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How we use your information

Data services

Data services are when we produce a customized data set in response to a request for data. These files may include personal information. We provide data to qualified recipients through:

  • A one-time release of a data file.
  • A recurring release of the data set (e.g. each week we send a data file).
  • Ongoing service: a user logs into DOL’s system and places requests to look up records.

We provide data services for authorized recipients. For example:

  • Employers needing driving records for people applying for driving positions.
  • Towing, tolling, and parking enforcement, using vehicle data.
  • Research, such as an obesity study.

We have many types of data:

  • Public
  • Sensitive
  • Confidential

State and federal laws allow us to provide data about drivers, cars, and professions, with restrictions. Only certain people and companies can receive data. We only share information when the recipient:

  • Can legally receive the information.
  • and
  • Has a lawful reason for using it.

Any time we sell or share data, we only share what the law allows. We try to share the least information possible for the recipient to suit their needs. For example, cities often want to know where the vehicles in their park-and-ride lots come from. This helps the city decide where to build their next park-and-ride so people don’t have as far to drive. We answer that question by giving city staff the 5-digit zip code where the cars are registered, without revealing vehicle owner information.

We don’t provide personal information for marketing, surveys, or commercial purposes. We never share our customers’ phone numbers or email addresses.

Social Security numbers

We only share Social Security numbers (SSNs) for a few purposes and only when the law requires it. This includes:

  • The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services gets SSNs of people who have to pay child support so they can make sure those payments get made.
  • The Washington Secretary of State gets SSNs so they can do voter registration.
  • The US Military’s Selective Services gets SSNs of people who have to register for the draft.

Who receives data from us

We only release personal information in ways the law allows. Here’s who uses different types of data:

Driving records

  • Employers or prospective employers - when the position requires driving.
  • Insurance companies - for underwriting, so they can understand their risk.
  • Transit authorities – to check vanpool drivers’ safety and skills.
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction – to check school bus drivers.
  • Volunteer organizations - to check volunteer drivers who may transport people.
  • Alcohol and drug assessment or treatment agencies – to understand the needs of people coming for evaluation or treatment.
  • City attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, and your lawyer in a court case.
  • Government agencies, public colleges or universities - for employment and risk management purposes.

Driver information (only part of your data)

Governmental agencies use driver information to can carry out their functions, such as:

  • Stopping fraud
  • Collecting taxes
  • Enforcing child support
  • Checking your eligibility for benefits
  • Research
  • Jury pools
  • Voter registration
  • Selective Service

Vehicle owners (lists)

  • Automobile and component manufacturers - for recalls, advisories, research, and statistical reports.
  • Legitimate businesses - to conduct research activities and produce statistical reports.
  • U.S. or Canadian government - for enforcing vehicle or traffic laws, or programs related to traffic safety.
  • Insurance companies or self-insured entities - for investigating claims, anti-fraud activities, rating, or underwriting.
  • Local government - for providing notices to owners of towed or impounded vehicles.
  • Government, commercial parking companies - to notify registered owners of outstanding parking violations.
  • DOL contractors, counties, and licensing sub-agents - for providing motor vehicle excise tax, license, title, and registration information to auto dealers.
  • Toll operators (including Washington State Department of Transportation and its contractor) - to identify toll violations.

Vehicle owners (individual look-ups)

  • All the entities and reasons listed above, in “Vehicle owners (lists).”
  • Private investigators or attorneys in the course of civil, criminal, or other litigation.
  • Process servers - to serve papers during civil, criminal, or other litigation.
  • Bail bondsmen - to prevent fraud when securing collateral.
  • To verify title, lien, and brand information during the sale, trade-in, refinancing, or titling of a vehicle or manufactured home.
  • Government agencies - to perform legitimate duties.

Vessel owners (lists)

  • Vessel and component manufacturers - for recalls, advisories, research, and statistical reports.
  • Legitimate businesses - to conduct research activities and produce statistical reports.
  • U.S. or Canadian government - for enforcing vessel laws, vessel operations, or vessel safety programs.
  • Insurance companies or self-insured entities - for investigating claims, anti-fraud activities, rating, or underwriting.
  • Local government - to locate the owner of, or deal with a vessel that becomes a hazard.
  • DOL contractors, counties, and licensing sub-agents - for providing vessel licensing, titling, and registration information to vessel dealers.

