|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
September 13, 1999
Mr. Mark A. Flowers
Dear Mr. Flowers:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request for a decision was assigned ID# 128459.
The City of Midland Police Department (the "Department") received a request for a particular offense report concerning the arrest of Paul Fabro. You assert that the social security number and driver's license number are protected from disclosure. We assume that you intended to invoke sections 552.101 and 552.130 of the Government Code regarding this information.
Social security numbers may be withheld in some circumstances under section 552.101 of the Government Code. Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure information made confidential by statutes. A social security number or "related record" may be excepted from disclosure under section 552.101 in conjunction with the 1990 amendments to the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(c)(2)(C)(viii)(I). See Open Records Decision No. 622 (1994). These amendments make confidential social security numbers and related records that are obtained and maintained by a state agency or political subdivision of the state pursuant to any provision of law enacted on or after October 1, 1990. See id. There is no basis for concluding that the social security numbers are confidential under section 405(c)(2)(C)(viii)(I), and therefore excepted from public disclosure under section 552.101 of the Public Information Act. However, it should be noted that section 552.353 of the Public Infomation Act does impose criminal penalties for the release of confidential information. Therefore, prior to releasing any social security number information, you should determine if such information was obtained or is maintained by the Department in accordance with any provision of law enacted on or after October 1, 1990.
With regard to the driver's license number which you wish to withhold from disclosure, section 552.130 provides in relevant part:
(a) Information is excepted from the requirement of Section 552.021 if the information relates to:
(1) a motor vehicle operator's or driver's license or permit issued by an agency of this state; [or]
(2) a motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of this state[.]
Pursuant to section 552.130 you must withhold the driver's license number.
We are resolving this matter with an 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 should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact this office.
Ref: ID# 128459
Encl: Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Edel Fabro
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US