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Vehicle Licences

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce a payment scheme to reward local authorities who enable the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to recover unpaid licence fees from vehicle owners; and if he will make a statement. [116315]

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is working closely with local authorities to tackle the problem of vehicle excise duty (VED) evasion. Enforcing VED helps to improve the accuracy of DVLA's database of vehicle keepers, which in turn, enables local authorities and the police to identify those who offend on parking charges, speeding, and other offences.DVLA does not charge local authorities for information on the name and address of vehicle keepers, and there are no plans to introduce a payment scheme for local authorities who provide information on unlicensed vehicles to DVLA. However, those local authorities that have taken on devolved powers to wheel clamp and impound unlicensed vehicles are able to retain the penalties charged to offenders to release their vehicles. Furthermore, the Government are in discussion with these authorities to see what else can be done to help with the costs associated with this initiative.