THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

As a public service, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared the

following complete text of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.

Although staff generally followed the format of the U.S. Code as published by the Government

Printing Office, the format of this text does differ in minor ways from the Code (and from West’s

U.S. Code Annotated). For example, this version uses FCRA section numbers (§§ 601-625) in

the headings. (The relevant U.S. Code citation is included with each section heading and each

reference to the FCRA in the text.) Although the staff has made every effort to transcribe the

statutory material accurately, this compendium is intended only as a convenience for the public

and not a subtitute for the text in the U. S. Code. The Commission’s website (www.ftc.gov)

posted this document on June 14, 2008.

This version of the FCRA includes the amendments to the FCRA set forth in the Consumer

Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-208, the Omnibus Consolidated

Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1997, Title II, Subtitle D, Chapter 1), Section 311 of the

Intelligence Authorization for Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-107), the Consumer Reporting

Employment Clarification Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-347), Section 506 of the Gramm-Leach-

Bliley Act (Public Law 106-102), Sections 358(g) and 505(c) of the Uniting and Strengthening

America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of

2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) (Public Law 107-56), the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act

of 2003 (FACT Act) (Public Law 108-159), Section 719 of the Financial Services Regulatory

Relief Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-351), and the Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification

Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-241).

The provisions added to the FCRA by the FACT Act became effective at different times. In

some cases, the provision includes its own effective date. In other cases, the FACT Act provides

that the effective dates be prescribed by the FTC and Federal Reserve Board. See 16 CFR Part 602.

(69 Fed. Reg. 6526; February 11, 2004) (69 Fed. Reg. 29061; May 20, 2004).

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

§ 601 Short title

§ 602 Congressional findings and statement of purpose

§ 603 Definitions; rules of construction

§ 604 Permissible purposes of consumer reports

§ 605 Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports

§ 605A Identity theft prevention; fraud alerts and active duty alerts

§ 605B Block of information resulting from identity theft

§ 606 Disclosure of investigative consumer reports

§ 607 Compliance procedures

§ 608 Disclosures to governmental agencies

§ 609 Disclosures to consumers

§ 610 Conditions and form of disclosure to consumers

§ 611 Procedure in case of disputed accuracy

§ 612 Charges for certain disclosures

§ 613 Public record information for employment purposes

§ 614 Restrictions on investigative consumer reports

§ 615 Requirements on users of consumer reports

§ 616 Civil liability for willful noncompliance

§ 617 Civil liability for negligent noncompliance

§ 618 Jurisdiction of courts; limitation of actions

§ 619 Obtaining information under false pretenses

§ 620 Unauthorized disclosures by officers or employees

§ 621 Administrative enforcement

§ 622 Information on overdue child support obligations

§ 623 Responsibilities of furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies

§ 624 Affiliate sharing

§ 625 Relation to state laws

§ 626 Disclosures to FBI for counterintelligence purposes

§ 627 Disclosures to governmental agencies for counterterrorism purposes

§ 628 Disposal of records

§ 629 Corporate and technological circumvention prohibited

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§ 601. Short title

This title may be cited as the “Fair Credit Reporting Act”.

§ 602. Congressional findings and statement of purpose [15 U.S.C. § 1681]

(a) Accuracy and fairness of credit reporting. The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The banking system is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting. Inaccurate

credit reports directly impair the efficiency of the banking system, and unfair credit

reporting methods undermine the public confidence which is essential to the

continued functioning of the banking system.

(2) An elaborate mechanism has been developed for investigating and evaluating the

credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, and general reputation of

consumers.

(3) Consumer reporting agencies have assumed a vital role in assembling and evaluating

consumer credit and other information on consumers.

(4) There is a need to insure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave

responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer's right to

privacy.

(b) Reasonable procedures. It is the purpose of this title to require that consumer reporting

agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for consumer

credit, personnel, insurance, and other information in a manner which is fair and

equitable to the consumer, with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and

proper utilization of such information in accordance with the requirements of this title.

§ 603. Definitions; rules of construction [15 U.S.C. § 1681a]

(a) Definitions and rules of construction set forth in this section are applicable for the

purposes of this title.

(b) The term “person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate,

cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other

entity.

(c) The term “consumer” means an individual.

(d) Consumer Report

(1) In general. The term "consumer report" means any written, oral, or other

communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a

consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general

reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be

used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in

establishing the consumer's eligibility for

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(A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household

purposes;

(B) employment purposes; or

(C) any other purpose authorized under section 604 [§ 1681b].

(2) Exclusions. Except as provided in paragraph (3), the term "consumer report" does

not include

(A) subject to section 624, any

(i) report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences

between the consumer and the person making the report;

(ii) communication of that information among persons related by common

ownership or affiliated by corporate control; or

(iii) communication of other information among persons related by common

ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if it is clearly and

conspicuously disclosed to the consumer that the information may be

communicated among such persons and the consumer is given the

opportunity, before the time that the information is initially

communicated, to direct that such information not be communicated

among such persons;

(B) any authorization or approval of a specific extension of credit directly or

indirectly by the issuer of a credit card or similar device;

(C) any report in which a person who has been requested by a third party to make

a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly to a consumer conveys his

or her decision with respect to such request, if the third party advises the

consumer of the name and address of the person to whom the request was

made, and such person makes the disclosures to the consumer required under

section 615 [§ 1681m]; or

(D) a communication described in subsection (o) or (x).

(3) Restriction on sharing of medical information. Except for information or any

communication of information disclosed as provided in section 604(g)(3), the

exclusions in paragraph (2) shall not apply with respect to information disclosed to

any person related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if the

information is--

(A) medical information;

(B) an individualized list or description based on the payment transactions of the

consumer for medical products or services; or

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(C) an aggregate list of identified consumers based on payment transactions for

medical products or services.

(e) The term “investigative consumer report” means a consumer report or portion thereof in

which information on a consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics,

or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or

associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who

may have knowledge concerning any such items of information. However, such

information shall not include specific factual information on a consumer's credit record

obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency

when such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from the

consumer.

(f) The term “consumer reporting agency” means any person which, for monetary fees, dues,

or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice

of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on

consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses

any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing

consumer reports.

(g) The term “file,” when used in connection with information on any consumer, means all

of the information on that consumer recorded and retained by a consumer reporting

agency regardless of how the information is stored.

(h) The term “employment purposes” when used in connection with a consumer report

means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment,

promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.

(i) The term “medical information” --

(1) means information or data, whether oral or recorded, in any form or medium, created

by or derived from a health care provider or the consumer, that relates to--

(A) the past, present, or future physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition

of an individual;

(B) the provision of health care to an individual; or

(C) the payment for the provision of health care to an individual.

(2) does not include the age or gender of a consumer, demographic information about the

consumer, including a consumer's residence address or e-mail address, or any other

information about a consumer that does not relate to the physical, mental, or

behavioral health or condition of a consumer, including the existence or value of any

insurance policy.

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(j) Definitions Relating to Child Support Obligations

(1) The “overdue support” has the meaning given to such term in section 666(e) of title

42 [Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 666(e)].

(2) The term “State or local child support enforcement agency” means a State or local

agency which administers a State or local program for establishing and enforcing

child support obligations.

(k) Adverse Action

(1) Actions included. The term “adverse action”

(A) has the same meaning as in section 701(d)(6) of the Equal Credit Opportunity

Act; and

(B) means

(i) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any charge for, or a reduction or

other adverse or unfavorable change in the terms of coverage or amount

of, any insurance, existing or applied for, in connection with the

underwriting of insurance;

(ii) a denial of employment or any other decision for employment purposes

that adversely affects any current or prospective employee;

(iii) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any charge for, or any other

adverse or unfavorable change in the terms of, any license or benefit

described in section 604(a)(3)(D) [§ 1681b]; and

(iv) an action taken or determination that is

(I) made in connection with an application that was made by, or a

transaction that was initiated by, any consumer, or in connection with

a review of an account under section 604(a)(3)(F)(ii)[§ 1681b]; and

(II) adverse to the interests of the consumer.

(2) Applicable findings, decisions, commentary, and orders. For purposes of any

determination of whether an action is an adverse action under paragraph (1)(A), all

appropriate final findings, decisions, commentary, and orders issued under section

701(d)(6) of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by the Board of Governors of the

Federal Reserve System or any court shall apply.

(l ) The term “firm offer of credit or insurance” means any offer of credit or insurance to a

consumer that will be honored if the consumer is determined, based on information in a

consumer report on the consumer, to meet the specific criteria used to select the

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consumer for the offer, except that the offer may be further conditioned on one or more

of the following:

(1) The consumer being determined, based on information in the consumer's application

for the credit or insurance, to meet specific criteria bearing on credit worthiness or

insurability, as applicable, that are established

(A) before selection of the consumer for the offer; and

(B) for the purpose of determining whether to extend credit or insurance pursuant

to the offer.

(2) Verification

(A) that the consumer continues to meet the specific criteria used to select the

consumer for the offer, by using information in a consumer report on the

consumer, information in the consumer's application for the credit or

insurance, or other information bearing on the credit worthiness or insurability

of the consumer; or

(B) of the information in the consumer's application for the credit or insurance, to

determine that the consumer meets the specific criteria bearing on credit

worthiness or insurability.

(3) The consumer furnishing any collateral that is a requirement for the extension of the

credit or insurance that was

(A) established before selection of the consumer for the offer of credit or

insurance; and

(B) disclosed to the consumer in the offer of credit or insurance.

(m) The term “credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer” does not

include the use of a consumer report by a person with which the consumer has an account

or insurance policy, for purposes of

(1) reviewing the account or insurance policy; or

(2) collecting the account.

(n) The term “State” means any State, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of

Columbia, and any territory or possession of the United States.

(o) Excluded communications. A communication is described in this subsection if it is a

communication

(1) that, but for subsection (d)(2)(D), would be an investigative consumer report;

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(2) that is made to a prospective employer for the purpose of

(A) procuring an employee for the employer; or

(B) procuring an opportunity for a natural person to work for the employer;

(3) that is made by a person who regularly performs such procurement;

(4) that is not used by any person for any purpose other than a purpose described in

subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (2); and

(5) with respect to which

(A) the consumer who is the subject of the communication

(i) consents orally or in writing to the nature and scope of the

communication, before the collection of any information for the purpose

of making the communication;

(ii) consents orally or in writing to the making of the communication to a

prospective employer, before the making of the communication; and

(iii) in the case of consent under clause (i) or (ii) given orally, is provided

written confirmation of that consent by the person making the communication,

not later than 3 business days after the receipt of the consent by

that person;

(B) the person who makes the communication does not, for the purpose of making

the communication, make any inquiry that if made by a prospective employer

of the consumer who is the subject of the communication would violate any

applicable Federal or State equal employment opportunity law or regulation;

and

(C) the person who makes the communication

(i) discloses in writing to the consumer who is the subject of the communication,

not later than 5 business days after receiving any request from the

consumer for such disclosure, the nature and substance of all information in

the consumer's file at the time of the request, except that the sources of any

information that is acquired solely for use in making the communication and

is actually used for no other purpose, need not be disclosed other than under

appropriate discovery procedures in any court of competent jurisdiction in

which an action is brought; and

(ii) notifies the consumer who is the subject of the communication, in writing,

of the consumer's right to request the information described in clause (i).

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(p) The term “consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on

a nationwide basis” means a consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the

practice of assembling or evaluating, and maintaining, for the purpose of furnishing

consumer reports to third parties bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit

standing, or credit capacity, each of the following regarding consumers residing

nationwide:

(1) Public record information.

(2) Credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and

in the ordinary course of business.

(q) Definitions relating to fraud alerts.

(1) The term “active duty military consumer” means a consumer in military service

who--

(A) is on active duty (as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States

Code) or is a reservist performing duty under a call or order to active duty

under a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, United

States Code; and

(B) is assigned to service away from the usual duty station of the consumer.

(2) The terms “fraud alert” and “active duty alert” mean a statement in the file of a

consumer that--

(A) notifies all prospective users of a consumer report relating to the consumer

that the consumer may be a victim of fraud, including identity theft, or is an

active duty military consumer, as applicable; and

(B) is presented in a manner that facilitates a clear and conspicuous view of the

statement described in subparagraph (A) by any person requesting such

consumer report.

