Road User Charging
The information on this page explains how Transport for London (TfL) uses the personal information collected from you for the operation of the Road User Charging scheme. It also describes how long that information is kept for and the limited circumstances in which we might disclose it to a third party.
What personal details are held about customers relating to the Road User Charging scheme?
TfL holds two types of information which allow us to operate the scheme effectively:
- Customers' contact details, their vehicle registration marks and payment preferences
- Information about people who have applied for, or are registered as eligible for a discount and details of those who have registered for Fast Track accounts, or have paid the Road User Charge
Cameras capture images whenever a vehicle travels within the Road User Charging zone. Our computer system checks whether the Road User Charge has been paid for that particular vehicle, or if it is eligible for discount or exemption. If so, the images are deleted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, by midnight of the next working day. All other images are retained for enforcement purposes.
Details of the registered keeper are then provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) which allows TfL to issue a Penalty Charge Notice for non-payment of the charge.
How long does TfL keep your details?
In order to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, your details will only be kept for:
- Twenty-four months after the last Road User Charge you paid, if you're a registered customer
- Forty months after the date you were last eligible for a discount, if you applied for a discount
- Seven years after you paid a Penalty Charge Notice (including photos of the vehicle)
- Twenty-four months after you paid the Charge, if none of the above apply
This doesn't include information which we are legally obliged to keep for longer periods in order to comply with accounting and auditing regulations.
How can customers access their personal data held by TfL in relation to the Road User Charging scheme?
If you've received a Penalty Charge Notice, there will be two images on the notice itself.
If you would like to receive additional images of your vehicle, or other personal data which TfL holds in relation to Road User Charging, then you must make a formal 'Subject Access Request', and pay a £10 fee, to obtain this under the Data Protection Act 1998.
You can download a Subject Access Request Form (PDF 452KB), or contact our Road User Charging Call Centre on 0845 900 1234 and we'll post one to you.
If you have not received a Penalty Charge Notice then there are only limited circumstances in which we might hold images of your vehicle. You will still need to submit a Subject Access Request and payment to obtain any such images.
Why can't you give me information about other people's (eg my spouse's) Road User Charge account over the phone?
It would be a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 to disclose such information without the account holder's written permission. This is true whether the person is a member of your family or someone not directly related to you.
If you've been asked to look at an account that's not yours, the individual concerned should give you his/her customer number and PIN, so you can do it.
How do you make sure bank card details are kept securely?
All financial details are stored on our database using the latest encryption and firewall technology. This is the most advanced and the safest, 'industry standard' protection.
In addition, we make sure we don't store entire credit/debit card numbers. Nor do we keep the security code of customers' credit or debit cards. These are always requested during each transaction.
Does TfL share Road User Charging-related personal information with third parties?
Occasionally, personal information held in relation to Road User Charging may be requested by, and disclosed to:
- The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
- Local authorities
- The police and
- Other statutory law enforcement agencies, eg the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)
Personal data may be shared by TfL when a valid reason to obtain the data under the Data Protection Act 1998 is provided by the organisation making the request. Such requests are dealt with on a strictly case-by-case basis.
Additionally, in the course of our day-to-day work, we randomly monitor vehicles, including those registered for a discount. If we think we've discovered a persistent evader, or someone committing fraud, we'll hand the information over to the local authority or the police, who will follow it up.
Does TfL use any external partners to operate Road User Charging schemes?
TfL has a contract with a third party service provider which provides the majority of the administration and 'back office' services that ensure the efficient day-to-day operation of the schemes. Some of the associated technical support services are provided from outside of the UK.
While all of our customer data is physically stored in UK data centres, in the event of technical problems arising with our IT systems, some of your personal information may need to be accessed by our service provider from operations centres based in India. Any such processing will be carried out in strict accordance with UK/EU privacy legislation and appropriate contractual safeguards which TfL has put in place.
Why do the police have access to all the Road User Charging cameras?
The Home Secretary has signed a certificate confirming that TfL, and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), are exempt from certain provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purpose of providing the MPS with real time access to the information captured by the network of cameras used for the operation of the Road User Charging zone.
Police access to the camera data is solely for the purpose of safeguarding national security and not for investigating general crime. These are the specific terms of the certificate and the MPS's use of the data is strictly controlled.
We take the privacy of our customers seriously and robust procedures are in place to control and safeguard access to, and use of, the information. The Information Commissioner, who is the independent regulator for data protection matters, is aware of the certificate and receives an annual report from the MPS on the operation of the data transfer.
Road User Charging Privacy Notice
TfL, its subsidiaries and service providers, will use your personal information (including data captured by camera) for the purposes of customer services and administration, the enforcement of road user charging schemes, the provision of travel related information, customer research and fraud prevention. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
We may share your information with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, local authorities and other organisations for the administration (including verification of discount entitlement) and enforcement of road user charging schemes; the prevention and detection of crime and protection of public funds. TfL randomly selects and monitors vehicles subject to a discount to identify possible fraudulent use. If you persistently fail to pay any road user charges due or attempt to defraud TfL, we may record your vehicle's movements to assist in tracing persistent evaders and those committing fraud.
In certain circumstances, TfL may also share your personal information with the police and other law enforcement agencies for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime.
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