that is found in motor vehicle records. As has been reported, after receiving this information, third parties have used it to gain a profit.”

Willhite noted that Congress passed the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) back in 1992 but added that almost a dozen states have added additional protections and urged Florida to do the same.

“This issue is not unique to Florida,” said Willhite. “As the third-largest state in the union, it is time that Florida joins the eleven other states that have already added further restrictions to DPPA. After speaking with the director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, we believe that this legislation is a step in the right direction.”

Willhite, a Navy veteran who is a fire captain and a paramedic, was first elected to the Florida House in 2016. He leads Democrats on the House Local Administration Subcommittee and represents parts of Palm Beach County.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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