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Does an NIP have to be Served Within 14 Days?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 10 Feb 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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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
I drive a company vehicle on a daily basis as I'm a mobile engineer. My company secretary - the registered keeper of the vehicle - received a NIP (dated on the form as 11/01/17), the date of the alleged offence was 08/12/17 - also on the form. The company has since requested my home address which I've provided. Looking at the date of the offence and the date the NIP was generated, would the 14 day rule apply in this instance if the NIP was sent to the registered keeper?
Andy - 20-Jan-17 @ 7:43 AM
Taylor13 - Your Question:
I received a nip on the 17th of Jan. It was dated 16/01/17 the offence in question was on the 13/12/16 can I appeal this as it's not within the time limit. I was doing 42 in a 30 zone.

Our Response:
Provided you have not recently changed vehicle, or home address and you are the registered keeper of the vehicle (i.e it's not owned by a company or lease firm etc), then you may be able to dispute it. See our guide here
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Jan-17 @ 2:36 PM
I have just received an NIP claiming I was speeding , I have since found out the person in the mobile camera van is a civilian -is this legal and what training do they undergo in order to be in that position ? are there any certificates /qualifications they need ?
smurf - 17-Jan-17 @ 10:04 PM
I received a nip on the 17th of Jan. It was dated 16/01/17 the offence in question was on the 13/12/16 can I appeal this as it's not within the time limit. I was doing 42 in a 30 zone.
Taylor13 - 17-Jan-17 @ 12:26 PM
I was driving a company car at 69 miles per hour in a 50 mile per hour zone on the M1. The incident took place on the 16.12.16, The Notice of Intended Prosecution is dated 11.01.17. Can I reject this based on the 14 day rule?
Gary C - 12-Jan-17 @ 10:42 AM
Kings - Your Question:
Ive not received a notification letter regarding the alleged speeding offence from June 2016. In August I've received a letter from the magistrate court regarding the offence. I had to attend the court. Has been trying to explain what has happened, but the answer was that because it's my car I'm responsible plus I haven't produced the name of the driver at the time of the offence. I didn't get any notification so didn't even know that this offence took place. I need to go to the crown court as magistrate court was not really interested in my explanation. What should I do?

Our Response:
It might be better if you seek professional legal advice from motoring lawyer or similar to help you with this. At the stage this has got to, it seems the courts are looking for some proof that you have not received any prior communication.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Jan-17 @ 2:25 PM
Ive not received a notification letter regarding the alleged speeding offence from June 2016. In August I've received a letter from the magistrate court regarding the offence. I had to attend the court. Has been trying to explain what has happened, but the answer was that because it's my car I'm responsible plus I haven't produced the name of the driver at the time of the offence. I didn't get any notification so didn't even know that this offence took place. I need to go to the crown court as magistrate court was not really interested in my explanation. What should I do?
Kings - 10-Jan-17 @ 6:39 PM
My work received a NIP i was speeding the offense took place on 2nd December so should of received it on the 17th it came just after Christmas the date on the NIP is 23rd December so already past the 14 days. My question is does my boss the registered keeper fill in my details and on the NIP with a rejection letter because of time expired. The recent postal strike didn't affect this because it started on the 19th and i should of received it by the 17th
kobald - 6-Jan-17 @ 6:11 PM
I have a company car and just received an NIP from an offence (38 in a 30) on the 04.012.16. The letter was sent yesterday, 36 day later and arrived today. It is possible that the notice was served elsewhere first but this is still more than double the amount of time the notice should be served in. Any advice? Many thanks
Bill - 6-Jan-17 @ 5:14 PM
Bazza37 - Your Question:
I have a company car and my employer recieved an NIP dated 30th December 2016. My speeding office was 13th December 2016. I understand this is equates to 16 days.which is outside.the.14 day NIP period.Legally my employer who is the registered keeper will need to name me as the driver as it is a criminal offense not to do so.I guess I will recieve a new NIP notice which will have a new date giving the police an excuse for the time lapse. Can I still argue.the original NIP was served too late and outside 14 days to the registered keeper?I was doing 81 on a 70MPH limit road.

Our Response:
You could try appealing on this basis, but there may be an allowance for the two bank holidays during the period in question.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jan-17 @ 2:18 PM
I have a company car and my employer recieved an NIP dated 30th December 2016. My speeding office was 13th December 2016. I understand this is equates to 16 days.which is outside.the.14 day NIP period. Legally my employer who is the registered keeper will need to name me as the driver as it is a criminal offense not to do so. I guess I will recieve a new NIP notice which will have a new date giving the police an excuse for the time lapse. Can I still argue.the original NIP was served too late and outside 14 days to the registered keeper? I was doing 81 on a 70MPH limit road.
Bazza37 - 4-Jan-17 @ 11:06 PM
Recieved nip but was using a hire van at the time. If i found out that they sent it over the 14 day limit to the hire company could i still appeal?
craigy8976 - 24-Dec-16 @ 4:31 PM
I received a NIP for a speeding offence that my wife committed on the 4th December. The NIP is dated 20th December. The car is on a personal lease but I am 99% sure the DVLA have me as the registered keeper. What should I do? If I am to contest it on the 14 day rule do I fill in the back saying that my wife was driving or just contest due to the fact it took 16 days + postage time? Cheers.
Nickt - 22-Dec-16 @ 9:00 PM
Kelly - Your Question:
Which method do the police use to obtain your details? Is it the reg number (and log book) or do they find the registered keeper then look for their licence information? I was caught doing 35 in a 30 in 25/10/16, but only received the NIP today dated 20/12/16. I changed my car in mid September but had received the new log book long before the incident. I moved house in may and only recently changed the address on my licence (not sure exactly when but in the last few months) so could the delay in sending the NIP have occurred because they wrote to the address on my licence, or can I challenge it for being out of time?

