Failure to Provide ID - Rob Winter

Hi, im currently going to court for failing to provide ID on a driver. The original offence was doing 39 in a 30, which I know is bad, and I will happly own up to that. However I dont want to be done for the failing to provide ID on a driver. Mainly because I cant afford 800 quid nor do I want 6 points. The complication with my case is that I never recieved any NIP regarding the speeding as they sent everything to the wrong address. So I initially went to court to do a statuatory declaration. I had moved address beginning of May, however I didnt change my address until the 5th July. The issue is that the court said that the speeding charge was sent to my old address on the 7th July. So my address was correct at the time of them sending the NIP. The court said that I need to plead not guilty, but now I've plead not guilty I have to go to trial. Can anyone give me any advice to my defence? Have I got a shot at being found not guilty? I mean im happy to take the punishment for the speeding offence. Any help would be appreciated.



Failure to Provide ID - Middleman

I'm tied up right now and I 'll provide a better answer later, but you should be able to do a deal where the prosecution agrees to drop the S172 (Fail to provide driver's details) charge in return for you pleading guilty to speeding. This can only be done in court on trial day.

Failure to Provide ID - Rob Winter

Hey, thanks for any advice given, I really cant afford a lawyer! I have a 'case management hearing' in a couple of weeks, can this be settled then?

Failure to Provide ID - Middleman

Hey, thanks for any advice given, I really cant afford a lawyer! I have a 'case management hearing' in a couple of weeks, can this be settled then?

Yes, there’s a distinct possibility.

Firstly, the reason you face the charge is that it takes more than two days for the DVLA records which the police access to get Registered Keepers’ details to be updated. So it is not surprising that an update you provided on 5th July was not carried through to the records by 7th July.

You don’t say whether you have been dual-charged with both Failure to Provide and speeding. However, it should not matter. You need to attend court on the appointed day and ask to see the prosecutor for your case. Arrive about 9am (assuming you have been asked to attend at 10am) and ask the receptionist or one of the ushers to find the prosecutor in your case. Explain the circumstances which led to you being charged with failing to provide details. You should explain that you were the driver at the time of the allegation and that you will gladly plead guilty to the speeding offence provided the S172 offence is dropped. It would be most unusual (in fact almost unheard of) for the deal to be refused. If you are unable to see the prosecutor before you are called into court, offer to do the deal when you are asked to state your plea. DO NOT under any circumstances plead guilty to either the S172 offence or speeding until the deal has been agreed.

If you really want to try your luck, after the deal has been agreed, you could ask the Magistrates to sentence you equivalent to the Fixed Penalty (£100 and three points). Had you received the paperwork you would have been eligible for a Fixed Penalty (in fact you would have been eligible for a Speed Awareness Course provided you had not done one in the past three years, but the court cannot revert to that option). They do have the discretion to impose a Fixed Penalty Equivalent, however, when there are circumstances, such as administrative reasons, which are unconnected to the offence. You could suggest that these are such circumstance (even though they may feel you contributed to the situation by failing to inform the DVLA of your change of address promptly and failing to have any mail forwarding in place). But if you don’t ask, you won’t get!

You do not need a solicitor to do any of this. It sounds complex, but it is bread and butter to the courts and they see it every day.

Failure to Provide ID - Rob Winter

Oh it takes two days? The DVLA said that the address change went through an hour later then when I did the application, that sucks. Also I was never charged or summoned to court for the speeding according to the courts, only for the S172. Would this matter? My appointment is at 13:45 will the prosecutor be available before then?

With regards to the sentencing, are you saying that I now cant get the option of a speed awareness course?

Thanks for all your help


Failure to Provide ID - FP

" My appointment is at 13:45 will the prosecutor be available before then?"

When my stepson was in court we made sure we were there very early - and, yes, the prosecuting solicitor was around and very keen to speak with us. The charge against the lad was watered down when he showed willingness to plead guilty, but there was an important conversation in which the precise details of what was going to happen were discussed.

