State Records Committee Appeal 93-06
EQUIFAX SERVICES, INC. vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, DRIVER'S LICENSE DIVISION
DECISION AND ORDER, Case No. 93-06
By this appeal Equifax Services, Inc. (Equifax) seeks an order compelling the Utah Department of Public Safety, Driver's License Division to deliver to Equifax certain elements of the Division's database of persons in the State of Utah who hold Utah driver's licenses. In particular, Equifax requests disclosure to it of the name, date of birth, and address of every person in the State holding a currently valid Utah driver's license. The Utah State Records Committee, having reviewed the written materials submitted by the parties, and having heard testimony and oral argument of the parties on September 30, 1993, now issues the following decision and order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) provides that "all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(2) (1993 Supp.).
2. GRAMA also provides that records that are "private" are not public. Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(3) (1993 Supp.).
3. The Division has classified its file of Utah driver's license holders as "private" and based its denial classification.
4. The Division bases its classification on Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(2)(d) (1993 Supp.), which provides that "records containing data on individuals the disclosure of which constitutes clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" are "private."
5. The Division also relies on Utah Code Ann. 63-2- 201(6)(a) (1993 Supp.), providing that "[t]he disclosure of records to which access is governed or limited pursuant to ... another state statute...is governed by the specific provisions of that statute...," and Utah Code Ann. 53-3-104(1) (1993 Supp.), providing that "[t]he Division shall...(i) search the license files, compile, and furnish a report on the driving record of any person licensed in the state when requested by any person." The Division asserts that the latter provision accommodates furnishing the record of an individual, but does not contemplate furnishing a list of all persons in the state who hold driver's licenses together with other data.
6. Equifax disputes the Division's classification as private, of the name, date of birth and address of persons holding currently valid Utah driver's licenses, insofar as Equifax uses that information only for the purposes stated in its written appeal.
7. The Committee concludes that though the Division has properly classified its driver's license file as "private," the stated elements of information Equifax seeks should be disclosed to Equifax for the purposes it stated in its appeal on the grounds that the interest in that limited disclosure outweighs the interest favoring restriction under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(11)(b) (1993 Supp.).
THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED THAT the decision of Division to classify the file of driver's license information "private" is affirmed, but the decision of the Division not to furnish to Equifax the elements of name, date of birth and address of each person holding a currently valid Utah driver's license, to be used for the purposes Equifax stated in its written appeal, is reversed. The Division is to furnish to Equifax the indicated elements of name, date of birth and address, for its use for the purposes Equifax stated in its written appeal. If Equifax were to use the disclosed information for any purpose not stated in Equifax's written appeal, this matter may be reopened before the Committee. In any future cases involving the driver's license file, the Driver's License Division shall make its decisions in light of its obligation to weigh "the various interests and public policies" (Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(11)(b) (1993) and in light of the statement of legislative intent recognizing two basic rights: "the public right to access to information concerning the conduct of the public's business" and "the right of privacy in relation to personal data gathered by governmental entities." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-102(1) (1993 Supp.).
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to the district court. The petition for review must be filed no later than 30 days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404 & 502(7) (1993 Supp.). The court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.
Entered this 6th day of October, 1993.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE,
MAX J. EVANS, Chairman.