How much information does my driver's license give police? - WKRN News 2

How much information does my driver's license give police?

Posted:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

When a police officer runs a driver's license number a wide range of information is collected from various databases and provided for the officer.

According to the Tennessee Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security, officers are able to see a driver's:

  • Name and address
  • Driver license number
  • Birth date
  • License class and driving history
  • Driver license photo
  • Eye and hair colors
  • Sex and race
  • Height and weight
  • Organ donor status and gun permit status
  • Endorsements
  • Expiration date
  • Sticker number
  • DL issue date
  • Non-CDL status, non-CDL eligibility date, CDL status, CDL eligibility date
  • Social security number
  • Non-CDL recommendations
  • CDL recommendations
  • License restrictions

It is a lot of information, but more is available using other databases available to officers.

Drivers told News 2 they were surprised at how much of their information can be accessed by running a field check.

"I think it is available to anyone who wants it," Maureen Kubicek said. "I don't think there are many secrets in government"

Others said having that much information accessible is good for safety of the officers and for the public.

"There are a lot of cases where real criminals who have done things a lot worse have been stopped for a traffic violation," Dinah Neeley said. "Police were able to catch them with that."

According to the DPS, there are state and federal laws that govern how and when the public's personal information is accessed.

"It's against the law to query driver license records without a legitimate law enforcement purpose," DPS Spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said in an email to News 2. "Furthermore, the federal driver privacy protection act (DPPA) and state law (TCA 55-25-104) prohibits the disclosure of personal information obtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record."

She continued, "All new employees have to sign a user agreement for acceptable use of network, including any databases maintained by the department.  "

In 2008, THP Lieutenant Ronnie Shirley was terminated after an investigation revealed he ran background checks on more than 180 people.

Among the people impacted was former News 2 anchor Victoria Hansen.

Lt. Shirley did not access the driver's license database.

He used the Integrated Criminal Justice Web Portal (ICJWP), according to Qualls.

The ICJWP includes information from the driver's license database, but is separate from the driver license database.

According to the latest numbers available via the DPS Web site there were more than 4.5 million licensed drivers in Tennessee in 2012.

More than 440,000 of lived in Davidson County.

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