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Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Disclosure of Information

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it her policy to require the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to release information to companies making manual requests only if such companies are members of a DVLA-accredited trade association. (203951)

The requirement for private car parking companies who submit requests for vehicle keeper information via electronic channels to be a member of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) was introduced following public consultation in 2006. The British Parking Association is the only existing ATA for the parking industry. Following the consultation, it was not considered necessary to extend this requirement to those who apply via the manual, paper-based channels due to the fact that each application is considered individually and additional to the evidence that must be provided.

The DVLA will shortly be undertaking a review of all the new measures introduced in 2006. This review will consider the effectiveness of the current requirements, and all other options available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many requests for information in respect of the registered keeper of a vehicle were made to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in the last month for which figures are available; how many of those were received by (a) electronic and (b) manual requests from (i) DVLA-accredited trade associations, (ii) non-DVLA-accredited car park operators, (iii) individuals and (iv) others; and how many in each category were (A) accepted and (B) refused. (203952)

Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002 provides for the release of information from the DVLA’s vehicle register to the police, to local authorities for investigation of an offence or a decriminalised parking contravention, and to anyone who can demonstrate ‘reasonable cause’ for having the information made available to them.

The requirement for unregulated companies who submit requests for vehicle keeper information via electronic channels to be a member of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) was introduced following public consultation in 2006.

Following the consultation, it was not considered necessary to extend this requirement to those who apply via the manual, paper-based channels due to the fact that each application is considered individually and additional to the evidence that must be provided.

The latest figures available for requests for information processed by the DVLA under the ‘reasonable cause’ provisions are for March 2008.

During March, 100,828 requests were received and responded to electronically. During the same month, 24,106 manual requests for information were received and processed and an additional 2,659 were refused.

The aforementioned figures show ‘all’ requests for vehicle keeper details under the ‘reasonable cause’ provisions. These include requests from insurance and finance companies, private car park enforcement companies, members of the public and solicitors, etc., for keeper details at a specific date of event. It also contains requests where the current keeper requires the full history of his vehicle and from mileage companies for investigations into vehicle ‘clocking’.

DVLA does not keep separate figures for each category of requests, so it is not possible to advise how many requests were made by individuals, members of DVLA Accredited Trade Associations (ATA), non-DVLA accredited car park enforcement companies, or others.

It is possible to confirm, however, that all electronic requests would have been made either by companies with a statutory regulator or members of an ATA.