So, get there early!

Failure to Provide ID - Middleman

As I understand it the safety camera partnerships (who process the photos) do not have direct access to the DVLA database, but instead rely on a copy which is not downloaded daily. However, it doesn’t matter; you are where you are.

You would not have been charged with speeding. To support that charge it is necessary to know who was driving and that is the purpose of the S172 request for information. You didn’t respond to that request so they did not know who was driving. It may make a difference that you have not now been dual charged but it is not an insurmountable problem.

No you cannot be offered a Speed Awareness Course now. That is not an option for the court. It is only a diversionary disposal available to the police/safety camera partnerships.

You have to tread a little carefully with this. You contributed to the situation in which you find yourself by failing to notify the DVLA of your change of address promptly. If you try to defend the S172 charge it may well not go your way because of that. However, most prosecutors take a pragmatic view in these circumstances and prefer to secure a conviction for the signature offence than take the S172 matter to trial. That’s why the “plea bargain” is your best bet. At present they cannot successfully prosecute you for speeding (they have no evidence that you were driving). The S172 charge may stick at trial, but a guaranteed speeding conviction is usually preferable to prosecutors.

Afternoon courts usually begin at 2pm (unless they ran late in the morning). The prosecutor should be available to see defendants before then but as I said, you can offer your deal in the courtroom itself. In the unlikely event that the offer is refused you should maintain your Not Guilty plea to the S172 charge. You will be asked the basis of your plea and you can say that you could not respond to a notice you did not receive. A trial date will be set and you can then take your time deciding if and how you can defend that charge. As well as a hefty fine and six points, the offence carries an MS90 endorsement code. Insurers really do not like this and you will suffer insurance grief for five years. Hopefully it will not come to that.

Failure to Provide ID - Rob Winter

Thank you all very much for your help I will get there early and hopefully I can get them to allow me to plead guilty to the speeding charge.

Failure to Provide ID - Rob Winter

Hi, I've been through some other forums regarding matters like this. A fair few don't believe a plea bargain for the speeding offence will be unlikely to be allowed as I am not charged with the speeding? Also I've gone back through my documents and I may have changed my address for registered keeper a little later than I originally thought. Would it be better for me to ring up and changed my plea to guilty? Would they reduce the fine? It was at 800 before all this.

Failure to Provide ID - RichardW

You're up before the beak anyway, you've got nothing to lose; worst that will happen is, he will say no, and you will have to answer the case for S172. I wouldn't plead guilty - as long as you are contrite about the address change, and you did provide the info as soon as you were asked, then you have done what you could, once the original error had been discovered (although this does open you up to not sending off the address change). Not been there, but may well depend on what has gone before, what the judge had for lunch, and how he is feeling!

Failure to Provide ID - Middleman

Actually it’s not up to the judge (or the Magistrates) so what he had for lunch is neither here nor there. The acceptance of your “plea bargain” is at the discretion of the prosecutor. The court will simply sentence you for whatever charge is finally agreed upon.

As I said earlier, the fact that you have not been “dual charged” could be a problem. You have a potential defence to the S172 charge. You could not respond to a notice you did not receive. How the court views that depends on a number of things – not least how long it was before you notified the DVLA of your change of address and what steps – if any- you took to have your mail redirected. Conversely, although it was not reasonably practicable to provide the information as you were not aware of the requirement, the court is entitled to find that it was practicable for you to have updated your V5C and thus received the notice. So although there is a risk for you in going to trial on that matter there is also a risk for the prosecution. For that reason most prosecutors may choose to secure a conviction for the speeding offence.

I would not enter a guilty plea to the S172 at this stage. Doing so in court on the day (of your Case Management hearing) will not see you disadvantaged to any great degree. But it still leaves you with the option of requesting the plea bargain. If it is refused you may then choose to plead guilty to the S172 offence and you should be given near enough full discount for that plea. (If you delay your plea beyond the first earing the full discount of 33% begins to be reduced. If you change your plea to guilty on trial day the discount will be only 10% at best). Most importantly you will not pay full prosecution costs (which may be up to £600 if you go to trial) but instead should pay only £85. There is no discount on the penalty points to be had or lost.

