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2013 North Dakota Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2013)

handle is hein.sag/sagnd0042 and id is 1 raw text is: LETTER OPINION
January 23, 2013
Mr. Grant Levi
Interim Director
North Dakota Department of Transportation
608 E Boulevard Ave
Bismarck, ND 58505-0700
Dear Mr. Levi:
Thank you for your October 19, 2012, letter requesting an opinion as to whether the
personal information contained in a motor vehicle accident report, prepared pursuant to
N.D.C.C. § 39-08-10, is protected from being disclosed to a requester under the open
records law. It is my opinion that the personal information contained in a motor vehicle
accident report is not protected information and is subject to disclosure by the
Department of Transportation (Department).
You indicate a law firm requested motor vehicle accident records with the intention of
using the information to send individuals involved a general brochure about the law firm.
Your concern is that if the motor vehicle accident records are released, the citizens of
North Dakota may fall victim to identity theft and unwanted solicitations or marketing
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, all records of a public entity are public
records, open and accessible for inspection during reasonable office hours.' For an
exception to the open records law to apply, it must be specific, and the Legislature must
directly address the status of the record in question.2
The motor vehicle accident records in question are generated pursuant to statute, which
require a law enforcement officer to complete a report of an accident in the form
1 N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18(1).
2 Hovet v. Hebron Pub. Sch. Dist., 419 N.W.2d 189 (N.D. 1988).

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