From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Steps to close drivers license records

February 16, 1999
By: Natalia Ona
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB 132

JEFFERSON CITY - Are you fed up of receiving junk mail? You are lucky: The Senate Transportation Committee approved Tuesday a bill which main purpose is to stop the amount of junk mail.

The bill approved by the committee would a person's approval for release of the person's driver's license records -- a major resource for names for mass mailing operations.

"They (the constituent) don't want their names being sold to someone whose is going to send a bunch of junk mail", said the bill's sponsor, Sen. John Russell, R-Lebanon.

But the idea generated opposition because it would close off access to a public record used by the news media.

"It is a public record right now and it is being another record which is closed to the general public, so that is why we are opposing it", said Doug Crews, executive director of the Missouri Press Association. "This is a record which goes against the sunshine law, against the open records law."

The bill prohibits the Revenue Department from releasing a driver's license record without the written consent of the individual whose records is requested.

"We use this information with accuracy during reporting to check addresses, to check names", Crews said during the hearing Tuesday. "We don't use this information for marketing purposes, we use it for accuarate checks."

But the bill's sponsor said it was not that easy to control the information once it gets out of the department's hands.

"They (the department) sell all these lists to various companies who then sell them to somebody else", Russell said.

Russell voiced concern that new technology allows access not just to written material in the records, but also photographs.

"That would be a real invasion of privacy," said Russell. "You can imagine what can happen later with the photographs. I can't think about anything very good that could come over having a photograph."