DMV Data Privacy Protection Bill Drives Out of the VA Senate

by | Feb 25, 2021

For Immediate Release  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Contact: Press@vacir.org

DMV Data Privacy Protection Bill Drives Out of the VA Senate

Richmond, VA — Today, the Virginia Senate passed H.B. 2163, the DMV Data Privacy Protection bill to ensure immigrants’ personal information, as well as that of other Virginia drivers, have security measures on how data companies and law enforcement can use it for immigration purposes.

H.B. 2163 would codify existing policies and practices that DMV has already put in place in its agreements with private companies to regulate the use of driver personal information and limit third-party data sharing. This also requires ICE and any other agencies to obtain a judicial warrant or court order to obtain DMV data for the purpose of civil immigration enforcement. Personal information includes a person’s address and photo.

“With this bill, Virginia takes the next step in disentangling our state functions from federal immigration enforcement,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, Legal Director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center. “It’s not enough to say, we won’t intentionally help ICE arrest Virginia immigrants; we also need to look at everything we’re doing that may unintentionally contribute.”

Adding the information protection measures would incentivize immigrant families to obtain a driver privilege card. Thousands of drivers have been able to get a driver privilege card with many more in the process of learning the rules of the road. Getting a driver privilege card would make it easier for families to get to work, the grocery store, and the doctor’s office. 

“We are glad that the General Assembly has worked to protect the personal information of our community members when they are interacting with the DMV. The legislature has shown its commitment in advancing immigrant justice and we are glad it has done so. We look forward to Governor Northam signing this legislation once it passes so that our immigrant community can continue to call Virginia home,” said Luis Aguilar, CASA Virginia Director.

H.B. 2163 will now be sent back to the House of Delegates for a vote due to language changes in the Senate. If passed, it would be sent to the Governor’s desk.

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Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations that exists to win dignity, power, and quality of life for all immigrant and refugee communities

To read the report to Protect the Personal Information of Virginia Drivers, visit: https://www.virginiaimmigrantrights.org/driverprivacy/

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