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Dispute a Speed Ticket: NIP Sent in the Incorrect Time Frame

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 21 Apr 2018 |
 
14 Day Nip Speed Address Registered

How to dispute a speed ticket…because the NIP was sent too late

You are late and in a rush, or simply unaware of the speed limit in an unfamiliar area. You drift over the speed limit while passing a yellow box. You see the dreaded flash in your rear view mirror and it is too late. You know you have been caught and you are in for a hefty fine (£100 plus) and three penalty points. Well actually that is not always the outcome:

  • The police still have to carry out the prosecution in the correct way
  • You might be able to have your ticket cancelled.

This guide shows you how you might be able to avoid a fine, penalty points or even a speed awareness course if your prosecution notice is served too late.

What happens once I get flashed?

If everything is done to the letter of the law, you will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution, or an NIP for short. This NIP will detail:
  • The offence
  • The location of the offence
  • Your speed at the time of being caught
  • The driver details of the registered keeper of the car

The Registered Keeper will be requested to complete the required details on the NIP and return it within 28 days. This is known as a Section 172 Notice. You are supposed to return it to the address notified on the NIP.

BUT!

Before signing and returning the NIP you might need to challenge the details and so you should not sign the NIP before carrying out the actions below.

Conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice

Once you have returned the Section 172 Notice identifying the driver, you (or the driver if it was not you) you will most likely receive a conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice, depending on the nature and severity of the offence. In these circumstances, you will probably be offered a fixed penalty of £100 plus receive 3 points on your licence, instead of going to court. Depending on the speed you were caught travelling at, you may be offered the chance to do a speed awareness course. Choosing one of these alternatives is the easiest and safest option if you believe you were the driver and were speeding. If the NIP is correct and it reaches you in time, then you must fill in the reply sheet and face the consequences of your speeding, but if it arrives late, you might be in luck.

When should the NIP arrive?

The NIP should arrive with you within 14 days of the date of the offence, but please note that the date of the offence is not included in the allotted time period. The date of the offence will be published on the NIP, as this is required to prosecute you.

Make sure you check the dates carefully. An NIP that arrives with you after the 14 day period, it may be disputed, depending on the following circumstances:

What circumstances can affect the NIP date?

Firstly, you need to know that it is not the job of the police to prove that you received the NIP within the 14 day period. Obviously, many factors could delay the delivery of an NIP, these could be:

  • You recently changed vehicle, or home address and DVLA records have not yet been updated
  • You are not the registered keeper of the vehicle - perhaps you drive a company car or a lease car. In those cases, the NIP is sent to the company or the lease firm. Your details will then be sent back to the police who will then issue an NIP to you at your address.

If any of the above applies to you, it's likely that you will be unable to appeal under the 14 day rules.

Of course, there are a number of unusual events that might also affect the delivery time but note that these are NO defence for you:

  • Postal strikes
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Your Registered Keeper details being out of date
It is important to always keep your vehicle and personal details up to date. The fine is set to increase if you do not pay in time, and could become much more serious if you seek to avoid the fine. You do not want to be sat at your new house while an NIP waits for you at an old address!

Here's what to do if you suspect the NIP has arrived too late:

If you find that your NIP is dated over 14 days ago, your address is up to date, and the post has not had problems reaching you, you may be able to build a case to have the ticket cancelled.

Make sure you calculate the dates correctly.

  • The 14 day period begins from the day after the offence
  • This includes Saturday and Sunday and ends with the date that the letter should arrive with you
  • This means that if the postmark is dated 3 days before the 14 day period expires, but the post took 4 days to arrive, your defence will be invalid, as it is reasonable to believe that second class post would arrive within 3 days

If your calculation shows that the 14 day period had expired, you should:

  1. Write to the police force that sent you the NIP stating that you are rejecting the NIP on the grounds that it was sent to you after the 14 day period required
  2. You should collect evidence of this to send with your rejection
  3. Copy the NIP, highlighting the date that the offence took place
  4. Make a copy of your envelope, which details the postmark

This will allow you to show that the date the NIP was sent was too late to reach you within the 14 day period. Only send copies of the documents to the police to ensure you still have the original evidence in case you end up in court.

