Data Release to the Parking Industry

Private car parking facilities provide a vital service in towns and cities throughout the land. Properly controlled data release from the DVLA vehicle register helps those facilities operate more effectively for the benefit of tens of thousands of motorists every day.

In all matters regarding data release we act responsibly and in accordance with legislation.

Reasonable cause for data release

Motorists are obliged to comply with the terms and conditions of car parks in which they choose to leave their vehicles. Unauthorised or inconsiderate parking, such as misuse of disabled bays, or overstaying the permitted time can cause considerable nuisance to other motorists and can result in economic loss for the land owner. In such instances, private car parking management companies can claim ‘reasonable cause’ and request that we release personal data so that they can trace the keeper of any vehicle contravening the parking restrictions.

Guarding against data misuse

In 2006 we introduced strict new measures to protect vehicle keepers against misuse of their details.

One element is that when a private car parking enforcement company requests us to release information, before we do so, it must provide a résumé of its operations and confirm that adequate ticketing arrangements and signage are in place.

Equally, for all companies, if we are not satisfied that they can justify reasonable cause then we refuse to comply with the request.

Introducing additional safeguards

Even with our existing measures to protect data against misuse, concerns about private car parking companies and interest in the disclosure of data to them have continued. We have responded to those concerns and have introduced additional new restrictions to safeguard the information we manage.

Since 23 November 2009 all private car parking companies requesting vehicle keeper information from the DVLA to enforce parking restrictions by means of charges or clamping have to be a member of a DVLA Accredited Trade Association (ATA) and be fully compliant with that ATA's code of practice. Those that do not meet this criteria will not be eligible to request DVLA data. To date, the only ATA for the parking industry is the British Parking Association.

Promoting self regulation

Our new policy of requiring private car parking companies to be members of an ATA is a positive and measured response. We believe it will promote greater self regulation by the parking industry, improve the provision of parking services for motorists and, crucially, further reinforce protection of DVLA data.

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