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Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)

A penalty charge notice (PCN) is a legal document issued or served when a vehicle has been seen in contravention of a parking or traffic restriction.

It is served either directly on the vehicle (or to the person who appears to be the driver) at the time of the contravention or through the post, notifying the registered keeper of the contravention.

Our PCNs have a unique 10-digit reference number, starting with BU or BZ. Always read the information on the PCN or any other statutory document very carefully before proceeding.

Types of PCN

Parking PCNs

Issued by a civil enforcement officer (CEO) or recorded by a camera operator in a control room or a closed-circuit television (CCTV) vehicle.

Bus lane PCNs

Recorded by a camera operator in a control room or a CCTV vehicle.

Moving traffic PCNs

Recorded by a camera operator in a control room or a CCTV vehicle.

Paying a PCN issued by an officer or a bus lane PCN

If you have received a PCN issued by an enforcement officer, or a bus lane PCN, you can:

  • pay at the discounted rate within 14 days
  • pay at the full rate within 28 days
  • make an informal challenge against the PCN, explaining why you think it was incorrectly issued

If you do not pay or challenge the PCN within 28 days, you will be issued with a notice to owner (for parking PCNs) or an enforcement notice (bus lane PCNs).

Paying a parking PCN issued through CCTV

If you have received a parking PCN issued through CCTV, you can:

  • pay at the discounted rate within 21 days
  • pay at the full rate within 28 days
  • make formal representations to the council

If you do nothing in this time period, a charge certificate will be sent and the charge increases by 50%.

Paying a moving traffic PCN

If you have received a moving traffic PCN, you can:

  • pay at the discounted rate within 14 days
  • pay at the full rate within 28 days
  • make formal representations to the council

If you do nothing, a charge certificate will be sent and the charge increases by 50%.

Help with your PCN

I have received a notice asking me to pay £130 but I never received the original ticket and I want to pay at the discounted rate? 

You will need to write to us at the address on your notice to explain the situation and an officer will consider the correspondence and respond to the registered keeper of the vehicle. More information on this process can be found in the challenges, appeals and enforcement section on this page.

I have received a Charge Certificate but this is the first communication I have received about this PCN? 

You will need to write to us at the address on your notice to explain the situation and an officer will consider the correspondence and respond to the registered keeper of the vehicle. More information on this process can be found in the challenges, appeals and enforcement section on this page.

I have never been to Barking and Dagenham and I think my car number plate may have been cloned? 

You will need to write to us at the address on your notice to explain the situation and provide any supporting evidence. More information on this process can be found in the challenges, appeals and enforcement section on this page.

I have paid this ticket but have now received a further request to pay? 

It could be that you have more than one outstanding PCN, or your payment was received late. You will need to write to us at the address on your notice to explain the situation and provide details of the payment method, date and amount already paid. This will be reviewed by an officer and we will respond to the registered keeper of the vehicle. More information on this process can be found in the challenges, appeals and enforcement section on this page

I have paid this ticket twice in error

You will need to write to us at the address on your notice to explain the situation and provide details of the payment method, date and amounts paid. This will be reviewed by an officer and we will respond to the registered keeper of the vehicle. More information on this process can be found in the challenges, appeals and enforcement section on this page

I have received several tickets and need time to pay? 

You will need to write to us at the address on your notice to explain the situation and ensure you provide the details of your PCNs and circumstances. We will then review and respond to the registered keeper of the vehicle. Please don’t ignore any further notices.

I paid this PCN within 14 days of receiving it, but it has charged me the full amount

You will need to write to us at the address on your notice to explain the situation and provide details of the payment method, date and amount paid. This will be reviewed by an officer and we will respond to the registered keeper of the vehicle. More information on this process can be found in the challenges, appeals and enforcement section on this page.

I have received a PCN asking me to pay £130, I need a web code to be able to make representation

This applies to PCNs that start with ‘BU’ only. The web code can be found on the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or Notice to Owner document issued in the post to the registered keeper of the vehicle.

