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SECTION 201
Custody of records
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 2
§ 201. Custody of records. 1. Documents. The commissioner may destroy:

(a) any application, including supporting documents, for registration
and/or title of a motor vehicle or trailer, other than an application
for renewal of registration, or any notice of a lien on a motor vehicle
or trailer, after such application shall have been on file for a period
of five years;

(b) any application for renewal of a registration which results in the
issuance of a registration renewal of any motor vehicle or trailer, upon
entry of an electronic record of renewal on the files;

(c) any application for a driver's license, including any document
required to be filed with any such application, after such application
shall have been on file for a period of five years;

(d) any application, including supporting documents, for the
registration, other than a renewal of a registration, of a snowmobile
after such application shall have been on file for a period of two
years;

(e) any application for renewal of a registration which results in the
issuance of a registration renewal for any snowmobile, upon the
expiration of the registration renewal issued;

(f) any application, including supporting documents, for registration
and/or title of a motorboat, other than an application for renewal of
registration, or any notice of a lien on a motorboat after such
application shall have been on file for a period of four years;

(g) any application for renewal of a registration which results in the
issuance of a registration renewal for any motorboat, upon the
expiration of the registration renewal issued;

(h) any application, including supporting documents relating to
ownership, for any other registration, license or certificate issued
under this chapter and not specifically otherwise provided for in this
subdivision, after such application shall have been on file for a period
of five years;

(i) (i) any accident reports filed with the commissioner, conviction
certificates, police reports, complaints, satisfied judgment records,
closed suspension and revocation orders, hearing records, other than
audio tape recordings of hearings, significant correspondence relating
to any of the same, and any other record on file after remaining on file
for four years except that if the commissioner shall receive, during the
last year of such period of four years, written notice to retain one or
more of such papers or documents, the same shall be retained for another
four years in addition to said period of four years. The provisions of
this paragraph shall not apply to certificates of conviction filed with
respect to convictions which affect sentencing or administrative action
required by law beyond such four year period. Such certificates may be
destroyed after they have no legal effect on sentencing or
administrative action;

(ii)(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (i) of this
paragraph, the commissioner may destroy any conviction certificates and
closed suspension and revocation orders after remaining on file for:

(1) fifty-five years where the conviction and suspension or revocation
order relates to a conviction, suspension or revocation by the holder of
any driver's license when operating a commercial motor vehicle, as
defined in subdivision four of section five hundred one-a of this
chapter, or by the holder of a commercial driver's license or commercial
learner's permit when operating any motor vehicle, who: has refused to
submit to a chemical test pursuant to section eleven hundred ninety-four
of this chapter or has been convicted of any of the following offenses:
any violation of subdivision two, two-a, three, four or four-a of
section eleven hundred ninety-two of this chapter, any violation of
subdivision one or two of section six hundred of this chapter, any
felony involving the use of a motor vehicle, other than the use of a
motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing,
distributing, dispensing a controlled substance; or the conviction,
suspension or revocation involves any of the following offenses while
operating a commercial motor vehicle: any violation of subdivision five
or six of section eleven hundred ninety-two of this chapter, driving a
commercial motor vehicle when as a result of prior violations committed
while operating a commercial motor vehicle, the driver's commercial
driver's license or commercial learner's permit is suspended or revoked,
or has been convicted of causing a fatality through the negligent
operation of a commercial motor vehicle, including but not limited to
the crimes of vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide
as set forth in article one hundred twenty-five of the penal law;

(2) fifteen years for violating an out of service order as provided
for in the rules and regulations of the department of transportation
while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

(B) Any conviction arising out of the use of a motor vehicle in the
commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or
dispensing a controlled substance shall never be destroyed.

(C) The provisions of this subparagraph shall only apply to records
requested by a state, the United States secretary of transportation, the
person who is the subject of the record, or a motor carrier who employs
or who prospectively may employ the person who is the subject of the
record.

(j) audio tape recordings of hearings, two years after such hearing;
provided, however, that audio tape recordings of hearings held pursuant
to section two hundred twenty-seven of this chapter may be destroyed
ninety days after a determination has been made as prescribed in such
section.

