The Senate Committee on Transportation met on March 31 to take up a full agenda. This report covers discussions on SB 15, SB 858, SB 935, and SB 1308. A video of the hearing can be found here.


This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics the committee took up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the hearing but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.


SB 1308 (CS) (Blanco) – Relating to a study on the impacts of using certain motor vehicle technologies

  • Blanco – Trade between Texas and Mexico totaled $441 billion in 2019; traffic congestion at ports of entry limits this
  • CS requires TxDOT and DPS coordinating with Texas A&M Transportation Institute with agencies to evaluate potential benefits of using automated vehicles and vehicle tech in ports of entry
  • CS moves the deadline of the study from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023; will give more time for the procurement
  • CS adds language that TxDOT and DPS will work with A&M Transportation and federal partners
  • CS also adds the study look at other emerging technologies


Nichols lists those who are for the bill, but do not wish to testify including, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce

CSSB 1308 voted out of committee to local and uncontested (9 ayes, 0 nays)


SB 935 (West) – Relating to an exception to the titling requirement for certain vehicles; creating a criminal offense.

  • West – Is a refile of SB 2240
  • Provides a process for the recycler who purchased a vehicle are able to get a title for a vehicle; helps ensure a vehicle is not stolen


Mel Wright, Wright Scrap Metals – For

  • Owns a scrap metal facility; voices support for the bill
  • West – Would like to add that a vehicle must be 12 years old
  • Nichols – This passed the Senate unanimously, correct?
    • West – Yes


Suzanne Fulton, Fulton Supply and Recycling – For

  • This is an exception for the titling rules for certain vehicles; in the state, cannot purchase a vehicle without a title
  • Owner’s value for these cars are only scrap; legitimate scrap dealers will turn these people away
    • The car “disappears”, and their VIN and title are left open to be “cloned”

SB 935 voted out of committee to local and uncontested (9 ayes, 0 nays)


SB 15 (Nichols et al.) (CS) – Relating to the Texas Consumer Privacy Act Phase I; creating criminal offenses; increasing the punishment for an existing criminal offense.

  • Nichols – The state sells a lot of personal information; bill focuses on TxDOT, DMV, and DPS
  • The legislature allows for this
  • DMV is selling database to 70 different entities and DPS sells to 1200 who get your driver’s license number, photo, family’s information
  • Some agencies need this information such as DPS; will be the legislature’s definition of “legitimate” data that is needed
  • Will restrict the resale and disclosure of motor vehicle records; limits government agencies who receive motor vehicle records
  • Limits the purposes of third-party access, limits third party recipients to the data base, and modifies what personal information is held
  • Prohibits resale of personal information and ensures bad actors do not possesses personal information
  • CS prohibits Parks and Wildlife, Texas Highway Magazine subscribers, licensees, or Vehicle inspection sites from selling data to third parties
  • CS adds back aggregate market research; is not personal information
  • CS allows towing companies to know who belongs to the vehicle
  • CS allows continued access to data for license investigators
  • Is a work in progress, and notes many who are testifying have not seen the CS
  • West – Am on the bill, supportive of the bill; have not had time to get into the CS
  • West – What is different under current law than what is being proposed in the CS? Do we have a working knowledge of whether private entities are selling information now?
    • Yes, they are selling it, but it may be for intended purposes; is concerned about third parties then selling it
  • West – For example, the manufacturer can sell the data they got from the DMV?
    • This is the issue, manufacturer gets the information for a just cause; are restricting other stuff such as things other than notices
  • West – How can we enforce that? How do we ensure people do not do this?
    • That gets tricky, have to make a statue we do not want that to be done, need to increase the penalty
    • Are reputable companies out there; some states include performance bonds, which is not in the bill yet
    • West – Would like more information on these performance bonds
  • Perry – Contracting with these data service providers lacks due diligence and were security issues; need to be prescriptive on the contracting side, not statute, in what it can be sold for and add severe penalties
  • Perry – Asks about prior databases
    • If we want to cut some of these off, they have to delete database within 12 months, if not, we raise the penalty
  • West – Should there be something in the law/contract that requires a certification by third party provider used only for a particular purpose?
    • Yes
  • West – Should there be an auditable trail?
    • Perry – Yes, there is so much data out there; can always put it in that you can review
  • West – Should there be any review by the state concerning this?
    • Perry – Would have DIR review those contracts; would be easy for them to do
  • West – Would like to work with you on that
  • Alvarado – Was there a checklist agencies went through to ensure what the data would be used for?
    • Legislature made it pretty broad, could be used for market research
  • Alvarado – How much was being taken in coastwise for agencies?
    • About $450 million per biennium; DPS takes in $60 to $70 million
  • Alvarado – Is there another state that has gotten it right?
    • Not that I am aware of; not sure how to ask another state that question
    • Are checking with what other states are doing
  • Alvarado – Have penalties been enforced?
    • Not sure; issue is that penalties need to be enough to deter


