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How to Register for the Data Protection Act

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With growing concerns around consumer privacy, there has been increased legislation surrounding protecting internet users’ data. For example, the Data Protection Act was passed in 1988 as one of the first efforts to put guardrails around how governments and companies handle data. Below, we’ll explain the origins as well as details on how to register for the Data Protection Act.


  • The Data Protection Act was established in the UK in 1988 to protect consumer data privacy rights and monitor processing activity.
  • Organizations that process and collect data must register through the UK’s Information Commissioners Office and pay an annual data protection fee.
  • All non-exempt organizations must complete an online form and enter payment information to complete registration.

For similar resources, check out our articles explaining what computer cookies are. And for businesses, we have a guide on how to protect consumer data privacy.

Insider Tip

There’s a reduction in the overall application fee if you pay with either debit or credit.

How to Register for Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act is a set of consumer privacy laws specific to the United Kingdom. It regulates how organizations collect, process, and use consumer data.

Exemptions withstanding, any organization, legal entities, or sole traders processing information must register under the Data Protection Act. Therefore, organizations must know how and where to register according to legal requirements. The process is easy, as there an easy online services that guide organizations through the registration requirements and financial services.

If you want to learn more, we have a dedicated guide explaining what the 1998 Data protection act is and one that discusses what the principles of the Data Protection act are.

STEP 1 Complete the Online Self-Assessment Form

Go to the UK’s Information Commissioners’ Office website. Then, press the tab that says “For Organizations.” Next, open the self-assessment form with the option “Data Protection Self Assessment.” This form will determine if your organization is required for the registry.

Depending on your purpose, choose the correct self-assessment test.

STEP 2 Complete the Online Application Form

Go to the “For Organizations” tab and select “Pay fee, renew fee, or Register a DPO.”

Scroll down and select the option that says “Register.” Next, fill in the required information; the application should take around 15 minutes. Remember that the form must be completed in one session; have all the necessary information handy before you begin.

After finishing the application, press submit.

STEP 3 Pay the Annual Data Protection Fee

Return to the “For Organizations” page. Then select the option that says “Pay.”

You can pay via debit, credit, check, or BACS. First, choose your method, and enter your payment details. Then, make your payment and set up payment preferences; for example, set up a recurring payment if you’re paying with debit/credit.


Certain web browsers may not allow you to submit your payment information. If this happens, try using a different browser.

STAT: Over 500,000 organizations are registered under the Data Protection Act. (source)

How to Register for Data Protection Act FAQs

What happens if you don’t pay the annual data protection fee?

Failure to pay the annual fee will result in fines for violating security measures. The fines range from 400 to 4,000 Pounds depending on the severity of the lateness and the size of your organization.

How much is the data protection fee?

There is a fee self-assessment page on the payment section of the website. This assessment helps organizations figure out how much the annual fee will cost. However, the minimum payment is thirty-five to three thousand Pounds per year.

When is the fee due?

The fee will be due around twelve months after your first payment. The ICO will email your organization six weeks before the payment is due.

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