Local News

NC Residents Must Submit Form to Avoid Junk Mail

Posted June 28, 1998

— Many people are bothered by telemarketers calling at all hours, and are equally irritated by a mailbox full of junk mail. But Tar Heels now can have a little more control over who gets our private information.

For the past week, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has been circulating a form residents can fill out that will stop bulk mailers from getting your personal information. But don't lay it aside for later. Recipients only have one more day to turn it in in order to get maximum benefits.

The DMV's records will be open to the public once again Wednesday morning, and those who fail sign the form will be subject to having their information sold. Those records have been closed since last September because of the Federal Privacy Act, but states can bypass that closure now if they allow residents to sign a disclosure.

"It's an opportunity the public has not had before and we'd certainly like to sell it to them that way. This is an opportunity for you to have some voice in what DMV does with your personal information," says Carol Howard of the DMV.

Many people welcome the chance to keep bulk mailers and telemarketers out of their private lives.

"It will stop people from prying into your business that will help a whole lot because when they're prying into your record some of them misuse that record to their advantage," says concerned citizen Dozie Ulasi.

These forms have only been available for the last week or so and Wednesday is the deadline. Bulk mailers will have access to personal information otherwise, and they've been chomping at the bit to get it.

"So, they were very concerned that we offered this opt out, because since September, they've been very limited what they could get from us because we closed our records," says Howard.

Last year the DMV brought in nearly $34 million from the sale of state residents' personal information.

For those who want to keep their information private, forms are available at vehicle registration offices throughout the area. They can still be turned in after Wednesday, but there's a chance bulk mailers may get there first.


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