(k) any records, including any reproductions or electronically created
images of such records and including any records received by the
commissioner from a court pursuant to paragraph (c) of subdivision ten
of section eleven hundred ninety-two of this chapter or section
forty-nine-b of the navigation law, relating to a finding of a violation
of section eleven hundred ninety-two-a of this chapter or a waiver of
the right to a hearing under section eleven hundred ninety-four-a of
this chapter or a finding of a refusal following a hearing conducted
pursuant to subdivision three of section eleven hundred ninety-four-a of
this chapter or a finding of a violation of section forty-nine-b of the
navigation law or a waiver of the right to a hearing or a finding of
refusal following a hearing conducted pursuant to such section, after
remaining on file for three years after such finding or entry of such
waiver or refusal or until the person that is found to have violated
such section reaches the age of twenty-one, whichever is the greater
period of time. Upon the expiration of the period for destruction of
records pursuant to this paragraph, the entirety of the proceedings
concerning the violation or alleged violation of such section eleven
hundred ninety-two-a of this chapter or such section forty-nine-b of the
navigation law, from the initial stop and detention of the operator to
the entering of a finding and imposition of sanctions pursuant to any
subdivision of section eleven hundred ninety-four-a of this chapter or
of section forty-nine-b of the navigation law shall be deemed a nullity,
and the operator shall be restored, in contemplation of law, to the
status he occupied before the initial stop and prosecution.

2. Reproduction of documents by commissioner. The provisions of
subdivision one of this section shall not prevent the commissioner from
reproducing a copy of any document specified in that subdivision or from
electronically creating and storing an image of any documents maintained
by the department. Such image or reproduction may be designated as the
official departmental record. The original document may be destroyed
after such reproduction or image has been made and filed and the
destruction of the reproduction or image shall be governed by the
provisions of subdivision one of this section.

3. Electronically or mechanically stored records. Any electronically
or mechanically stored record relating to:

(a) certificates of title shall be retained for a period of seven
years from the date of the issuance of the title plus an additional
three consecutive years of inactivity regarding the titled vehicle;

(b) liens and satisfaction of liens shall be retained for one year
from the date of satisfaction;

(c) renewal of the registration of any motor vehicle or trailer shall
be retained for a period of one year from the date of expiration of the
registration issued;

(d) driver's licenses shall be retained for a period of two years from
the date of expiration of the last driver's license issued;

(e) registrations, licenses, or certificates not otherwise provided
for in this subdivision shall be retained for a period of one year from
the date of expiration of the last registration, license or certificate;

(f) documents specified in paragraph (i) of subdivision one of this
section shall be retained until the document itself may be destroyed.

4. Whenever any document referred to in subdivision one of this
section shall have been destroyed, a document produced from the
surviving electronically or mechanically stored data record shall be
considered the original record of such document.

5. Whenever any document referred to in subdivision one of this
section or any record retained in subdivision three of this section has
been retained beyond the required retention period of such document or
record, the document or record shall not be a public record; and, to the
extent that any document referred to in paragraph (k) of subdivision one
of this section has not been destroyed at the expiration of the
retention period set forth therein, such document shall be deemed
destroyed as a matter of law for all purposes upon the expiration of the
retention period.

6. Whenever any document referred to in subdivision one of this
section is filed with this department when it is not required to be
filed and is used by this department for no other purposes, other than
for statistics or research, the document shall not be a public record.
Provided, however, that an accident report filed with this department
when it is not required to be filed shall not be a public record except
as follows: for use by the state or any political subdivision thereof
for no other purposes other than for statistics or research relating to
highway safety; for any lawful purpose by a person to whom such report
pertains or named in such report, or his or her authorized
representative; and, for use by any other person, or his or her
authorized representative, who has demonstrated to the satisfaction of
the commissioner that such person is or may be a party to a civil action
arising out of the conduct described in such accident report.

7. Where a judge or magistrate reports a license suspension or
revocation to the commissioner, following a youthful offender
determination, as is required by section five hundred thirteen of this
chapter, the commissioner shall not make available the finding of the
court of youthful offender status to any person, or public or private
agency.

