What is an Out of Time Witness Statement?

It is really worrying the number of enquiries that we receive daily from motorists who have been informed that an Out of Time Witness Statement or Statutory Declaration that they had submitted to the Traffic Enforcement Centre had been rejected. Despite the frequent advice given by us on this page and this one, motorists continue to complete Out of Time applications (forms TE7 & TE9 or PE2 & PE3) without taking any advice beforehand and more importantly; without even knowing….what is an Out of Time Witness Statement? Hopefully this page will assist.

An Out of Time Witness Statement (TE7 and TE9) is a witness statement…..that is sent LATE. 

A Witness Statement is a formal request to have the debt registration (and bailiff fees) CANCELLED because something had gone wrong at an earlier stage (such as; notices being sent to a wrong address/previous address).

As can be seen below, on receipt of the Order for Recovery motorists are given 21 days to complete the attached witness statement (TE9 or statutory declaration (PE3) to request that the debt registration be cancelled. This would usually be because there had been an error with previous notices (for example; notices being sent to the wrong address).

As long as the Witness Statement is sent within 21 days, the debt will automatically be cancelled and the local authority, Dart Charge, TfL and Merseyflow, will ‘rewind’ the procedure and issue a fresh Penalty Charge Notice. You will then be able to appeal the charge or pay at the earlier discounted rate.

The Statutory Notices

As well as for parking, you can get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for breaking some traffic rules, for example driving in a bus lane etc. A PCN may also be issued for not paying the charge for the Transport for London congestion zone, Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the Dartford Crossing (Dart Charge) or Merseyflow toll fees.

It is important to be aware that a Penalty Charge Notice will be sent to the registered keepers address held by DVLA on the date of the contravention:       

Penalty Charge Notice:     If you pay within 14 days, you you will qualify for a 50% discount.

Charge Certificate:     The debt increases by 50%.

Debt registered at the Traffic Enforcement Centre:    A debt registration fee of £9 is added to the debt.

Order for Recovery:   You have 21 days to pay or alternatively, to appeal the Order for Recovery by submitting a Witness Statement (TE7)  or Statutory Declaration (PE3) to the Traffic Enforcement Centre. The relevant form required will depend on the type of contravention.

Warrant of Control:  After the 21 days have expired, a Warrant of Control is issued and will passed to a bailiff company to enforce.

I only became aware of the Penalty when I was contact by a bailiff. Can I still submit a Witness Statement? 

You certainly can…..however, because the 21 day period would have EXPIRED, an additional form (TE9 or PE2) must also be sent to the Traffic Enforcement Centre to request PERMISSION to allow you to submit your  Witness Statement LATE (ie; Out of Time)….hence the name of the forms.

Will my debt be automatically cancelled if I file an Out of Time witness statement.

Because the time period to file a Witness Statement has expired…..the debt will NOT automatically be cancelled.  Instead, the local authority (TfL, Dart Charge , Merseyflow etc) are given the opportunity to decide whether or not they are willing to give PERMISSION to allow you to file your witness statement LATE. In reaching their decision, the council must rely upon the information provided by the motorist in the ‘reason’ section on the PE2 or TE7. A word of warning….it will not be sufficient to merely state that you had moved address and this is the mistake that the vast majority of motorists make. And this is the reason why motorists should seek advice BEFORE completing these applications.

Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online

Since 2006, Bailiff Advice Online has been assisting motorists with drafting Out of Time witness statements. With over 15 years experience, we know what information needs to be provided in order to improve the chance of the application being accepted and the debt (and bailiff fees being cancelled. Because of our long experience with drafting these applications, a very high percentage are  accepted. We are justifiably proud of this position.  If you require our assistance 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.