* Use our letter template and instructions to help you do this. *

What happens after I have sent the rejection?

After you send your letter, the case against you will hopefully be dropped, in which case you may receive a letter telling you that no further action will be taken and that the case is dropped. Alternatively, you may hear nothing at all. At this point you have succeeded in defending the case.

If the case against you is not dropped by the police, the second response you receive might state that the police will continue to pursue you for the ticket if you have made a miscalculation, and the ticket was delivered in time. To make sure this is not the reply you get, you must calculate your 14 day period accurately.

A final response that you might receive is that you are still being pursued as the police believe that the ticket was late due to a postal problem which would come under the category of unusual events. At this point, you will need to prepare further evidence that the unusual event did not have as big an effect as suggested. If you are making this suggestion, you will need to be prepared to go to court to defend yourself, and should make sure that your evidence for this is substantial.

What if I did receive the NIP properly?

If the police did issue the NIP and you received it within the 14 days, then you will need to look at one of the other grounds for disputing a NIP to see if any of those apply to you. Check out our other guides if this is the case.

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[Add a Comment]
I was in a veribul speed limit at 60 mph i was following a Lorry and couldnt see the next sign in time witch was 40mph and couldnt slam my brakes on because i had a car on my rear end and i got flashed doing 47mph as i was brakeing but the lorry witch had changed lanes was pulling away from me iv done a awernus corse what can i do to not get points
Zac - 21-Apr-18 @ 12:52 AM
Hi there, I received an NIP nearly 4 months after the alleged offence, however I think it may be due to address change (potentially). If I try and dispute it, and it works, then brill. If it does not work and the police still want to pursue, then is court definitely the next stage? Or will they just insist that they are still perusing and I will then still have the chance to pay the fine/points.. many thanks!
Cappo6 - 4-Apr-18 @ 8:12 PM
I've received an NIP for a speeding offence on the 10th of Feb, with the NIP issue date as 23rd of March, well over the 14 day period. My husband was driving at the time, so I need to send the form back with his details, but I'm not sure if I should dispute the dates first, or send back to say I wasn't driving before disputing? Thank you
Missjazzles - 27-Mar-18 @ 6:34 PM
Hi I received a Nip on 21/3/18 dated 19/3/18 stating I was flashed on 18/2/18 i.e. A month difference. Should I challenge it? Thanks
Janrm - 22-Mar-18 @ 9:08 AM
I bought a car backnin Jan. I received my v5 a few weeks later. I had a flash on weds 7th march. I have notbreceived anything.Would In be right in saying I could contest this as I have received nothing as of yet.
Nickstee - 22-Mar-18 @ 8:14 AM
Whilst driving a hire car i was caught speeding by a camera on Feb 25th 2018. The hire company has informed me and charged a £55 admin fee. They sent me a photocopy of the letter sent to them by the police, this was dated March 13th 2018...16 days after the offence. Assuming i receive a letter from the police can i dispute it? Thanks
Brizer - 21-Mar-18 @ 7:17 PM
I have just had a call from a garage from whom I had a loan car for a while.They have received an NIP today, I think, for an offense on 28 Jan - clearly over 14 days.They say they have to send it to me to dispute, but looking at some of the comments below, I'm not sure that's correct.Can you advise?
Lee - 17-Mar-18 @ 11:57 AM
Rob-h - Your Question:
I have recently received two NIPs ( 2 separate offences) but after sending my first one back I got a letter back stating I needed to pay the fine and take the points. But the reference number on that slip was for my second offence so they did not match up. Meaning I didn't get the awareness course. I've spoke to the ticket office and they've sent out the awareness letter but I was wondering if there was a way out of the ticket overall? As they've messed up with the tickets

