§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will list(a) the persons or types of persons that may obtain names and addresses from Driver and Vehicle 586W Licensing Centre files in Swansea and (b) the number of disclosures of names and addresses that they have received over the last year; what action his Department takes if it discovers that a recipient of information should not have received the name and address; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
(a) Regulation 15 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971 requires the Secretary of State to provide, free of charge from the vehicle register, names and addresses of vehicle keepers to the police and to local authorities for use in connection with an offence. This information must also be made available to those who can show "reasonable cause" for their inquiry—generally matters relating directly to the use of the vehicle—and pay the prescribed fee.
Information from the drivers' register at DVLC is provided to the driver, a third party who has the driver's consent, the police, other law enforcement agencies and others registered for disclosure under the Data Protection Act 1984. Names and addresses alone are rarely disclosed.
(b) In the financial year 1989–90, there were about 13 million disclosures from the vehicles register and about 1.3 million from the drivers register. A complete breakdown is not readily available but the tables attached show an estimated breakdown of disclosures from both the vehicles and drivers registers.
Name and address disclosures—Financial year 1989–90 Number VEHICLES REGISTER Inquiries by tape interchange Metropolitan Police Central Ticket Office 1,687,789 Police, Ticket Offices, Local Authorities 3,493,634 Vehicle Manufacturers' Safety Recalls 6,031,531 Manual inquiries Police 166,263 Local Authorities and Government Departments 1,385,469 Public/insurance companies and finance houses 252,696 TOTAL 13,017,382 DRIVERS REGISTER Police and Courts 1,000,000 Internal DVLC enquiries which, inter alia, are used to provide information to drivers, third parties (with the driver's consent) and other Government Departments including Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue 295,000 Other parts of the Department of Transport and the statutory licensing authorities in the traffic areas 40,000 TOTAL 1,335,000
If the Department discovers that there has been an invalid disclosure of information the action it takes depends on the circumstances of the case. If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind perhaps he will let me have details.