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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 17 Feb 2021 |
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 had speeding ticket on 1/10/2020I bought car 21st sep 2020 they sent ticket to previous owner but only today they sent me the ticket nearly 4 months later can I fight it or do I have to accept it surely they would of known new details within 2 weeksany advice grateful.
Brad - 17-Feb-21 @ 6:16 PM
I’ve just received a NIP on the 3-11-20 dated from the 24-07-20 which is almost five months after the offence. The van I drive is a lease van through my company but surely this timeframe means the police have requested the hire company my details more recently than that long ago. Do you think I have any grounds to have it nullified?
Jamie - 4-Dec-20 @ 6:11 AM
Hi there Is anyone replying to the messages in the Web page? Received a PCN in 4 November 2020 for an alledged offence on 6th August 2020. Obviously well outside of 14 day rule.... Does the offence allegation stand? Is there anything in the Covid Act 2020 that supercedes the time ruling on the RT Act? Many thanks
Steve - 7-Nov-20 @ 5:23 PM
Hi, I have just received a nip from the 31/08/2020 which was sent to the company I work for they filled out and sent off the information to the police the same day notifing them of my details and i have only just received the ticket today on the 26/10/2020 I was wandering if there was a time limit to getting this thrown out due to how long it has taken them to respond? I was doing 60 on a 50 temporary limit and have already got 6 points. Thank you, Matthew
matt - 28-Oct-20 @ 12:42 PM
Hi I got a speeding ticket on the 4th September and still havnt recieved anything in the post and it's the 30th Sept. No nip or out... Can I challenge it thanks.
Steve - 30-Sep-20 @ 11:53 AM
My employer received the NIP on the 5/8/20 and filled out with correct details. I was doing 79 in a 70. As of today’s date 28/5/20 I have not received the penalty. Am I right in thinking that after 4 weeks this comes invalid?? Or is there a reason they’re taking their time in proceedings?? I already have 6 points on my license.
Aidan g - 28-Aug-20 @ 2:06 PM
Hi, I received a letter yesterday 25/8/2020 stating I was caught speeding on the 26/6/2020, before I respond I wanted to check if this is allowed as it’s past the 14 day rule of when the alleged offence happened. Almost 2 months. Any advice as to what I should do.
Haylz - 26-Aug-20 @ 8:31 PM
Hello, My letter which arrived in the post was dated 30 days after the alleged offence (35 in a 30), so this is definite proof it arrived after 14 days. I signed and returned the NIP because I am the only person who drives my vehicle, so it must have been me. So now I can reject the fine? I am worried if I select this option, that I lose the option of taking the speed awareness course and will lose points on my license. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you
Janey - 17-Aug-20 @ 2:49 PM
Hi. I got a speeding ticket through a company van for occurrence of 06/06/2020... it's now 13th Aug and hasn't arrived yet..I recently moved address but got access to old place, so I do check, licence updates as well..question is do police send reminders? And what happens if it never arrives... should I go call CEU in regards?
Vic - 13-Aug-20 @ 3:38 PM
I did 46 in a 40 limit on 15th July. My NIP is dated 6th August, - 22 days after the offence before it was even sent. Is this out of order? Should |I challenge it before returning my details?
Bunjo - 10-Aug-20 @ 11:49 AM
I was caught speeding on 18th May 2020 but received notice on 10th July 2020 what is the out come
Aqua - 6-Aug-20 @ 10:42 AM
Hi Just received NIP today dated 23/7/20 for a speeding offence alleged to have taken place on 9/3/20, my vehicle is leased so I assume the original NIP went to the lease company first, however it seems a very long time (almost 5 months) to notify me of this so I am wondering if I have a defence with this one?
Denyse - 24-Jul-20 @ 11:59 AM
Hi there, receiveda NIP in post, two days after subsequent speeding. However in further investigation ie online .clicked on media. It shows three photos a higher 36mph in a 30, another picture at 27mph some 30secs after..Picture of Regd..no explanation.. How do I obtain information on this..is this an average speed if so that would be 31.5mphand not the stated 36 surely..