Our Response:
No it's unlikely that you will be able to escape the penalties because of this error.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Mar-18 @ 3:01 PM
I have received a NIP -the date on the NIP is 12/03/2018,I received on13/3 -the date of offence was by camera 20/02/2018-am I correct in thinking I have a case to get overturned
Seagull53 - 14-Mar-18 @ 11:09 AM
I have recently received two NIPs ( 2 separate offences) but after sending my first one back I got a letter back stating I needed to pay the fine and take the points. But the reference number on that slip was for my second offence so they did not match up. Meaning I didn't get the awareness course. I've spoke to the ticket office and they've sent out the awareness letter but I was wondering if there was a way out of the ticket overall? As they've messed up with the tickets
Rob-h - 12-Mar-18 @ 3:26 PM
Hi, a friend got a 38 in a 30 zone in a company vanhe had to go and see fleet management so he received a letter saying he was the registered keeper and had to i.d driver in 14 days this letter went to his house and he is obviously not the registered keeper, can this be challenged Thanks
Tomma - 11-Mar-18 @ 8:26 PM
granty - Your Question:
I've received 2 NIP's this week. Caught by the same automatic camera device for driving over 30 in what I thought was a 40mph zone (new job / new route to work and don't know the area that well)1st NIP has an issue date of 01/03/18 and says the speeding offence took place on 09/01/182nd NIP has an issue date of 06/03/18 and says the speeding offence took place on 13/02/18Do I have a case to apply for them (or one) to be rejected?Thanks

Our Response:
See the section "What circumstances can affect the NIP date?" in the above article. Assuming non of them apply, you should be able to challenge it. The above article explains it all.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Mar-18 @ 2:17 PM
I've received 2 NIP's this week. Caught by the same automatic camera device for driving over 30 in what I thought was a 40mph zone (new job / new route to work and don't know the area that well) 1st NIP has an issue date of 01/03/18 and says the speeding offence took place on 09/01/18 2nd NIP has an issue date of 06/03/18 and says the speeding offence took place on 13/02/18 Do I have a case to apply for them (or one) to be rejected? Thanks
granty - 8-Mar-18 @ 5:11 PM
Bolmalibu - Your Question:
I got my NIP today 3 days after a fixed camera flashed my car doing 46mph in a 40mph , It was a 50 zone then it turned into a 40 zone then soon after there is a camera. I was using the speed limit reading on my cars Sat Nav and just missed the change because my sat nav still said 50 ,, I'm gunna return my NIP , but do I have a case to contend the fine and points when they come ?

Our Response:
No it's unlikely an challenge would be successful as drivers are expected todrive in accordance with road signage, not sat navs.
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-Mar-18 @ 3:12 PM
Ron - Your Question:
I hired a car from a local company for a 2 day hire, collecting on 27th Jan 2018 and returning on 28th Jan. This morning I received an email from the hire company stating they have received a NIP and they have replied providing my details. The NIP was dated 21/02/2018 and stamped received on 22 Feb. This is well over 14 days. I have not yet received anything from the police. I have also noticed the hire company have entered and provided the police with my address incorrectly, even though I showed them my driving licence and utility bill as proof of address when hiring the car. Is there any 14 day rule that applies here? Or anything I can do to avoid all of this and challenge? Please advise.

Our Response:
The 14 day rule only applies to the first NIP that is sent out. Unfortunately because the hire company didn't challenge this at the time (i,e they just returned the form completed), the 14 day rule cannot be used. It might be worth checking with the police in case the follow up NIP was sent to the wrong address (incorrectly entered by the hire company). You don't want to receive a summons because you didn't respond!
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-Mar-18 @ 2:56 PM
I got my NIP today 3 days after a fixed camera flashed my car doing 46mph in a 40mph , It was a 50 zone then it turned into a 40 zone then soon after there is a camera . I was using the speed limit reading on my cars Sat Nav and just missed the change because my sat nav still said 50 ,, I'm gunna return my NIP , but do I have a case to contend the fine and points when they come ?
Bolmalibu - 28-Feb-18 @ 7:52 PM
I hired a car from a local company for a 2 day hire, collecting on 27th Jan 2018 and returning on 28th Jan. This morning I received an email from the hire company stating they have received a NIP and they have replied providing my details. The NIP was dated 21/02/2018 and stamped received on 22 Feb. This is well over 14 days. I have not yet received anything from the police. I have also noticed the hire company have entered and provided the police with my address incorrectly, even though I showed them my driving licence and utility bill as proof of address when hiring the car. Is there any 14 day rule that applies here? Or anything I can do to avoid all of this and challenge? Please advise.
Ron - 28-Feb-18 @ 2:54 PM
Ski - Your Question:
So my transport department at work have said that I've got a ticket coming my way from 17/08/17, it's now 22/02/18 and I still don't have the ticket. As I was driving a hire car which is obtained by a contractor and then supplied to me as a user does this completely nullify the 14 day NIP period of do I have a case to have the ticket dismissed? It is 6 months later!

