Out of Time Witness Statement
If you have received a text message, a letter or a visit from a bailiff/enforcement agent in relation to a Penalty Charge Notice, Congestion Charge, Dart Charge or Merseyflow penalty that you had been unaware of, it is usually because all correspondence had been sent to a previous address. If so, legislation is in place protect you. All bailiff enforcement will be suspended by submitting either an Out of Time witness statement (TE7 and TE9) or an Out of Time statutory declaration (PE2 and PE3) to the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC). If accepted, the debt (and bailiff fees) will be cancelled and a new Penalty Charge notice issued.
What is an Out of Time witness statement?
A Word of Warning.
Although the forms TE7 and TE9 look quite simple to complete, it should be remembered that an Out of Time or late witness statement is a County Court procedure. Unless you have previously drafted court documentation, you really should not be submitting these applications without seeking advice beforehand. You can email a question to us using our Enquiry Form.
Sadly, it is mainly due to very poorly drafted forms that approx 65% of Out of Time witness statements are rejected.
Why was correspondence sent to my previous address?
It is usually because the V5C/Log Book had not been updated at DVLA following a change of address. If a road traffic contravention, congestion charge, Dart Charge or Merseyflow toll is not paid, the charging authority will make a request to DVLA for the name and address of the registered keeper. A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be sent to that person at the address held by DVLA. Sadly, since the scrapping of paper tax discs, many people forget to update their V5C/Log Book when they move address. This is very common indeed.
Correspondence had been sent to the vehicle hire company or finance company.
This is another very common situation and in particular; with an unpaid Dart Charge or Merseyflow. The notices from the authority would be sent to the registered keeper…..this would be the hire company. They in turn will ask that liability be transferred to the hirer. The hire company would rely upon the name and address provided at the time of hire. Another problem that we see quite often is where the V5C is held by the finance company. In such cases, it is important that if you move address that you inform the finance company.
I updated my driving licence when I moved so DVLA were aware of my address?
Not so I’m afraid. A driving licence is confirmation that you have passed your driving test. A V5C (Log Book) on the other hand, is the registration certificate for a particular vehicle. We receive an astonishing number of enquiries from the public regarding correspondence going to a previous address. Of interest, is that in the vast majority of cases, when a motorist moves address, he updates his driving licence….but forgets to update the V5C (Log Book) !!
Grounds for completing an Out of Time witness statement (TE7 and TE9)
An Out of Time Witness Statement/Statutory Declaration or late appeal can be submitted on one of four grounds. The most common are that:
- You did not receive the Penalty Charge Notice (usually because all notices had been sent to a previous address).
- You appealed the PCN to the council (or Dart Charge) within 28 days but did not receive a Notice of Rejection.
Bailiff is seeking payment for a Dart Charge that I didn’t know about.
Because of the significant number of Dart Charge enquiries that we receive, we have a separate page dedicated to a Dart Charge Out of Time witness statement (or late appeal) here.
Bailiff is seeking payment for a Merseyflow toll that I didn’t know about.
The bailiff company that enforce unpaid Merseyflow tolls is Marston Holdings. We have a separate page dedicated to a Merseyflow Out of Time witness statement (or late appeal) here.
What will happen when I send my Out of Time Witness Statement?
The Traffic Enforcement Centre will acknowledge receipt of your forms and will notify the council, Transport for London or Highways England (in the case of a Dart Charge) or Merseyflow that they must inform their relevant bailiff company to suspend enforcement for a few weeks while a decision is reached as to whether or not to accept your application.
Will the debt be cancelled if I file an Out of Time witness statement (TE7 and TE9?)
Only if your application is accepted. If so, the debt (including all bailiff fees) will be cancelled and the local authority (TfL, Dart Charge or Merseyflow) will re-issue you a new Penalty Charge Notice. You will then be able to pay the PCN at the earlier discounted rate.
How will I know if my Out of Time witness statement (late appeal) has been accepted.
You will receive a decision from the Traffic Enforcement Centre approx 4-6 weeks after submitting your forms. The letter will advise you that your application has been accepted and the Order for Recovery has been revoked.
What happens if my Out of Time witness statement (late appeal) is refused?
Bailiff enforcement will cease being on hold. There is an option for you to have the refusal reviewed at court. Unfortunately, there is a court fee of up to £255 for such an application. Worst still, this fee is payable for each rejected Out of Time witness statement that you wish to have reviewed. This is the reason why we continue to stress the importance of seeking advice before submitting an Out of Time witness statement.
Help with completing an Out of Time Witness Statement forms (TE7 and TE9)
For over 12 years, Bailiff Advice Online has been assisting motorists with drafting Out of Time witness statements (TE7 and TE9) or statutory declarations (PE2 and PE3). We have significant experience of knowing what information needs to be provided on these forms to improve the chance of the application being accepted. We are proud of the fact that a high percentage of applications drafted by us are accepted. If you require our assistance, please see below or email us using our Enquiry Form. We charge a fee of £45 for this service. Additional applications are substantially discounted.
Traffic Enforcement Centre FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
To answer the many questions that we receive from motorists, we have recently introduced this new Traffic Enforcement Centre FAQ page to our website. It is proving to be a very popular page !!
Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online
If you require our assistance with drafting your Out of Time witness statement/late appeal, you can email a question to us in confidence using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, you can contact our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.
Lastly, our Simplified Guide to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 can be read here.