Failing to Provide Driver Identity

Section 172 Notices

We have been successful in a number of cases where the evidence to prosecute for failing to provide information as to a driver's identity has been weak. If this is the offence being levelled at you, contact us for more information on the best way to deal with your case and your chances of success.

Failing to Provide Identity - Section 172 Notices

What is failing to provide information?

If a driver is alleged to have committed a driving offence such as speeding or failing to stop at a red light, you may not have been stopped by the police at the time. If this is the case, the registered keeper of the vehicle must be told of any intention to prosecute the driver within 14 days of the offence occurring. This is done via a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP/s172 Notice).

If the NIP is not received within 14 days of the alleged offence, then any recourse the law has to charge you with that offence are barred.

You have 28 days to respond or query an NIP and it is essential within this time to consult a solicitor before you return it, so that you can proceed based on the various options available to you.

If you have already received a summons to say that you have failed to provide information as to the driver's identity, this is also a good time to contact a solicitor to talk over your case before you decide how you want to plead or respond. In most cases we are able to deal with the matter without you even attending court.

If you are convicted with the offence of failing to provide information as to the driver's identity, your licence will be endorsed with 6 penalty points and you will receive a fine of up to £1000. The Magistrates do have the discretion to disqualify someone for this offence but it is a power rarely used.

What we can do for you

Just because you have been accused of a driving offence, it doesn’t have to lead to a conviction. The offence still has to be proven by the police and the prosecution.

Challenging this kind of offence can be done in a number of ways, all of which you can discuss with a solicitor to figure out the best way for you to proceed. Often, there are evidential errors in the case of the prosecution or those who prepared the ticket, all of which can be used to strengthen your defence.

When it is impossible to identify who the driver of the car was when the offence was committed, you can use the defence of reasonable diligence to show that you used your best endeavours in trying to identify who the driver was at the time. To effectively use this defence, you must show that you have made a real and genuine effort to identify the driver, which can be evidenced at court. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your defence and for this reason consulting with a solicitor on receipt of an NIP makes all the difference later on.

The best time to seek legal advice is when you receive the NIP or when you are accused of not returning it within the expected time. You can contact a specialist motoring offences solicitor to handle your case, they can assess your defence and advise you on the best course of action.


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Julie Robertson - Motoring Offences and Criminal Defence Solicitor - Manchester

Julie Robertson
Partner, Head of Motoring & Criminal Defences

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