Q: What are the guidelines for running motor vehicle records? With whom can an agent share the results? If an employer already has an employee’s MVR, can they share it with the carrier?
Response 1: You can run MVRs and share them with a carrier for underwriting purposes. That's the only reason you can order MVRs. Ask the carrier if they will accept MVRs from the insured. I think they should come from you—you're the agent.
Response 2: There are two places to look for this type of transaction with MVRs: 1) the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) or the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act; and 2) your contract with your MVR provider. I believe the employer would have to make sure they comply with federal guidelines in order to provide it to the agent or company. The agency would need to do the same, including giving the employee proper notice.
Response 3: Contact your state association. In many jurisdictions, MVRs are covered under privacy and identity theft statutes. In general, you must obtain consent from the license holder to run the MVR, as well as their permission to share it.
Response 4: Check the laws in your state. In mine, we can share an MVR with the insurer underwriting the risk, but no other party.
Response 5: Ask your errors & omissions carrier and your agency's corporate counsel. Various privacy laws pertain to MVRs, which makes this a legal question.
Q: Should an agency run MVRs for commercial clients?
Response 1: No. It is usually against privacy laws to do so. My understanding is the carrier cannot even provide them. The client can obtain these easily enough—don't get in the middle of that potential quagmire.
Response 2: It depends on who you’re sharing the reports with. If you're giving them to the carrier, you’re complying with the FCRA. But if you're giving them to your insured, you must do so within FCRA guidelines. In addition, most MVR company contracts strictly prohibit you from sharing reports with any third party other than the insurance carrier.
Response 3: Don’t do it.
Response 4: Yes, if it's for the underwriter. No, if it's to determine employment. If the insured is trying to determine whether to hire the driver, let the insured order the MVR themselves. They will probably have to obtain permission from the driver. This question is subject to the FCRA or the Driver Privacy Protection Act. Be aware of federal laws.
Response 5: No. This is a violation of the FCRA.
Response 6: I would no sooner send an MVR on an employee to a commercial client than I would send their medical or bank records.
These questions were originally submitted by agents through the Big “I” Virtual University’s Ask an Expert service. Answers to other coverage questions are available on the VU website. If you need help accessing the website, request login information.