TransUnion’s Legal Battle with the New York State DMV

Quinn: 1-800-LAW-1010, Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Do I need to become one of them libertarians, Cantara?

Cantara: Well, I don’t… This is why we have Paul on here. There’s this something we read in the paper that the DMV…so, the state of New York is not allowing TransUnion, the credit reporting agency, at some traffic information records. Is this, Paul, the state sticking up for its citizens?

Paul: You know, that is a real good way of looking at it.

Cantara: So it’s not.

Quinn: Well, there’s three dozen other states that are getting this info out. So it sounds like it.

Paul: Yeah. Well, true. Yes, so when we go to figure out how much insurance companies are gonna charge us for our driving privileges to get our insurance they look at our record. Right? They go to the DMV, look at our record. So there is a statute that says that the DMV, insurance companies can get that information, but they hired Trans Western, but Trans Western is really not someone assesses driver’s risk. They are just are a credit agency. So it’s kind of a…

Quinn: Trans Union, you mean?

Paul: Yep.

Quinn: Okay.

Paul: I mean, yep, TransUnion. And so, they’ve gone ahead, and they’ve said, “TransUnion, you can’t get this information to give to the insurance companies to decide how much Cantara’s driving, you know, insurance is gonna be. We need you to do it in another way.” So it’s sort of a technical libertarian sticking up for us way. But as soon as they do it the right way maybe with a different organization they will give that information out.

Cantara: Like if an insurance company went to the DMV for the information, they would be granted the information?

Paul: Yes.

Quinn: So right now all they have is the convictions and that’s it with no names.

Paul: Right.

Quinn: Sounds to me they want to poke into our lives and judge us.

Paul: They do. They want to find out why they’re gonna charge you more or less than they are me because based on my driving history.

Cantara: What I thought was also interesting as I’m reading this, and you can tell me if I read it correctly, Paul, but the state does sell our information. When we sign up for a license do we allow ourselves to have that information sold?

Paul: Well, you know, so there is…they actually do. There is a small fee that they do get for providing this information to the agencies, but it’s pursuant to statute. Yeah, the law says that these insurance companies can access the information, and there is a fee to do that. So, you look at it that way our information is being, in essence, sold to agencies to decide if we are good or bad drivers.

Cantara: Wow, so much judgment.

Paul: We’re being judged.

Cantara: So much information out there.

Quinn: No, I mean…yeah, it’s insane. It’s insane, and we have to keep track of everybody. And now, we have to keep track of everybody and their attitudes.

Cantara: So where is this now? The DMV is just…the TransUnion is just fighting with the DMV, and it’s in court?

Paul: Yep, they’re in court. You know, this…TransUnion is gonna say, “Listen, we are able to get this information.” And interestingly enough, the other states just kind of rolled over. New York state said, “You don’t technically meet our statute. We’re not doing it.” And they’ll probably win, but again the insurance companies will just find another way to access that information with another group that does more than just dissemble. They’ll get someone that actually assesses the information, and provides the data back to them, and then our information will be flowing out of DMV, [inaudible 00:03:17] wherever it flows.

Quinn: And my insurance will still go up, and nothing will change. I’ll be worse for everything.

Cantara: Quinn, we’re charging you more because you eat gas station hamburgers. Do we understand?

Quinn: Oh, yeah, well, that’s…your health insurance is gonna charge you more for that one.

Cantara: That doesn’t matter. They told everybody. Everybody knows.

Quinn: Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. 1-800-LAW-1010 and

Cantara: Thanks, Paul.

Quinn: Thanks, Paul.

Paul: Okay, you’re welcome. Bye-bye, guys.

Cantara: See ya, pal