8. Any portion of any record retained by the commissioner in relation
to a non-commercial driver's license or learner's permit application or
renewal application that contains the photo image or identifies the
social security number, telephone number, place of birth, country of
origin, place of employment, school or educational institution attended,
source of income, status as a recipient of public benefits, the customer
identification number associated with a public utilities account,
medical information or disability information of the holder of, or
applicant for, such license or permit is not a public record and shall
not be disclosed in response to any request for records except: (a) to
the person who is the subject of such records; or (b) where expressly
required pursuant to chapter three hundred three of part A of subtitle
vi of title forty-nine of the United States code; or (c) where necessary
to comply with a lawful court order, judicial warrant signed by a judge
appointed pursuant to article III of the United States constitution, or
subpoena for individual records issued pursuant to the criminal
procedure law or the civil practice law and rules.

9. The commissioner shall not disclose or otherwise make accessible
original documents or copies of documents collected from non-commercial
driver's license or learner's permit applicants or renewal applicants to
prove identity, age, or fitness except: (a) to the person who is the
subject of such documents; or (b) where expressly required pursuant to
chapter three hundred three of part A of subtitle vi of title forty-nine
of the United States code; or (c) unless necessary to comply with a
lawful court order, judicial warrant signed by a judge appointed
pursuant to article III of the United States constitution, or subpoena
for individual records properly issued pursuant to the criminal
procedure law or the civil practice law and rules.

10. The commissioner shall not disclose or otherwise make accessible
any portion of any record that identifies whether the type of driver's
license or learner's permit that a person holds either meets federal
standards for identification or does not meet federal standards for
identification except: (a) to the person who is the subject of such
record; or (b) where expressly required pursuant to chapter three
hundred three of part A of subtitle vi of title forty-nine of the United
States code; or (c) unless necessary to comply with a lawful court
order, judicial warrant signed by a judge appointed pursuant to article
III of the United States constitution, or subpoena for individual
records properly issued pursuant to the criminal procedure law or the
civil practice law and rules.

11. For the purposes of this section, whenever a lawful court order,
judicial warrant, or subpoena for individual records properly issued
pursuant to the criminal procedure law or the civil practice law and
rules is presented to the commissioner, only those records, documents,
or information specifically sought by such court order, warrant, or
subpoena may be disclosed.

12. (a) Except as required for the commissioner to issue or renew a
driver's license or learner's permit that meets federal standards for
identification, as necessary for an individual seeking acceptance into a
trusted traveler program, or to facilitate vehicle imports and/or
exports, the commissioner, and any agent or employee of the
commissioner, shall not disclose or make accessible in any manner
records or information that he or she maintains, to any agency that
primarily enforces immigration law or to any employee or agent of such
agency, unless the commissioner is presented with a lawful court order
or judicial warrant signed by a judge appointed pursuant to article III
of the United States constitution. Upon receiving a request for such
records or information from an agency that primarily enforces
immigration law, the commissioner shall, no later than three days after
such request, notify the individual about whom such information was
requested, informing such individual of the request and the identity of
the agency that made such request.

(b) The commissioner shall require any person or entity that receives
or has access to records or information from the department to certify
to the commissioner, before such receipt or access, that such person or
entity shall not (i) use such records or information for civil
immigration purposes or (ii) disclose such records or information to any
agency that primarily enforces immigration law or to any employee or
agent of any such agency unless such disclosure is pursuant to a
cooperative arrangement between city, state and federal agencies which
arrangement does not enforce immigration law and which disclosure is
limited to the specific records or information being sought pursuant to
such arrangement. Violation of such certification shall be a class E
felony. In addition to any records required to be kept pursuant to
subdivision (c) of section 2721 of title 18 of the United States code,
any person or entity certifying pursuant to this paragraph shall keep
for a period of five years records of all uses and identifying each
person or entity that primarily enforces immigration law that received
department records or information from such certifying person or entity.
Such records shall be maintained in a manner and form prescribed by the
commissioner and shall be available for inspection by the commissioner
or his or her designee upon his or her request.

(c) For purposes of this subdivision, the term "agency that primarily
enforces immigration law" shall include, but not be limited to, United
States immigration and customs enforcement and United States customs and
border protection, and any successor agencies having similar duties.
Failure to maintain records as required by this subdivision shall be a
class E felony.