In summary, in my view there is nothing to be lost in maintaining your Not Guilty plea to the S172 charge at least until your Case Management hearing. You get the opportunity to try for your plea bargain near enough for free.

Just out of interest, it is unusual not be "dual charged" in these circumstances. When was the date of the original speeding allegation?

Failure to Provide ID - Rob Winter

The date of the original was the 2nd July. They sent the NIP on 7th. I only knew of all this as my HR last at work pulled me aside and told me she's having to take a percentage of my wage away due to a fine. This was done last month.

Failure to Provide ID - Middleman

Ah! Then you have a problem!

The speeding matter is now “timed out”. The prosecution has six months from the date of the alleged offence to begin court proceedings and that means that no action could begin after 2nd January. If the S172 request was sent with the NIP (as they usually are) on 7th July, it was deemed to have been served on you (even though you did not receive it) two working days later, on Monday 11th. You committed the S172 offence (by failing to reply) 28 days later on August 8th. The six month rule also applies to S172 offences, meaning that court action must have begun by 8th February. It might be worth checking when your original case was heard in your absence to ensure that the six month rule was not broken but it’s unlikely that it was.

Assuming all is OK with that your chances of achieving a successful “plea bargain” are somewhat reduced. I have seen instances where prosecutors have raised a (strictly speaking illegal) out-of-time speeding charge with the compliance of the court. I believe it is still worth attending court and asking (but if you were successful I would certainly not push my luck by asking the court to sentence you to the Fixed Penalty Equivalent as I suggested earlier!). It’s worth making the request because the MS90 endorsement is treated by insurers (and vehicle hirers and lease companies) so much more harshly than SP30 (speeding).

Failure to Provide ID - concrete

Well done Middleman. Some good free advice there. oH what a tangled web we weave etc etc etc!!!!!! Cheers Concrete

Failure to Provide ID - Rob Winter

So to summarise. I should go to the case hearing. Attempt a plea bargain (which is unlikely). If I'm not given a plea bargain. I can either fight the case in court which will cost me alot more money and still get 6 points. The it seems like a fight I'll probably lose, as I haven't got much of a defence as I didn't change my address in time, nor did I set up a mail forwarding. Or I can plead guilty have the fine reduced by 33% and only have to pay £85, and still get 6 points.

I have barely any money, barely enough to pay for the reduced fine. So I feel the best thing I can do after the bargain is, probably, not given. Is to plead guilty and not go to trial. As a trial would ruin me.

I can't stress enough how great this community is, especially you Middleman! I really appreciate all of the help you have given

Failure to Provide ID - Middleman

Yes there is a very good chance that things will not go your way in a trial. If the potential extra cost does concern you, better to go for a known quantity.

I definitely think an attempt at the plea bargain is worthwhile. It will cost you nothing and may produce results. However, in view of the “time-out” issue you will have to find a particularly co-operative prosecutor. But you never know. Make sure you accept you are entirely to blame for your plight, “lessons learned”, etc.etc. One thing to make sure of whilst you are trying to secure your bargain: do not, under any circumstances, let it slip out that you intend to plead guilty to S172 if you are not granted a deal. The only card that you hold is that you will agree to avoid the prosecution having to bother with a trial if they drop the S172 charge. If you let them know you intend to plead guilty anyway your card is burnt and the prosecutor will have no incentive to consider a deal. Only when you are sure that a deal is a dead duck should you indicate that you will change your plea.

Hope it goes well for you.

Failure to Provide ID - scot22

I have followed your OP with interest but not had anything to contribute. People like Middleman are invaluable and make forums worthwhile.

Very best wishes both for your financial situation to improve and for things to go as well as possible.


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