(3) The term “identity theft” means a fraud committed using the identifying information

of another person, subject to such further definition as the

Commission may prescribe, by regulation. See also 16 CFR Part 603.2

69 Fed. Reg. 63922 (11/03/04)

(4) The term “identity theft report” has the meaning given that term by rule of the

Commission, and means, at a minimum, a report--

(A) that alleges an identity theft;

(B) that is a copy of an official, valid report filed by a consumer with an

appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, including the

United States Postal Inspection Service, or such other government agency

deemed appropriate by the Commission; and

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(C) the filing of which subjects the person filing the report to criminal penalties

relating to the filing of false information if, in fact, the

information in the report is false. See also 16 CFR Part 603.3

69 Fed. Reg. 63922 (11/03/04)

(5) The term “new credit plan” means a new account under an open end credit plan (as

defined in section 103(i) of the Truth in Lending Act) or a new credit transaction not

under an open end credit plan.

(r) Credit and Debit Related Terms

(1) The term “card issuer” means--

(A) a credit card issuer, in the case of a credit card; and

(B) a debit card issuer, in the case of a debit card.

(2) The term “credit card” has the same meaning as in section 103 of the Truth in

Lending Act.

(3) The term “debit card” means any card issued by a financial institution to a consumer

for use in initiating an electronic fund transfer from the account of the consumer at

such financial institution, for the purpose of transferring money between accounts or

obtaining money, property, labor, or services.

(4) The terms “account” and “electronic fund transfer” have the same meanings as in

section 903 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

(5) The terms “credit” and “creditor” have the same meanings as in section 702 of the

Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

(s) The term “Federal banking agency” has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal

Deposit Insurance Act.

(t) The term “financial institution” means a State or National bank, a State or Federal

savings and loan association, a mutual savings bank, a State or Federal credit union, or

any other person that, directly or indirectly, holds a transaction account (as defined in

section 19(b) of the Federal Reserve Act) belonging to a consumer.

(u) The term “reseller” means a consumer reporting agency that--

(1) assembles and merges information contained in the database of another consumer

reporting agency or multiple consumer reporting agencies concerning any consumer

for purposes of furnishing such information to any third party, to the extent of such

activities; and

(2) does not maintain a database of the assembled or merged information from which

new consumer reports are produced.

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(v) The term “Commission” means the Federal Trade Commission.

(w) The term “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency” means a consumer reporting

agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis relating to--

(1) medical records or payments;

(2) residential or tenant history;

(3) check writing history;

(4) employment history; or

(5) insurance claims.

(x) Exclusion of Certain Communications for Employee Investigations

(1) A communication is described in this subsection if--

(A) but for subsection (d)(2)(D), the communication would be a consumer report;

(B) the communication is made to an employer in connection with an

investigation of–

(i) suspected misconduct relating to employment; or

(ii) compliance with Federal, State, or local laws and regulations, the rules of

a self-regulatory organization, or any preexisting written policies of the

employer;

(C) the communication is not made for the purpose of investigating a consumer's

credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity; and

(D) the communication is not provided to any person except--

(i) to the employer or an agent of the employer;

(ii) to any Federal or State officer, agency, or department, or any officer,

agency, or department of a unit of general local government;

(iii) to any self-regulatory organization with regulatory authority over the

activities of the employer or employee;

(iv) as otherwise required by law; or

(v) pursuant to section 608.

(2) Subsequent disclosure. After taking any adverse action based in whole or in part on a

communication described in paragraph (1), the employer shall disclose to the

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consumer a summary containing the nature and substance of the communication upon

which the adverse action is based, except that the sources of information acquired

solely for use in preparing what would be but for subsection (d)(2)(D) an

investigative consumer report need not be disclosed.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term “self-regulatory organization” includes any

self-regulatory organization (as defined in section 3(a)(26) of the Securities Exchange

Act of 1934), any entity established under title I of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002,

any board of trade designated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and

any futures association registered with such Commission.

