Legal Access to DVLA
Research Associates enjoy approved conditional access for electronic access to DVLA keeper records via membership of the Association of British Investigators (ABI). As of 1 November 2006, 14 new measures were introduced designed to protect vehicle keepers from misuse of their information, whilst allowing those who have “Reasonable Cause” to obtain required data. Please note that we are only able to lawfully access information from DVLA with ‘reasonable cause’ and for no other reason.
Guidance on what constitutes “Reasonable Cause”:
Reasons behind DVLA releasing information:
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) may under precribed conditions disclose information to private sector bodies and members of the public who may have ‘reasonable cause’ for requirement. Disclosing information may help in many ways, from crime or fraud reduction to vehicle safety. Below is a list of legitimate reasons for accessing keeper records:
Cars Parking on Private Property:
- Releasing vehicle information to landowners or their agents may help to find the keeper of a vehicle:
- Vehicle obstructing access to land or property
- Vehicle abandoned on private property
- Vehicle parked without payment of the relevant fees
- Vehicle parked without right to do so, for example; in a space reserved for disabled motorists
Where fraud is suspected:
DVLA will release information to find the keeper of a vehicle that has been driven off without paying for road, tunnel or bridge charges.
Petrol stations and garages may find the vehicle keeper who has left without paying for fuel, or has paid for fuel or repairs dishonestly.
Loss adjusters and insurance companies may obtain vehicle keeper information when they are investigating road traffic accidents and fraudulent theft claims.
Information may assist in finding a previous vehicle keeper, as part of an investigation, into suspected vehicle ‘clocking’ offences under the Trade Descriptions Act.
There are many instances whereby DVLA may release information where there are significant financial implications.
This may assist in reducing crime by helping finance companies find the keeper of a vehicle who has fraudulently acquired a leasing or loan agreement on the vehicle.
Information may assist a court appointed receiver or liquidator work out vehicle assets during insolvency proceedings.
A vehicle’s keeper may be confirmed to assist debt collection agents, acting under a court order, to take possession of the vehicle.
An Accident or Incident:
Insurance companies, acting for a policyholder, may ask for information to help trace third parties involved in a road traffic accident or incident.
A vehicle’s keeper, involved in a minor hit and run incident that does not call for a full police investigation, may be found. This may include personal injury or damage to a vehicle or property.
Solicitors, acting for a client, may locate the keeper of a vehicle involved in an accident or incident, or where the vehicle is involved in legal proceedings.
There are many other situations where ‘reasonable cause’ may be used for the release of information from the DVLA vehicle register. These include:
Vehicle manufacturers or distributors requiring contact details for a vehicle safety recall
The executor of an estate needing to confirm vehicle assets
The current registered keeper wanting to trace their vehicle’s full history
All requests must be submitted on the appropriate forms, which may be downloaded from the website: www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/
The interesting aspect of this change in legislation is that companies hoping to gain Approved Conditional Access to Information (i.e. submitting requests and receiving information electronically) have to operate within a regulated industry, or belong to an Approved Trade Association that has gained accreditation from the DVLA -in this case Research Associates’accredited membership of the ABI.
The range of purposes that clients may request information for are as follows:
- Vehicle on private property that needs to be removed.
- Vehicle subject to repossession.
- Vehicle that is subject of hire purchase or other lease or finance agreements.
- Vehicle subject to legal proceedings in relation to fines or fixed penalty notices.
- Vehicle subject to claims relating to the insurance of the vehicle keeper or third party where the subject vehicle was directly involved in an accident.
- Vehicle that is subject to seizure under a due process of law including Writ of FiFa (Fieri Facias) or Warrant of Distraint or Execution or Liability Order.
If you have reasonable cause to apply for this information; please cantact us on 020 7243 1000. You will be required to document your right to apply for this information. If there is no ligitimate right to request DVLA keeper information; please do not ask as our refusal may be compomising; if in doubt please ask.