DVLA set to change rights to previous owner’s details

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has announced changes to the rights of previous owner’s details, in order to safeguard personal information. The changes, which are set to take effect on May 25th 2018 could have a large impact on classic car enthusiasts.

Previously, classic car owners have enjoyed being able to record stories of their classics by asking the DVLA for historic information. The tightening of this information means that data on who originally owned a car is no longer available.

From May, a ‘reasonable cause’ will need to be obtained in order to gain information about another vehicle or its registered keeper. This could be:

  • finding out who was responsible for an accident
  • tracing the registered keeper of an abandoned vehicle
  • tracing the registered keeper of a vehicle parked on private land
  • giving out parking tickets
  • giving out trespass charge notices
  • tracing people responsible for driving off without paying for goods and services
  • tracing people suspected of insurance fraud

What is the public opinion?

A large number of enthusiasts have been vocal in their disagreements over these changes, with the main frustration being how difficult it could be to access historic information. Classic car owners will now have to go the extra mile to find accurate records and could be in danger of losing knowledge.

However, amongst critics of the changes there are those who can sympathise with the legal restraints imposed by the approaching General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Many are surprised that the DVLA were able to disclose this kind of private data before and that the changes are justified as they are being put in place to protect owner’s personal information. There is a growing consensus that this change is actually long overdue as before members of the public’s information was being disclosed without their permission and being used for purposes without proper approval.

Now that we can see both sides of the argument it is difficult decide exactly whether or not these changes are justified. At Heritage we are always interested in the opinions of classic car owners, so let us know what you think? There are a number of ways to get involved in this debate but one of the best methods is to leave a comment on our Facebook post about this topic. We read all of our comments and eagerly await your responses.

For more information on the DVLA changes, take a look at the GOV.UK website here