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How DVSA uses ANPR

15 Jun 2020


ANPR cameras read the number plate of passing vehicles and check them in a database of vehicles of interest to DVSA, eg. goods vehicles, buses and coaches.

DVSA uses ANPR to help target which vehicles to stop and check. This helps to detect offences including:

  • unlicensed operators
  • untested vehicles

At some locations ANPR cameras are linked with weigh-in-motion equipment. This lets DVSA identify overloaded vehicles.

Using ANPR means that DVSA:

  • can focus on offending vehicles
  • can reduce the burden on compliant operators

Access to stored data

DVSA has rules that make sure ANPR data can only be accessed for a legal reason to help with an investigation. DVSA staff only have access to ANPR data if it’s relevant to their job.

Authorised DVSA staff have access to ANPR data up to 90 days old.

For data older than 90 days, access can only be granted:

  • if it’s a serious investigation
  • with permission from the information asset owner

ANPR data is deleted after 12 months from the date it was collected unless previously stored as evidence.

Code of practice and national standards

The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice defines guiding principles for the use of ANPR which apply to DVSA.

National ANPR Standards for Policing and Law Enforcement (NASPLE) also provide the framework for the operation of ANPR by the police and other law enforcement agencies:

  • National ANPR Standards (part 1)
  • National ANPR Standards (part 2)
  • National ANPR Standards (part 3)

More information: