Trans05-06 Press Notice62

PRESS NOTICE

DRIVER AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION AND LICENSING IN NORTHERN IRELAND

The Transport Committee has decided to inquire into the procedures for registering and licensing vehicles and drivers in Northern Ireland. This will include the remit and work of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland Agency (DVLNI). This inquiry will complement the Committee's report on the 'The Department for Transport's Agencies: Driver and Vehicle Operator Group and the Highways Agency', published on 27th July 2006.

The inquiry will consider the following issues:

Current issues:

€ Is there sufficient co-ordination and co-operation between the DVLA, the DVLNI and the Department for Transport?

€ How do the current differences in the rules for the registration and licensing of vehicles and drivers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland affect vehicle owners and drivers?

€ Is the information available to the public about the differences in the rules between Northern Ireland and Great Britain adequate and helpful?

€ Are the DVLA and the DVLNI sufficiently flexible and helpful in the handling of individuals who move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

The future structure:

€ Why is the DVLA planning to take over direct responsibility for the registration and licensing of vehicles in Northern Ireland from 2007-08?

€ How will the proposed integrated driver licensing system change the experience of drivers moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

€ What is the proposed future division of responsibilities between the Department for Transport, the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland, the DVLA, and the DVLNI, and how will it improve the current situation?

€ What differences will remain between the systems of registration and licensing of vehicles and drivers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland once the proposed merges and changes to remits, procedures, systems and databases are complete? How will these affect vehicle owners and drivers?

Interested parties are invited to submit written memoranda to the Committee by Wednesday 8 November 2006.

Guidance on submitting written evidence:

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is usually helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A single-page summary of the main points is sometimes helpful. The submission should be in a form suitable for monochrome photocopying.

2. Evidence should be submitted in Word or Rich Text format, by e-mail to the above address. The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from.

3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee's property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. You should not publish evidence submitted to the Committee. If you wish your submission, or any part of it, to be treated as confidential, then please indicate this clearly when you submit it.

4. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material, formal submissions of evidence should be original work and not published elsewhere.

5. Committee staff are happy to give further advice on any aspect of the Committee's work by phone or e-mail.

More detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee is available on-line at:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/witnessguide.pdf

Press Notice 62/2005-06 2 October 2006

NOTE FOR EDITORS:

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland Agency (DVLNI)

The DVLNI is an executive Agency under the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland (DOE). The Agency currently fulfils broadly the same functions in Northern Ireland as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), and the taxi licensing authorities in Great Britain. The Agency is responsible for: driver licensing, vehicle registration and licensing, road transport licensing and the provision of driver, vehicle and operator databases

The Department for Transport holds the statutory responsibility for vehicle registration and licensing in the United Kingdom. This function is delegated from the Department to the DVLA, who in turn delegates the operation in Northern Ireland to the DVLNI. The DVLNI's vehicle registration and licensing work is based on a formal agreement between the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland (DOE) and the Department for Transport (DfT) which specifies services to be delivered and funding arrangements. The DVLA has decided to cease the current arrangements and will resume direct control of vehicle registration and licensing in 2007-08, though staff will still be based in Northern Ireland.

The Department for the Environment in Northern Ireland is responsible for the licensing of drivers in Northern Ireland, and this task is managed on the Department's behalf by the DVLNI. Nonetheless, the Department for Transport, through the DVLA, leads in terms of high level policy on the licensing of drivers in the United Kingdom as a whole. The DVLA is in the process of developing a new integrated UK driver licensing system which is expected to replace the current systems in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2008.