INcite Once Again Provides Driver Histories
September 13, 2010 by Mary L. Deprez
When INcite was initially launched, users had access to suspension and conviction information, but a later change in software used by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) removed that access. As of July 1, 2010, that access is restored, and for the first time, title, lien and vehicle registration information is also included.
In addition to the primary goal of equipping Indiana with a statewide case management system (CMS), the Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration’s Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) is developing several satellite applications, all of which will work in tandem with the CMS. Central to this effort is the need for a standardized, secure, web-based platform—called INcite—through which Indiana court and clerk staff can access and interact with all of the applications JTAC provides.
An extranet is typically a website that an organization uses to exchange information with an external, often geographically disconnected group of users. In this case, it is a website that the Supreme Court is providing to county- and city-level court and justice-related offices to share information with each other and with state-level offices.
The INcite extranet employs security features such as data encryption and authentication to ensure only authorized users can see and use data. Court users must be given access to the system by JTAC, and they may only access job-appropriate information. For example, a court staff person who has access to the INcite jury management system does not have access to do marriage license filings. In situations where the same personnel need to complete multiple tasks through INcite, they can be granted permission to access different applications.
Since 2005, staff from JTAC and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) have been working together to provide courts, clerks and probation department staff access to individual driver records at the BMV through JTAC’s INcite application.
Driver history information in INcite has proven to be an invaluable resource to court, clerk and probation staff, as well as the citizens who walk through their doors. Pendleton Town Court Judge George Gasparovic commented, “My staff is extremely pleased with the new BMV Portal. It has reduced their lookup time significantly. This is a definite improvement in our administrative processes.”
Only with access to driver information can our courts provide these services:
- A citizen walks into the Clerk’s office to pay an outstanding ticket. He may not know that his license was suspended by a court in the adjoining county, and without access to that driver’s record, the Clerk could not inform him.
- A driver admits to a speeding charge or driving while suspended. Prior to sentencing, the judge may want to review the driver’s record.
- Probation officers may want to monitor the ability of the offender to drive while on pre-trial release or probation or check the offender’s driving record for a pre-sentence investigation report.
As JTAC and the BMV worked to restore driver history access through INcite, the Bureau has worked to strengthen security around access to driver records in compliance with the Driver Privacy Protection Act. These privacy regulations coupled with the fact that INcite gives users direct access to driver records meant that the Division of State Court Administration had to enter into a new agreement with the BMV. This in turn has meant a revision to the INcite User Agreement to include additional language required by federal and state laws to help maintain the confidentiality of driver records. The agreement requires judges and clerks to notify JTAC when INcite users leave employment.
User Access to Driver Records
There are two types of access for the BMV/INcite application:
“Basic Access” provides the user the ability to conduct searches of BMV records in which the records returned will contain only the personal information that the user entered into the application to conduct the search.
“Enhanced Access” provides the user the ability to conduct searches for BMV records in which the records returned will contain additional personal information or personal identifiers for that record.
For security reasons, the BMV and JTAC will limit the number of users who will be granted enhanced access in order to improve the security regarding the release of the data within the driver records that are covered by Indiana Code 9-14-3.5, Disclosure of Personal Information in Motor Vehicle Records. This law implements the federal Driver Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (18 U.S.C. § 2721 et. seq.). These laws are designed to protect the personal privacy interest of individuals by prohibiting the disclosure and use of personal information contained in motor vehicle records, except as authorized by an affected individual or by law.