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Does an NIP have to be Served Within 14 Days?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 20 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Speeding Camera Ticket Notice Of

Q.

I have just received a letter about a speeding offence that allegedley took place on the 19th August. I received the letter (dated 24th September), on the 25th September.

I was under the impression that the NIP had to be served within 14 days. This is clearly over that time, so I was wondering if you thought I would be able to use this technicality as a defence?

(Mr Adrian Moore, 4 October 2008)

A.

If you are caught on camera committing a motoring offence, before any action can be taken against you, it is a legal requirement that you must to be informed that you have been caught breaking the law and that the authorities intend to prosecute.

Because you were 'caught on camera' rather than being stopped and served with intent to prosecute by a police officer, a Notice of Intended Prosecution or NIP, will be sent out to you - and this document will be set out in a way that complies with the regulations laid down in the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

Most typically, NIPs relate to speeding offences and running red lights, or similar offences and the obligation is on the authorities to have sent out the Notice in a timely fashion so that it arrives within 14 days of the offence being committed.

So what's with the 14 day limit?

The 14 day limit refers to the amount of time that the Police need to process the original Notice of Intended Prosecution. There is a lot of misinformation about the 14 day rule, but the facts are:

  • It’s not up to the police to prove that the NIP reached the registered keeper within 14 days
  • It is up to the police to be able to prove that in the normal course of events, the NIP would have arrived at the last known address of the registered keeper within the 14 day time limit

Can you explain that a little more?

The onus is not on the police to chase down the registered keeper of the offending vehicle: all they have to do is prove that they sent out the ticket in time to reach the registered keeper within 14 days if there are no ‘unusual events'.

Can you give me an example of 'unusual' events?

Things such as a postal strike, or the registered keeper no longer being at the last known address. If this happens, the ticket will not be considered void as best endeavours were undertaken to contact those responsible. If the registered keeper is, for example, a leaseholder - or company car driver ,then the driver may well be unaware of the offence within 14 days - but as long as the NIP arrived at the last known address of the registered keeper - the head office or leasing company - in time, that's what matters.

Tickets issued over the 14 day limit

If the issue date of the NIP sent to you was more than 14 days after the alleged offence took place, than you can refuse to accept it on the basis that it is time barred. This is certainly true in your case and if you appeal against the ticket on these grounds you should have no problem getting the ticket cancelled.

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If a NIPP arrives at the head office and is filled out in my absence but the date of the offence was according to the time stamp the 3rd week in March and arrived in the office the 8th of may does this constitute an out of time NIPP. The office staff completed the form in my absence clearly without seeing the date. Do I have the right to refuse the NIPP?
NH - 20-May-17 @ 12:24 PM
michelle - Your Question:
I got caught driving on a provisional at the end of March 2017. I was cautioned and my car was pounded. I got it out the next day. The police said I might get a fine and points, but I have not had a summons or anything! Can they still summon me almost 2 months later?

Our Response:
Yes they have up to 6 months to initiate further action.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-May-17 @ 2:05 PM
I got caught driving on a provisional at the end of March 2017. I was cautioned and my car was pounded. I got it out the next day. The police said I might get a fine and points, but I have not had a summons or anything! Can they still summon me almost 2 months later?
michelle - 10-May-17 @ 11:36 AM
weaver - Your Question:
Hi all,I'm sure this has all been discussed before, so my apologies if I'm rehashing here.However, I have just received a 'Notice of Intended Prosecution' for an alleged offence that took place on 06/02/2017 whilst being clocked at 37mph in a 30mph zone.I literally had this come through the door at the weekend and the letter is dated 05/05/2017.After reading that these should turn up within 14 days, it would seem I have good enough grounds to contest this.I have recently sold the vehicle too and changed the registered keeper.Any guidance would be well received.

