Domestic Violence Article
Arizona Address Confidentiality Program
This article discusses the Arizona Address Confidentiality Program, which help victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, and/or stalking use a substitute mailing address whenever they interact with a state or local government agency so that perpetrators and others cannot use Arizona’s public records to find out where the victim is living or receiving their mail.
What is the Arizona Address Confidentiality Program?
The Arizona Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) helps victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, and/or stalking keep the location of where they are living or receiving their mail confidential.
When was the ACP established?
The ACP was established by the Arizona legislature in 2012 when it was enacted into law under Chapter 3 of Title 41 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) at A.R.S. § 41-161 et seq.
How does the ACP keep a victim’s location confidential?
The ACP lets victims use a substitute mailing address, so that anyone who searches for them through Arizona’s public records will be unable to find out where they are actually living or receiving their mail.
How does the ACP work?
Whenever a victim is asked to provide their address, they provide a substitute mailing address instead of their real address. Although this substitute mailing address is the address that appears in Arizona’s public records, any mail that is sent to the victim at that address is secretly forwarded to the victim’s real address. The substitute mailing address is good for 5 years.
How does a participant use the ACP?
A victim who participates in the ACP is provided with an ACP Authorization Card that they may present to state and local government agencies whenever they are asked to provide an address. The Authorization Card requires the state or local government agency to accept the substitute address so that the victim can keep their actual address to themselves.
The substitute address may be used in place of the victim’s home, work, school, or mailing address.
Examples of when a victim may show their ACP Authorization Card and use their substitute address include:
• Court papers
• Police reports
• Driver license/ID card/vehicle registration
• Social services (AHCCCS/SNAP/TANF/child support/etc.)
• Public schools
• Public library cards
• Voter registration
A state or local government agency employee who intentionally or knowingly discloses a victim’s real address or telephone number without authorization may be breaking the law and therefore guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Can the ACP accept service of process on behalf of a participant?
Yes. The ACP can act as a participant’s legal agent for service of process and can also accept and sign for other documents, including notices and demands.
Can a participant have their address removed from an existing public record?
Yes. But only from records that were created within the 90 days prior to the beginning of the victim’s participation in the ACP.
A victim who participates in the ACP may ask any state or local government agency to redact (remove or obscure) their real address from any agency record that was created up to 90 days before the victim began using a substitute address.
Who may participate in the ACP?
To participate in the ACP, a person must meet certain requirements. They must:
• Be a victim of domestic violence, a sexual offense (such as rape, sexual assault, or molestation), and/or stalking
• Be in fear of their safety
• Either (a) have already moved within the past 90 days to a new location within Arizona that is unknown to the perpetrator of the domestic violence, sexual offense, and/or stalking OR (b) be planning to move in the near future to a new location within Arizona that is unknown to the perpetrator of the domestic violence, sexual offense, and/or stalking
• Have documentation showing that they are a victim of domestic violence, a sexual offense, and/or stalking
• Be at least 18 years old (or be the parent of a minor child acting on behalf of the child or the guardian of an incapacitated person acting on behalf of the incapacitated person)
How may a victim sign up to participate in the ACP?
A victim who is interested in participating in the ACP may not sign up themselves. Instead, they must meet – in person – with a registered Application Assistant.
What is an Application Assistant?
Application assistants are people who are specially trained to help victims learn if they can participate in the ACP and to help them sign up if they are. Application assistants are located throughout Arizona in organizations that provide counseling, referral, shelter, and/or assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, and stalking.
What does an Application Assistant do?
An Application Assistant:
• Describes for the victim how the ACP works and what the ACP does
• Explains to the victim what the responsibilities of ACP participants are
• Works with the victim to incorporate the ACP into the victim’s overall safety plan
• Helps the victim complete the ACP application, recommends the victim for approval, and forwards the victim’s application directly to the ACP
Where may I find a nearby Application Assistant?
A list of organizations throughout Arizona that have an Application Assistant on staff is available here: https://azsos.gov/services/acp/application-assistants
Is participating in the ACP free?
Yes. Participation in the ACP is free. In addition, the ACP accepts all First Class, registered, certified, and election mail on behalf of each participant and forwards it to the participant’s real address at no cost.
Who runs the ACP program?
The ACP is managed by the Office of the Arizona Secretary of State.
How may I learn more about the ACP?
If you would like to learn more about the ACP, you may:
• visit the ACP website: https://azsos.gov/services/acp
• email the ACP: [email protected]
• telephone the ACP: (602) 542-1653
• write to the ACP by mail: 1901 W. Madison St., Phoenix, AZ, 85009
DATE PUBLISHED: March 2020
Sources and further reading
State of Arizona – Address Confidentiality Program: https://azsos.gov/services/acp
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence: https://www.acesdv.org
Arizona Supreme Court – Domestic Violence Information: https://www.azcourts.gov/domesticviolencelaw
Arizona Attorney General – Victim Services: https://www.azag.gov/criminal/victim-services
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 44-162: https://www.azleg.gov/ars/41/00162.htm
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