Moving traffic PCN enforcement process

Where a Enforcement Authority believes that a moving traffic contravention has occurred, it may serve a Penalty Charge Notice on the person appearing to them to be the owner of the vehicle.

This is usually the person registered as the keeper at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The owner is usually, but not always, liable for the penalty whoever was driving. This is known as Owner Liability.

The local authorities commonly use cameras to detect moving traffic contraventions.

The Penalty Charge Notice will usually be served by post.

Your next steps:

Pay the penalty charge

  • Payment details are on the Penalty Charge Notice.
  • You should pay within 28 days beginning with the date of the notice. If the authority receives payment within the first 14 days, you only have to pay half the penalty.

or:

Make representations to the Enforcement Authority explaining why you think you should not have to pay the penalty

The grounds on which you may make representations are:

  • You were not the owner of the vehicle at the material time;
  • The alleged contravention did not occur;
  • The person in control of the vehicle at the material time was in control of it without the consent of the owner;
  • You are a vehicle hire firm and the vehicle in question was, at the material time, hired under a qualifying hire agreement and the person hiring it has signed a statement of liability in respect of any Penalty Charge Notice issued to the vehicle during the term of the hire agreement;
  • The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case.

Examples of the circumstances in which each ground might apply

Even if one of these grounds does not apply, you may also ask the Enforcement Authority to consider other reasons for cancelling the penalty, such as mitigation. However, the Enforcement Authority is only bound to cancel the Penalty Charge Notice if they accept that one of the grounds above applies.

When making representations you should:

  • Explain your reasons fully and clearly;
  • Send clear copies of any relevant documents, keeping originals;
  • Make sure the Enforcement Authority receives your representations within 28 days of the date the Penalty Charge Notice is served. They may disregard representations received later. They may consider late representations, but do not have to.

The Enforcement Authority considers your representations

The Enforcement Authority must:

  • Consider representations received in time;
  • Decide whether to accept or reject them;
  • Send to the person who made the representations:
  • A Notice of Acceptance, if it accepts them; or
  • A Notice of Rejection and a Notice of Appeal form, if it does not accept them
  • If it has accepted the representations, cancel the Penalty Charge Notice.

The adjudicators have decided that a Enforcement Authority should normally respond to representations within 3 months.


Notice of Acceptance

If you receive a Notice of Acceptance, you will not have to pay the penalty and you need take no further action.


Notice of Rejection

The person to whom a Notice of Rejection has been issued has 28 days, beginning with the date of service of that notice, to either:

  • Pay the penalty charge; or
  • Appeal to the adjudicator. A Notice of Appeal form should have been sent to you by the Enforcement Authority with the Notice of Rejection. If this form is not enclosed, the Enforcement Authority should be contacted to obtain one.

If you wish to appeal to the Adjudicator later than the 28 days, you should still send your appeal but you must say on the appeal form why it is late. The adjudicator will then decide whether to allow you to appeal late.

If the penalty charge is not paid or an appeal made within the 28 days allowed, the Enforcement Authority may issue a Charge Certificate.


Notice of Appeal

This is the form which the Enforcement Authority should send with their Notice of Rejection.

The grounds of appeal are the same as for making representations:

  • You were not the owner of the vehicle at the material time;
  • The alleged contravention did not occur;
  • The person in control of the vehicle at the material time was in control of it without the consent of the owner;
  • The recipient is a vehicle hire firm and the vehicle in question was, at the material time, hired under a qualifying hire agreement and the person hiring it had signed a statement of liability for any Penalty Charge Notice issued in respect of the vehicle during the term of the hire agreement;
  • The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case.

Examples of the circumstances in which each ground might apply.

The adjudicator can only allow an appeal if one of these grounds applies. Adjudicators cannot allow appeals for other reasons, e.g. mitigating circumstances.

Information on how to appeal to the adjudicator


Charge Certificate

This is a notice issued by the Enforcement Authority increasing the penalty charge by 50%.

The Enforcement Authority may issue a charge certificate where the penalty has not ben paid and after:

  • No representations against the penalty have been made to the Enforcement Authority, 28 days beginning with the date on which the Penalty Charge Notice is served; or
  • Representations have been made and a Notice of Rejection has been issued by the Enforcement Authority, 28 days from the date on which the period within which an appeal could have been made expires; or
  • An unsuccessful appeal has been made against a Notice of Rejection to an adjudicator, 28 days after the date on which the adjudicator's decision is served on the appellant; or
  • An appeal against a Notice of Rejection is withdrawn before a decision is made by an adjudicator, 14 days beginning with the date on which the appeal is withdrawn.

Registration of Debt and Order for Recovery

If after 14 days of a charge certificate being served the penalty charge is still not paid, the Enforcement Authority may register it as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre.

The Enforcement Authority may then recover the penalty through the County Court:

The County Court, on application from the Enforcement Authority, will authorise the authority to draw up an Order for Recovery. The Enforcement Authority will serve this order on you, with a statutory declaration form. 

If the penalty is not then paid, the authority may apply to the Court for a warrant of execution.

Your next steps

Pay the outstanding charge or lodge a statutory declaration at the traffic enforcement centre.


Statutory Declaration

Where an Order for Recovery has been made, liability for the penalty can then only be challenged in the following circumstances:

  • You did not receive the Penalty Charge Notice in question; or
  • You made representations to the Enforcement Authority concerned but did not receive a Notice of Rejection from that authority; or
  • You appealed to the adjudicator against the rejection by the Enforcement Authority of your representations but had no response to the appeal.

If, and only if, one of these applies, you may make a statutory declaration.

The completed statutory declaration should be returned to the traffic enforcement centre within 21 days beginning with the date of service of the Order for Recovery, although there are provisions for the court to allow longer.

A statutory declaration may only be made by the person against whom an Order for Recovery has been made.

It is a criminal offence to make a false statutory declaration.

For information available from the Traffic Enforcement Centre on the statutory declaration procedure and downloadable forms, visit the courts service website.

Next steps:

What happens next depends on the grounds for making the statutory declaration.

  • If the ground is that the Penalty Charge Notice was not received, the Order for Recovery, Charge Certificate and Penalty Charge Notice are cancelled. The Enforcement Authority may then issue a new Penalty Charge Notice;
  • If the ground is that the Notice of Rejection or a decision from the adjudicator was not received, the Enforcement Authority must refer the statutory declaration to the adjudicator who will decide what will happen next.