As a driver in the United Kingdom, it’s important to know the procedure that is initiated if you fail to pay a traffic ticket, and your rights. Perhaps you received a traffic ticket from an ITS product, such as a speed camera, or traffic light camera. Either way, you need to know your rights when it comes to UK parking tickets, and charge certificates. A charge certificate is initiated if you fail to pay your traffic ticket, and all stages of appealing it have either expired or been exhausted with the fine still outstanding. Usually, a surcharge is then added to your ticket, which is often an additional 50%. If the charge certificate is not paid within 14 days, a formal request to the country court will be made to collect your civil debt. Additional surcharges will at this point be made in association with this civil debt.
What did I do to get the charge certificate?
A charge certificate, authorized by Section 21 of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions of England, can be issued 28 days after any of the following dates if your parking fine is still unpaid.
- If you did not respond to the Notice to Owner within 28 days from when it was generated.
- If your representations against the Notice to Owner were rejected via a Notice of Rejection.
- If an adjudicator has refused an appeal and 28 days from the date of this decision was communicated to you the fine still remains unpaid.
What happens if I don’t pay my charge certificate?
If the traffic citation fee is not paid, usually within 14 days, the council who issued it will then charge it as a civil debt in the county court. After that an Order of Recovery will be authorized. The Order of Recovery demands full payment of the traffic ticket, including any additional related fees that you have incurred from your lack of payment. Most importantly, the Order of Recovery carries the threat of possible Bailiff action to recover the civil debt. Along with the Order of Recovery, you will also receive a Witness Statement Form, in which you can make your last statement to appeal to your unpaid parking ticket.
How can I appeal a charge certificate?
Bear in mind that it is a criminal offense to make a false statement on your Witness Statement Form. Thus, your only appeal at this point is if you did not receive any of the documents you were supposed to have received. Below are the categories of appealing on the Witness Statement Form:
1. I did not receive a Notice to Owner
2.. I made formal representations against the penalty charge notice (response to NtO) but did not receive a formal Notice of Rejection from the authority in response to my representation.
3. I appealed against the council’s decision to the independent adjudicator but did not receive any response to my appeal.
When will Bailiff action take place if I don’t pay my charge certificate?
If your parking fine is still not paid within 21 days of the date of the Order of Recovery, then the local authority can then authorize a Warrant of Execution. The Warrant of Execution allows certified bailiffs to seize your goods, to a quantity/cost sufficient to meet your outstanding debt, as well as additional expenses of securing the full payment. In the future, be sure to pay attention to ITS products like traffic light cameras, or speed cameras, and follow all traffic laws to ensure this issue doesn’t occur again.