David Foy, RELX and LexisNexis – Did not state position on the bill

  • Have been in the insurance servicing business for over three decades; have protected Texan’s information and believes this is important
  • Concerning contracts, are a data provider and get information from the DPS for insurance companies; appreciative that is back in the CS
  • In order to be able to provide data back to the insurance company, there is a fee associated with that; concerned with the CS about the sale/resale of that data
  • Seliger – What information is included with what you send back to the insurance company?
    • Is the same thing we are getting from the DPS; have built a system to normalize records from all 50 states
  • Seliger – How much personal information is on that?
    • Contains what is currently allowed on the driving record by state law
    • Data used for safety recalls is an important provision to include in the bill; are 13 permissible purposes for use of data in state law
  • Nichols – I think you will be more comfortable after reading the committee substitute, we view it is a work in progress
  • Nichols – What kind of ideas do you have to separate good actors versus the data bandits?
    • In our contract with DPS is an audit requirement, have to keep data for 7 years, and if there is a breech need to notify DPS within 2 days; is 60 days for other entities
  • Perry – Banks tie into you, correct?
    • Yes
  • Perry – You send this information to insurance, is the insurance using this to check my driving record?
    • Yes, they use that especially if they do not know you
  • Perry – Who else do you sell data to?
    • Just the insurance company, but there are other court records
  • Perry – Are there provisions in the contract with the insurance company for violations?
    • They are heavily regulated, but our contract requires permissible uses
  • Perry – You have a responsibility to them as well to ensure proper use, need to be prescriptive
  • Seliger – Is there other market solicitation?
    • No, we are prohibited
  • West – If there is a breach, is there any liability to the individuals?
    • There are general breach laws such as notifications
  • West – If I am damaged, is there any contract that holds you accountable?
    • Yes, Criminal and Civil with Attorney General enforcement
  • West – Is there a certification in place between you and other parties that assist?
    • We would need to check on the certifications
  • West – How many times has your data been breached?
    • There are more identities than people in the US, so there have been breaches, it is up to us to find the source
  • Nichols – Asks them to bring up better practices from other states


Steve Bresnen, Insurance Auto Auctions – On

  • We do not resell or retain information; only redisclosed to ask owner to check accuracy of record
  • Cars destroyed after Harvey were dispelled for a licensed salvage pool of operators;
  • In the CS, provisions are provided to prevent fraud and motor vehicle theft’ can provide a concrete method for you to do that
  • Do not buy databases, we go on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis, would like to tighten up the language
  • Nichols – Have made that for tow truck and tow storage facilities?
    • Yes; could tighten language that could cut out agents for the insurer


Ray Sullivan, Copart – On

  • Are an auto-reseller in Dallas that auctions off cars; frequently use web dealer through DMV to get information
  • Would like if you included claim processing and those licensed by the in the CS
  • We do not resell data


Terri Hall, Texas TURF and Texans for Toll-Free Highways – For

  • Privacy is very important; TxDOT was inadvertently selling Bluetooth unprotected data over contracting with a private company a decade ago
  • Information was vulnerable to hackers who could use the data to harm the individual
  • Wants private companies to have tight language
  • Nichols – Was not TxDOT that was selling the data, it was the private company contracted with TxDOT?
    • Correct


Seliger lists of those who have registered, but not are testifying


Nichols, in closing

  • Reiterated DMV is selling database to 70 different entities and DPS sells to 1200; not have heard from a single one of the 1200 for why they want the data

SB 15 left pending


SB 858 (Johnson et al.) (CS) – Relating to the disclosure of information collected by a regional transportation authority under the public information law

  • Johnson – Update to the privacy protections passed in the 84th; transit app user data is exempt from public information requests
  • Bill originally only included Dallas Rapid Transit; CS broadens spectrum to metros in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus C, Denton, El Paso, and Laredo
  • Provision added to ensure trip data will be available for research for statistical reports; are concerns about the language, will work on that in a different CS


Terri Hall, Texas TURF and Texans for Toll-Free Highways – For

  • Supports this bill and is in favor of it being expanded statewide; is a great opening for doing the same for trip data for drivers


Don Dixon, Self – For

  • Voices support for the bill


Nicole Fontaine, DART – For

  • Looking to protect the privacy or riders; currently collect information to better services
  • West – Am very supportive of this bill; have there been any instances where data has been used by other for crimes?
    • Not that I know of; are aware there are those with bad intentions who could use the data
    • West – Being proactive rather than reactive


Nichols notes he has a list of those who are for the bill, but not testifying

HB 858 left pending