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John Cornyn
  University of Houston

May 21, 1999

Mr. Dennis P. Duffy
General Counsel
University of Houston System
E. Cullen Building, Suite 311
Houston, Texas 77204-2162


Dear Mr. Duffy:

You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 125904.

The University of Houston (the "university") received a request for information about an investigation. You submitted the responsive records to this office but you seek to withhold social security numbers under federal law in conjunction with section 552.101 of the Government Code. You also seek to withhold drivers' license numbers, vehicle identification numbers, and license plate information under section 552.130 of the Government Code.

Section 552.101 provides an exception from disclosure for information made confidential by law. Social security numbers that were obtained or maintained by a governmental body pursuant to any provision of law, enacted on or after October 1, 1990, are confidential pursuant to section 405(c)(2)(C)(viii) of title 42 of the United States Code. We agree that if the social security numbers at issue were obtained or are maintained pursuant to such provision of law, they are confidential and must be withheld.

Section 552.130(a) of the Government Code provides that information is protected from disclosure if it "relates to":

(1) a motor vehicle operator's or driver's license or permit issued by an agency of the state;

(2) a motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of this state; or

(3) a personal identification document issued by an agency of this state or a local agency authorized to issue an identification document.

We agree that the driver's license numbers, vehicle identification numbers, and license plate numbers are confidential under section 552.130.

We are resolving this matter with this informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and may not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.


Ruth H. Soucy
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division


Ref.: ID# 125905

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Bernardo Garcia, Jr.
15703 Faywood Drive
Houston, Texas 77060
(w/o enclosures)


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