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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 31 Aug 2019 |
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]
Hi I was caught speeding doing 38 in a 30 in a company car this happen on the 17,719 I didn’t receive the letter till the 31,8,19 is there a way I can appeal this as it’s taken a while to inform me
Fuller - 31-Aug-19 @ 11:24 AM
Advice please my offence occurred 03/05/19 I had just bought the car and the new keeper documents had been sent off on 02/0519 I didn’t receive the nip till 01/08/19 and the letter is dated 30/07/19 stating the offence took place on 03/05/19 if I appeal on grounds of it being too late will I have a chance of winning as it’s been 3 months
Lyssian - 7-Aug-19 @ 9:32 PM
I was caught speeding on the 22/06/2019, the letter was only issued to me on the 31/07/2019 and I only received the letter on the 02/08/2019 this is well over a month, how do I go about this?
liv - 2-Aug-19 @ 1:36 PM
Hi. I received a NIP dated4 July with a speeding offence occurring on 15 April. I have a company car so the NIP went to them first before me. However 3 months seems a long time, do I have a case for appealing? Thanks
BlueDan - 18-Jul-19 @ 12:38 PM
Hi the company received Nip,theycomplete itsend it back to NIP,with wrong adress,after a while they notice that they put wrong adress, do we phone Nip explain the situation,finally I got sp30 to my name and adress after 2month,I complete immediately and send them back,yesterday I got letter stated that I got fine 100£ and 3 points,it took for them 3 months,what should I do?are they right ?thanks
John - 16-Jun-19 @ 11:12 AM
I received a speeding ticket at the beginning of June but the offense was 28/12/2018 and 37mph in a 30 zone but because the vehicle went through a number of car sales for almost 6 months I don’t get the option to do the awareness course but that’s not my fault that I didn’t receive it until late
Bernie - 12-Jun-19 @ 2:18 PM
hi there, I received the NIP form within 14 days of my speeding offence. this was on 24th October 2018. I completed the form immediately confirming I was the driver. I was recorded as travelling at 99mph on a 70mphmotorway. I have only just received a single justice procedure notice dated 15th April 2019. this is almost 6 months after the date I was recorded speeding. can you let me know if there is a timescale I should have been notified. thanks
alison - 22-Apr-19 @ 8:34 PM
We received a NIP for our company vehicle. The date of the offence was 17.03.19 and the date on the NIP was 03.04.19. The NIP is dated outside of the 14 day window. Can we reject it on the grounds it is late and if so should we still complete the drivers details? Thank you
Zoe - 16-Apr-19 @ 11:26 AM
I recieved a nip today over a month after being flashed by a speed camera but on the letter its has the wrong date and time in which the incident took place, what should i do?
Stu - 29-Mar-19 @ 10:12 PM
I was clocked doing 39 in a 30 on the 19th of November 2018 I work for a delivery firm they received the NIP on the 10th of March And have now put my name and address forward how good are my chances of getting rid of this
Mojo - 14-Mar-19 @ 3:56 PM
I have recently received a NIPdated 27/02 incident was 11/1 It’s a rental van so I guess they can get away with the delay But it says the offence is : Exceeded a Temporary 30mph speed limit That is not correct there is no temporary speed limit on that road on that date Any info would be much appreciated
Toffee 11 - 1-Mar-19 @ 5:47 PM
I wascaptured on the 21/12/2018 and I was charged 3points with £100 fine which I haven't even made the payment yet,i just received another nip today dated way back 16/12/2018 which was posted 3days ago,please I need an advice of what to do
Nanaba - 14-Feb-19 @ 2:07 PM
I'm confused with the 14 day thing... received NIP today (21.01.19), dated 16.01.19, for an SP30 offence recorded by a mobile camera on 13.09.19. Am I correct in thinking this can be challenged or is it that the NIP must be received within 14 days of issue? Please help.
Davros - 21-Jan-19 @ 8:27 PM
Just received a NIP and a second offence for failure to give information relating to the NIP dated the 11 July 2018. whilst i am named on the Letter it addressed incorrectly and i was surprised that i received this letter (on the 23rd December) as it was again address incorrectly. Can i Dispute this .
swatty - 30-Dec-18 @ 6:29 PM
My partner received NIP today for speeding on 09/12 . The problem is that its not possible to done this offense on the date and specially the time stated. Its any chance that they have incorrectly read plates? He was catched by automatic camera device. What he should do now?please help
Diana Cygan - 14-Dec-18 @ 4:52 PM
I received two of these yesterday, one for 35 in a 30 mph zone and in the same area for 38 three days apart, I am particularly worried because im two days away from when I passed my test two years ago, will I be offered a speed awareness course and have to take three points and a fine or will they try give me six points ? Also it was in October why has it only just reached me ?
Joe - 14-Dec-18 @ 4:43 AM
Hi, I received two NIP'S in the first week of December (don't know exact date as we were away) it was dated the 30th November. The two offences occurred within 4 minutes of each other, 81 and 86 in a 70 zone (we can only remember one flash). on the 3rd of November. We suspect that the NIP may have been sent to the dealer where we had bought the car on the 18th October - and that the change of registration had not taken place (the dealer advised that they would do this and gave us the V5C slip). We've still to check with the dealer since its the weekend, but was wondering if there any ground to appeal the timescale?
Stick - 8-Dec-18 @ 10:19 PM
I received a speeding ticket approx 10 days ago last week of November, I returned it immediately, yesterday 4th December I received confirmation but the date of the offence was the 13 July.I was doing 36 in a 30 mph. As far as I am aware all my documents are updated - anyone any advice?
angelaks - 5-Dec-18 @ 1:56 PM
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
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