Our Response:
You would normally have received a follow up NIP as long as the registered keeper completed and returned the original one. This doesn't normally take as long as 6 months, but the 14 day rule will not apply.
NoPenaltyPoints - 26-Feb-18 @ 10:23 AM
So my transport department at work have said that I've got a ticket coming my way from 17/08/17, it's now 22/02/18 and I still don't have the ticket. As I was driving a hire car which is obtained by a contractor and then supplied to me as a user does this completely nullify the 14 day NIP period of do I have a case to have the ticket dismissed? It is 6 months later!
Ski - 22-Feb-18 @ 10:28 AM
On the 16/02 I was flashed speeding 40 in a 30 zone, I was expecting a letter but it was sent to the previous owner! I have registered the car in my name and taxes and insured it all in my name. I haven't forgotten to complete anything. The previous owner got the letter today 21/02 and has sent it back wth the address of the garage he sold the car to. That garage then sold it to a second garage. Then I bought the car off the second garage. Meaning that this letter is going to be sent back and forth until it gets to me. If it arrives to me after 14 days of the offence am I right to appeal against this? Somewhere along the car being sold by the previous owner, the garages, and me the details haven't updated for the authorities
Driftxr - 21-Feb-18 @ 6:54 PM
HL - Your Question:
You've stated that the NIP should not be completed if it was not received, for valid reasons, within 14 days. Do you mean that the S172 confirmation of named driver form should not be completed? I've read elsewhere that the S172 should always be completed because it is an offence in its own right not to, but that doesn't stop you including a letter appealing the NIP because it was served after 14 days. My concern with not completing the S172 is that I don't hear from the police for a few months after legitimately contesting the NIP, but then I get hit with a £1000.00 fine for not doing so regardless of the speeding offence being dropped. On the other hand, other things I've read suggest that signing the S172 pretty much amounts to conceding guilt. Which I worry would nullify any contesting of the offence. I'd be very grateful for any clarification. Thank you for the advice provided so far.

Our Response:
We're looking into this a bit further to be sure we give the correct advice. Hopefully we will be able to update the article, which was written by a barrister (or leave it as it is, if correct) within a few days.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Feb-18 @ 1:48 PM
You've stated that the NIP should not be completed if it was not received, for valid reasons, within 14 days. Do you mean that the S172 confirmation of named driver form should not be completed? I've read elsewhere that the S172 should always be completed because it is an offence in its own right not to, but that doesn't stop you including a letter appealing the NIP because it was served after 14 days. My concern with not completing the S172 is that I don't hear from the police for a few months after legitimately contesting the NIP, but then I get hit with a £1000.00 fine for not doing so regardless of the speeding offence being dropped. On the other hand, other things I've read suggest that signing the S172 pretty much amounts to conceding guilt. Which I worry would nullify any contesting of the offence. I'd be very grateful for any clarification. Thank you for the advice provided so far.
HL - 9-Feb-18 @ 9:20 PM
I first had a NIP handed to me on 9th Jan from my previous employer. The NIP is addressed to the employer as I had a lease vehicle from them. The offense is dated 29/11/2017 the NIP dated 29/12/2018. Since then (Due to 14 day not being applied for the lease vehicle i presume??) I sent my details and have now received 2 NIPs for the same offense, just the doc number date and on one my middle name is not shown. So one is dated with my full name as offense 29/11/2017 NIP date 24/01/2018 with my full name the second is dated offense 29/11/2017 NIP date 30/01/2018 with my middle name missing. After calling the contact number the issuer said to ignore one of the NIPs. Do I have a case to contest the NIP without my full name? Does the 14 day apply with the dates on the NIP or because originally it was addressed to the company I work due to being leased vehicle this 14 day does not apply? Is there anything I can do as this will now give me 12 points, the offense was 35 mph in a 30 zone.
Theeox - 7-Feb-18 @ 9:51 AM
gingernut - Your Question:
I got a notice of intended prosecution for doing 99mph in a 70 zone at 20.26 I did not leave my house until 19.58 and by the time I got off the street would have been 8pm after inputting intended address was going to and the letter states at 20.26 I was at junction27 - 28 westbound on the m62 hence there saying I had 39 mile in 24 mins I think the time is wrong on the speed camera do this allow me to dispute this notice of intended prosecution as I went down the a1 route this can be confirmed from my sat nav as I have not deleted the destination and it leaves whats called a trail of breadcrumbs along the route this would mean the speed camera time was incorrect surely as its not possible to do 39 mile in 24 mins as road works where in place on the m1 and traffic was travelling at 50 mph through them thanks in advanc