Our Response:
If you have recently sold the vehicle, there is a chance the DVLA records were not updated which will render your 14 day appeal invalid.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-May-17 @ 2:06 PM
Hi all, I'm sure this has all been discussed before, so my apologies if I'm rehashing here. However, I have just received a 'Notice of Intended Prosecution' for an alleged offence that took place on 06/02/2017 whilst being clocked at 37mph in a 30mph zone. I literally had this come through the door at the weekend and the letter is dated 05/05/2017. After reading that these should turn up within 14 days, it would seem I have good enough grounds to contest this. I have recently sold the vehicle too and changed the registered keeper. Any guidance would be well received.
weaver - 8-May-17 @ 1:04 PM
I received TWO NIPS one 37 days after the incident another 55 days after. The NIP was my first acknowledgment of any incident. The vehicle is mine, I am the registered owner, my address is correct, the vehicle has been mine for years and I haven't moved recently etc etc... Can I get off with the 14 day rule?
Ash - 29-Apr-17 @ 5:26 PM
none- Your Question:
My partner recieved notice of intended prosecution section 172 notice.today letter dated 25 April 2017.the incident was recorded on an automatic camera on 24 February 2017.this is out of time.how should she proceed.

Our Response:
This depends on whether she is the owner of the vehicle (i.e it's not a lease car/company car etc) or whether she has changed vehicle or address in the last couple of months. See our guide here
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Apr-17 @ 2:16 PM
my partner recieved notice of intended prosecution section 172 notice ..today letter dated 25 April 2017.....the incident was recorded on an automatic camera on 24 February 2017..this is out of time .how should she proceed ...
none - 27-Apr-17 @ 1:16 PM
vandriveruk - Your Question:
My office received notice of speeding fine, allegedly committed on 23/3/17 , dated 24/4/17. It is a lease vehicle, am I still liable?

Our Response:
Yes. The first NIP would have been send to the lease company who would have returned it, completed. A second one would then be issued to you, the driver. The 14 day rule would not therefore apply.
NoPenaltyPoints - 26-Apr-17 @ 12:04 PM
My office received notice of speeding fine, allegedly committed on 23/3/17 , dated 24/4/17. It is a lease vehicle, am i still liable?
vandriveruk - 26-Apr-17 @ 11:49 AM
Hi, I bought a new car on 09/03/17, and then subsequently passed a mobile speed camera van on the 13/03/17. I have received an NIP dated yesterday 21/04/17, which falls outside the 14 days. 59 mph in a 40 mph, but there are mitigating circumstances and I do feel aggrieved, I have been driving for 30 years with one serious offence when I was 20(Drink Driving). I had been on a single carriageway 50 mph for approx 2 miles following a driver who was clearly more concerned with his mobile phone than where he was driving. The road went from single carriageway to dual carriageway, from 50 mph to 40 mph, I never saw the van, let alone the Traffic person with the second camera mounted on a tripod hidden behind the van until it was too late as they were hidden from my line of sight. I knew straight away it was likely I had been caught, was unware of my speed as when I come out of single carriageway onto dual I planted my foot on accelerator to get round the erratic driver in front of me. I feel aggrieved being done under these circumstances, also it was just round corner from where I live so I went home, dropped car off and took dog for a walk to take photo's, I can prove that the van was well obscured from view and that the second camera was well hidden. Are these grounds to appeal or do I just take this on the chin. Many thanks Glen123
Glen123 - 22-Apr-17 @ 2:21 PM
Hi, I bought a new car on 09/03/17, and then subsequently passed a mobile speed camera van on the 13/03/17. I have received an NIP dated yesterday 21/04/17, which falls outside the 14 days. 59 mph in a 40 mph, but there are mitigating circumstances and I do feel aggrieved, I have been driving for 30 years with one serious offence when I was 20(Drink Driving). I had been on a single carriageway 50 mph for approx 2 miles following a driver who was clearly more concerned with his mobile phone than where he was driving. The road went from single carriageway to dual carriageway, from 50 mph to 40 mph, I never saw the van, let alone the Traffic person with the second camera mounted on a tripod hidden behind the van until it was too late as they were hidden from my line of sight. I knew straight away it was likely I had been caught, was unware of my speed as when I come out of single carriageway onto dual I planted my foot on accelerator to get round the erratic driver in front of me. I feel aggrieved being done under these circumstances, also it was just round corner from where I live so I went home, dropped car off and took dog for a walk to take photo's, I can prove that the van was well obscured from view and that the second camera was well hidden. Are these grounds to appeal or do I just take this on the chin. Many thanks Glen123
Glen123 - 22-Apr-17 @ 2:13 PM
I got caught speeding on 19/03/17 on a motorway by a speeding gun. The police pulled me over and sat me in there car and told me why they pulled me over and what to expect as a punishment as they don't give points or fine on the spot anymore and my case will be sent to there office and they will decide the outcome. yesterday 20/04/17 i received a notice stating 3 points and £100 or request a court hearing. The letter is dated 13/04/17. Does the 14 day rule apply to me? Or cos they stopped me straight after the offence the 14 day rule doesn't apply? If it does apply then how do I go bringing this to there attention? Thanks
Dee - 21-Apr-17 @ 8:50 AM
Hi, I was caught speeding on 12/03/2017. My NIT was sent (and dated) 11/04/2017. So well over the 14 days! Please may you help in the process of refusing acceptance please? Thanks!
Pete - 12-Apr-17 @ 6:11 PM
Mark - Your Question:
I was flashed by a speed camera on the 1st March 2017. I was in a rental car and the rental company had my driving license on file. I have been served with an NIP. Cannot be precise on when it arrived because the address on my license is in fact my parents address and I have just found the letter now. The date on the top of the letter head is 21st March 2017. Can I invoke the 14 day loophole? Or do the cops have grounds to have served the NIP late because I was driving in a rental.