I have appealed my ticket online but have not had a response

It can take up to 56 days for us to issue a response during busy periods. All cases remain on hold when correspondence is received, until a response is issued. We will contact the registered keeper of the vehicle with the response when ready.

I have appealed my ticket by post but have not had a response

It can take up to 56 days for us to issue a response during busy periods. All cases remain on hold when correspondence is received, until a response is issued. We will contact the registered keeper of the vehicle with the response when ready.

How long does the council have to respond to a challenge or formal representation made in the correct timescale?

We are required to respond to formal representations by no later than 56 days from the date of receipt, however this only applies to PCNs issued under the Traffic Management Act 2004 for parking offences. It does not apply to PCNs issued for bus lane or moving traffic offences, although we do endeavour to respond to these within the same timescale.

Have you lost your PCN or unable to view CCTV footage online?

You can view details and CCTV footage relating to the PCN.

Use our form to make an enquiry about a penalty charge notice.

PCN lost/view form

PCNs issued by other authorities

If your PCN reference does not start with the letters BU or BZ, it wasn’t issued by us, and you will need to contact the correct authority to submit a challenge or to make a payment.

Transport for London (TfL) manages the 3 'A' roads in the borough: A12, A13 and A406 (North Circular) and issues PCNs related to these roads.

Pay or challenge a TfL PCN

What happens if you don't pay?

Notice to owner or enforcement notice

When you receive the notice to owner or enforcement notice, you can:

  • pay the full charge within 28 days
  • make formal representations to the council

If you do nothing, a charge certificate will be sent and the charge increases by 50%.

Charge certificates

If the penalty remains unpaid more than 28 days from the date of service of a postal PCN or a notice to owner or enforcement notice, we will send a charge certificate by post. This increases the charge by 50% of the original amount and gives the registered vehicle keeper 14 days to pay. There is no right of appeal at this stage. If you receive a charge certificate, you can no longer make a formal representation against the PCN.

If you were not aware of the contravention prior to receiving the charge certificate, or if you received no reply to a representation or an appeal, you will have to wait to make a statutory declaration/witness statement.

Order for recovery

If the registered owner of the vehicle does not respond to the charge certificate within 14 days, we  may register the debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at Northampton County Court, and an order for recovery will be served. The order for recovery includes information on making a statutory declaration/witness statement, and you can contact the TEC if you have an enquiry about this stage of the process.

You can contact the Traffic Enforcement Centre by calling 0300 123 1059.

At this point, the outstanding amount on the PCN will increase by £8, which is a surcharge for the cost of registering the order. You have 21 days from the date of service to pay the outstanding amount on the order for recovery.

If you do nothing, the TEC may grant authority for a warrant of control to be issued and a certified enforcement agent will be asked to recover the debt from you. At this stage the case is out of the our hands and actions by the enforcement agent against you may bring additional charges.

Warrant of control (enforcement agents)

If the penalty charge has not been paid within 21 days of the order for recovery being served, we will ask for a warrant of control. Once granted, it will be passed to our certified enforcement agent to recover the amount owed.

If you have been contacted about a PCN that you did not know about, or thought was paid or cancelled, you may contact the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) requesting an out-of-time witness statement. Once notification has been received from TEC, the enforcement agent will be put on hold temporarily.

A certified enforcement agent is allowed to charge recovery fees for every letter, visit and action taken as part of the effort to recover the outstanding amount. Recovery actions are taken on our behalf by these enforcement agents:

Becontree Collection Services - 020 4513 7170

CDER Group - 0844 576 3620

Equita - 01604 628 360

Just Debt Ltd - 020 3848 9068

Marston Group - 0845 074 3749

Newlyn PLC - 01604 633 001

Reventus Ltd - 020 8125 35 45

Whyte & Co Enforcement Services - 0845 458 9429