20-37.02. Verification of drivers license information.

(a) The Commissioner shall establish and operate an electronic system that can be used to verify drivers licenses and identification cards issued by the Division and the dates of birth on these documents in order to facilitate access to drivers license information by retailers and persons holding ABC permits to prevent the utilization of fictitious identification for the purpose of underage purchases of certain age-restricted products or to commit certain crimes.

(b) The electronic system established and operated by the Commissioner pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall allow a retailer, as defined in G.S. 105-164.3(229), a person who holds an ABC permit, as defined in G.S. 18B-101(2), or an agent of the retailer or a person holding an ABC permit, to verify the validity of a drivers license or identification card issued by the Division and the date of birth of the person issued the drivers license or identification card. The Commissioner shall make drivers license and identification card information available in a read-only format, and the information to be made available shall not exceed the information contained on the face of the drivers license. The Division shall not keep a record of the inquiry. The retailer or a person holding an ABC permit may retain such information as is necessary to provide evidence that the person's drivers license or identification card was validated or that the person's age was verified. A retailer or permittee shall agree to comply with the requirements of this section prior to using the system.

(c) Except for purposes allowed in this section, a person using the electronic system established in accordance with subsection (a) of this section shall not collect or retain any information obtained through the use of the electronic system, nor transfer or make accessible to a third party any information obtained through an inquiry permitted under this section. A violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be punished as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(d) A retailer or permittee using the electronic system established pursuant to this section shall be responsible for the costs of the equipment and communication lines approved by the Division needed by the retailer or permittee to access the system.

(e) The establishment and operation of an electronic system pursuant to this section may be funded through grants received from the State, the federal government, a private entity, or any other funding source made available to the Drivers License Technology Fund. All funds obtained through grants to the Fund shall be remitted to the State Treasurer to be held in the Drivers License Technology Fund established in G.S. 20-37.01. (2001-461, s. 4.)