Failure to provide the police with driver identity is an offence which carries six penalty points and a fine.
Section 170 will the Road Traffic Act provides that when the police send a notice of intended prosecution/written request for driver details, the recipient is obliged to identify the driver. Failure to do so is an offence.
Many people plead not guilty to failure to provide driver identity upon the basis that they did not receive the notice from the police and therefore could not be held responsible in law for the failure to provide driver details. Obviously the law cannot hold you responsible if you have not received the written request.
There has been a recent change in the law in relation to people who have not received the notice of intended prosecution due to a house move and they have not notified the DVLA of the change of address. This means that when a speed camera is activated or other motoring offence is committed the police look on the DVLA database for the registered keepers details. If the old address is on the system as the keeper of the car has not notified the DVLA of the change of address, the police will obviously write to the old address.
It has recently been held by the Divisional Court that if this happens, the person to whom the notice was sent to does not have a defence.
As part of due diligence the motorist should notify the DVLA of change of address. If there has been a failure to provide driver identity because the notice of intended prosecution from the police was not received and the keeper had not either placed a divert on his post, notified the DVLA of the change or put in place other reasonable provisions that would ensure they receive the police request, then they will be found guilty of failure to provide driver details.