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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 18 Nov 2017 |
 
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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I have received an NIP for doing 68Mph on the M25 on a smart motorway section - it was set to 50MPH for 5mins which I didn't notice.... I have a clean licence and have done so for 19 years. On this occasion - I kid you not that I was driving a Volvo hire car with driver lane assistance set to 70 mph - (the car was driving!) Is this a defence? I was responsible but the summons asks who was driving? can I put Volvo?? Seriously considering taking to court - the courts are all about the rules black and white etc- so surely this could be a mitigating circumstance?
MattG - 18-Nov-17 @ 11:04 PM
FirstTimeOffender - Your Question:
Hi,I've received a NIP dated 07.11 for an offence on 12.09. I am not the registered keeper but have spoken to the lease company and they advised they received the NIP on 27.09, responded on 02.10 and then received another letter advising of non-payment on 31.10. Do I have any grounds to dispute the NIP based on the fact they should have had my details shortly after 02.10? Thanks.

Our Response:
You can only reject it if you have evidence that the first/original NIP was issued outside of the 14 day period. Did the lease company keep a copy? Was it definitely the first NIP? If you have evidence, it may be worth rejecting but you may have to appear in court to contest this...seek professional legal advice.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Nov-17 @ 2:46 PM
Hello.I've just received an NIP notification, dated 14/11/2017 for a speeding offence on 12/09/17, caught by a mobile van.As the dates are 60 days apart would I be able to contest this under the 14 day ruling?Thanks.
Rossco - 17-Nov-17 @ 10:08 AM
Hi, I've received a NIP dated 07.11 for an offence on 12.09. I am not the registered keeper but have spoken to the lease company and they advised they received the NIP on 27.09, responded on 02.10 and then received another letter advising of non-payment on 31.10. Do I have any grounds to dispute the NIP based on the fact they should have had my details shortly after 02.10? Thanks.
FirstTimeOffender - 16-Nov-17 @ 5:11 PM
DrewB - Your Question:
I was stopped by an actual policeman with a handheld speed gun. I informed him that my actual addess was different to the address on my licence & he correctly copied my correct address on to his paper work. He said I’d receive something in the post within the next two weeks.At some point over the next week or so I updated my licence address & received my new licence with my correct address shortly afterwards.I didn’t receive anything through the post until nearly 6 months later. Their notification states that they believe they have six months to send a prosecution notice, not 14 days.The typed paperwork they sent me was not the same as the hand written paperwork the officer wrote at the time. In the typed paperwork I received through the post he correctly states that I gave him my correct & current home address at the time but be then incorrectly states that he checked this against my drivers license, which is not true as I informed him at the time that my licence had an old address. I can prove this to be incorrect as I can prove when my updated drivers licence was received & this date is after the date I was stopped.Do they really have up to 6 months to send a prosecution notice.?Can I contest the reliability of the statement by proving that he could not have confirmed the address I gave him was correct by checking the out of date licence I had at the time.?Are they allowed to re-type the tickets they had write at the scene.? I can’t remember if I signed the one he wrote at the time but obviously my signature is not on the re-typed version I received in the post.

Our Response:
Yes if you're stopped at the time of the offence, the police have up to 6 months in which to take further action.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Nov-17 @ 12:58 PM
I was stopped by an actual policeman with a handheld speed gun. I informed him that my actual addess was different to the address on my licence & he correctly copied my correct address on to his paper work. He said I’d receive something in the post within the next two weeks. At some point over the next week or so I updated my licence address & received my new licence with my correct address shortly afterwards. I didn’t receive anything through the post until nearly 6 months later. Their notification states that they believe they have six months to send a prosecution notice, not 14 days. The typed paperwork they sent me was not the same as the hand written paperwork the officer wrote at the time. In the typed paperwork I received through the post he correctly states that I gave him my correct & current home address at the time but be then incorrectly states that he checked this against my drivers license, which is not true as I informed him at the time that my licence had an old address. I can prove this to be incorrect as I can prove when my updated drivers licence was received & this date is after the date I was stopped. Do they really have up to 6 months to send a prosecution notice...? Can I contest the reliability of the statement by proving that he could not have confirmed the address I gave him was correct by checking the out of date licence I had at the time...? Are they allowed to re-type the tickets they had write at the scene...? I can’t remember if I signed the one he wrote at the time but obviously my signature is not on the re-typed version I received in the post.
DrewB - 14-Nov-17 @ 1:36 PM
Phil - Your Question:
I drive a minibus for the organisation I work for. I was caught on camera doing 26 in a 20 mph zone.My employer received the NIP well after the 14 day period. In fact, the NIP's date is well after 14 days from the date of the offence (offence was 02/10/17, the NIP is dated 25/10/17).Will I be able to contest this?

