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Koehler Issues Statement on BMV's Sale of Personal Information

July 9, 2021
J. Kyle Koehler News

COLUMBUS – State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) today released the following statement regarding recent investigations of Ohio Bureau of Moto Vehicles (BMV):

“I’m disappointed to learn of the results of the investigation of Ohio’s BMV. Reports show that the BMV raised $40 million last year through the practice of selling personal information of Ohioans to third parties. According to 10 Investigates, the Ohio BMV made $250 million in revenue over the last decade selling personal information from driver and vehicle records. 

“The revenue from these sales is held in the state highway fund, which provides funding to cover operating and administrative costs for the BMV and other subsidiaries housed under the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Despite the fact that selling personal data is legal under the exemptions within the federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act, it has garnered significant criticism from Ohioans who were not aware their information was being sold. 

“Through sponsoring House Bill 21, which aims to increase the number of times individuals are asked to become an organ donor, I have shared similar criticisms about our state’s transparency.

“H.B. 21 was stalled from being voted out of the Senate Transportation Committee before summer break when the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the agency that oversees the contracting of BMV locations, came forward with concerns regarding the lack of funding in the bill.

“Unlike the Bureau of Motor Vehicles - the men, women, and children waiting for a life-saving organ transplant don’t have $250 million. The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s request for more money falls on deaf ears when their BMVs are profiting off the exploitation of Ohioans’ personal information. This investigation was made public just days after Governor DeWine signed the biennial operating budget, awarding the Ohio Department of Public Safety just over $678.9 million for fiscal years 2022-2023.

“Twenty people will die today waiting for a transplant. H.B. 21 could help raise awareness for organ donation and provide necessary voluntary donations to the Second Chance Trust Fund. Adding a box to check on a form or a question on an online response is not a cost that can be quantified for somebody waiting for a life-saving organ.

“As a state legislator, I want the people of Ohio to trust their representatives and state agencies. While H.B. 21 awaits its third hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee, I hope to see an increase in government accountability and transparency.”