opinion of the Court but has been preparedby the Reporter of Decisions for the con-venience of the reader. See
200 U.S.321, 337, 26 S.Ct. 282, 50 L.Ed. 499.State departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) re-quire drivers and automobile owners to provide per-sonal information, which may include a person'sname, address, telephone number, vehicle descrip-tion, Social Security number, medical information,and photograph, as a condition of obtaining adriver's license or registering an automobile. Find-ing that many States sell this information to indi-viduals and businesses for significant revenues,Congress enacted the Driver's Privacy ProtectionAct of 1994 (DPPA), which establishes a regulatoryscheme that restricts the States' ability to disclose adriver's personal information without the driver'sconsent. South Carolina law conflicts with theDPPA's provisions. Following the DPPA's enact-ment, South Carolina and its Attorney General filedthis suit, alleging that the DPPA violates the Tenthand Eleventh Amendments to the United StatesConstitution. Concluding that the DPPA is incom-patible with the principles of federalism inherent inthe Constitution's division of power between theStates and the Federal Government, the DistrictCourt granted summary judgment for the State andpermanently enjoined the DPPA's enforcementagainst the State and its officers. The Fourth Circuitaffirmed, concluding that the DPPA violates consti-tutional principles of federalism.
In enacting the DPPA, Congress did not runafoul of the federalism principles enunciated in
521 U.S. 898, 117 S.Ct. 2365, 138 L.Ed.2d914.The Federal Government correctly asserts that theDPPA is a proper exercise of Congress' authority toregulate interstate commerce under the CommerceClause,U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 3. The motor
vehicle information, which the States have historic-ally sold, is used by insurers, manufacturers, directmarketers, and others engaged in interstate com-merce to contact drivers with customized solicita-tions. The information is also used in the stream of interstate commerce by various public and privateentities for matters related to interstate motoring.Because drivers' personal, identifying informationis, in this context, an article of commerce, its saleor release into the interstate stream of business issufficient to
support congressional regulation.See
the Court held thatfederal statutes were invalid, not because Congresslacked legislative authority over the subject matter,but because those statutes violated Tenth Amend-ment federalism principles. However, the DPPAdoes
not violate those principles. This case isinstead governed by
485U.S. 505, 108 S.Ct. 1355, 99 L.Ed.2d 592,in whicha statute prohibiting States from issuing unre-gistered bonds was upheld because it regulated stateactivities, rather than seeking to control or influ-ence the manner in which States regulated privateparties,
at 514-515, 108 S.Ct. 1355.Like thatstatute, the DPPA does not require the States intheir sovereign capacity to regulate their own cit-izens; rather, it regulates the States as the owners of data bases. It does not require the South CarolinaLegislature to enact any laws or regulations, as didthe statute at issue in
and it does not re-quire state officials to assist in the enforcement of federal statutes regulating private individuals, asdid the law considered in
Thus, the DPPA isconsistent with the principles set forth in thosecases. The Court need not address South Carolina'sargument that the DPPA unconstitutionally regu-lates the States exclusively rather than by means of a generally applicable law. The DPPA is generallyapplicable because it regulates the universe of entit-ies that participate as suppliers to the market formotor vehicle information-the States as initial sup-pliers of the information in interstate commerce andprivate resellers or redisclosers of that informationin commerce. Pp. 671-672.120 S.Ct. 666 Page 2528 U.S. 141, 120 S.Ct. 666, 145 L.Ed.2d 587, 68 USLW 4037, 28 Media L. Rep. 1281, 00 Cal. Daily Op. Serv.306, 2000 Daily Journal D.A.R. 403, 2000 CJ C.A.R. 157, 13 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 50
(Cite as: 528 U.S. 141, 120 S.Ct. 666)
© 2010 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.