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Legal Access to DVLA

Research Associates enjoy approved conditional access for electronic access to DVLA keeper records via membership of the Association of British Investigators (ABI). As of 1 November 2006, 14 new measures were introduced designed to protect vehicle keepers from misuse of their information, whilst allowing those who have “Reasonable Cause” to obtain required data. Please note that we are only able to lawfully access information from DVLA with ‘reasonable cause’ and for no other reason.

‘Reasonable Cause’

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) may under prescribed conditions disclose information to private sector bodies and members of the public who may have ‘reasonable cause’ for requirement. Disclosing information may help in many ways, from crime or fraud reduction to vehicle safety. Below is a list of legitimate reasons for accessing keeper records:

Cars Parking on Private Property

Releasing vehicle information to landowners or their agents may help to find the keeper of a vehicle:
Vehicle obstructing access to land or property
Vehicle abandoned on private property
Vehicle parked without payment of the relevant fees
Vehicle parked without right to do so, for example; in a space reserved for disabled motorists

Where fraud is suspected

DVLA will release information to find the keeper of a vehicle that has been driven off without paying for road, tunnel or bridge charges.

Petrol stations and garages may find the vehicle keeper who has left without paying for fuel, or has paid for fuel or repairs dishonestly.
Loss adjusters and insurance companies may obtain vehicle keeper information when they are investigating road traffic accidents and fraudulent theft claims.

Information may assist in finding a previous vehicle keeper, as part of an investigation, into suspected vehicle ‘clocking’ offences under the Trade Descriptions Act.

Financial issues

There are many instances whereby DVLA may release information where there are significant financial implications. This may assist in reducing crime by helping finance companies find the keeper of a vehicle who has fraudulently acquired a leasing or loan agreement on the vehicle.

Information may assist a court appointed receiver or liquidator work out vehicle assets during insolvency proceedings.
A vehicle’s keeper may be confirmed to assist debt collection agents, acting under a court order, to take possession of the vehicle.

An Accident or Incident

Insurance companies, acting for a policyholder, may ask for information to help trace third parties involved in a road traffic accident or incident.

A vehicle’s keeper, involved in a minor hit and run incident that does not call for a full police investigation, may be found. This may include personal injury or damage to a vehicle or property.

Solicitors, acting for a client, may locate the keeper of a vehicle involved in an accident or incident, or where the vehicle is involved in legal proceedings.

Other Circumstances

There are many other situations where ‘reasonable cause’ may be used for the release of information from the DVLA vehicle register. These include:

Vehicle manufacturers or distributors requiring contact details for a vehicle safety recall.
The executor of an estate needing to confirm vehicle assets.
The current registered keeper wanting to trace their vehicle’s full history.


The range of purposes that clients may request information for are as follows:

  • Vehicle on private property that needs to be removed.
  • Vehicle subject to repossession.
  • Vehicle that is subject of hire purchase or other lease or finance agreements.
  • Vehicle subject to legal proceedings in relation to fines or fixed penalty notices.
  • Vehicle subject to claims relating to the insurance of the vehicle keeper or third party where the subject vehicle was directly involved in an accident.
  • Vehicle that is subject to seizure under a due process of law including Writ of FiFa (Fieri Facias) or Warrant of Distraint or Execution or Liability Order.

What next?

Since every investigation is essentially unique and because of the delicate nature of all we do, before commencement of any assignment we suggest you call and speak with us. We find by talking through the outline of your current circumstance in confidence and asking just a few non-intrusive questions, we become fully able to comprehend your specific requirement. This will also enable you to get to know how we work and for us to give a clear plan of action, costs, turnaround time and to decide whether you wish to instruct us.

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