Home > Ask Our Experts > Does an NIP have to be Served Within 14 Days?

Does an NIP have to be Served Within 14 Days?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 27 Mar 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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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
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
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