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The Golden State’s DMV made just shy of $41.6 million in the fiscal year 2013/2014 by selling the information obtained by the state’s drivers. The amount peaked at $52 million in fiscal year 2017/2018 before declining slightly the following, most recently released fiscal year, when the agency made $51.6 million, VICE’s Motherboard reported, citing documents obtained as a result of a public records request.
The outlet previously reported in September how several states' DMVs have been selling the information, in some cases, for as little as one cent.
In California’s case, the state department was selling details, such as names, car registration details and home addresses to buyers, including insurance companies, LexisNexis and credit reporting company Experian, the report states.
The agency reportedly generated the following revenue for each fiscal year:
- FY13/14: $41,562,735
- FY14/15: $44,689,319
- FY15/16: $49,560,814
- FY16/17: $51,250,978
- FY17/18: $52,048,236
- FY18/19: $51,626,162
California DMV spokesperson Anita Gore told FOX Business in an email that the state agency "does not sell driver information for marketing purposes, or to generate revenue outside of the administrative cost of the program. DMV is statutorily required to provide certain driver and vehicle related information, and is permitted to recover its costs for doing so."
Gore added the revenue was used to advance highway and public safety objectives, such as “availability of insurance, risk assessment, vehicle safety recalls, traffic studies, emissions research, background checks, and for pre- and existing employment purposes."
"Information is only released pursuant to legislative direction, and the DMV continues to review its release practices to ensure information is only released to authorized persons/entities and only for authorized purposes,” she further stated. “The DMV also audits requesters to ensure proper audit logs are maintained and that employees are trained in the protection of DMV information.”
This story was updated to include additional details provided in a statement by DMV spokesperson Anita Gore.