9 Investigates how companies get your DMV information

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It’s the mail no one wants, but everyone gets.

9 Investigates found out vendors are paying the state to access information, like your vehicle title, so they can send you threatening warranty notices that look official.

It happened to Channel 9’s Racquel Asa when she updated her car title.

So Asa asked the state why it’s giving the vendors access and what state officials are doing to crackdown on the misuse of your information.

Watch this story Thursday on Eyewitness News at 5:30 p.m.

People hate junk mail, but one piece of mail that looks like an official letter from the state has alarmed some people. Eyewitness News discovered vendors are paying the state to access your information.   

Drivers like Nicholas Marks updated his vehicle title two years ago and told Eyewitness News that he is still receiving letters in the mail that look like official “warranty notices.” Marks said he is fully expecting to get the same notices again after he updates another vehicle title.

“I hate it. I just wish it could stop,” said Marks, who was at the Orange County Tax Collectors office waiting to get a new title.

Channel 9's Racquel Asa updated her vehicle title. Roughly in the same time while she was waiting for her title to arrive, she received five notices saying that her car warranty was about to expire.

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle office told Eyewitness News that seven vendors had access to Asa’s updated title information. A spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the vendors pay the state to access people’s information because they have agreements to use the information only for things like recalls, theft or owner location. But when Eyewitness News sent the mailings that Asa received, FLHSMV said it’s now reaching out the vendors to find out if Asa’s information was sold to anyone else.

“I hate this stuff because it looks so official,” said Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph. “It’s disturbing. I think it’s very bad because people expect government to keep their information private.”

A spokesperson for the FLHSMV said it’s giving the vendors until mid-November to determine whether Asa’s information was sold to anyone else. If they can’t provide the proper information, the state told Eyewitness News that the vendors' access will be revoked. FLHSMV has revoked vendor privileges before, but Asa’s case allows the state to target who is behind the mailings.  

Related story: 9 Investigates: Tax collector's office wait time delays

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