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DPS-DVS finds unauthorized data access

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Vehicle Services Division (DVS) reported Wednesday five current employees at two deputy registrar offices have permanently lost access to driver and vehicle data.

The action came as a result of DPS-DVS audits triggered by a Fairfax Deputy Registrar office employee using another employee’s access credentials, which is not allowed under the law.

Auditors found seven instances where the two users accessed DVS data without a lawful business purpose.

Because the two individuals are the only Fairfax Deputy Registrar employees, the office will need to close until other individuals can be hired, trained and authorized to access DPS-DVS data.

In addition to vehicle title and registration services, the office is also a limited driver’s license agent, according to the DPS.

Three of five North Mankato Deputy Registrar office employees have permanently lost access to driver and vehicle data after it was found that they accessed several driver’s license and motor vehicle records without a lawful business purpose.

A May 4 self-search by a North Mankato Deputy Registrar office employee triggered the DPS-DVS audit. It is unlawful for a person with DPS-DVS data access to perform such a search on themselves or anyone else without a lawful purpose.

DPS-DVS suspended the user May 28.

Additional DPS-DVS auditing found four office users accessed DPS-DVS data without a lawful business purpose. Three of the four individuals are current employees at the office but the fourth no longer works at the office and is also a limited driver’s license agent. The revocations leave two North Mankato office employees with DPS-DVS data access.

Information about the data misuse at both offices was forwarded to the respective county attorneys for review of possible criminal charges.

DPS-DVS has taken action in several cases since the law went into effect in October of 2018. A total of 51 people, including employees at private companies and state employees, have been permanently revoked from having DPS-DVS data access.

The Fairfax and North Mankato offices offer the following services:

• Driver’s License: First time applications, duplicate, and renewal (standard, REAL-ID, EDL).

• Vehicles: Registration, title transaction, same day duplicate titles.

• Expedited services offered for vehicle title and driver’s license applications.

• Disability parking certifications.

• International Fuel Tax and International Registration Plan services to interstate motor carriers.

• DNR boat, snowmobile registration.

• Fish and game licenses.

Offices closest to the Fairfax Deputy Registrar offering similar services are located in Sleepy Eye, New Ulm, Redwood Falls, Olivia, Springfield, and Gaylord.

Offices closest to the North Mankato Deputy Registrar offering similar services are located in Mankato, New Ulm, St. Peter, Waseca and Le Center.

For more information about DPS-DVS locations and services, visit drive.mn.gov.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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