Vessel owners (individual look-ups)

  • All the entities and reasons listed above, in “Vessel owners (lists).”
  • Private investigators or attorneys in the course of civil, criminal or other litigation.
  • Process servers - to serve papers during civil, criminal or other litigation.
  • Bail bondsmen - to verify information and prevent fraud when securing collateral.
  • To verify title, lien, and brand information during the sale, trade-in, refinancing, or titling of a vessel.
  • Government agencies - to perform legitimate duties.

Business and professional licensees

  • Professional training organizations - lists of licensees.
  • Department of Social and Health Services - for child support enforcement.

Commercial data brokers

DOL works with several reputable companies known as “commercial data brokers.” This makes it easier for people who have the right to see your data to find and receive it. The laws allow people or companies to use an agent to access information they have a right to see. Often they use data brokers.

Data brokers and their customers can use the information we provide only under conditions we specify in a contract. If they violate those conditions we stop sharing data with them.

As of February 2020, we work with these data brokers for the following purposes:

Driver records

  • DataLink (Transunion) - Employment, volunteer organizations, transit authorities, insurance
  • Embark Safety - Employment, volunteer organizations, transit authorities, insurance
  • Explore Information Services - Employment, volunteer organizations, transit authorities, insurance
  • HireRight - Employment, volunteer organizations, transit authorities, insurance
  • Insurance Information Exchange (iiX) - Employment, volunteer organizations, transit authorities, insurance
  • LexisNexis - Insurance underwriting
  • Safety Holdings - Employment, volunteer organizations, transit authorities, insurance
  • TML - Employment, volunteer organizations, transit authorities, insurance

Vehicle records

  • American Traffic Solutions (Verra Mobility) - Governmental (enforcement and safety programs), tolling
  • Atlas Financial Services - Parking
  • Complus Data (Passport) - Parking
  • Conduent - Governmental (enforcement and safety programs), tolling, parking, towing
  • Data Ticket - Parking
  • Experian - Recalls, research and statistical reports, governmental (enforcement and safety programs), insurance (claims investigations, anti-fraud, ratings, and underwriting), tolling, parking, towing, loans
  • R.L. Polk - Recalls, research and statistical reports, governmental (enforcement and safety programs), insurance (claims investigations, anti-fraud, ratings, and underwriting), tolling, parking, towing, loans
  • Redflex - Governmental (enforcement and safety programs)

Driver record monitoring services

The law allows some people to periodically review driving records for changes. This includes:

  • Employers
  • Prospective employers
  • Transit authorities
  • Insurance carriers
  • State colleges and universities
  • State agencies
  • Local governments

Authorized people provide us a list of driver license numbers and the review period (often monthly). We search the record for changes to the driving record during the stated time frame. If our system detects a change, it sends a new driving record to the requester. This allows these groups to reduce risk and ensure driver safety on an ongoing basis.

Data-sharing revenue

Revenue from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019
Service type Revenue Deposited into
Abstract driver record (ADR) $29,622,009 50% Highway safety fund
50% State Patrol highway account
ADR monitoring $2,319,080 100% Highway safety fund
Driver record request online service
(September 2018 - August 2019)
$428,649 50% Highway safety fund
50% State Patrol highway account
Bulk vehicle and vessel owner data $404,677 100% DOL technology improvement and data
Data service fees
Service type Per-record fee Law
Abstract driver record (ADR) $13.00 RCW 46.52.130
ADR monitoring (notice of a change) $0.06 RCW 46.52.130
Lists of vehicle and vessel owner data $0.02 (waived for state and local government) RCW 46.12.630
Other bulk data requests (includes government and private sector requests for a variety of data not provided by one of the above service delivery methods. Often data is provided at no cost to other government.) $60 per hour RCW 42.56.120
Contracted plate search online service $0.04 per look up
$2.00 per returned record
RCW 42.56.120
RCW 46.12.635

For some services, we charge a monthly fee to cover the costs of providing the data. These fees vary based on:

  • The complexity of the file.
  • How much work it takes to produce the data.
  • Maintenance on the data service interface.

Questions? Need help?

Email us: DataContracts@dol.wa.gov

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