Certificated Enforcement Agency

Find out what to do if a Certified Enforcement Agency (previously known as bailiffs) sends you a compliance letter, how to make an out of time witness statement and answers to frequently asked questions.

What to do if you've received a compliance letter

If you've received a compliance letter from a Certificated Enforcement Agency (previously known as bailiffs) then you can:

  • contact them on the telephone number provided to make arrangements for payment - they are unable to discuss details of a penalty charge notice (PCN) with you
  • make an out of time witness statement, if you meet any of the following conditions:
    • you didn't receive the Notice to Owner (parking contravention)
    • you made representation about the PCN to the enforcing authority concerned within 28 days of service of the Notice to Owner, but did not receive a rejection notice
    • you appealed to the Parking/Traffic Adjudicator against the local authority's decision to reject your representation, within 28 days of service of the rejection notice, but have had no response to your appeal
    • the PCN has been paid in full to the Brighton & Hove City Council

Proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against you if you make or cause to be made a false statement in an application verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

Make an out of time witness statement

To make an ‘out of time witness statement’ you need to contact the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at Northampton County Court:

Frequently asked questions

I have received an Order for Recovery notice, what should I do?

The Order for Recovery Notice informs the registered keeper of the vehicle that the PCN has been registered as a debt at the County Court and the Court fee of £8 has been added to the PCNs outstanding balance.

You can:

  • pay the debt in full
  • seek independent legal advice
  • file a statutory declaration or witness statement with the traffic enforcement centre within 21 days

You should not ignore this notice. If you do not act on the notice the council may carry out recovery of the debt by a Certified Enforcement Agency (previously known as a bailiff) bailiff at your address.

What should I do if I wish to contest the PCN at the order for recovery stage?

If you want to contest the PCN you must file a valid statutory declaration/witness statement (on form TE9) with the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC). You must do this within 21 days of the date of the service on the grounds that:

  • you did not receive the Notice to Owner (NtO)
  • you made representation within 28 days of service of the NtO but did not receive a rejection notice
  • you appealed against the local authority’s decision to reject your representation within 28 days of service but have not had a response to your appeal
  • the PCN has been paid in full

You can contact the Traffic Enforcement Centre by phone on 0300 123 1059, or by sending an email to tec@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk.

I am going on holiday and can't complete the statutory declaration/witness statement within the time limit

If you need more time you must contact TEC immediately to inform them and follow their advice.

What happens after I have filed a statutory declaration/witness statement with TEC?

TEC will acknowledge your application and also notify the council. The council will have the opportunity to put forward any counter evidence to your claims. TEC will then make a decision after considering any evidence and let you and the council know their decision.

Depending on the decision we will either: 

  • close the case if the PCN has been paid


  • cancel the charge certificate and order for recovery and either
  • serve a new Notice to Owner on the registered keeper who was responsible at the time that the PCN was issued to the vehicle


  • challenge the statement and refer the case to TPT - depending on the TPT decision we will either:
  • cancel the PCN or continue to enforce the debt

Please note it is a criminal offence to make a false witness statement. If you do you may be held in contempt of court and proceedings brought against you.

I've received a letter from a Certificated Enforcement Agency

Please do not ignore the letter. You'll need to contact them, as explained in the letter. If you do not contact them further action and a possible increase in costs will be added to your case.

The quickest way to make contact is to phone them using the number on the letter.

A Certificated Enforcement Agency visited my address with regard to a PCN debt and no one was home – what should I do?

Phone them straight away using the number in the letter that was left at your address. We also recommend that you also seek independent legal advice.

I have just received a Certificated Enforcement Agency letter relating to a PCN but I am sure I have paid it – what should I do?

Contact them with proof of payment.

My vehicle has been clamped by the Certificated Enforcement Agency but I don't know anything about this PCN or debt – what should I do?

Contact them immediately to discuss the matter and or seek independent legal advice otherwise the vehicle may be removed.

Can I pay the debt by instalments?

You will need to speak to the Certified Enforcement Agency to discuss repayment options. These are offered at their discretion.

I've received a letter from the Certificated Enforcement Agency addressed to somebody who does not live at my address – what do I do?

You should notify them straight away. You should also show them a copy of your Council Tax bill or a current tenancy agreement in your name as proof of occupancy, along with any other documents they ask for.

If you have a forwarding address or telephone number for the person the letter is addressed to, you could reduce the chances of other creditors approaching by providing this. 

I don’t own the vehicle that the PCN was issued to – what do I do?

If the PCN was issued before the vehicle was sold, you are still liable for the debt. The warrant for the debt is enforceable against the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued.

If you were not the owner of the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued you'll need to provide proof of sale to the bailiff. They will tell you what documents they'll need to see as proof.