DVLA works hard to make Britain a better place. We help to keep the roads safe and to reduce pollution. We support the police in tackling crime, and we contribute to making car parks operate more effectively. In fact, through data release our work benefits millions of people every day of the year.
In all matters regarding data release we act responsibly and in line with legislation.
Who are we?
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). We were established in 1972 to maintain accurate central registers for the purpose of collecting Vehicle Excise Duty and to aid road safety and general law enforcement. We hold the records of approximately 43 million drivers and 36 million licensed vehicles.
What do we do?
DVLA performs many functions to help motoring in Britain run smoothly and efficiently. Our main tasks are to:
Our vision and purpose
As with all top quality organisations we have a vision and purpose to define our role in British life.
Our vision is to be a modern, highly efficient organisation providing complete, accurate and up to date information and services that fully meet customer and stakeholder requirements.
Our purpose is to maintain complete and accurate registers of drivers and vehicles in such a way that the information contained within them can be accessed easily and flexibly by those who have a right to do so.
Contributing to a better society
By registering drivers and vehicles, and sharing the information with other Government departments, we make a major contribution to improving Britain’s road safety and environment.
For instance, the information we provide to the police supports their enforcement and investigation of offences which, in turn, helps keep dangerous drivers off the roads, improves road safety and saves lives.
Similarly, information provided to local authorities helps them improve their local environments by enabling them to deal effectively with matters such as on-road parking enforcement, abandoned and nuisance vehicles and fly-tipping.
Keeping unauthorised drivers and vehicles off the roads
The accuracy and accessibility of our registers helps identify unauthorised drivers and vehicles and so makes the roads a safer place to be. Statistically, cars driven on the road without being properly taxed are more likely to also not have an MOT or be covered by insurance.
Simplifying essential procedures
In recent years we have made taxing a vehicle much easier. We send reminders in plenty of time before the tax is due for renewal. And, when tax is renewed using our customer friendly online and telephone services, we automatically check the MOT and insurance status so there’s no need for the motorist to look for their certificates.
We provide information to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to enable them to improve the enforcement of the roadworthiness standards of vehicles and ensure the compliance of operators and drivers. Today’s MOT test lays down minimum environmental standards that vehicles must achieve.
Equally, in central London where pollution from vehicles has traditionally been a big problem, the information we provide to Transport for London (TfL) enables it to operate the congestion charging scheme that has significantly helped reduce city centre vehicle volumes and emission levels.
Improving car park efficiency
DVLA data release from the vehicle register to car parking companies helps them enforce their terms and conditions. Without us those companies would have no alternative other than to use clamping (in England and Wales) and/or vehicle removal as a means of dealing with unauthorised parking. Such methods are massively inconvenient to the driver.