AGO 90-4.

Case Date:March 06, 1990
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1990. AGO 90-4. STATE OF COLORADO OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FORMAL OPINION OF DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 90-4 AG Alpha No. RV MV AGARM March 6, 1990John Tipton Executive Director Department of Revenue 1375 Sherman Street, No. 486 Denver, CO 80203 RE: Distribution of Public Motor Vehicle Title and Registration RecordsDear Mr. Tipton: This opinion letter is in response to your December 20, 1989 inquiry about the distribution of automobile registration and title records. QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS Whether the automobile registration and title records maintained by the County Clerks acting as authorized agents for the Department of Revenue are subject to the Public Records Act. Yes, they are. Whether the County Clerks may independently distribute the data without the prior consent or approval of the Department of Revenue. Yes. What fee should the County Clerks charge to independently distribute the data in their records that is generated by use of the Distributive Data Processing System? A reasonable fee, not to exceed $1.25 per page unless actual costs exceed this amount. Who should retain the fees received? The County Clerks, whenever they provide the copying service. ANALYSIS The Department of Revenue (hereafter, "the Department") manages the Statewide Distributive Data Processing System to aid its "authorized agents ... in processing motor vehicle registration and title documents." Section 42-1-210.1, C.R.S. (1984). Pursuant to Section 42-1-210, C.R.S. (1984), the County Clerks and the Manager of Revenue for the City and County of Denver are designated as authorized agents for purposes of recording and maintaining registrations and titles to motor vehicles. This service is performed for the Department without additional remuneration of fees except as otherwise provided in the statutes. Id. The Public Records Act provides that "{i}t is ... the public policy of this state that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times, except as provided in this article or as otherwise specifically provided by law." Section 24-72-201, C.R.S. (1988). Public records are defined in the Act as: "writings made, maintained or kept by the state or any agency, institution, or political subdivision thereof for use in the exercise of functions...

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