How long does a speeding ticket have to arrive before you dont have to pay?

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agapis | 13:29 Tue 29th Aug 2006 | Law
3 Answers
i heard that if you dont receive a ticket 14 days after the offence ,then you don't have to pay it.
I also heard that the time limit is extended if your driving for a company or driving a rental car.
is this true, and how long is this time period?
i received a ticket yesterday, for an alleged offence which happened over 6 months ago, while i worked for a company.
is the ticket valid?


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The police have to either warn you at the time of the alleged offence that you may be prosecuted or, when you are caught by camera, you have to be notified within 14 days by means of a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). There are, however, a number of �escape clauses� to this. The legislation says that the NIP must be sent so as to reasonably sure of it getting to the registered keeper within 14 days. This means that if it is delayed in the post the offence can still be pursued. The police do not have to prove that they posted the letter, or that it was received. If you do dispute that it was received it will be for you to show, in court, that this is the case. (I know � it�s hard to prove that something did not happen, but that�s the law as it stands).

The legislation also allows the police extra time to trace the driver in the case of the car having been hired or, in some circumstances, a company car. It says that they have to act �with due diligence� in their efforts to track the driver, but no time limits define this part of the legislation. The prosecution must, in normal circumstances, be started within 6 months of the offence.


If you genuinely have heard nothing about this alleged offence before now (and have not changed address or something like that) you have a good chance of having any prosecution struck out due to it being time-expired. One thing I would warn against. If you have received a notice asking you to say who the driver of the vehicle was at the time, do not ignore it. If you were the registered keeper of the vehicle you are bound by Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act to reply. You could reasonably argue, in view of the time elapsed, that you cannot remember, but you must reply. Failure to do so is an offence in itself (a fine and 3 points). The time limits for this offence are not so clear cut.

If you need more info, let me know what it is you have actually received.
Question Author
thanks for your answer.
i have received a blue NOIP, dated 6 and a half months after the alleged offence, which was 8/2/06. i say alleged because i used to deliver 3 cars a day, so i honestly cant remember if i was driving this particular car, and the company had a habit of fobbing speeding tickets off onto any mug who would take it. The company are now bankrupt. They went bust in May, largely due to this type of corrupt behaviour.

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