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18 December 2014

Penalty Charge Notices (PCN)

a Car Parking on a Double Yellow LineParking tickets issued by the Council are called 'Penalty Charge Notices' (PCNs). They require payment of a penalty charge and do not result in a criminal record or points on a driving licence. They are distinct from Fixed Penalty Notices which are issued for criminal offences by the Police.

PDF Logo View a list of Contravention CodesFile Type: Adobe PDF document, File Size:32.92 Kb (5 seconds @ 56K) Opens in a new window which appear on Penalty Charge Notices, along with their accompanying explanations and at what rate they will be charged. Please note some may not apply to Surrey Heath Borough Council.

  • A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) includes details of the alleged contravention. If you think the PCN should not have been issued, or if you want the Council to consider some special circumstances, you should use this link to make a challenge. Opens in a new window If there is documentation you want us to consider, you can email it to us at parking.services@surreyheath.gov.uk, quoting the PCN number. Alternatively, you can send your challenge by post to Parking Services, Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3HD, setting out your reasons and any evidence you want the Council to consider.
  • If you accept that a contravention did take place and you pay within 14 days of the PCN being issued, a payment discount of 50% applies. After 14 days the discount period expires and the full amount becomes payable.
  • If we receive a challenge within the 14 day discount period, the case will be put on hold at the discount rate.
  • If the Council subsequently rejects your challenge, a further opportunity to pay at the discount rate will be offered.
  • After 28 days from the issue of the PCN (or from the rejection of a challenge you have made) and if the charge has not been fully paid a formal Notice to Owner will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle, who will be ultimately responsible for the matter whether or not they were the driver at the time.
  • If you receive a Notice to Owner you have 28 days to respond - either by paying the amount due or making an objection to the Council. If you do neither, the Council may increase the amount due by 50% of the full charge and send you a demand for the increased amount in the form of a Charge Certificate.
  • If you make an objection to the Council in the time allowed, the Council will consider this carefully. Remember that the Council will only access what you send - we will not conduct any investigation to verify what you say. So if for example there was some emergency that meant you had no choice about parking, you will need to provide evidence of that if we are to consider it.
  • If we reject an objection made after the Notice to Owner has been issued, you will have the opportunity to lodge an appeal with the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal Opens in a new window
  • If the amount due is not paid after a Charge Certificate has been issued, the Council will follow the normal debt recovery procedure, including registering the debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court. There is no opportunity to make an objection to the Penalty Notice at this stage although a Declaration may be made to the Court if you think the correct process has not been followed.

Note that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the person responsible for any unpaid fines. If you lend your car to a friend you will still be responsible for any fines they incur.

You must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) immediately of the exact date of sale or transfer of your vehicle using the registration document or certificate. You and the buyer should follow the procedures correctly or you will remain liable for the vehicle until DVLA records have been updated.

Do not ignore parking tickets: they may carry extra penalties if not paid (or challenged) promptly. To qualify for the discount payment, you must make sure that payment is received by the Council within 14 days. On the back of the parking ticket there are details on how to pay or challenge the ticket and there is a tear-off slip that must accompany payments. If you have lost your ticket, please ring the Council on 01276 707152 or email parking.services@surreyheath.gov.uk.

Progression of a Penalty Charge Notice
View further information on Parking Penalties

The specified grounds on which representations against a PCN may be made

  • The alleged contravention did not occur - please explain why you think no contravention took place.
  • I was not the owner of the vehicle at the time - if you sold the vehicle before the date of the contravention or bought it after the date, you must tell us the name and address of the person who bought it from you or sold it to you, if you know it. Please supply evidence of the sale / purchase (e.g. a sales receipt).
  • The vehicle has been permitted to remain at rest in the place in question by the person who was in control of the vehicle without the consent of the owner - please show evidence (e.g. police crime report, insurance claim).
  • We are a hire firm and the vehicle in question was at that material time hired under a hiring agreement and the person hiring it has signed a statement accepting liability - please supply a copy of the signed agreement including the name and address of the hirer.
  • The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case - if you think you are being asked to pay more than you should legally pay.
  • The Traffic Order was invalid - if you believe the parking restriction in question was invalid or illegal.
  • There has been procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority - please describe the alleged impropriety.
  • The penalty charge has already been paid in full, or has been paid at the reduced amount within the specified period - please provide details of the payment method, date and amount.
  • Other grounds - if there are any other reasons why you consider the Council should cancel the penalty charge notice and refund any sum already paid.

If you are dissatisfied with our response at the Notice to Owner stage, you can appeal to an independent adjudicator of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal which acts as an independent appeals adjudication service for PCNs. Local hearings are held for those who wish to attend in person. Visit the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Opens in a new window website which provides information on the whole process.

The adjudicator will consider all of the information provided by both the motorist and the Council and make a decision on whether or not the charge should be paid. The adjudicator's decision is final and there are powers for cost to be awarded against either party if the adjudicator finds they have been "frivolous, vexatious or wholly unreasonable". Such instances are very rare.


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