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sausagesandlaughter
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - February 2016
Date of the NIP: - 64 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 66 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - Falmer Road O/S No: 502, Woodingdean, UNITED KINGDOM
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - First
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? - I am now the Registered Keeper
How many current points do you have? - 0
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons - Bought car from VW dealer and got caught doing 38mph in 30mph zone on the way home.

Received my new V5C about a week later, according to that it looks as if I was registered with DVLA as the new registered keeper on 16/02/16.

The VW dealer had previously received a NIP dated 16/03/16 (approx five weeks after the alleged offence). I have a copy of this NIP.

I suppose Sussex police contacted the DVLA to find out who was the registered keeper. I would have thought this would have been the dealer but perhaps they have a special status when they take "ownership" of a car.

I have the name and address of the previous registered keeper (from my V5C) but no phone number. He acquired the car on 13/07/13, the car was first registered on 08/05/10. My new V5C states 2 previous owners, so presumably the first owner and the one on my V5C.

Does the dealer not ever appear as a registered keeper at the DVLA? Would the police have contacted the previous registered keeper even though he must have signed the car over to the dealer?

Can I say the NIP was not properly served or do I need to find out if one was sent to the previous registered keeper (not the dealer)?


NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes
Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? - No
Was there a valid reason for the NIP's late arrival? - Unsure
Although you are the Registered Keeper, were you also the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - No
Were you driving? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • The law requires you to provide the information requested in the Section 172 notice within the 28 day period, naming yourself as the driver. If you are considering obtaining formal legal advice, do so before returning the notice.

    You should note that there is nothing to be gained by responding any earlier than you have to at any stage of the process. You are likely to receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty (COFP) and further reminder(s). If you want to continue the fight, you should ignore all correspondence from the police until you receive a summons. You need to understand from the outset that while you will receive much help and support from members on the forums, you will need to put time and effort into fighting your case and ultimately be prepared to stand up in court to defend yourself.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Fri, 22 Apr 2016 20:27:28 +0000
Jlc
Regardless of any 'late' NIP, the s172 (name the driver) request is very much valid now you've received it and must be satisfied.

The car may have been marked as 'in the trade' (the dealer does not become the keeper as such). I suspect at the time the police queried the DVLA the previous keeper details were returned and then that person named the dealer they sold it to - and then they named you. It is unlikely you have a 'late NIP' defence.

If you want the chance of a course then reply asap.
andy_foster
I would not be in a hurry to discount the possibility of a late NIP defence.

If the previous owner was still recorded as the RK and the first NIP went to them, then it is unlikely that thee is a late NIP defence. However, if the vehicle was shown as being 'in trade' and the police did not check the MIB database (on the basis that they has taken the view that they didn't have to bother), then it seems unlikely that the criteria of it not being possible to determine the driver's details with reasonable diligence would have been met.

In my experience, the best loopholes are not from sloppily worded legislation, but from errors made by arrogant organisations.
sausagesandlaughter
Thank you.

I'm thinking of running a "late NIP" defence, along the lines that the police didn't exercise reasonable diligence in finding me as the registered keeper. They sent the (second?) NIP to the VW dealer on 16 March, I'd already been registered at the DVLA as the keeper for a month (16 February) six days after the "alleged offence".

Does anybody know what the DVLA tells the police if the car is in the hands of a dealer? Does it say "in trade". Surely the police must know that if the car shows as "in trade" at the DVLA it's going to take ages if they then decide to approach the keeper before the dealer first? Who presumably signed off as registered keeper when he handed the car over to the dealer. It's taken over two months in my case.
Jlc
How long did the dealer have the car before selling to you?

Why not ask the Police when and where the 1st NIP was posted?

I'm not discounting a defence but it's an expensive mistake if they have 'complied' and you maintain a not guilty plea at court. Are you aware of the potential costs?
Logician
s.1 RTOA 1988 requires the first NIP to go to the driver or the registered keeper, no one else. Dealers very rarely register their cars in stock to themselves, they are recorded as "in trade" so the registered keeper does not change. It therefore appears to me that even if the police were notified by the DVLA that the car was in trade, they still had to serve the first NIP on the registered keeper, who at that time was the previous owner. Even if they had contacted the dealer and been given the name of the OP as the purchaser of the car, they could not be certain that he was the driver of the car and he was not the registered keeper, so a first NIP served on him might not have complied with s.1. So I do not think a late NIP defence will run.
fergies_army
As above .... A vehicle will show as "In trade" next to the details of the last known RK, the dealer or trade details are not provided to police.
sausagesandlaughter
Thanks all.

I guess I need to identify myself as the driver (S172) anyway. Do I have to reply promptly to stand a chance of being offered a course? Can I argue that the NIP was not validly served as well? Then the police can either drop it or tell me about the first NIP they served on the old registered keeper. At which point I can just accept the speeding ticket?

All I'll lose is the chance of a course. Is that a sensible approach? Or not.
The Rookie
You have at least three months from offence date to book the course (4 in some areas).

The stock police reply when challenged on whether a valid NIP was served is usually 'it was' which doesn't really help you decide if you have a defence, they are under no obligation to validate that unless it gets to court.

You have the previous registered keepers details on the V5C, why not ask them?
Jlc
There's no reason to delay in responding to the driver request. Any offers they return will give you extra time anyway.

As noted, the police will probably state they complied but they might confirm a letter was sent in a few days after the alleged offence. Many forces will take the view that if you want to contest then the matter would have to go to court. Get the offers in the bag first as saying the wrong things could route it to court...

Just for reference the costs for a trial would likely be over £600 alone so be very sure of any facts before rejecting offers not to prosecute.
andy_foster
QUOTE (Logician @ Sat, 23 Apr 2016 - 01:45) *
s.1 RTOA 1988 requires the first NIP to go to the driver or the registered keeper, no one else.


Correct - not simply the RK, but the RK or the driver.

QUOTE
Dealers very rarely register their cars in stock to themselves, they are recorded as "in trade" so the registered keeper does not change. It therefore appears to me that even if the police were notified by the DVLA that the car was in trade, they still had to serve the first NIP on the registered keeper, who at that time was the previous owner. Even if they had contacted the dealer and been given the name of the OP as the purchaser of the car, they could not be certain that he was the driver of the car and he was not the registered keeper, so a first NIP served on him might not have complied with s.1. So I do not think a late NIP defence will run.


I disagree. When the vehicle is recorded as "in trade" it has no registered keeper, and the previous keeper recorded is merely the previous keeper. Serving a NIP on the previous keeper ought not to constitute service on the registered keeper.

It clearly would not be beyond reasonable diligence for the police to obtain policyholder and named driver details from the MIB database. Serving a NIP on such persons would satisfy s.1 if one of them was the driver - which is not an absolute certainty, but is very likely. Assuming that the police could have done so in time to serve a NIP within the 14 days, the question would seem to be whether the reasonable diligence exemption in section 2 applies if the police can obtain the accused details with reasonable diligence, but are not certain that he was the driver.

QUOTE
...that [...] the name and address of the accused [...], could [not] with reasonable diligence have been ascertained in time for a [...] notice to be served or sent in compliance with the requirement, ...


Jlc
I can see the defence angle but it may be quite a fight and might well have to go to appeal.

We don't know what was returned by the PNC check but it is likely the details were used verbatim and no other checks were made unless an unusual response was received. I could see them arguing there was no need to check other avenues but whether this is sufficient in these circumstances?
sausagesandlaughter
If the previous owner was still recorded as the RK and the first NIP went to them, then it is unlikely that thee is a late NIP defence. However, if the vehicle was shown as being 'in trade' and the police did not check the MIB database (on the basis that they has taken the view that they didn't have to bother), then it seems unlikely that the criteria of it not being possible to determine the driver's details with reasonable diligence would have been met.

Yes, this would be the line I would like to argue. But if I've understood you correctly I should satisfy the S172 requirement first and contest the NIP after I've had any offers from the police? I don't think I would take it all the way to court.

I think I will try to contact the previous keeper, I couldn't find a phone number for him but he doesn't live too far away from me. I didn't want to alarm him by just turning up at his house but I don't seem to have an alternative.

BaggieBoy
The police won't be interested if you "contest" the NIP, you either take the SAC/fixed penalty or they will refer it to the CPS. So if you don't want to take it to court I suspect you will have cooption but to take the offer.
Jlc
QUOTE (sausagesandlaughter @ Sat, 23 Apr 2016 - 14:00) *
I don't think I would take it all the way to court.

This is your issue then. After naming the driver (which is a separate issue from the alleged offence itself) then you can tell them that the NIP is invalid but I suspect their response will that they believe they've complied and take the matter to court if you disagree.

Write to the previous keeper and give your contact details...
glasgow_bhoy
Surely the NIP went to the dealer as the offence was on the day that the OP bought the car. The police/DVLA wouldn't know what time the OP picked up the car at, so writing to the dealer, who would have been in possession at the start of the day makes sense.
Jlc
It may depend on when the previous keeper disposed of the vehicle. (And the DVLA were made aware/processed it)
Logician
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sat, 23 Apr 2016 - 13:18) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Sat, 23 Apr 2016 - 01:45) *
s.1 RTOA 1988 requires the first NIP to go to the driver or the registered keeper, no one else.
Correct - not simply the RK, but the RK or the driver.
QUOTE
Dealers very rarely register their cars in stock to themselves, they are recorded as "in trade" so the registered keeper does not change. It therefore appears to me that even if the police were notified by the DVLA that the car was in trade, they still had to serve the first NIP on the registered keeper, who at that time was the previous owner. Even if they had contacted the dealer and been given the name of the OP as the purchaser of the car, they could not be certain that he was the driver of the car and he was not the registered keeper, so a first NIP served on him might not have complied with s.1. So I do not think a late NIP defence will run.
I disagree. When the vehicle is recorded as "in trade" it has no registered keeper, and the previous keeper recorded is merely the previous keeper. Serving a NIP on the previous keeper ought not to constitute service on the registered keeper. It clearly would not be beyond reasonable diligence for the police to obtain policyholder and named driver details from the MIB database. Serving a NIP on such persons would satisfy s.1 if one of them was the driver - which is not an absolute certainty, but is very likely. Assuming that the police could have done so in time to serve a NIP within the 14 days, the question would seem to be whether the reasonable diligence exemption in section 2 applies if the police can obtain the accused details with reasonable diligence, but are not certain that he was the driver.
QUOTE
...that [...] the name and address of the accused [...], could [not] with reasonable diligence have been ascertained in time for a [...] notice to be served or sent in compliance with the requirement, ...


You may be correct but I do not think so. "registered keeper”, in relation to a vehicle, means the person in whose name the vehicle is registered and I do not think the DVLA remove that name until another replaces it. I note that when a RK informs the DVLA that he has disposed of the vehicle the response is not an acknowledgement that he is no longer the RK but that he is no longer liable for the vehicle.

squaredeal
Only about 50% of vehicles that are marked as Has Advised DVLA No Longer the Keeper actually have a current insured person's details on the MIB database.
In those cases the NIP is issued to the insured rather that the previous RK.

In all other cases the NIP is posted to the previous keeper with a pre-paid envelope to ascertain who they sold the vehicle to. No more PNC checks would be done unless a lack of response warranted it.

Sometimes this may mean that extra links in the NIP/172 chain are unnecessarily added, but there are just too many to continually do rechecks awaiting for DVLA updates rather than wait for NIP responses.
The Rookie
Too many though is not 'reasonable dilligence', the number does not dictate what is or is not reasonable, in fact it strongly suggests reasonable dilligence is ignored.
Jlc
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 - 07:45) *
Too many though is not 'reasonable dilligence', the number does not dictate what is or is not reasonable, in fact it strongly suggests reasonable dilligence is ignored.

