We will acknowledge your request and let you know if all or part of your request will be dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations or the Data Protection Act. We will inform you if we require further information in order to identify and locate the information you have requested.
If the information requested is not held within DfT, we will consider whether it may be appropriate to transfer your request to another public authority. In doing so we will follow the guidance in section III of the Code of Practice referred to above.
We are obliged to comply with our FOI Act obligations promptly and (subject to limited exceptions) within 20 working days following the date we receive your request. If we need to ask you for clarification of the request, the 20 working day period does not start until that is received.
If (in the limited circumstances where we are permitted to do so) we need to extend the timescale to give proper consideration to the request then we will inform you of this.
DVLA routinely handles many requests for information every day - providing contact details, sending out leaflets produced by the Agency. We will continue to do this without necessarily having to treat the request as a FoI request.
DVLA also publishes information pro-actively whenever possible, rather than it only being available on request. The DfT's Publication Scheme specifies the categories of information that DfT and its Agencies publish or intend to publish, how to obtain that information, and whether any payment is required. The DfT's Publication Database contains details of all publications issued by DfT under its Publication Scheme since its formation in May 2002, and how to order or locate these publications.
If information is available under the Publication Scheme we are not obliged to provide the information to you under the FOI Act because it is deemed (under the exemption in section 21) to be already reasonably accessible to you. Where this is applicable, we will respond to your request by explaining how you can access the information.
Furthermore, the FOI Act contains a number of exemptions, most of which involve the application of a public interest test. If your request is refused, our reply will identify which exemption (or exemptions) we are relying on. Where applicable, we will explain why we have decided that the public interest in withholding the information (or in neither confirming nor denying that we hold it) outweighs the public interest in disclosing (or confirming/denying).
If your request relates to a person/company other than yourself and DVLA or where disclosure of the information you are requesting could affect the interests of another person, we may need to consult that third party before responding to your request. We will follow the guidance in section IV ("Consultation with third parties") of the Code of Practice where it applies.
The Act makes provision for a fee to be charged for the information, but the majority of requests are expected to be handled without any charge.
If it will cost more than £600 for DVLA to respond to a FoI request, then we need not comply with it. The cost limit covers the time taken to find, sort, edit or redact material (calculated at £25 per hour). It does not cover the time taken to consider whether exemptions apply. Complying with requests that will cost more than £600 is discretionary.
For requests where the costs are less than the £600 ceiling we will not charge a fee, but may charge the full costs of disbursements (photocopying, printing and postage).
If the request will be subject to a charge we will inform you, and we do not have to provide the information if you fail to pay within three months.
If you express a preference for receiving a copy of the information requested, or a digest/summary (in permanent or other form), or for being given the opportunity to inspect the records containing the information, we are obliged to accommodate your preference unless it is not reasonably practicable for us to do so. Information may be provided in Braille or audio format, in large type, or translated into another language. When requesting information be provided in a particular format you should take into account the cost of supplying the information in this format, which may take the cost of the request over the fee threshold.
When making your request for information, please identify how you would like to receive the information.
Should you be unhappy with the outcome of an FOI Act request, you should in the first instance contact the named individual at DVLA who signed the response. He/she will review your complaint, reconsider any decisions relating to the release or withholding of information and, if appropriate, provide a further response. If, after review, the original response is considered correct, your complaint will be reconsidered by another DVLA official (of at least the same level of seniority) who has had no previous involvement with your request or complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with the results of DVLA's internal review, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner .
Environmental information means any information in written, aural, electronic or other material form on: