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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 5 Nov 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.


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 driving my sons car in August which I am insured to do.I was caught speeding and my son was issued with a fine withing the 2 weeks.He filled out the form and told them my details but I have never heard anything back?Any ideas? and
Arlene - 5-Nov-18 @ 12:47 PM
I was caught speeding in a company car 16 weeks ago but I have just received my NIP am I still eligible for a speed awareness course, I have a clean driving license and was doing 47mph in a 40mph limit
Briser - 27-Oct-18 @ 12:35 PM
Please help I was speeding 30/04/2018 I received NIP straight away filled and sent next day S172 except I was driver I was doing 63 mph on 50mph speed j26 M1 Waited until now after 5 month and 2 week i received latter from Nottingham police saying we offered you speed awareness course but you taken And I naver ever received any latter after 1st Nip I’m really confused what to I have only 2 opposition now except guilty or go to court please advise thanks
Sharif - 22-Oct-18 @ 11:02 PM
Received a nip on the 05/10/2018 for an offence of 82 in a 70 on the 31/08/2018. well over a month late. Im going to appeal it.
iron - 6-Oct-18 @ 8:00 PM
I was caught speeding on 10.08.18 contrary to 50, 60 and 70 (I was flashed and recorded speed was 102 mph). I received a NIP on about 14 September.Unfortunately I have notkept the envelope but the NIP is dated 13.09.18. Is this considered to be over the 14 days limit to notify me and can I defend it?
Stu - 4-Oct-18 @ 11:11 AM
Hi, I’ve just received notice from my hire car company that they received a NIP for an offence on the 28th of August. The enclosed a copy of the NIP, and it is dated the 21st of September. I’ve yet to receive anything directly from the Police myself - but should I be able to contest this as the registered keeper was not sent the NIP until 24 days after the offence? If so, what’s the best way of doing this?
Jhod45 - 29-Sep-18 @ 7:56 PM
i recieved a NIP on 26.09.18 for an offence 16.06.18. am i eligble to refuse due to not recieving this within 14days? i moved house last month an notified the DVLA but this was still well after the offence?
ashlee - 28-Sep-18 @ 7:21 PM
Hi I received a notice of intended prosecution dated 21,09,18 speeding,75mph on a dual carriageway A5, by manned equipment. The alleged offence is dated 21,06,18 so this is well over the 14 day's,3 month's. I was an agency driver and to be honest I do not know who the vehicle belongs to, it could have been anyone using the vehicle at the time, What should I do. Kind regards Sandy
Rusty - 27-Sep-18 @ 4:18 PM
Just received a NIP Dated 20/8/18 with the offence happening on the 2/8/18 - reading that the Police have 14 days to send notice and the actual paperwork stating it being issued 18 days after the offence would I have a cause to challenge? Its a slightly more bizzare tickets as it states single lane and a 60 limit whilst it was at a point where two lanes began with a 70 limit (I was clocked at 75) Any advice comments would be appreciated
DCC - 6-Sep-18 @ 10:26 AM
On Friday 24th August I received a Notice of Intended Prosecution dated 22nd August from the police for speeding on the 2nd June. I'm aware that this is after the 14days and so I could reject the letter however, the address on my drivers licence is correct but not my V5C. Am I likely to be successful if I still write and challenge the 14days or would it be wiser to accept?
JP - 30-Aug-18 @ 8:31 AM
I received a NIP on 29/8/18 for offence on 21/7/18. Driving 38mph in 40 mph. I have a lease car. Can I still dispute the NIP? Please advise
Amit - 29-Aug-18 @ 6:28 PM
Hi I've just been issued with a nip through, for a speeding offence on June 28 2018 it's now 22 August 2018 there letter is 22/08/18 is there any chance I can question this due to 14 days for fine thing
Mike - 23-Aug-18 @ 2:25 PM
On 18/08/2018 I received an NIP. The heading date shows 14/08/2018 relating to a speeding offence recorded on 16/07/2018 by way of a manned recording unit. I am not the registered keeper as the vehicle is on lease via my employer. Do I have a valid dispute given the alleged offence date stated is 16/07/2018 and with no postal mark the NIP I received is almost 5 weeks post date?
GARY - 20-Aug-18 @ 12:45 AM
Roy - Your Question:
I was catch speeding at 35 mph in a 30 mph on 25th on June 2018. yesterday I received a speeding notice dated 10th Aug 2018 this is well over the 14day rule. how do I deal with this or should I just except it

Our Response:
Were you stopped at the time of the offence? Or was it a Notice of Intended Prosecution you received.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Aug-18 @ 12:48 PM
I was catch speeding at 35 mph in a 30 mph on 25th on June 2018 .. yesterday I received a speeding notice dated 10th Aug 2018 this is well over the 14day rule ... how do i deal with this or should I just except it
Roy - 12-Aug-18 @ 9:25 PM
Does anyone know anything about the interaction of language legislation with the validity of NIPs, in particular the Welsh Language Act which requires the Welsh and English language to be treated equally by the state, and in Wales gives protection to the Welsh language, (and for that matter the English one too) 1. Is a NIP sent by a Welsh Police force to a registered keeper in Wales valid, if it has been completed in only one of the languages (Eng Iish or Welsh) but not both? 2. Is a NIP valid if it has been sent by an English or Scottish Police force to a Registered Keeper in Wales if it has only been completed in English and not Welsh, (or theoretically for that matter only in Welsh and not English)? 3. Is a NIP sent by a Welsh police force to a registered keeper in England or Scotland valid if it is in only in English or Welsh? 4. Are there possible defences under any legislation protecting other languages, e.g. Cornish, Irish Gaelic, Scots, Ulster Scots or Scottish Gaelic?
Iath - 9-Aug-18 @ 9:30 PM
Hi, i was informed by the Company Iworked for that i received an NIP for speeding (exceed 30mph for goods vehicle-Manescu equipment). They sent it on my name without challenging it for arriving too late ( contraven?ion was on 30/05/2018 but the NIP was issued on 3/07/2018). What should I do in this situation? Can I challenge it?
Clau - 18-Jul-18 @ 8:16 PM
Hi. In March 2018 I was driving a company car and because it was a company car they've received 2 nips. They've sent them back. Couple months later I've received one of them and did the Speeding Awareness course recently. I still haven't received the other NIP. It's been 4 months since the offence now, however I believe they have 6 months to send me the NIP. What does the law say about this?
conradoc15 - 18-Jul-18 @ 4:29 PM
Here’s a strange one. I have recieved a NIP that is dated 10 weeks after the alleged offence!! I have challenged this time. However, I am sure the police will argue that the time is due to the fact that this is a company car and it took a while to get my details from the lease company. However, 10 weeks is surely unreasonable. Is there any precedent for appealing a NIP on this basis?
Jules - 17-Jul-18 @ 6:36 PM
I recently had 2 notice of intended prosecution letters for offences on the same road within 1 day of each other - the offence dates were 18/6/2018 and 19/6/2018 (offence dates) the nip letters were dated 16/7/2018 sop just under a month from the offence date - so nearer 30 days to 14 days - my car is a company car but I had the notices 17/7/2018 as our company is a private company - do I have a case to refuse the notices under the 14 day rules or should I just go for the speed awareness course ? I would appreciate your comments / guidanceplease
brenty - 17-Jul-18 @ 2:40 PM
Hi, I’m after some advice. I have received a letter to say my speeding case is now being dealt with by the magistrates court due to being outside the limit of points/fine. I have now found out information regarding NIP requiring to be sent within 14 days which mine was not, mine being sent 21 days after the offence. I emailed the police who have replied back to say it is now out of their hands as a SJPN has been issued for my offence. I’m just wondering where I stand with this now? Thanks
Abi - 12-Jul-18 @ 10:20 PM
Alboy - Your Question:
28/03/2018 received combined notice/ prosecution for speeding.38mpn in a 30.i accepted the fixed penalty and returned forms 4/4/2018. I then received a Single Justice Procedure on 26/6/2018 because I had not responded to a Conditional Offer of fixed penalty.REASON BEING I HAD NOT RECEIVED ONE?Any advice welcome.

Our Response:
Ask for evidence of when it was sent etc. If the police say they sent it and have a record, there isn't much you can do really.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jul-18 @ 3:27 PM
28/03/2018 received combined notice/ prosecution for speeding.38mpn in a 30.i accepted the fixed penalty and returned forms 4/4/2018. I then received a Single Justice Procedure on 26/6/2018 because I had not responded to a Conditional Offer of fixed penalty. REASON BEING I HAD NOT RECEIVED ONE? Any advice welcome.
Alboy - 2-Jul-18 @ 8:12 PM
I received a speeding ticket in May regarding an overspeeding incident on 03rd January.I disputed this, stating that it had passed the 14 day period.The reply stated that the first letter was posted on 11th January 18 within the 14 day period.On 10th February 18, the letter was returned undelivered and on further investigation the vehicle was still shown registered to the same details at the DVLA.(I moved my house in December and had changed my drivers licence details.I assumed that the vehicle keeper would have automatically changed with the driver details.) The letter continued, "On 10the Feb 18 a reminder notice was issued which was also returned to the office undelivered and after further checks it was noted that the vehicle had been re-registered to a new address resulting in a further notice being issued on 1 May 2018. Police are satisfied that all notices have been sent in accordance with section 1 of the RTA 1988 and certificates of posting would be produced in the event of a not guilty hearing at court. A formal response to our request for details of the driver is awaited.Failure to provide the information in the manner required may result in court proceedings being initiated for that failure." What should I do in this circumstance?Can I defend this by saying that 6 months passed since the incident? Please help.
KGeorge - 11-Jun-18 @ 7:56 PM
Hi, I received an NIP for dangerous driving ( dashcam footage) left over taking a lorry on a dual carriage way coming up to a roundabout, the nip was served with a time stamp which correlated with the car being parked in a garage with cctv etc at that time, after several phone calls with the police they now claim that the time stamp was wrong, 3 hours before than what is stated on the nip. I assume they will now send another nip out? It's been 24 days since the offence now and I sent back the original forms stating that the the car was parked at that time with proof etc.. what is my next course of action? Thanks!
Jjb - 24-May-18 @ 1:42 PM
Hi I received a first warning for driving 35 in a 30 zone with no further action. Thing is they had the colour of my car incorrect. Can I dispute this as I don't even want a first warning?
Nlm - 22-May-18 @ 5:37 PM
I received an intention to prosecute stating that I exceeded the speed limit of 40mph doing 56mph. On the day in question of the 4/5/18 i was travelling on that road but not at the time of the alleged offence so i want to dispute the notice. However, the intention to prosecute doesn't give me that option. I'm worried because i'm already going to be on 6 points on my licence in due course and dont want to incure more. I'm so careful on the road in question that I always make sure i drive within the 40mph limit as my wife has already been done on that road. What can I do?
Orantes - 10-May-18 @ 10:01 PM
I received letter yesterday 2nd May saying I exceeded speed limit 30 (39) on 24 th november 2017 ( after more 5 months )and I have to send the driver details . I had changed my address on 22 nd February2018 but the DVLA and my licence are updated I time . Can I make a dispute on this late notice ? JK
Jk - 3-May-18 @ 10:37 PM
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
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