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Driving: Licensing

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons were for the increase in the driving licence application fee to £50 in 2008. (257350)

The increase in the first provisional driving licence fee from £45 to £50 in 2008 was implemented to ensure that the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency’s driver and vehicle registration costs continue to be covered by the fees levied. At the same time there was a similar increase in the vehicle first registration fee from £50 to £55. These are necessary for the agency to comply with its statutory duties as an executive agency and trading fund.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many prosecutions of driving licence holders there have been for failure to notify a change of address in the last year for which information is available. (258216)

By law, a driver licence holder is required to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of any changes to their personal details such as name and/or address. Failure to do so could result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Any action to enforce a fine is brought by the police and not DVLA. DVLA holds no figures on the number of prosecutions brought by the police.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has estimated the proportion of driving licence addresses which are inaccurate. (258217)

An accurate record is defined as one where the registered keeper of the vehicle or the driving licence holder can be traced from the details contained on the database.

The latest estimate of the accuracy of the vehicles record showed it was 96.9 per cent. accurate. This equates to 1,052,662 records that are inaccurate.

The latest estimate of the accuracy of the drivers record showed it was 81.5 per cent. accurate. This equates to 7,906,275 records that are inaccurate.

The responsibility for notifying the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) of a change of address lies with the vehicle keeper or licence holder. So far as vehicle records are concerned, there is an annual requirement to tax the vehicle and this transaction is a regular prompt to owners to fulfil the requirement to notify change of address. There is no equivalent annual driver transaction that prompts a notification.

DVLA works hard to maintain accuracy. The task is to encourage and support drivers and vehicle keepers to meet their obligations, and to that end, a dedicated accuracy improvement team has been established. Current initiatives in hand include checks of credit reference agency databases for current addresses and working with others in the cross government “Tell Us Once” initiative to obtain early notification of the death of a licence holder.