Our Response:
If you want to dispute this you must be prepared to appear in court to put your case. We can't say whether it would be accepted or not. Assuming the time was wrong on the speed camera, the police may still have evidence to show you were doing that speed on that date.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Jan-18 @ 10:24 AM
i got a notice of intended prosecution for doing 99mph in a 70 zone at 20.26 I did not leave my house until 19.58 and by the time I got off the street would have been 8pm after inputting intended address was going to and the letter states at 20.26 I was at junction27 - 28 westbound on the m62 hence there saying I had 39 mile in 24 mins I think the time is wrong on the speed camera do this allow me to dispute this notice of intended prosecution as I went down the a1 route this can be confirmed from my sat nav as I have not deleted the destination and it leaves whats called a trail of breadcrumbs along the route this would mean the speed camera time was incorrect surely as its not possible to do 39 mile in 24 mins as road works where in place on the m1 and traffic was travelling at 50 mph through them thanks in advanc
gingernut - 27-Jan-18 @ 4:02 PM
Rented a car from enterprise for a day with my boyfriend 21/12/17 i asked my boyfriend to get the car picked up very next day, i asked ny boyfriend he said car has been returned, on 01/01/18 i realised enterprise had deducted £500 from my account i ask boyfriend he denied knowing anything about it so i phoned enterprise they said car hadnt been returned so boyfriend lied to me said hel return it as he shouldn’t be driving the car as hes a banned driver finally car got returned on 6/1/18 i then started to receive traffic violation letter charges i phoned enterprise to realised that the car had been flashed 6 times which mean 18pts on my licence for something iv not done, im still yet to receive the letters my boyfriend lied to me the whole time that he hadnt driven the car, enterprise let him change the vehicle twice without my consent and now i dont know what to do im stuck in a mess im going to get banned for something iv not done help
Nas - 17-Jan-18 @ 11:34 PM
I bought a car off my mate on 10/10/17, in the afternoon , but he was caught speeding by a camera van doing 79mph in a 70mph in the car in the morning. I registered the car in my name on 10/10/17, but when the offence took place at 10.48am, I was neither the driver nor the owner.I received the NIP at the beginingof December 2017, the date on letter was 01/12/2017, was this letter sent to late as it is well after 14 days of offence, I have told them I wasn't owner, or driver at time, and have asked for photograph which clearly shows it is not me driving.
corky - 17-Jan-18 @ 7:07 PM
Sazza - Your Question:
Hi, got caught speeding by an on duty officer that was in an undercover police car on the 02.09.17. Today 10.01.18 the NIP has come through the post. I thought they would have to send the NIP within 12 weeks??

Our Response:
No, the police actually have up to 6 months in which to take further action. What you will have received will not be an NIP but most likely an FPN (fixed penalty notice).
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Jan-18 @ 3:27 PM
Was caught by a fixed camera driving daughter's car (only purchased 5 days previously) at 01.18am on Wed 28th January. NIP arrived today (Thursday 11.01.18). The issue date on the NIP is 10.01.18. Am i right in thinking that this is a day late as if it was only issued on 10.1.18 it could not possibly be received within the 14 days. We had wondered whether there might have been a delay due to change of ownership but the salesman did this online at the time of sale and clearly this has not been an issue. Can we appeal?
cathR - 11-Jan-18 @ 6:06 PM
Hi, got caught speeding by an on duty officer that was in an undercover police car on the 02.09.17. Today 10.01.18 the NIP has come through the post. I thought they would have to send the NIP within 12 weeks??
Sazza - 10-Jan-18 @ 9:40 PM
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