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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Release of information from DVLA registers

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has two distinctly separate databases holding information. The vehicle register holds the specifics of the vehicle as well as keeper and licensing information, the driver register holds entitlement information.

Access to DVLA information

Only DVLA authorised staff can access these databases of information. However, legislation allows DVLA to disclose information to those who have a legal right to receive it.

Reasonable cause – when DVLA can release information

By law, DVLA must protect your personal details held on the registers. DVLA can however, under Government regulations, disclose information from the vehicle register to those who can demonstrate ‘reasonable cause'. Enquiries must give full details of why they want the information and how it will be used.

Some of the circumstances considered to be ‘reasonable cause’ include:

  • matters of road safety
  • events that occur as a result of vehicle use
  • the enforcement of road traffic legislation
  • the collection of taxes

Information from DVLA’s vehicle records

DVLA has to evaluate very carefully the reasons for the request as well as the way in which the information will be used before disclosing information. This means that information on the vehicle register can be lawfully made available for a variety of purposes, to the public and private sector bodies. A fee is charged to cover the cost of dealing with requests under the reasonable cause provisions.

Information can be sent to:

  • the police
  • local authorities
  • car parking enforcement companies
  • solicitors
  • finance houses
  • property managers
  • private individuals who can provide ‘reasonable cause’ for needing the information

You can also download the lists of the organisations that ask for information.

Information from DVLA’s driver records

The release of driver information is limited compared to that of vehicle information.

DVLA can share driver information with other Government departments where legislation allows it.

Driver information can also be shared, with the consent of the driver, to organisations, such as car hire companies, or employers wishing to confirm a driver’s entitlement to drive.

Sharing information across Europe

The European Car and Driver Licence Information System (EUCARIS) is used to share information in a secure and controlled way, between European registration authorities including DVLA.

The information is used to check the validity of driver licences presented for exchange and to make sure that a vehicle presented for registration in this country has not been stolen or seriously damaged in other member state.

Making a request for information from DVLA records

You can ask the DVLA for information held about you on your vehicle or driver record. You can also request information about other vehicle keepers if you have ‘reasonable cause’ to require it.

What to do if your details are asked for dishonestly

If you think that your details have been asked for dishonestly or misused, you can write to Release of Information, Fee Paying Enquiries Section, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AJ.

Give your details and explain how you believe the information has been misused. DVLA will look into all claims where information has been requested inappropriately and will refer your enquiry to the Information Commissioner for prosecution if the need arises.

If you are not satisfied with the way DVLA has handled your complaint, you can contact the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

DVLA can't settle disputes over individual circumstances between the relevant parties.

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