§ 604. Permissible purposes of consumer reports [15 U.S.C. § 1681b]

(a) In general. Subject to subsection (c), any consumer reporting agency may furnish a

consumer report under the following circumstances and no other:

(1) In response to the order of a court having jurisdiction to issue such an order, or a

subpoena issued in connection with proceedings before a Federal grand jury.

(2) In accordance with the written instructions of the consumer to whom it relates.

(3) To a person which it has reason to believe

(A) intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction

involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished and

involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of,

the consumer; or

(B) intends to use the information for employment purposes; or

(C) intends to use the information in connection with the underwriting of

insurance involving the consumer; or

(D) intends to use the information in connection with a determination of the consumer's

eligibility for a license or other benefit granted by a governmental

instrumentality required by law to consider an applicant's financial

responsibility or status; or

(E) intends to use the information, as a potential investor or servicer, or current

insurer, in connection with a valuation of, or an assessment of the credit or

prepayment risks associated with, an existing credit obligation; or

(F) otherwise has a legitimate business need for the information

(i) in connection with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer;

or

(ii) to review an account to determine whether the consumer continues to

meet the terms of the account.

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(4) In response to a request by the head of a State or local child support enforcement

agency (or a State or local government official authorized by the head of such an

agency), if the person making the request certifies to the consumer reporting agency

that

(A) the consumer report is needed for the purpose of establishing an individual’s

capacity to make child support payments or determining the appropriate level

of such payments;

(B) the paternity of the consumer for the child to which the obligation relates has

been established or acknowledged by the consumer in accordance with State

laws under which the obligation arises (if required by those laws);

(C) the person has provided at least 10 days’ prior notice to the consumer whose

report is requested, by certified or registered mail to the last known address of

the consumer, that the report will be requested; and

(D) the consumer report will be kept confidential, will be used solely for a

purpose described in subparagraph (A), and will not be used in connection

with any other civil, administrative, or criminal proceeding, or for any other

purpose.

(5) To an agency administering a State plan under Section 454 of the Social Security Act

(42 U.S.C. § 654) for use to set an initial or modified child support award.

(6) To the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union

Administration as part of its preparation for its appointment or as part of its exercise

of powers, as conservator, receiver, or liquidating agent for an insured depository

institution or insured credit union under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act or the

Federal Credit Union Act, or other applicable Federal or State law, or in connection

with the resolution or liquidation of a failed or failing insured depository institution

or insured credit union, as applicable.

(b) Conditions for Furnishing and Using Consumer Reports for Employment Purposes.

(1) Certification from user. A consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report

for employment purposes only if

(A) the person who obtains such report from the agency certifies to the agency

that

(i) the person has complied with paragraph (2) with respect to the consumer

report, and the person will comply with paragraph (3) with respect to the

consumer report if paragraph (3) becomes applicable; and

(ii) information from the consumer report will not be used in violation of any

applicable Federal or State equal employment opportunity law or

regulation; and

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(B) the consumer reporting agency provides with the report, or has previously

provided, a summary of the consumer's rights under this title, as prescribed by

the Federal Trade Commission under section 609(c)(3) [§ 1681g].

(2) Disclosure to Consumer.

( A) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person may not

procure a consumer report, or cause a consumer report to be procured, for

employment purposes with respect to any consumer, unless--

(i) a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the

consumer at any time before the report is procured or caused to be

procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a

consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes; and

(ii) the consumer has authorized in writing (which authorization may be made

on the document referred to in clause (i)) the procurement of the report by

that person.

(B) Application by mail, telephone, computer, or other similar means. If a consumer

described in subparagraph (C) applies for employment by mail, telephone,

computer, or other similar means, at any time before a consumer report is

procured or caused to be procured in connection with that application--

(i) the person who procures the consumer report on the consumer for

employment purposes shall provide to the consumer, by oral, written, or

electronic means, notice that a consumer report may be obtained for

employment purposes, and a summary of the consumer's rights under

section 615(a)(3); and

(ii) the consumer shall have consented, orally, in writing, or electronically to

the procurement of the report by that person.