Our Response:
The police have access to the DVLA database. You could try challenging this one if it's over a couple of months since you notified DVLA of your new address (i.e it really shouldn't take them that long to update their database). Here's our guide to how to dispute the NIP
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Dec-16 @ 12:39 PM
Which method do the police use to obtain your details? Is it the reg number (and log book) or do they find the registered keeper then look for their licence information? I was caught doing 35 in a 30 in 25/10/16, but only received the NIP today dated 20/12/16. I changed my car in mid September but had received the new log book long before the incident. I moved house in may and only recently changed the address on my licence (not sure exactly when but in the last few months) so could the delay in sending the NIP have occurred because they wrote to the address on my licence, or can I challenge it for being out of time?
Kelly - 21-Dec-16 @ 11:41 AM
Jo - Your Question:
Does anyone know if the 14 days includes bank holidays as well as weekends?

Our Response:
No - count from the date of the offence as day zero.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Dec-16 @ 11:07 AM
Does anyone know if the 14 days includes bank holidays as well as weekends?
Jo - 19-Dec-16 @ 10:34 AM
Geedebb - Your Question:
I was pulled over by a roadside policeman who caught me over the speed limit 42 in a 30), he said I would likely be invited to a speed awareness course and I continued my journey. I then heard nothing for 2 full months and received a NIP yesterday for £100 fine and 3 penalty points. Do I have any grounds to appeal? Many thanks

Our Response:
What you received was a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) not a Notice of Intention to Prosecute (NIP). The police have up to 6 months in which to initiate further action after identifying you as the driver (which obviously the police officer did at the roadside with you). The police officer said you would "likely" be invited to a speed awareness course; courses are offered at the discretion of the police so there's no certainty in this. You would not therefore, have grounds to appeal.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Dec-16 @ 12:07 PM
Hi Husband has just received a single justice procedure notice from being stopped on the motorway for speeding by an unmarked car months ago. It's been over 2 months can they do this? Is this different from just having to pay a fine/points? Is this as a result of such a high speed? He was doing 97 in a 70 zone. I know 100 is an instant ban. Could he still face this even if he pleads guilty via post? Thanks
Ang - 2-Dec-16 @ 7:45 PM
I was pulled over by a roadside policeman who caught me over the speed limit 42 in a 30), he said I would likely be invited to a speed awareness course and I continued my journey. I then heard nothing for 2 full months and received a NIP yesterday for £100 fine and 3 penalty points. Do I have any grounds to appeal? Many thanks
Geedebb - 2-Dec-16 @ 6:58 AM
thegripper - Your Question:
Just received a speeding ticket dating back to the 10th sept 2016 at the time we had just purchased the vehicle it looks like the previous owner had not sent the dvla the correct paperwork for change of ownership can this ticket be contested as this happened nearly four months ago

Our Response:
Not easily. The police can probably demonstrate a valid reason for the delay on the basis that the DVLA information was not correct/available at the time.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Nov-16 @ 12:22 PM
just received a speeding ticket dating backto the 10th sept 2016 atthe time we had just purchased the vehicle it looks like the previous owner had not sent the dvla the correct paperwork for change of ownership can this ticket be contestedas this happened nearly four months ago
thegripper - 28-Nov-16 @ 1:40 PM
Sonia Docherty - Your Question:
I've just got a nip. speeding 38mph on a 30 zone, and apparently went through a red light, this isn't something I would do so I'm really unsure of what's in this letter and Im starting to wonder wether the camera caught my car while another car maybe next to me is the offender. Anyway I got this nip today 15th of November 2016 , letter dated 11th of November 2016 but the offence was apparently on the 18th of September 2016 nearly 2 months apart. Is this right?Sonia.

Our Response:
The NIP should be issued within 14 days of the offence so you may be able to reject it on this basis. If however, you have changed address or vehicle recently, or you are not registered keeper it may take a longer and you cannot reject it in these circumstances.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Nov-16 @ 1:34 PM
I've just got a nip .. speeding 38mph on a 30 zone, and apparently went through a red light, this isn't something i would do so I'm really unsure of what's in this letter and Im starting to wonder wether the camera caught my car while another car maybe next to me is the offender. Anyway I got this nip today 15th of November 2016 , letter dated 11th of November 2016 but the offence was apparently on the 18th of September 2016 nearly 2 months apart. Is this right? Sonia.
Sonia Docherty - 15-Nov-16 @ 10:18 PM
Is it just 14 working days - or is a weekend classed as one of the days?
T - 10-Nov-16 @ 8:04 PM
I have received a Cond. Offer of Fixed Penalty.I was travelling in excess of 40mph. The incident took place 8.17am on 14th Oct.The date on the letter is 3 Nov. Can I contest the notice under the 14 day clause??
jw75 - 7-Nov-16 @ 2:44 PM
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