DVLA gives out personal info

Published Date: 7th Jul 2014

The driving records of all British motorists will be put online this year in a new database to be used by insurers.

The online licence-checking service will allow insurers to check motoring convictions and points of drivers, which the insurance industry claims will reduce premiums. This could anger drivers who don’t like their details being shared. And others are sceptical about the possible savings for motorists and concerned about the security of their data.

Currently, insurers can check individual driving records through the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), a government body, but this is expensive and time-consuming.

So insurers instead ask drivers to declare their licence history and assume some drivers will either lie or make an honest mistake about the number of points on their licence. The Association of British Insurers explained 23 percent of data provided to motor insurers was incorrect. Around 16 percent of policyholders don’t declare full convictions, and around 7 percent over declare. Some mistakenly tell their insurer about expired motoring convictions, meaning they pay a premium for policies.

The project, initially known as Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data, was rebranded as MyLicence at the end of last year. All insurers, brokers and price comparison websites have been encouraged to sign up, which allows them access to the necessary information using an individual's licence number.

The ABI explained "drivers could save £15 on their premiums thanks to the licence data being available online. It should also speed up and simplify the application process for customers who will not have to guess what motoring offences may or may not need to be disclosed," the ABI's spokesman, Malcolm Tarling went on to say.

The data will confirm the type of licence held by the customer and how long they have held their licence, and specify any driving offences.