(C) Scope. Subparagraph (B) shall apply to a person procuring a consumer report

on a consumer in connection with the consumer's application for employment

only if--

(i) the consumer is applying for a position over which the Secretary of

Transportation has the power to establish qualifications and maximum

hours of service pursuant to the provisions of section 31502 of title 49, or

a position subject to safety regulation by a State transportation agency;

and

(ii) as of the time at which the person procures the report or causes the report

to be procured the only interaction between the consumer and the person

in connection with that employment application has been by mail,

telephone, computer, or other similar means.

The references in Sections 604(b)(3)(A) and 604(b)(1 3)(B) should be to Section 609(c)(1), not (c)(3) that

no longer exists as the result of Congress’ re-organization of Section 609(c) in 2003 (FACT Act).

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(3) Conditions on use for adverse actions.

(A) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in using a consumer

report for employment purposes, before taking any adverse action based in

whole or in part on the report, the person intending to take such adverse action

shall provide to the consumer to whom the report relates--

(i) a copy of the report; and

(ii) a description in writing of the rights of the consumer under this title, as

prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission under section 609(c)(3).1

(B) Application by mail, telephone, computer, or other similar means.

(i) If a consumer described in subparagraph (C) applies for employment by

mail, telephone, computer, or other similar means, and if a person who has

procured a consumer report on the consumer for employment purposes

takes adverse action on the employment application based in whole or in

part on the report, then the person must provide to the consumer to whom

the report relates, in lieu of the notices required under subparagraph (A) of

this section and under section 615(a), within 3 business days of taking

such action, an oral, written or electronic notification--

(I) that adverse action has been taken based in whole or in part on a

consumer report received from a consumer reporting agency;

(II) of the name, address and telephone number of the consumer reporting

agency that furnished the consumer report (including a toll-free

telephone number established by the agency if the agency compiles

and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis);

(III) that the consumer reporting agency did not make the decision to take

the adverse action and is unable to provide to the consumer the

specific reasons why the adverse action was taken; and

(IV) that the consumer may, upon providing proper identification, request a free

copy of a report and may dispute with the consumer reporting agency the

accuracy or completeness of any information in a report.

(ii) If, under clause (B)(i)(IV), the consumer requests a copy of a consumer

report from the person who procured the report, then, within 3 business

days of receiving the consumer's request, together with proper identification,

the person must send or provide to the consumer a copy of a report

and a copy of the consumer's rights as prescribed by the Federal Trade

Commission under section 609(c)(3).

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(C) Scope. Subparagraph (B) shall apply to a person procuring a consumer report on a

consumer in connection with the consumer's application for employment only if--

(i) the consumer is applying for a position over which the Secretary of Transportation

has the power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of

service pursuant to the provisions of section 31502 of title 49, or a position

subject to safety regulation by a State transportation agency; and

(ii) as of the time at which the person procures the report or causes the report

to be procured the only interaction between the consumer and the person

in connection with that employment application has been by mail,

telephone, computer, or other similar means.

(4) Exception for national security investigations.

(A) In general. In the case of an agency or department of the United States

Government which seeks to obtain and use a consumer report for employment

purposes, paragraph (3) shall not apply to any adverse action by such agency

or department which is based in part on such consumer report, if the head of

such agency or department makes a written finding that–

(i) the consumer report is relevant to a national security investigation of such

agency or department;

(ii) the investigation is within the jurisdiction of such agency or department;

(iii) there is reason to believe that compliance with paragraph (3) will–

(I) endanger the life or physical safety of any person;

(II) result in flight from prosecution;

(III) result in the destruction of, or tampering with, evidence relevant to the

investigation;

(IV) result in the intimidation of a potential witness relevant to the

investigation;

(V) result in the compromise of classified information; or

(VI) otherwise seriously jeopardize or unduly delay the investigation or

another official proceeding.

(B) Notification of consumer upon conclusion of investigation. Upon the

conclusion of a national security investigation described in subparagraph (A),

or upon the determination that the exception under subparagraph (A) is no

longer required for the reasons set forth in such subparagraph, the official

exercising the authority in such subparagraph shall provide to the consumer

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who is the subject of the consumer report with regard to which such finding

was made--

(i) a copy of such consumer report with any classified information redacted

as necessary;

(ii) notice of any adverse action which is based, in part, on the consumer

report; and

(iii) the identification with reasonable specificity of the nature of the

investigation for which the consumer report was sought.