Our Response:
If the first NIP received by your employer was definitely outside of the 14 day limit, and your employer is the registered keeper, you might be able to reject.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-17 @ 2:24 PM
Many thanks for your response to my query (7-Nov-17 @ 12:18 PM). I just have one more question: My NIP came in a Royal Mail 'postage paid' envelope and so it has no post mark displayed on it. It does have the fist class '1' design so it's fairly obvious that it was only sent fairly recently before I received it. Can they use this against me as a lack of evidence--even though their letter is dated 24 days after the offence?
RF - 9-Nov-17 @ 8:06 PM
I drive a minibus for the organisation I work for. I was caught on camera doing 26 in a 20 mph zone. My employer received the NIP well after the 14 day period. In fact, the NIP's date is well after 14 days from the date of the offence (offence was 02/10/17, the NIP is dated 25/10/17). Will I be able to contest this?
Phil - 8-Nov-17 @ 4:05 PM
RF - Your Question:
I just received a NIP yesterday (31/10/2017) for an offence committed on 04/10/2017. The NIP itself was dated 28/10/2017 (already 24 days after date of offence).What's more is that I know I was caught by a mobile van from behind--and I have tinted rear windows--so there is a 0% chance that they can prove I was the driver.Should I initially send a letter of rejection, and then failing this, request the photographic evidence?

Our Response:
If you are the registered keeper and have not changed vehicle or address recently then you could reject it under the 14 day rule. There's no point in requesting photographic evidence unless you were sure you weren't driving at the time, someone else drives your vehicle regularly and it could have been them...or the vehicle was stolen (you'd probably know about this)
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Nov-17 @ 12:18 PM
I just received a NIP yesterday (31/10/2017) for an offence committed on 04/10/2017. The NIP itself was dated 28/10/2017 (already 24 days after date of offence). What's more is that I know I was caught by a mobile van from behind--and I have tinted rear windows--so there is a 0% chance that they can prove I was the driver. Should I initially send a letter of rejection, and then failing this, request the photographic evidence?
RF - 1-Nov-17 @ 2:45 PM
Sebastian - Your Question:
Hi,So there is no chance to appeal /reject NIP even if NIP was sent 18 weeks after it. It was so long time ago as I can't member if it was me or someone else as I shared my car few times for my family members in similar time when this happened.

Our Response:
If you can't remember whether it was you driving, you can ask the police for photo evidence to see if that will help you identify the person. Here's our guide, which gives more information
NoPenaltyPoints - 1-Nov-17 @ 2:28 PM
Hi, my mother just got a court summons suggesting she was flashed some time ago (she didn’t realise). They want to prosecute her for both speeding (36 in a 30) and not supplying driver details. No NIP ever arrived at her house. If it had she would have returned it and taken the course they would offer at that speed. The helpline said she has to fill out the form either pleading guilty or not guilty. However, by doing so it appears she would lose the ability to opt for a course as well as being prosecuted for not providing details never asked of her. Is there anything we can do?
JB - 31-Oct-17 @ 2:10 PM
Hi, So there is no chance to appeal /reject NIP even if NIP was sent 18 weeks after it. It was so long time ago as I can't member if it was me or someone else as I shared my car few times for my family members in similar time when this happened.
Sebastian - 30-Oct-17 @ 9:29 PM
Sebastian - Your Question:
Hi,I just received NIP. The date of offence is 27/06/2017 but NIP was sent 26/10/2017 (4 months after). I sold a car on 01/07/2017.Apparently I was speeding 80mph on temporary 50mph. I can't member this at all.Do I still have a right to reject NIP?

Our Response:
No, if you had sold you car a few days after the offence, there's a chance the details at the DVLA could have changed the registered keeper's details. The police therefore, have longer to try and trace you.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Oct-17 @ 12:33 PM
Hi, I just received NIP. The date of offence is 27/06/2017 but NIP was sent 26/10/2017 (4 months after). I sold a car on 01/07/2017.Apparently I was speeding 80mph on temporary 50mph. I can't member this at all... Do I still have a right to reject NIP?
Sebastian - 27-Oct-17 @ 3:02 PM
mrbailey- Your Question:
Just got a NIP sent to work for speeding on the 4/10/17 55mph in a 40 and the date on the letter is 20/10/17 over 14 days with the letter getting to me on the 23rd (today) do I have grounds for an appeal?

