Dart Charge Out of Time Witness Statement

If you have received a letter, a text message or a visit from either Marston, or CDER Group or Equita Ltd in relation to a Dart Charge Penalty that you were unaware of, it will usually be because all previous correspondence had been sent to a previous address. Fortunately, legislation is in place enabling you to request that the debt (including bailiff fees) be cancelled. This is done by submitting what is called a Dart Charge Out of Time Witness Statement (TE7 and TE9) and sending it to the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC). If your application is accepted, Highways England will issue you a new Penalty Charge Notice.  You will then be able to pay the charge at the earlier discounted rate. 

What is an Out of Time witness statement?

Many times motorists are advised to complete forms TE7 and TE9 when they speak with National Highways following a letter or visit from a bailiff regarding a Dart Charge penalty that they had been unaware of.  Sadly, the motorist is very often given the impression that completing the forms will result in a new penalty charge notice being issued. This is simply NOT TRUE (see below).

Any motorist considering submitting  such an application should not do so without understaning;…..what is an Out of Time Witness Statement?  We have therefore provided this new page to our website.

A Word of Warning.

Motorists should not be fooled into believing that because the forms look easy to complete, that their application will be accepted. An Out of Time 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 usually because of poorly drafted Out of Time or late witness statements that approx 65% of Out of Time witness statements are rejected. If this happens, legislation has provided that the rejection can be reconsidered by a Judge. Unfortunately, there is a court fee of up to £255 for such an application. Worse still, this fee applies to EACH Dart Charge Out of Time witness statement rejected.

Why was correspondence sent to my previous address?

Usually because the V5C/Log Book had not been updated with  DVLA following a change of address. When a vehicle makes a journey over the Dartford crossing without paying, National Highways will make a request to DVLA for the name and address of the registered keeper. As the vast majority of vehicle owners pay their road fund licence online, they are unaware of the requirement to also update their Log Book when they move. This is very common  indeed.

I did not update my V5C (Log Book) when I moved, can I still file a late  Witness Statement?

You certainly can and in fact; the vast majority of enquiries that we receive are from motorists who had forgotten to update their address details on their V5C (Log Book) with DVLA when they moved house.

I have had to make payment to a bailiff. Can I still submit an Out of Time witness statement?

You certainly can and, if your application is accepted, you will be entitled to a full refund. If you have any questions on this point, please feel free to contact us.

I was unaware that my Dart Charge account had been closed.

This is another common problem. If there are insufficient funds in your bank account on the day of a crossing or, the Dart Charge account had a negative balance, the account will usually be suspended. Far more serious, is the frequency of enquiries that we receive concerning a Dart Charge account that had been  closed because the registered debit or credit card  had expired. Failure to update your Dart Charge account with new card details will lead to the account being suspended or closed.

Correspondence had been sent to the vehicle hire company or finance company.

If you hire a vehicle and fail to pay the Dart Charge, notices from Highways England will be sent to the registered keeper…..this would be the hire company. They in turn will request 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 (Log Book) is held by the finance company. If you move address, you must remember to inform the finance company.

I updated my driving licence when I moved so DVLA were aware of my address.

It’s not quite as simple as that I’m afraid.  A driving licence is confirmation that you have passed a test enabling you to drive a particular class of vehicle. 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, motorists remember to update their driving licences….but forget to update their Log Book!!

How do I update my Driving Licence with DVLA with my new address?

It is really simple to update your driving licence online. You will need to have your driving licence number and National Insurance number handy and visit the official government website here. 

What are the grounds for filing a Dart Charge Out of Time Witness Statement?

A Dart Charge late witness statement can be submitted on four specific grounds; the most common of which is that

  • You did not receive a Penalty Charge Notice from National Highways (usually because all notices had been sent to a previous address).
  • You appealed the Dart Charge within 28 days of service but did  not receive a Notice of Rejection.

I have multiple unpaid Dart Charges

If  you have Marston Recovery, CDER Group or Equita Ltd seeking to enforce more than one Dart Charge  Penalty that you had been unaware of, you would need to submit separate Out of Time witness statements for each Dart Charge PCN number. If you have multiple Dart Charges that you had been unaware of, please consider seeking advice from us before you submit Out of Time witness statements. Given the importance of multiple Dart Charges, we have introduced this new page to our website.

I submitted a Dart Charge Out of Time Witness Statement, what happens now?

We receive so many enquiries from motorists asking what will happen once that they have sent an Out of Time witness statement to the  Traffic Enforcement Centre that we introduced this Traffic Enforcement Centre FAQs  page to our website. It has proven to be a popular page !!

Will the debt be cancelled if I file a Dart Charge Out of Time witness statement (TE7 and TE9?)

Only if a decision is made to accept your application will the debt (including bailiff fees) be cancelled. A decision usually takes around 6-8 weeks. A new Dart Charge Penalty Charge Notice may be issued allowing you to pay  at the earlier discounted rate (of £35 plus the toll fee). If you had never previously used the Dartford Crossing, we usually find that National Highways will allow the motorist to pay just the  crossing fee of £2.50.

What happens if my Out of Time witness statement (late appeal) is refused?

Bailiff enforcement  will recommence. There is an option to have the rejection reviewed at court. Unfortunately, a court fee of up to £255 is payable for each refusal that you wish to have reviewed. Needless to say, these applications are few and far between.

Help with drafting a Dart Charge Out of Time Witness Statement

Since the Dart Charge was introduced,  we have been assisting motorists with drafting Out of Time witness statements (TE7 and TE9). With over 12 years experience, we know what information needs to be provided in order to improve the chance of the application being accepted and the debt cancelled. Because of our long experience with drafting these applications, a very high percentage are  accepted and we are justifiably proud of this position.  If you require our assistance, please see our contact details below. We charge a fee of £45 for this service. In cases where there are multiple Dart Charges, we substantially discount our fees.

Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online

If you require assistance with drafting of your Out of Time witness statement forms TE7 and TE9,  you can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form.

Alternatively, can contact our free Bailiff Support line on 01643 841886. Our opening times can be found on our Contact page.

Lastly, our Simplified Guide to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 can be read here.