I'm tending to agree. But the sausage-machine will continue unless this is challenged in the courts but it wouldn't be easy I suspect!
Logician
QUOTE (Jlc @ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 - 09:14) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 - 07:45) *
Too many though is not 'reasonable dilligence', the number does not dictate what is or is not reasonable, in fact it strongly suggests reasonable dilligence is ignored.
I'm tending to agree. But the sausage-machine will continue unless this is challenged in the courts but it wouldn't be easy I suspect!


Remember though, that reasonable diligence applies only to the first 14 days.

sausagesandlaughter
I wonder if I might ask you lovely people for some more advice.

On 2nd May I sent back the S172 notice fingering myself as the speeding driver. I also appealed the NIP on the grounds that due diligence had not been exercised in ascertaining the registered keeper within 14 days. I was very respectful. I sent my letter "signed for" and got confirmation it had been delivered.

And I haven't heard anything since. I thought I would be offered a FPN at least. Not necessarily expecting the offer of a speed awareness course having objected to the NIP.

Should I expect a summons to court? Can I check to see if charges have been laid against me? I'm not going to contact them in case they've forgotten all about me. The alleged offence was on 10/02/16, how long before they can no longer prosecute me? 6 months or 6 months plus 14 days?

Thanks again for your help.
BaggieBoy
You can't "appeal" a NIP, there is no such process. However you letter may have been taken that you wanted to contest the validity of the NIP which can only happen in court; so they may go straight to a summons. The summons process has to be started within 6 months of the offence, however you may not actually get the summons for a few weeks after this.
Jlc
They need to start proceedings within 6 months of any offence - for the speeding it will be from the date of capture.

For a s172 offence it will be 6 months after the expiry from then request was made. (As an offence isn't potentially committed until 28 days after that request was not satisfied)
andy_foster
You cannot appeal a NIP. A NIP is merely a notice which may or may not satisfy the requirements of s. 1 RTOA 1988. It almost invariably incorporates an s. 172 RTA 1988 requirement to name the driver, which is widely considered to remain valid regardless of the requirements of s. 1.

For the substantive offence, they have 6 months from the date of offence to instigate proceedings (lay an information or issue a postal requisition). It usually takers a few weeks for the summons or postal requisition to be served. Proceedings are usually instigated just before the 6 months are up.

The police have presumably taken your protest as some kind of informal appeal and an intention to let the matter go to court when the police almost invariably pay no heed to your 'appeal'. It is common for them not to offer alternatives to prosecution in such circumstances.
It is possible that they have decided that your 'appeal' has merit and have decided to drop the case without informing you, but that seems unlikely.

If your 'appeal' against the NIP resulted in you failing to name the driver, the 6 months for that offence would begin at the expiration of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the NIP/s. 172.
sausagesandlaughter
Thank you.

Ok, so I didn't appeal the NIP I "respectfully requested them to consider withdrawing it". I'm think I've satisfied the S.172 requirement. Surely that and the NIP are separate things.

If they are going to take me to court is there any way I can put my hands up now and take my punishment? Or do I have to wait and plead Guilty at the earliest opportunity?

If they leave instigating proceedings against me until just before the end of the six month period (why do they do that?) and it takes a few weeks for me to be notified it'll be Sept/Oct before I know.

Should I ring them and ask them what they're planning?
peterguk
QUOTE (sausagesandlaughter @ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 - 13:08) *
Should I ring them and ask them what they're planning?


You can if you wish. But they are under no obligation to tell you.
Jlc
QUOTE (sausagesandlaughter @ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 - 13:08) *
why do they do that?

Because they can...

Yes, the requirement to name the driver is separate - but this doesn't appear to be issue.
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