Road User Charging

Personal information we hold

If you are a registered customer, the personal information we hold includes:

  • Title, name, address, email address, telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Payment card details
  • Password/memorable information
  • Vehicle Registration Marks (VRM)
  • Transaction/payment history

If you apply for, or are registered as eligible for a discount, the personal information we hold includes:

  • Title, name, address, email address, telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Payment card details
  • Vehicle Registration Marks (VRM)
  • Proofs of eligibility for the discount

You can also pay road user charges online and by phone without registering. If you pay this way, we will need to collect your payment card details and the VRM of the vehicle you're paying for.

If you telephone our Road User Charging customer contact centre, your call will be recorded for training and quality purposes.

How we use your personal information

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras capture information whenever a vehicle travels within the Road User Charging zone. This includes an alpha-numeric 'read' of your Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) and a photographic (still) image of your vehicle. Our IT system checks whether the road user charge has been paid for that particular vehicle, or if it is eligible for a discount or exemption. If the charge has been paid or a discount/exemption applies, the VRM and images are deleted by midnight of the next working day. All other images are retained for enforcement purposes.

If the charge has not been paid, TfL will obtain the details of the registered keeper from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and then issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Samples of ANPR data are regularly checked before PCNs are issued to ensure the information being used is accurate.

TfL randomly selects and monitors vehicles benefitting from a road user charging discount or exemption, to identify possible fraud. If you persistently fail to pay any road user charges due or attempt to defraud TfL, we may record your vehicle's movements and use that data to support subsequent enforcement action.

The Congestion Charge operates Monday to Friday between 07:00 and 18:00 (excluding public holidays in England and between Christmas and New Year). Outside of these times, the cameras continue to operate but the data they capture is only used for general traffic monitoring and TfL fully anonymises all VRM data used for this purpose.

Length of time we keep information

  • Details of each payment of a charge: 24 months from the date of the transaction (regardless of whether or not you are a registered customer)
  • ANPR data and images are automatically deleted after payment of the charge has been received or if your vehicle is registered for a discount or exemption
  • For Autopay customers, ANPR data and images are retained until after the account has been settled, usually a maximum period of two months
  • Details of a discount are retained for 40 months after the date you were last granted a discount
  • Details of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) are retained for seven years after you paid the PCN (this will include images of the vehicle you were driving)

Keeping personal information secure

We take the privacy of our customers very seriously and a range of robust policies, processes and technical measures is in place to control and safeguard access to, and use of, personal information associated with contactless payment.

Sharing personal information

TfL has contracts with a number of third party service providers, which provide the majority of the administration and 'back office' services that ensure the efficient day-to-day operation of the Road User Charging schemes. This includes the customer database, the installation and maintenance of the cameras, the secure IT connection to the DVLA and debt recovery services within the UK and overseas.

If you appeal against a Road User Charging Penalty issued by TfL, to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS), we will send them relevant information so that they can make their adjudication. We will send you a copy of this appeal pack at the same time.

If you have a query about your account, your discount, or a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) you have received and would like a third party to contact us on your behalf, we will only deal with them with your written permission. This is this case even if the person is your partner or spouse, a member of your family, living at the same address as you, or your legal representative.

In some circumstances, disclosures of personal data to the police (and other law enforcement agencies) are permitted by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), if they relate to the prevention or detection of crime and/or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders. Before any such disclosure takes place, the police are required to demonstrate that the personal data concerned will assist them in this respect. Each police request to TfL is dealt with on a strictly case-by-case basis to ensure that any such disclosure is lawful and in accordance with the DPA.

Overseas processing

TfL has a contract with a third party service provider which supports the operation of our Road User Charging IT systems. Some of the associated technical support services are provided from outside of the UK.

While all of our Road User Charging 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 processed by our service provider from operations centres based in India.

Any such processing will be carried out in strict accordance with UK and EU privacy legislation and the appropriate contractual safeguards which TfL has put in place.

Accessing your personal information

If you are a registered customer, you can see your journey and payment history and other information by signing into your online account.

If you receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), there will be two images of the vehicle on the PCN itself.

For access to other personal information held by TfL please see the section on Subject Access requests in Access your data.

Police access to ANPR cameras

In 2012 the Mayor of London's Crime Manifesto included a commitment to instruct TfL to give the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) direct real time access to the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras we use to enforce our Road User Charging schemes, for the purposes of preventing and detecting crime.

Following a public consultation, the MPS was given access to this data in 2015. No images of vehicles are provided. In effect, TfL and the MPS now share the network of Road User Charging cameras.

This was an expansion of a pre-existing arrangement with the MPS established in 2007, under which they were given access to TfL's ANPR data specifically for the purpose of using it to safeguard national security. This arrangement was approved by the Home Secretary, who signed a certificate confirming that TfL, and the MPS, are exempt from certain provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for that purpose.

Find out more about how the Metropolitan Police use ANPR.

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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