Skip to main content

Six DVS workers accessed driver, vehicle data without authorization

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

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 Both employees' access was revoked.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


Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.


Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.


Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.


Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.


Hailey Anderson Cumberland WI police

Authorities find body, vehicle in search for missing WI woman

Hailey Anderson was supposed to be travelling to Hibbing, but never showed up.


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

The incident happened Monday night on Interstate 94.

vehicle car

Minnesotans who fail to show up to driver's license test will be fined

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety cited a growing number of "no shows" to test appointments.

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.

driving unsplash - crop

Driving exam, test stations begin to reopen across MN

Most exam sites were closed at the start of the COVID pandemic.

police lights

Police: Driver, 21, possibly impaired at time of fatal 3-vehicle crash

She was briefly arrested, but has since been released pending further investigation.

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.