Our Response:
No you wont' be able to use the 14 day rule because the police will first have contact the registered keeper (the rental company).
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Apr-17 @ 12:05 PM
I was flashed by a speed camera on the 1st March 2017. I was in a rental car and the rental company had my driving license on file. I have been served with an NIP. Cannot be precise on when it arrived because the address on my license is in fact my parents address and I have just found the letter now. The date on the top of the letter head is 21st March 2017. Can I invoke the 14 day loophole? Or do the cops have grounds to have served the NIP late because I was driving in a rental.
Mark - 7-Apr-17 @ 11:06 AM
Brad - Your Question:
I was caught driving 70 in a 50mph average zone, I got a letter to say I was being fined but then got another one 7 to 10months later saying I might have to go to court for it sent it back with my income etc on and said I don't want to go to court they said I will have a response within 2weeks and has been 6weeks since then, is there a way I can protest this as it has been nearly a year this has all been going on for?

Our Response:
Did you pay the fine? Was the court appearance for non payment of this?
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Apr-17 @ 11:28 AM
I was caught driving 70 in a 50mph average zone, I got a letter to say I was being fined but then got another one 7 to 10months later saying I might have to go to court for it sent it back with my income etc on and said I don't want to go to court they said I will have a response within 2weeks and has been 6weeks since then, is there a way I can protest this as it has been nearly a year this has all been going on for?
Brad - 3-Apr-17 @ 6:19 PM
Sooty - Your Question:
I drove on a route covered by average speed cameras. In my ignorance I was unaware that part of it was a 70mph and some 60mph.I'm concerned that I may have been over the speed limit in parts of the route.The journey was 8 weeks ago and I've still had no notification. Would it take this long to be informed?

Our Response:
You should hear within 14 days of the offence assuming you are the registered keeper of the vehicle and your address details are up to date.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Mar-17 @ 12:04 PM
I drove on a route covered by average speed cameras. In my ignorance I was unaware that part of it was a 70mph and some 60mph. I'm concerned that I may have been over the speed limit in parts of the route. The journey was 8 weeks ago and I've still had no notification. Would it take this long to be informed?
Sooty - 27-Mar-17 @ 8:14 AM
SP - Your Question:
I drove through a camera on the 19th of Feb 2017 and received a letter dated 17th March 2017.While this seems like a clear cut time bar I have a suspicion that when I moved home last October I updated my drivers license address but possibly not my V5.While the car is registered to my name, and my name registered to the correct address, I am concerned that they will use an outdated V5 address as an 'unusual event' excuse even though there is clearly a simple linear way to link the car to my current address. Is that sufficient excuse for a late NIP?

