Release of information from DVA records
The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has two distinctly separate databases holding information. The vehicle register holds the specifics of the vehicle as well as keeper and licensing information. The driver register holds entitlement information.
Access to DVA information
Only DVA authorised staff can access these databases for information. However, legislation allows DVA to disclose information to those who have a legal right to receive it.
Reasonable cause – when DVA can release information
By law, DVA must protect your personal details held on the registers. DVA can however, under Government regulations, disclose information from the vehicle register to those who can demonstrate ‘reasonable cause'. Enquirers must give full details of why they want the information and how it will be used.
Some of the circumstances considered to be ‘reasonable cause’ include
- matters of road safety
- events that occur as a result of vehicle use
- the enforcement of road traffic legislation
- the collection of taxes
- Reasonable cause - the reasons behind DVA releasing information
Information from DVA’s vehicle records
DVA has to evaluate very carefully the reasons for the request as well as the way in which the information will be used before disclosing information. This means that information on the vehicle register can be lawfully made available for a variety of purposes. A fee is charged to cover the cost of dealing with requests under the reasonable cause provisions.
Information can be sent to
- the police
- local authorities
- car parking enforcement companies
- finance houses
- property managers
You can view the lists of the organisations that ask for information via the links below.
Information from DVA’s driver records
The release of driver information is limited compared to that of vehicle information. DVA can share driver information with other Government departments where legislation allows it.
Driver information can also be shared, with the consent of the driver, to organisations, such as car hire companies, or employers wishing to confirm a driver’s entitlement to drive.
Sharing information across Europe
The European Car and Driver Licence Information System (EUCARIS) is used to share information in a secure and controlled way, between European registration authorities including DVA.
The information is used to check the validity of driver licences presented for exchange and to make sure that a vehicle presented for registration in this country has not been stolen or seriously damaged in other member states.
Information is also released in relation to parking and toll fines acquired in the Republic of Ireland:
Making a request for information from DVA records
You can ask the DVA for information held about you on your vehicle or driver record.
What to do if your details are asked for dishonestly
If you think that your details have been asked for dishonestly or misused, you can write to:
Release of Information
Fee Paying Enquiry Section
Coleraine County Hall
Give your details and explain how you believe the information has been misused. DVA will look into all claims where information has been requested inappropriately and will refer your enquiry to the Information Commissioner for prosecution if the need arises.
If you are not satisfied with the way DVA has handled your complaint, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:
51 Adelaide Street
DVA can't settle disputes over individual circumstances between the relevant parties.