Understanding the enforcement process

The following information applies equally to Congestion Charge enforcement and Low Emission Zone enforcement.

At each stage of enforcement an item of correspondence may be issued by Transport for London (TfL).

These will sometimes be called a notice but they may be termed as something else.

You will also receive correspondence from the Road User Charging Adjudicators if you have appealed to us.

The main thing to remember is that each item of correspondence could be important and should receive your immediate attention.

If you have received a notice, you need to identify which steps you wish to take.

Again, it is important to remember that each notice you receive may require a response from you and you should check each carefully.

Before looking at the explanation of the various notices you might receive, you may also wish to look at the section on owner liability as this sets out the legal position on who is liable for a penalty charge.


Penalty Charge Notice

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), will be sent to you by Transport for London if they believe that you used a vehicle within the charging area during the hours of operation without the appropriate payment. The notice should show the alleged contravention with the date and time.

Do not ignore PCNs as they may carry extra penalties if not paid or contested promptly.

Penalty Charge Notice - Next Steps

If you receive a PCN you have the following options

1. Pay your penalty

Contact Transport for London (TfL) and pay your penalty charge. This should be done within 28 days beginning with the date of the notice.

If you pay within 14 days you are entitled to a discount which is presently 50%. If you make payment within these time periods no further action should be taken by TfL.

2. Challenge

If you feel that a mistake has been made in issuing you with the PCN, you should write to TfL. You have 28 days from the date of the notice in which to make your representations.

Please note that if you do not pay the penalty charge or make formal representations to TfL within 28 days of the date of the Penalty Charge Notice, TfL may issue you with a Charge Certificate.


Notice of Acceptance (in response to formal representations)

This is a formal notice issued by Transport for London to let you know that they have accepted what you have written and the matter is closed. You do not need to take any further action.

If you have made any payment in connection with the Penalty Charge Notice, then Transport for London should refund this to you.


Notice of Rejection (of Representations)

This is a formal notice issued by Transport for London when they do not accept the formal representations made to them concerning the Penalty Charge Notice.

Next Steps

You must either pay the penalty charge or appeal to the adjudicator within 28 days.

A four-page appeal form should accompany the ‘Notice of Rejection’. If this form is not enclosed with your ‘Notice of Rejection’ you should request one from Transport for London.

Please note that you can also appeal on line at https://londontribunals.org.uk


Notice of Appeal

This is the 4 page form that Transport for London will send to you with their ‘Notice of Rejection’.

If you wish to appeal rather than pay the penalty charge, you should complete the form either on the London Tribunals portal, or in hard copy and send it to the Road User Charging Adjudicators within 28 days. You must appeal if you disagree with Transport for London and do not wish to pay the penalty, or you may face further charges.

For information on the legal grounds for appeal, please see grounds of appeal.

For more information on how to appeal to the adjudicator, please see preparing your appeal.


Charge Certificate

This is a formal notice issued by TfL, increasing the penalty charge by 50%. This is sent out when a person has received a notice from TfL and taken no action. Ignoring notices from TfL may lead to additional charges.

You will receive a charge certificate when:

  1. A ‘Notice of Rejection’ has been issued and you did not pay the penalty charge within 28 days or;
  2. No appeal to the adjudicator has been registered at the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, 28 days after TfL had issued a ‘Notice of Rejection’.
  3. An appeal has been refused by the adjudicator and TfL has not received payment within 28 days.
  4. You have informed the adjudicator that you intend not to proceed with the appeal but do not make a payment within 14 days of your appeal being withdrawn.

Next steps

You need to pay the penalty charge. If you do not, Transport for London may apply to register the penalty charge as a debt at the county court, in which case further charges will apply (see below for details).


Registration of Debt and Order for Recovery

This is a formal notice. If after 14 days of a charge certificate being issued, the penalty charge is still not paid, you may receive this. The penalty charge can be registered as a debt at the traffic enforcement centre.

When the debt is registered, you will be sent two documents by Transport for London; a ‘Notice of Debt Registration’ and a Statutory Declaration form.

Order for Recovery - next steps

Pay the outstanding penalty or lodge a statutory declaration at the traffic enforcement centre. See below for details.


Statutory Declaration

This is a formal legal declaration and can only be made on the grounds that a person:

  1. did not receive the Penalty Charge Notice in question;
  2. made representations to Transport for London but did not receive a rejection notice from them; or
  3. appealed to a Road User Charging Adjudicator against the rejection by Transport for London of representations made by them but had no response to the appeal.

A Statutory Declaration must be witnessed by a justice of the peace or commissioner for oaths. It is a criminal offence to file a false Statutory Declaration knowingly or willingly.

The Statutory Declaration should be completed and returned to the traffic enforcement centre within 21 days although there are provisions whereby the court may allow a longer period of time.

If the court accepts the Statutory Declaration, the registration of the debt is cancelled, but not the Penalty Charge Notice.


Warrant of Execution

If you do not pay the amount due or make a successful Statutory Declaration, Transport for London may apply to the county court for a Warrant of Execution.

This will normally be passed to certificated bailiffs who are entitled to recover the debt plus their own charges, direct from you.

Warrant of Execution - next steps

Pay the debt to the bailiffs, or if you feel you have grounds, lodge a late Statutory Declaration. See above.