(C) Delegation by head of agency or department. For purposes of subparagraphs

(A) and (B), the head of any agency or department of the United States

Government may delegate his or her authorities under this paragraph to an

official of such agency or department who has personnel security

responsibilities and is a member of the Senior Executive Service or equivalent

civilian or military rank.

(D) Report to the Congress. Not later than January 31 of each year, the head of

each agency and department of the United States Government that exercised

authority under this paragraph during the preceding year shall submit a report

to the Congress on the number of times the department or agency exercised

such authority during the year.

(E) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph, the following definitions shall apply:

(i) The term “classified information” means information that is protected from

unauthorized disclosure under Executive Order No. 12958 or successor

orders.

(ii) The term “national security investigation” means any official inquiry by

an agency or department of the United States Government to determine

the eligibility of a consumer to receive access or continued access to

classified information or to determine whether classified information has

been lost or compromised.

(c) Furnishing reports in connection with credit or insurance transactions that are not

initiated by the consumer.

(1) In general. A consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report relating to

any consumer pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of subsection (a)(3) in connection

with any credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer only if

(A) the consumer authorizes the agency to provide such report to such person; or

(B) (i) the transaction consists of a firm offer of credit or insurance;

(ii) the consumer reporting agency has complied with subsection (e); and

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(iii) there is not in effect an election by the consumer, made in accordance with

subsection (e), to have the consumer's name and address excluded from

lists of names provided by the agency pursuant to this paragraph.

(2) Limits on information received under paragraph (1)(B). A person may receive

pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) only

(A) the name and address of a consumer;

(B) an identifier that is not unique to the consumer and that is used by the person

solely for the purpose of verifying the identity of the consumer; and

(C) other information pertaining to a consumer that does not identify the

relationship or experience of the consumer with respect to a particular creditor

or other entity.

(3) Information regarding inquiries. Except as provided in section 609(a)(5) [§1681g], a

consumer reporting agency shall not furnish to any person a record of inquiries in

connection with a credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by a consumer.

(d) Reserved.

(e) Election of consumer to be excluded from lists.

(1) In general. A consumer may elect to have the consumer's name and address excluded

from any list provided by a consumer reporting agency under subsection (c)(1)(B) in

connection with a credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer,

by notifying the agency in accordance with paragraph (2) that the consumer does not

consent to any use of a consumer report relating to the consumer in connection with

any credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer.

(2) Manner of notification. A consumer shall notify a consumer reporting agency under

paragraph (1)

(A) through the notification system maintained by the agency under paragraph (5);

or

(B) by submitting to the agency a signed notice of election form issued by the

agency for purposes of this subparagraph.

(3) Response of agency after notification through system. Upon receipt of notification of

the election of a consumer under paragraph (1) through the notification system

maintained by the agency under paragraph (5), a consumer reporting agency shall

(A) inform the consumer that the election is effective only for the 5-year period

following the election if the consumer does not submit to the agency a signed

notice of election form issued by the agency for purposes of paragraph (2)(B);

and

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(B) provide to the consumer a notice of election form, if requested by the

consumer, not later than 5 business days after receipt of the notification of the

election through the system established under paragraph (5), in the case of a

request made at the time the consumer provides notification through the

system.

(4) Effectiveness of election. An election of a consumer under paragraph (1)

(A) shall be effective with respect to a consumer reporting agency beginning 5

business days after the date on which the consumer notifies the agency in

accordance with paragraph (2);

(B) shall be effective with respect to a consumer reporting agency

(i) subject to subparagraph (C), during the 5-year period beginning 5 business

days after the date on which the consumer notifies the agency of the

election, in the case of an election for which a consumer notifies the

agency only in accordance with paragraph (2)(A); or

(ii) until the consumer notifies the agency under subparagraph (C), in the case

of an election for which a consumer notifies the agency in accordance

with paragraph (2)(B);

(C) shall not be effective after the date on which the consumer notifies the agency,

through the notification system established by the agency under paragraph (5),

that the election is no longer effective; and

(D) shall be effective with respect to each affiliate of the agency.

