What can happen if you don’t pay or appeal your parking or bus lane fine

If you don't pay or appeal your fine, we will register the debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court. Find out what can happen next and what your options are.

You usually have 28 days to pay or appeal a parking or bus lane fine.

If you have lost your Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), contact us to find out your PCN number.

Notice to owner 

If you do not pay or appeal your PCN within the specified time, we will send ‘a Notice to Owner’ to the registered keeper. This gives them a chance to pay or make a formal appeal. 

Charge certificate 

If you do not pay or appeal the Notice to Owner, we will issue a Charge Certificate and an additional amount of 50% added. This must be paid within 28 days. 

If you do not pay the charge certificate 

If you have not paid the outstanding charge at this stage, we will register the debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court. We will add an additional fee of £9. 

What to do if you get an Order for Recovery notice 

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 to do if you get 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 phone 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 certain conditions 

How to make an out of time witness statement 

You can make an out of time witness statement to the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC), 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. 

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

You must make the witness statement within 21 days. If you need more time you must contact TEC immediately to inform them and follow their advice. 

After you’ve made an out of time witness statement 

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