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 enforcement 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.
This includes requiring all car parking companies who request DVLA data to provide a business resume of their operations, the necessary evidence to confirm that a parking charge scheme is in operation and that they are acting on behalf of the landowner. All car parking companies must be a member of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) which has a mandatory code of practice and be fully compliant with the code of practice.
DVLA has procedures in place to enable those dealing with requests to check whether a company is a member of an ATA. To date, the only ATA for the parking industry is the British Parking Association (BPA). Information on their code of practice can be found on their website at www.britishparking.co.uk
Those car parking companies wishing to request and received data electronically must firstly serve a six month probationary period making manual request only. The electronic link is operated in the context of clear terms of agreement, which detail when information may be requested, how it can be used and how it should be stored.
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.