(5) Notification System

(A) In general. Each consumer reporting agency that, under subsection (c)(1)(B),

furnishes a consumer report in connection with a credit or insurance

transaction that is not initiated by a consumer, shall

(i) establish and maintain a notification system, including a toll-free

telephone number, which permits any consumer whose consumer report is

maintained by the agency to notify the agency, with appropriate

identification, of the consumer's election to have the consumer's name and

address excluded from any such list of names and addresses provided by

the agency for such a transaction; and

(ii) publish by not later than 365 days after the date of enactment of the

Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996, and not less than

annually thereafter, in a publication of general circulation in the area

served by the agency

(I) a notification that information in consumer files maintained by the

agency may be used in connection with such transactions; and

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(II) the address and toll-free telephone number for consumers to use to

notify the agency of the consumer's election under clause (I).

(B) Establishment and maintenance as compliance. Establishment and

maintenance of a notification system (including a toll-free telephone number)

and publication by a consumer reporting agency on the agency's own behalf

and on behalf of any of its affiliates in accordance with this paragraph is

deemed to be compliance with this paragraph by each of those affiliates.

(6) Notification system by agencies that operate nationwide. Each consumer reporting

agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis shall

establish and maintain a notification system for purposes of paragraph (5) jointly with

other such consumer reporting agencies.

(f) Certain use or obtaining of information prohibited. A person shall not use or obtain a

consumer report for any purpose unless

(1) the consumer report is obtained for a purpose for which the consumer report is

authorized to be furnished under this section; and

(2) the purpose is certified in accordance with section 607 [§ 1681e] by a prospective

user of the report through a general or specific certification.

(g) Protection of Medical Information

(1) Limitation on consumer reporting agencies. A consumer reporting agency shall not

furnish for employment purposes, or in connection with a credit or insurance

transaction, a consumer report that contains medical information (other than medical

contact information treated in the manner required under section 605(a)(6)) about a

consumer, unless--

(A) if furnished in connection with an insurance transaction, the consumer

affirmatively consents to the furnishing of the report;

(B) if furnished for employment purposes or in connection with a credit

transaction--

(i) the information to be furnished is relevant to process or effect the

employment or credit transaction; and

(ii) the consumer provides specific written consent for the furnishing of the

report that describes in clear and conspicuous language the use for which

the information will be furnished; or

(C) the information to be furnished pertains solely to transactions, accounts, or

balances relating to debts arising from the receipt of medical services,

products, or devises, where such information, other than account status or

amounts, is restricted or reported using codes that do not identify, or do not

21

provide information sufficient to infer, the specific provider or the nature of

such services, products, or devices, as provided in section 605(a)(6).

(2) Limitation on creditors. Except as permitted pursuant to paragraph (3)(C) or regulations

prescribed under paragraph (5)(A), a creditor shall not obtain or use medical

information (other than medical contact information treated in the manner required

under section 605(a)(6)) pertaining to a consumer in connection with any

determination of the consumer's eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit.

(3) Actions authorized by federal law, insurance activities and regulatory determinations.

Section 603(d)(3) shall not be construed so as to treat information or any

communication of information as a consumer report if the information or

communication is disclosed--

(A) in connection with the business of insurance or annuities, including the

activities described in section 18B of the model Privacy of Consumer

Financial and Health Information Regulation issued by the National

Association of Insurance Commissioners (as in effect on January 1, 2003);

(B) for any purpose permitted without authorization under the Standards for

Individually Identifiable Health Information promulgated by the Department

of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability

and Accountability Act of 1996, or referred to under section 1179 of such Act,

or described in section 502(e) of Public Law 106-102; or

(C) as otherwise determined to be necessary and appropriate, by regulation or

order and subject to paragraph (6), by the Commission, any Federal banking

agency or the National Credit Union Administration (with respect to any

financial institution subject to the jurisdiction of such agency or

Administration under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 621(b), or the

applicable State insurance authority (with respect to any person engaged in

providing insurance or annuities).

(4) Limitation on redisclosure of medical information. Any person that receives

medical information pursuant to paragraph (1) or (3) shall not disclose such

information