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Commentary: DMV list needs to go

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, November 12, 2010

State law has long barred the Department of Motor Vehicles from disclosing home addresses of police officers and judges, to protect them from criminals. Over the years, the non-disclosure list has expanded to include: child protection workers, prosecutors, parking officers, even legislators and city council members - and - these public employees' spouses and children - one and a half million licensees.

The list has created an unintended consequence. For those drivers caught on camera running a red light or evading a road toll there is no way for the private companies or toll agencies that handle enforcement to get their addresses. Thousands of violations are ignored every year. Millions in fines don't get paid. That's wrong.

 A bill that would have required public employees on the non-disclosure list to provide work addresses failed this year. But there's an easier fix. Dump the list!

State law now bars DMV from disclosing home addresses of any of its licensees to anyone except those with legitimate business reasons - auto insurance companies, for example, and toll road agencies. That works! There's no need for a second list for privileged public employees, or their wives, husbands and children.


Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.

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