Legal Interpretation Prohibits Sale of New York Vehicle Registration Reports

By John Cantwell July 6, 2015

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has interpreted state law as prohibiting the sale of New York vehicle registration information to insurers. The change will become effective on July 8, 2015.

The New York DMV recently wrote: “New York Vehicle and Traffic law (VTL), Section 202(4), constrains the furnishing of records provided (pursuant to the contract authorized by that section of law) to the use or resale for (i) issuance of manufacturer's warranty, safety recall or similar notices, or (ii) statistical compilations. Therefore the use or release of the information furnished pursuant to VTL, Section 202(4) (and the contract authorized thereby) for any other purpose is prohibited.”

What does this mean for insurers that purchase VRRs?

Effective July 8, 2015, all data providers, including Verisk, will no longer provide New York VRRs to insurers. The change will affect insurers that use registration information for underwriting, point-of-sale prefill, and claims investigations.

What is Verisk doing to address the problem?

We do not agree with the New York DMV’s interpretation of the law, and we recognize that the change is a burden for insurers. We are working closely with the New York DMV to amend their interpretation of the law. In addition, in collaboration with our business partners, we are exploring appropriate legislative remedies.

We will keep you apprised of any interpretative or legislative changes relative to this issue as they occur.


John Cantwell

John Cantwell, vice president, Auto Product Management, Verisk Insurance Solutions, is responsible for product management and branding strategy and leading the development and launch of innovative new products. Before joining Verisk, he was vice president of underwriting and product development at AIG Direct/21st Century Insurance.