Code Section Group

Civil Code - CIV

DIVISION 3. OBLIGATIONS [1427 - 3273.16]

  ( Heading of Division 3 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 14. )


  ( Part 4 enacted 1872. )


  ( Title 1.6A added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1272. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [1786 - 1786.2]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1272. )


The Legislature finds and declares as follows:

(a) Investigative consumer reporting agencies have assumed a vital role in collecting, assembling, evaluating, compiling, reporting, transmitting, transferring, or communicating information on consumers for employment and insurance purposes, and for purposes relating to the hiring of dwelling units, subpoenas and court orders, licensure, and other lawful purposes.

(b) There is a need to insure that investigative consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.

(c) The crime of identity theft in this new computer era has exploded to become the fastest growing white collar crime in America.

(d) The unique nature of this crime means it can often go undetected for years without the victim being aware his identity has been misused.

(e) Because notice of identity theft is critical before the victim can take steps to stop and prosecute this crime, consumers are best protected if they are automatically given copies of any investigative consumer reports made on them.

(f) It is the purpose of this title to require that investigative consumer reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for employment, insurance information, and information relating to the hiring of dwelling units in a manner which is fair and equitable to the consumer, with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of the information in accordance with the requirements of this title.

(g) The Legislature hereby intends to regulate investigative consumer reporting agencies pursuant to this title in a manner which will best protect the interests of the people of the State of California.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 354, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2002.)


This title may be referred to as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1272.)


The following terms as used in this title have the meaning expressed in this section:

(a) The term “person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity. The term “person” as used in this title shall not be construed to require duplicative reporting by any individual, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government, or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity involved in the same transaction.

(b) The term “consumer” means a natural individual who has made application to a person for employment purposes, for insurance for personal, family, or household purposes, or the hiring of a dwelling unit, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1940.

(c) The term “investigative consumer report” means a consumer report in which information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through any means. The term does not include a consumer report or other compilation of information that is limited to specific factual information relating to a consumer’s credit record or manner of obtaining credit obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when that information was obtained directly from a potential or existing creditor of the consumer or from the consumer. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for transactions between investigative consumer reporting agencies and insurance institutions, agents, or insurance-support organizations subject to Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 791) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 1 of the Insurance Code, the term “investigative consumer report” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 791.02 of the Insurance Code.

(d) The term “investigative consumer reporting agency” means any person who, for monetary fees or dues, engages in whole or in part in the practice of collecting, assembling, evaluating, compiling, reporting, transmitting, transferring, or communicating information concerning consumers for the purposes of furnishing investigative consumer reports to third parties, but does not include any governmental agency whose records are maintained primarily for traffic safety, law enforcement, or licensing purposes, or any licensed insurance agent, insurance broker, or solicitor, insurer, or life insurance agent.

(e) The term “file,” when used in connection with information on any consumer, means all of the information on that consumer recorded and retained by an investigative consumer reporting agency regardless of how the information is stored.

(f) The term “employment purposes,” when used in connection with an investigative consumer report, means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment, or retention as an employee.

(g) The term “medical information” means information on a person’s medical history or condition obtained directly or indirectly from a licensed physician, medical practitioner, hospital, clinic, or other medical or medically related facility.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 444, Sec. 6. (SB 138) Effective January 1, 2014.)

CIVCivil Code - CIV1