Giz - 2-Jul-20 @ 5:33 AM
I have just received a speeding ticket for an offence that happened 3.5 months ago. With the current situation is this acceptable or should I dispute this on the 14 day rule? Also they have not given me any evidence i. The way of photos or certificates for the gun or the operator, should i be disputing this too?
Steve - 25-Jun-20 @ 6:57 AM
Received a conditional Fix Penalty £100 and 3 points 20 days after the offence took place. Can you pls advise if I can reject it on the ground of 14 day rule. Many thanks
REG - 19-Jun-20 @ 10:30 AM
Did not recieve original notice of prosecution but police say i did . Can i ask for a copy
Shazza - 26-May-20 @ 2:15 PM
I got flagged down for speeding coming off a roundabout by a motorcycle policeman using a speed gun. 1) There was a speed limit sign entering the roundabout, but not on the exit road which was a single carriage-way. He said he had to finish the paperwork later and I got a conditional fixed penalty offer in the post within just 2 days. 2) I did not get an NIP. 3) The offer letter said I was in excess of 30 on a restricted road but did not state my actual speed. Is all of this OK?
Russ - 2-May-20 @ 6:55 AM
I have received a NIP with the letter dated 22/4/20, which is 51 days after the alleged offence on 2/3/20 for apparently doing 35 in a 30 zone near my house. Advice please?
Sophie - 1-May-20 @ 12:27 PM
I was driving company car i recently received a speeding notice wich took more then 20 days through the post do i still the chance to appeal the 14 days.
Delo - 25-Mar-20 @ 3:00 PM
Hi there, I received NIPforspeeding offence 3.5 months after the “alleged” offence. I am usingthe standard letter above rejecting the dates as suggested. Can anyone please tell me if I need to complete the NIP fully and do I sign it or not. Am i choosing "guilt plea" as well as I send back the original or a copy. As anyone else been successful with speeding rejection resulting in NFA with this sort of timescales. Thanking you for your response in advance.
J - 18-Mar-20 @ 4:16 PM
Hi there, I received NIPforspeeding offence 3.5 months after the “alleged” offence. I am usingthe standard letter above rejecting the dates as suggested. Can anyone please tell me if I need to complete the NIP fully and do I sign it or not. Am i choosing "guilt plea" as well as I send back the original or a copy. As anyone else been successful with speeding rejection resulting in NFA with this sort of timescales. Thanking you for your response in advance.
J - 18-Mar-20 @ 2:59 PM
Hi. I was named by owner as the driver in a speeding offence, but I received NOP 2 months after “alleged” offence ( as I seriously cannot remember if it was me ). Is there a time span that police need keep for a named driver?? What are my options?? Thanks
Zee - 12-Feb-20 @ 9:00 AM
Hi, I was sent a speeding ticket on the 19/12/19 saying I was caught doing 36 on a 30 zone dated on 11/11/19 . The car was a company car . I phoned up asking why I received the ticket 5 weeks later they said it goes to the hire company first then sent to me after they replied . Can I dispute this fine of 3 points and £100 fine. Kind regards M
Maz - 2-Jan-20 @ 8:53 PM
Hey, Can anyone help? I got speeding fine back in August. I sent the letter back saying it was me driving. And only just got letter back now in December saying I all got to court.
Marc - 3-Dec-19 @ 5:37 PM
I received a NIP today, 24th Oct 2019 for an alleged speeding offece that happened on 13th July 2019. I was apparently doing 68mph in a 60 zone. The ticket has been issued well outside the 14 day window period. Can I get this ticket cancelled and the case dropped? I can not afford to get points on my licence as this will greatly affect my job. I need help with this.
Threaders - 24-Oct-19 @ 1:20 PM
I have just received a NIP which is for speeding almost 6 months ago. I genuinely can not remember this incident
Lansander - 18-Oct-19 @ 12:29 AM
Hi i just been informed by my supervisor that i got speed ticket 61 in 50 zone i was on outside lane overtaking coming up a hill no excuse and um not disputing thus but the van us a lease from a company now thus offence was done in august 21 2019 now the letter is dated this September 23 from the police i don't know if it had gone to the lease company first which i have no idea who that is and is it down to me to find all the his or is it up to company i work for
Banana - 24-Sep-19 @ 5:48 PM
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
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