Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protect the people who create information which is seen as having value either to the individual or in the commercial world. IPR is regulated by a number of pieces of legislation in the United Kingdom (UK) and most major countries in the world and includes copyright, patents, database rights, trademarks and designs (both registered and unregistered). In the case of the DVLA, IPR protection is most usually seen in Crown Copyright of the printed work, and in the trademark protection for the agency logo and its use.
In July 2005, new regulations came into force in the UK which aim to open up information produced in the public sector to the wider market. The regulations implement a European Directive on the re-use of public sector information. The underlying aim is to make public sector information available to help stimulate the development of innovative new information products and services across Europe, and boost the information industry.
The function of the regulations is to encourage re-use by removing obstacles that stand in the way of organisations in the commercial and academic sectors being able to find out what information is produced by central and local government, and on what conditions it can be re-used in these sectors. License arrangements need to be in place for this to happen. Some of the agency’s data and information is already licensed to commercial firms for re-use as a charged service: other information, from the website for example, can be released at no charge, but is subject to a range of conditions. In our case, the information is Crown Copyright, and in order to comply with the regulations, the agency has this year achieved accreditation to the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS). This accreditation brings current and future licensing arrangements into line with the legislation.
IFTS is the best practice model for public sector bodies wishing to demonstrate compliance with the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. IFTS ensures that re-users of public sector information can be confident that they will be treated reasonably and fairly by public sector information providers. The main themes are improving transparency, fairness and consistency of approach.
IFTS is the formal process by which the Controller of HMSO regulates those Crown bodies with a delegation to administer their own licensing of Crown Copyright material: this includes all Trading Funds.
Crown Copyright is defined in section 163 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and means those works which are ‘made by Her Majesty or by an officer of the Crown in the course of his duties’. All works originated within government therefore have Crown Copyright protection. Agency databases are also protected under database rights and in many cases additionally by the Data Protection Act.
We are an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport, operating as a Trading Fund. The Agency has delegated powers from Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) to manage the Crown Copyright of our material, which is administered under the guidelines of the Information Fair Trading Scheme (IFTS).
Relevant legislation includes:
These can be found at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts.htm
Most of the information we publish is listed in the Publications Scheme and can be seen in this website. Other DVLA information sources are listed on the Information Asset Register, which can be seen at the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website and on the DVLA website. This register lists sources of information which are not formally published. This list consists of datasets, databases and other significant information resources, which may only be made available on request or via our commercial partners. This information is subject to the provisions of the IFTS. The Scheme is concerned with openness, transparency, fairness, compliance, and challenge. The three elements of IFTS are:
Information Fair Trader Commitment by the Chief Executive of the DVLA
"I am personally committed to making sure that as a trading fund, the DVLA trades fairly in information and that we reduce as far as possible the administrative burden on people who reuse public sector information. I will make sure that we use processes for trading information which set quality standards for the rest of the public sector. I will insist that we strictly follow an open and transparent system of trading which meets the terms of the Competition Act 1998. My aim is that, in principle, we meet all the needs of anyone who applies to re-use information for any purpose. We set procedures and methods for setting prices in line with the role of information trading within central government. We will publish these on our web-site and strictly follow them. Any exceptions are described in full on the web-site. I will thoroughly investigate any complaints which I receive that DVLA has broken this commitment. I will publish the complaints and the results of my investigations on our web-site. I will report complaints regularly to the advisory panel on Crown Copyright. In order to show the strength of my commitment, both to DVLA staff and to our customers, I have asked external, independent consultants to verify that the organisation and decision making of DVLA support this commitment in practice."
Chief Executive, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
The Chief Executive’s Information Fair Trader Commitment underpins the delegation of authority that the Controller of HMSO issues to the Agency. HMSO is satisfied that we have the administrative processes in place to support the IFTS commitment in principle and in practice.
The agency has an effective complaints procedure which can deal with customer complaints and dissatisfaction about licensing practice and decisions.
All material available for re-use is listed on this site under the DVLA publication scheme:
The material published on this website is subject to Crown Copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The Crown Copyright protected material (other than the Royal Arms and departmental, agency or other logos) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. Where any Crown Copyright items on this site are being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and copyright status acknowledged. The permission to reproduce Crown protected material from this site does not extend to any material which is identified as being copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned. The DVLA encourages users to establish hypertext links to this site. However, we do not permit the use of our logo as promotional or hypertext objects.
The Agency has contracts in place for trading in bulk and anonymised data which are regulated by the IFTS.
Material from the DVLA website may be reproduced freely, within the guidelines given above.
For further information on procedures for commercial re-use of DVLA data and information, please contact Corporate Management Services (address below).
The first point of enquiry is Corporate Management Services which will respond within 20 days to your request as required by legislation. IFTS represents good practice in re-using information and is regulated by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). If you are not satisfied with the agency’s standard of service under the regulations you should:
APPSI is a Non-Departmental Public Body, established by the Cabinet Office in April 2003. To reflect APPSI’s expanded role to include the area of dispute and complaints resolution and the terminology used in the regulations, APPSI’s terms of reference includes advising ministers on how to encourage and create opportunities in the information industry for greater use of public sector information, and also to review and consider complaints made under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. The panel will therefore act as further route of appeal against a public authority in case of a dispute concerning release of information under the regulations. Further information on the disputes role of the panel can be found at
Further general guidance on Public Sector Information can be found on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website: www.opsi.gov.uk
This site has information on:
You may also find these guidance notes helpful on the OPSI site:
Information Assurance Group
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
For enquiries relating to your driving licence please see: http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/drivers.aspx
For enquiries relating to your vehicle documents please see: http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/vehicles.aspx