INDIANAPOLIS — State lawmakers are taking action in direct response to a WRTV Investigation that found the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is selling customer's personal information including their name, address, the type of car they drive and their license plate number.
“I thought your investigation was incredible,” said Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis. “I received a lot of phone calls and inquiries about it.”
Porter introduced an amendment this week that would require the BMV to disclose how it uses the revenue generated from selling personal data to third parties.
“It's accountability,” said Porter. “In our state we always talk about transparency and where our dollars are going. It just made good common Hoosier sense to see where those dollars are going in the state of Indiana.”
Under Porter’s amendment to Senate Bill 290, a bill focused on veterans’ ability to decide whether their information can be disclosed when purchasing their license plate, the BMV would have to provide an annual report to the state budget committee on the topic.
“The bill dealt with veterans who can opt out if they didn’t want their information sold, so I think everyone should have that opportunity not to have their information sold to a third party,” said Porter.
The amendment passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee and now moves on to the full House for further consideration.
PREVIOUS | Indiana BMV makes millions selling your personal information
WRTV Investigates filed a records request, obtained a massive spreadsheet and totaled it up. We found the Indiana BMV has collected $237 million over the last 10 years (2012-2022) from selling driver information.
"That's a lot of money,” said Porter. “It is a cash cow for the state.”
WRTV Investigates asked what the state is doing with the $237 million brought in from driver data sales.
“The revenue generated from sales to qualified entities goes to various accounts within the BMV, most significantly the Tech Fund,” a BMV spokesperson said. “The funds support maintenance and ongoing upgrades to infrastructure, databases, and security.”
The BMV repeatedly declined our requests for an on-camera interview.
Here’s who can buy your personal information:
- Auto Dealer
- Bail Bond
- Debt Collection Company
- Insurance Agent
- Insurance Company
- Mobile Home Parks
- Private Investigator
- Recovery Agent
- School Corporations
- Security Guard
- Sheriff and Police Departments
- Tow Company
WRTV Investigates found most drivers have no idea their information is being sold.
“I wasn’t aware,” said Catherine Cox. “They should have to get approval from me.”
Sen. Rodney Pol, D-Chesterton, agrees drivers should have the ability to opt in or opt out.
"We as a state are taking in that information,” said Pol. “We are requiring you provide that information to us. It is absolutely our duty to ensure that is safe. I'm always going to put the safety of our data and privacy of our citizens ahead of revenue and profit."
Pol filed legislation last year aimed at the BMV selling your personal information, but it did not get a hearing.
He plans to re-file legislation in the next session.
WRTV Investigates has asked to speak with Governor Eric Holcomb as well on this topic.
"It would best to contact the BMV regarding your story,” said Erin Murphy, press secretary for Holcomb, in an email to WRTV.
Governor Holcomb directs flags to half-staff for fallen Farmland firefighterGovernor Eric Holcomb has directed flags in Randolph County to be flown at half-staff to honor fallen firefighter Kyle Osgood.
Body of escaped Ohio inmate pulled from Ohio RiverGillespie, a convicted murder, was one of two inmates that escaped from the Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima on May 23.
Liam Hendriks returns to the mound after cancer battleChicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks returned to baseball on Monday night after a battle with cancer.
Indy 500 purse reaches new record, Newgarden receives highest payout in historyThe Indianapolis 500 purse reached a new record: race winner Josef Newgarden earned $3.666 million and runner up, Marcus Ericsson took home $1.043 million.