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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LCC/PC/VR
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1891-1971
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 0.36 linear metres
Name of creator(s): LCC | London County Council x London County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The term 'public control', as used in the Council's organisation, embraced various services of a regulative character, mostly exercised by some form of licensing control. Largely unobtrusive in their operation, and producing no spectacular effects, they were all carried out in the public interest and, in some respects, for the protection of the public or certain sections of it.

Their administration was conditioned by trends in the legislative provisions under which they were operated, by shifts and changes in social usages, and by the development of the Council's policies towards the matters to which they related.

In 1938 the number of vehicle licences issued by the Council was 601,300. In 1962 the number was 999,750, and the license duty had risen from 5 million to 13 million. The introduction of the test of road-worthiness for private cars and motor cycles made it necessary for the Council to be satisfied, before issuing licences, that the legal requirements had been complied with. Tightening of traffic control and regulation of car parking increased requests from traffic authorities for information about registered vehicles and their owners.

About 365,000 driving licences were in force in London in 1938. In 1963 there were over 1,000,000. In 1935 a new compulsory test for all new drivers was introduced, and only a provisional licence was issued before the test was passed. The Council could refuse a licence or revoke an existing licence in cases of disability likely to cause a driver to be dangerous. Additionally the Road Traffic Act, 1962, increased the number of offences for which disqualification was obligatory.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London County Council Public Control Department relating to vehicle registration and driving licences, 1891-1971, including register of fees for daily use of locomotives on the roads under the Locomotive Act 1898; register of motor cars and motor cycles from LT 4001 to LT 4400, 1917-1919; samples of certificates of passing of test of competence to drive; posters for public display giving notice of Local Inquiries concerning the imposition of speed limits under the Motor-Car Act, 1903; sample driving licences, 1910-1966; form of declaration to be completed by applicants for establishment, motor and dog licences, 1910; Report of the Advisory Committee (Ministry of Transport) on the operation of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations, 1921; samples of vehicle registration books and forms; brief historical account of driving licensing from 1903 to 1971; sample books of petrol coupons; map of LCC area showing streets where locomotives can be allowed by day, by night and without restriction and bridges with and without restrictions, under the Locomotive Act, 1898.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LCC/PC/VR/01: Registers; LCC/PC/VR/02: General.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent body, the London County Council. Also further accession in 1955 (AC/55/105).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the LCC please see Achievement: A Short History of the London County Council by W Eric Jackson (1965), LMA Library reference 18.0 1965, The London County Council 1938, LMA Library reference 18.7 SER 4, and The Youngest County: A description of London as a county and its public services, 1951, LMA Library reference 18.0 1951.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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