Receiving a penalty charge notice

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

It is served either directly to 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.

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.

Each PCN has a unique 10-digit reference number, starting BU. Always read the information on the PCN or any other statutory document very carefully before proceeding.

If you think you have been given a parking ticket by mistake, you can contest it.

Before challenging a PCN you should view the supporting evidence.

If you do not pay or contest the PCN, you will receive further notices and may be contacted by certified enforcement agents.

Parking PCNs issued by an enforcement officer, or bus lane PCNs

When you receive the 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).

Parking PCNs issued through CCTV

When you receive the PCN, 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, a charge certificate will be sent and the charge increases by 50%.

Moving traffic PCNs

When you receive the 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%.

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, the council 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, the council 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 wtatement, and you can contact the TEC if you have an enquiry about this stage of the process.

Traffic Enforcement Centre

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 council’s hands and actions by the enforcement agent against you may bring additional charges.

Warrant of control (bailiff)

If the penalty charge has not been paid within 21 days of the order for recovery being served, the council 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 bailiffs 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:

Newlyn PLC

01604 633 001

https://newlynplc.co.uk/debtor-enquiry/

Whyte & Co Enforcement Services

0845 458 9429

https://www.whyte.co.uk/contact.html

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