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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 9 Feb 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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
NIP’s seem to be flying out of the doors of Constabularies , especially in Hampshire where I am fighting not only a Time Framed NIP, but also Racism of theInstitutional type. This NIP was never recieved, but what I did do was respond vitriolcally to the reminder that the first one was sent, by telling that I had not received the original NIP, and the second letter arrived even later than the time framed NIP. Its off to court for a battle.
This Castigator - 9-Jan-18 @ 6:32 AM
My husband was called into his HR department today (4.1.18) and shown a NIP dated 21.12.17 saying he had been caught doing 36 in a 30 limit on 14th November in his lease car. They confirmed they would complete his details as the person driving the car. He thinks he can appeal as the NIP was dated 5 weeks after the offence but HR refused to give him a copy of the letter as it said in it they should not reveal its contents to any third party. Is it worth appealing?
posey - 4-Jan-18 @ 8:05 PM
Caught speeding on 27/8/17 nip arrived 21/12/17 with postal stamp of 15/12/17 well outside the 14 days. Date of issue on the letter is 7/11/17. Do i have a case?
roch - 4-Jan-18 @ 5:36 PM
Janie - Your Question:
My other half hadn't updated his driver details when we changed address in Feb. He got caught in April, sold the car in May and has only just received all the post from the old house and there is a court summons with 6 points and 1000 fine. What should he do? He can't remember if he was driving it as he was selling it.

Our Response:
He will have to explain the situation in court if he hasn't paid the fine. There's not really an excuse for not having post forwarded when you move.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Dec-17 @ 2:59 PM
My other half hadn't updated his driver details when we changed address in Feb. He got caught in April, sold the car in May and has only just received all the post from the old house and there is a court summons with 6 points and 1000 fine. What should he do? He can't remember if he was driving it as he was selling it.
Janie - 20-Dec-17 @ 1:14 AM
Christopher - Your Question:
Got caught on the 9th August 2017 by a on duty officer, and the documents came through the post yesterday (9th December) - doc was dated the 8th Dec but NIP was dated 9/08/17 4 Months after I was caught, what do you think?

Our Response:
The 14 day rule doesn't apply if you are stopped by an officer at the time of the offence so you won't be able to dispute this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Dec-17 @ 2:26 PM
Got caught on the 9th August 2017 by a on duty officer, and the documents came through the post yesterday (9th December) - doc was dated the 8th Dec but NIP was dated 9/08/17 4 Months after I was caught, what do you think?
Christopher - 10-Dec-17 @ 7:32 PM
DN - Your Question:
Hi. I was stopped by police on 7/11 for IN10 but received my FPN through post today 27/11, can I appeal as per outside of 14 days. Letter is dated as 23/11 which outside of 14 days? Please advise if the 14 days is not applicable if I stopped by the officer? Thanks very much.

Our Response:
You're correct, the 14 day rule does not apply if you are stopped by an officer at the time of the offence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Nov-17 @ 2:19 PM
Hi. I was stopped by police on 7/11 for IN10 but received my FPN through post today 27/11, can I appeal as per outside of 14 days. Letter is dated as 23/11 which outside of 14 days? Please advise if the 14 days is not applicable if I stopped by the officer? Thanks very much.
DN - 27-Nov-17 @ 12:29 PM
Hi.. today I have received a nip.. letter is dated the 21/11/17 but the offence took place on the 11/10/17 doing 31mph in a 20mph zone... can I appeal this on the grounds of it not being sent in the 14days Thanks
Babybee - 22-Nov-17 @ 12:01 PM
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
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