Our Response:
Yes information on the V5 is what links a car to a particular person, not the driving licence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:19 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hello,I drove through a camera on the 4th March 2017 and it definitely flashed. However I have received nothing in 17 days. I am the owner and registered keeper and have been at the same address for over a year, my car is registered to this address as well.Could I be in the clear?

Our Response:
Yes possibly. It may be that the NIP has not reached you for some reason, in which case a reminder might be sent. It may be that the camera flashed for another vehicle or as a test etc. If you receive an NIP (and it's not a follow-up/reminder), check the date on which it was issued and follow the advice in our guide here
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:04 PM
I drove through a camera on the 19th of Feb 2017 and received a letter dated 17th March 2017. While this seems like a clear cut time bar I have a suspicion that when I moved home last October I updated my drivers license address but possibly not my V5. While the car is registered to my name, and my name registered to the correct address, I am concerned that they will use an outdated V5 address as an 'unusual event' excuse even though there is clearly a simple linear way to link the car to my current address. Is that sufficient excuse for a late NIP?
SP - 21-Mar-17 @ 2:12 PM
Hello, I drove through a camera on the 4th March 2017 and it definitely flashed. However I have received nothing in 17 days. I am the owner and registered keeper and have been at the same address for over a year, my car is registered to this address as well. Could I be in the clear?
Sam - 21-Mar-17 @ 12:01 PM
Hi, I drive a company car. I was caught speeding (39mph in a 30mph zone) on 11/12/2016. The first I knew about the offence was after new year, I was emailed a copy of the NIP. The date on the letter was 04/01/2017. More then 14 days after the offence. I couldn't see any where on the NIP how to reject it because it was time barred, so I filled it in and sent it away. I have now received a letter asking me to choose either 1) speed awareness course, 2) £100 fine + 3 points, 3) magistrates court. I'm really tempted to go with option 3, but if it goes to court and I loose, it will cost me more then £100. I've had a look on google but not found anything in law where it says they have 14 days to tell you of the offence (although it does say that on the NIP).
Dan - 20-Mar-17 @ 4:41 PM
I was caught on the motorway over the limit on 9th Feb 2017 in a hire car, the NIP the hire car received was dated 1st March 2017. Does this mean I have grounds to say the NIP was sent too late? Please help
Riz - 13-Mar-17 @ 4:58 PM
Hi, I have just brought a new car and think I passed a 'camera' van (speeding) how long should I expect to wait to hear? as the V5 probably won't have been processed yet to prove I'm the new owner. Thanks
Bex - 10-Feb-17 @ 1:23 PM
I received a fine through the door on 25th January 2017. The offence was dated back from 7th November 2016. I was caught on camera doing 37 on a 30 road. Can I appeal this
peter - 28-Jan-17 @ 2:16 PM
Today (26th January 2017) my employer (owner of company car i drive) has shown me a copy of the NIP, they've filled the form in and sent it off so i'm now waiting for the letter addressed to me to arrive at my house. The issue date on my employers copy is 23/01/2017 but the offence (63 in a 50) was committed on 30/12/2016, this is clearly way over the 14 day limit, but because it went to my employer first before it gets directed to me will that mean i have no grounds for cancellation?
Chris - 26-Jan-17 @ 3:01 PM
I received a letter today (25/1/17) saying that I was found doing 58mph in a 50mph zone on 20/12/16. The letter was only issued 2 days ago (23/1/17). At the time, I was in a courtesy car due to my car being in the garage. I got my car back on the 21/12/16. Could I appeal?
J123 - 24-Jan-17 @ 6:49 PM
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