Six DVS workers accessed driver, vehicle data without authorization

Authorities said the acts don't appear to have been for '"nefarious" purposes.
Publish date:

Six workers at two Minnesota motor vehicle deputy registrar officers were found to have improperly accessed driver and vehicle data.

This "unauthorized access" was uncovered by the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Division (DPS-DVS), after incidents at the two motor vehicle title and registration offices led to audits, the agency said Wednesday. All of the individuals in question (one of whom is now a former employee) are permanently barred from accessing driver and vehicle data, a step required by Minnesota law, DPS said in an announcement.

On May 4 at the North Mankato deputy registrar office, an employee there ran a self-search, which is prohibited. That led to an audit, in which DPS-DVS found four other users accessed data "without a lawful business purpose," which is also against the law. Three employees there have permanently lost access to this system. A fourth, who no longer works at the office, also had their permissions revoked.

The other audit happened at the Fairfax deputy registrar office, after DPS-DVS "became aware" of one of the location's two employees using their coworker's access credentials. The ensuing audit found seven instances of unauthorized DVS data access. Both employees' access was revoked. 

Doug Neville, deputy director in the Office of Communications at DPS, said there is no indication the offending workers "were using their access for identity theft or any similar nefarious purpose." However, as is required under the law, the information was sent to local county attorneys to review for possible criminal charges.

DPS-DVS sent letters (which were provided to Bring Me The News) to the six individuals in question, laying out the unauthorized access that was uncovered, as well as their loss of access effective July 20, 2021. Most look-ups involved what appeared to be VIN numbers of vehicles, belonging either to themselves or other individuals with whom they shared a last name. 

According to DPS, state law requires anyone found to have inappropriately accessed DVS data to "immediately and permanently" lose those permissions. It does not, however, require them to be reassigned or fired. That decisions is instead left with their employer. If they do retain their job, they simply won't have access to the DVS data, which could make some tasks difficult.

The Fairfax deputy registrar office will be closed for the time-being, as that location only had two employees — both of whom can no longer access DVS data. DPS says new employees will need to be hired and trained before operations there restart. whether there will be an impact on service at the North Mankato office is unknown at this point.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.10.29 PM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Welcome to training camp

Vikings Live with Matthew Coller is a new Vikings show that streams Tuesdays.

YouTube - Minnesota DNR - watering tree

Tips for watering trees during severe drought, sprinkler restrictions

How can you keep your valued trees healthy? Just follow these simple steps.

police tape, crime scene

Minnesota saw record number of murders in 2020, BCA says

The BCA released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday.

Flickr - Red Lake Nation sign - Ken Lund

Red Lake police officer fatally shot on Tuesday

The officer was reportedly shot near Redby.


Child dies, driver critically injured in crash on I-90 in Faribault County

The crash happened at approximately 11:24 p.m. Tuesday.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, July 27

The newest data from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Cold Spring

Charges: Family terrorized by alleged racist stalker who drove truck into their home

The victims say they had been targeted and stalked for 83 days prior to the incident.

Ricky Eloy Ramirez

Charges: TX man was acting paranoid before he shot man in MN hotel

He's accused of shooting the victim six times, killing him.

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Suspect flees deputies on scooter, pickup truck before being Tasered

He was eventually tased while in a third vehicle, and arrested.

bonfire burning restrictions fire

7 counties added to Minnesota DNR's campfire burning ban

This comes amid the ongoing drought that's impacting the entire state.


Screen Shot 2021-03-18 at 11.16.42 AM

Deputy badly injured when broadsided by fleeing driver of stolen vehicle

The deputy suffered multiple fractures and other injuries.


Motorcyclist dies in multi-vehicle crash on I-94 in Oakdale

The incident occurred Monday night on Interstate 94.

Lowry Hill Tunnel

Driver thrown from vehicle in crash just outside Lowry Hill Tunnel

The State Patrol says she lost control of the vehicle on the subsequent curve.

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 10.51.28 AM

Backlog at DVS, so verification letters will be issued as drivers wait for tabs

Thousands of mailed-in renewal applications piled up during the pandemic

road tests, student driver

DVS to require appointments for knowledge exams

The requirement takes effect July 13

railroad crossing, train crossing

Suspected drunk driver survives vehicle-train crash in Dakota County

The sheriff's office is reminding people not to drink and drive.