Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) FAQ
Q. What is the Address Confidentiality Program (“ACP”)?
A. The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) provides survivors of actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual offenses, and/or stalking with a legal substitute address to use instead of their real address. The substitute address helps prevent abusers from locating survivors.
Q. Who can enroll in the ACP?
A. There are three eligibility requirements:
1. An applicant must be a survivor of actual or threatened sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking/harassment who fears for his or her safety (those who live with an enrolling survivor are enrolled as “co-applicants”).
2. The survivor must provide evidence of victimization. There are many ways to meet this requirement. Evidence examples include: police reports, protection orders, agency documents or a letter from a professional who has provided the survivor with counseling, referral or other services.
3. The survivor has relocated within the past 90 days or is planning to relocate. The best time to enroll is when a survivor is planning to move to a location unknown to their abuser or has recently moved and has not yet created any public records.
Q. How does a person enroll in the ACP?
A. Those interested in enrolling in the ACP must meet with an Application Assistant. A listing of Application Assistants and enrolling agencies can be found on the ACP website under “Application Centers” at www.colorado.gov/dcs/acp.
Q. How does the ACP work?
A. The ACP provides participants with a legal substitute address and a mail forwarding system. Survivors use the substitute address for creating or changing public records. For example, participants can (and should) place the substitute address on their driver’s license or state-issued identification card. Participants can also use the substitute address for personal use — just like any new address. Participant mail goes to the substitute address and routed to the ACP. The ACP then forwards participant mail to their actual address.
Q. Does the ACP forward all mail?
A. The ACP forwards all first-class mail, including registered and certified mail. First-class mail includes all personal mail, bills, cards, letters etc. The ACP will also forward bank checks. The ACP cannot forward packages, magazines, or junk mail. ACP participants can use their substitute address to open a post office box for receipt of packages.
Q. Does enrolling in the ACP keep participants safe?
A. ACP participation does not guarantee safety. If used correctly, the ACP can be a valuable addition to an overall safety plan. The ACP is intended to supplement, and not substitute for, a comprehensive safety plan.
Q. Does the ACP cost anything?
A. There are no financial eligibility requirements, and no cost for program participants. The ACP is funded primarily by a $28 surcharge that is imposed on offenders who have been convicted of domestic violence crimes and/or stalking.
Q. What is the length of enrollment?
A. The length of enrollment is four years. Participants may renew their enrollment at the end of the four-year term or voluntarily withdraw from the program at any time.
Q. What does an ACP authorization card look like?
A. Each participant is issued an ACP authorization card with his or her substitute address printed on it. Each participant is assigned an individual authorization number, and each family is assigned an apartment number.
Q. Is the ACP authorization card an official form of identification?
A. No. The ACP authorization card only provides evidence of ACP participation. It is not a form of state identification and it does not take the place of a state driver’s license or state-issued identification card. The address printed on the ACP card is the participant’s legal substitute address. The ACP authorization card can be used to change the address information on an official identification card to the ACP substitute address.
Q. Can agencies copy the ACP authorization card?
A. Yes, state and local government agencies are authorized to make copies of ACP authorization cards.
Q. Must state and local government agencies accept the substitute address reflected on an ACP authorization card?
A. Yes, with very few exceptions. When program participants present a valid ACP authorization card, state and local government agencies must accept the ACP substitute address as an actual address and cannot require participants to disclose their actual address. The ACP laws contain a couple of exceptions. For example, program participants are not able to use the substitute address on real property documents.
Q. How can agencies verify that ACP participants are applying for services in the correct
A. Each participant (including children) is issued a County Residency Letter. The County Residency Letter is on Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) letterhead, and has a raised state seal. The letter serves as proof of county residency. Agencies are not authorized to copy the letter, but can ask to see a letter for each person applying for county-based services.
Q. Can ACP participants apply for county-based services in the substitute address
A. Not unless a participant actually lives in Adams County. The substitute address is located in Adams County, but participants should only apply for services in their actual residential county.
Q. What if a participant moves to a new county while receiving services?
A. When ACP participants move to a new county, the ACP will issue new County Residency Letters for each person enrolled. ACP participants must request a transfer of their services to the correct county.
Q. What if an agency requires home visits?
A. ACP participants can choose to provide their actual address, and they may need to provide it for certain services (like housing assistance). Participants should make their ACP participant status known and request that their real address information be kept confidential and out of public records.
Q. What if services require copies of state-issued identification cards and/or utility bills?
A. Participant identification cards and utility bills will most likely reflect the substitute address. Counties should accept the statements and identification cards as valid, and refer to the County Residency Letter as proof of residency.
Q. Can agencies verify ACP participant status?
A. Yes. The ACP can verify participant status, as well as if an ACP authorization card is current and valid. The ACP will not release actual address or phone number information.
Q. Can the ACP ever disclose participant address information?
A. The ACP can disclose actual address and phone number information to a law enforcement officer in an emergency situation when a participant is the subject of a law enforcement criminal investigation; and if the law enforcement official provides all of the documentation required by §24-30-2110 (12), C.R.S. The ACP may release actual address information to a state or local government agency pursuant to the process outlined in §24-30-2110, C.R.S. However, the participant would be notified about the request for information and have the opportunity to decline the request.
Q. Can someone enroll in the ACP to avoid criminal prosecution?
A. The ACP program is not a good place to hide from criminal prosecution. As mentioned above, if a law enforcement official provides the documentation required by §24-30-2110 (12), C.R.S., and the participant is the subject of a criminal investigation, the ACP must provide the official with the participant’s actual information.
Q. Can ACP participants receive registered mail or subpoenas?
A. The ACP accepts personal mail and legal mail. Enrolling participants must consent to the ACP acting as their legal agent for receipt of mail and service of process. When the ACP receives service on behalf of a participant, it is the same as a participant receiving service. That is why participants must always keep the ACP informed of any address changes.
Q. Can ACP participants vote?
A. ACP participants receive ACP voter registration information and forms upon enrollment. ACP participants must provide their actual address and their substitute address when completing the ACP voter registration form. ACP participants should only use the ACP process for voter registration. They should not register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles or any county Human Services agency. The ACP Voter Registration Coordinator in the Colorado Secretary of State’s Elections Division is available to answer questions about the ACP voter registration and election process at (303) 894-2200 x6391.
Q. What about child support services?
A. Participants should use their substitute address on the application. Child Support Technicians should provide a “Nondisclosure Affidavit.”
Q. If the abuser is the other parent, can the abuser access medical information about the child?
A. Medical benefits staff can provide recent medical appointment information to both parents; ACP participation does not prevent lawful disclosure of medical information to parents. Technicians will need a court order before they can deny the release of medical information to a parent.