Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) Process
The Parking computer system will take a PCN through the various legal stages, issuing all three statutory notices to the person notified by the DVLA records as being the keeper of the vehicle at the time the contravention occurred.
Day 1 PCN is issued Day 15 Discount period ends- increase PCN to full charge Day 28 Registered keeper details requested from DVLA Day 30 Notice to Owner issued to registered keeper Day 60 Charge Certificate issued- surcharge added to PCN Day 80 Debt registered in County Court- £8.00 court fee added Day 85 Notice of Registration issued to registered keeper Day 110 Application for a warrant to enforce debt Day 117 Warrant issued to Enforcement Agent for collection
Notice to Owner (NTO)
If the penalty charge is not paid we will issue a Notice to Owner. The purpose of this is to ensure that the penalty charge notice was received by the vehicle owner and to remind the vehicle owner that payment in full is now due and if it is not paid within a further 28 days it may be increased. The NTO is a formal notice which states the details of the vehicle concerned, the contravention, the amount of the penalty due, the date by which it should be paid or formal representations made and the statutory grounds upon which representations may be made. The form covers all the details necessary to guide the owner to make a decision about whether to pay or make a formal representation, as laid down in the Civil Enforcement of Parking Regulations (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007.
The 9 statutory grounds upon which representations may be made are:
- The contravention did not occur
- The motorist was not the owner/keeper of the vehicle at the time of the contravention
- The vehicle had been taken without owner's consent
- The owner is a hire company and can provide evidence of hirer having signed to accept responsibility for contraventions during the hire period
- The penalty exceeded the relevant amount
- That there had been a procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority
- The Traffic Order was invalid
- The penalty charge has already been paid
If a formal representation is rejected you have the right to appeal against the Notice of Rejection to an independent adjudicator within 28 days of the date of service of the Notice of Rejection. Adjudicators are wholly independent and have the discretion in appropriate circumstances to consider an appeal, the grounds for which are the same as those for formal representations above. The adjudicator's decision is final. You can appeal by visiting the tribunal's website www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk/appeal. The website explains what the adjudicator can consider and how to appeal. There is no charge for appealing and costs are not normally awarded.
If the vehicle owner fails to act on the Notice to Owner or if the formal representation is rejected and an appeal is not made to the adjudicator, a Charge Certificate will be sent out. The Charge Certificate tells the vehicle owner that the penalty charge has been increased by 50% and that action will be taken to recover the amount due through the County Court if the payment is not received within 14 days.
Notice of Registration
Once the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court has issued an order to recover the increased charge, the third statutory notice the Order for Recovery for Unpaid Penalty Charge (Parking) document TE3 and Witness Statement Unpaid Penalty Charge (Parking) document TE9 will be sent to the vehicle owner. The Order for Recovery for Unpaid Penalty Charge (TE3) states the details of the vehicle concerned, the contravention, the amount of the penalty due, the date by which it should be paid or information on making a witness statement (document TE9) if you believe you have grounds for not paying the charge. The four limited grounds on which you can make a statement are:
- I did not receive the Notice to Owner/Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)
- I made representations about the penalty charge to the enforcing authority concerned within 28 days of the service of the Notice to Owner, but did not receive a rejection notice
- I appealed against the local authority's decision to reject my representation, within 28 days of service of the rejection notice, but have not response to my appeal
- The penalty charge has been paid in full
If the vehicle owner fails to act following receipt of the Order of Recovery (TE3), after 28 days a warrant will be issued to our Enforcement Agent, Equita to collect the debt. At this point, the payment due to the Council would be £83 or £113 (depending on whether it was a lower or higher rate penalty). All enforcement agents add on charges (and VAT) to this debt and so the amount can escalate to several hundred pounds. Hastings Borough Council would prefer not to have to appoint Enforcement Agents but it is sometimes the only way to progress a PCN through to its conclusion if vehicle owners do not enter into correspondence with us or ignore the PCN and the documents we send out.
Once a PCN has been passed to Equita, please contact them directly so they can advise you further or take a payment. Contact details for Equita can be found here https://equita.co.uk/contact-us/
Parking fines (PCNs)