Our Response:
If the original NIP did not reach its recipient (your work) within 14 days you may still be able to reject it. Please follow the steps in the guide above.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-Oct-17 @ 1:58 PM
Hi can any one give me advice I just received a speeding fine manual operated one doing 46 in a 40 ..... how ever the offence happened back in June and I received the letter dated 20/10/17
Mrs E - 25-Oct-17 @ 9:20 AM
just got a NIP sent to work for speeding on the 4/10/17 55mph in a 40 and the date on the letter is 20/10/17 over 14 days with the letter getting to me on the 23rd (today) do i have grounds for an appeal?
mrbailey - 23-Oct-17 @ 11:37 AM
Hi complicated , do we have reason to reject; I received an S172 it arrived 18/10, offence was 12/9. I was not the owner of the car at the date of the offence but, i notified DVLA of ownership on the 11/10. Butmy family own a business and the car was in their company name, they never received a letter at all so I was thinking I will complete with their name and address and they can reject on the 14 day grounds, as the first time anyone received notification was 29 days after the offence.? thanks
LOZ - 20-Oct-17 @ 4:24 PM
Hi I’ve received a NIP notice through post today. My van is a lease hire agreement and so the notice is addressed to my company name and Home address. The date of offence was 15th September 2017 but the Nip is dated 10th October 2017. I can see that if it was addressed to me personally I’d have a case to say it was fine barred but do I have a case to appeal if it’s addressed to my company?
Andy - 11-Oct-17 @ 3:34 PM
There's a picture of my car, it says I was there at 17:02, I was there at 11:50/12 but not at 17:02 so the time is wrong on the picture, should I wait 14 days before contact the police about the NIP, thought I should say I wasn't there at 17:02 and see what they say, what do you think? Thanks for your help.
Rooster - 6-Oct-17 @ 7:59 PM
Rooster - Your Question:
Received NIP saying I was doing 37mph in a 30mph zone at 17:02, the time on the NIP is worng I was on the road at 11:50 not 17:02, is there anything I can do to avoid points and fine. Thanks

Our Response:
If you were noton the road at the time, it may not have been you/your vehicle. You should say you were not the driver.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Oct-17 @ 3:19 PM
Received NIP saying I was doing 37mph in a 30mph zone at 17:02, the time on the NIP is worng I was on the road at 11:50 not 17:02, is there anything I can do to avoid points and fine. Thanks
Rooster - 4-Oct-17 @ 7:19 PM
Teddy - Your Question:
I have agreed I was the driver of the car on 06/09/2017 but on the fixed penalty form it says offence date was 14/08/2017 do I have a case

Our Response:
If it is a fixed penalty the 14 day rule does not apply. The 14 rule only relates to the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Oct-17 @ 12:43 PM
I have agreed I was the driver of the car on 06/09/2017 but on the fixed penalty form it says offence date was 14/08/2017 do I have a case
Teddy - 1-Oct-17 @ 12:43 PM
BillyBob - Your Question:
Received NIP no date on envelope however date on NIP 13/9/17 with date of offence 15/08/17 my calculation is 32 days since offence do you agree I can "Time Barred" this NIP? Thanks your doing a great job

Our Response:
If you have not changed vehicles or addresses in the past few months and you are the registered keeper of your vehicle (e.g it's not a company car, lease car etc), then you may have a case to reject this under the 14 day rule. Follow the steps advised in the above guide.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Sep-17 @ 10:30 AM
Received NIP no date on envelope however date on NIP 13/9/17 with date of offence 15/08/17 my calculation is 32 days since offence do you agree I can "Time Barred" this NIP? Thanks your doing a great job
BillyBob - 15-Sep-17 @ 7:08 AM
I was test driving a car on behalf of a company when I was caught on a mobile speed camera. The car was on trade plates (brand new and not UK registered). The incident occurred on 31st May 2017. I was recorded as doing 35 in a 30 mph zone. The company who are the registered owners of the trade plate were issued with the NIP on 23 August 2017, nearly 3 months after the alleged offence. They have responded with my details stating that I was the driver using that trade plate on the date in question. I have not received any correspondence on the matter so far. If I do, can I challenge the NIP?
tom - 30-Aug-17 @ 9:45 AM
Received a NIP today -175days after an alleged incident (36 mph in a 30mph zone) 25 weeks seems a little excessive. NIP dated 24/08/2017 but alleged incident 4/3/2017 My ex was driving but he has now moved away, I have his work address,but not home address would this suffice?? Why have they waited 25 weeks to contact me?? Help please...
Worried - 27-Aug-17 @ 1:08 AM
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