Department of Public Safety delays driver data shift

Published 9:39 am Friday, February 14, 2014

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has postponed for two months the elimination of bulk sales of driver’s license and vehicle records, an official with the agency said Thursday.

The policy change was supposed to happen March 10, but the agency will now wait until mid-May. Department spokesman Bruce Gordon told The Associated Press that it leaves time to implement a new subscription service for big users of the data, who have opposed the change.

The department will eventually require specific queries at $5 per lookup for potentially millions of searches annually. It has said that the change is being done to keep better tabs on who is accessing the information and why. State and local agencies have been under public pressure to change their practices amid concerns that driver data was being accessed for illegitimate purposes even though most high-profile problems have involved government employees.

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