Release of information from DVLA records
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) receives requests to release information from their records for various reasons. The DVLA will lawfully release information to anyone who demonstrates reasonable cause, while taking into account the purpose of, and the requirement to protect the data held on their records.
Purpose of DVLA vehicle register
The DVLA vehicle register is maintained primarily to identify vehicles used on public roads, to assist law enforcement and the collection of taxation, and to facilitate improved road safety.
Requirement for data protection
The law requires the Agency to protect the privacy of individual motorists and to ensure that personal data is used fairly and lawfully. However, whilst the vehicle register is not an open record, there are a limited range of circumstances in which data can be used properly for other purposes.
Reasons for release of vehicle register information
Regulations provide for the release of information to the police and to local authorities to assist with the investigation of offences and parking restrictions. Information can also be released to help enforce parking restrictions and to anyone who can demonstrate 'reasonable cause' for their request. DVLA is also registered under the Data Protection Act to release information to other government departments for scientific, technical, health, social and economic research or statistical analysis. Other bodies have powers that require DVLA to release data.
This means that information will sometimes be lawfully made available for a variety of purposes, including:
- the Department for Transport to facilitate traffic surveys
- to anyone who can demonstrate reasonable cause, including insurance companies, finance houses and the public
- to local government bodies seeking to enforce road user charging initiatives eg keeper details passed to the Transport for London to enforce the London congestion charging scheme
- to other local and central government bodies that use vehicle data to investigate benefit fraud
- to courts and bailiffs to enforce court orders
Making a request for information from DVLA records
Requests for information from DVLA records should be in writing. You can request personal information held about yourself, or information about other vehicle keepers. Requests for vehicle information can be made online or by telephone.