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A number of government agencies issue fines and debts - eg police, local councils and courts.
When you receive notice of a fine (sometimes called an 'expiation notice') it will normally include these details:
- who has issued the fine
- why it is being issued
- what to do if you disagree with the fine
- the amount payable
- how to pay
- the due date.
If you disagree with the fine or debt - eg because you didn't commit the offence - follow the procedures set out in the notice you received.
If you don’t pay by the due date you will receive a reminder notice and a penalty may be added to the amount payable.
If you still don't pay, the matter is passed on to the Fines Unit for enforcement. At this stage, further penalties will be added to the amount payable. You will receive a written notice in the post when this happens.
Once a matter has been passed to the Fines Unit you can no longer make a payment to the agency that issued the initial fine.
Ways to pay - Fines Unit
Enforcement of a fine or debt
'Enforcement' refers to a range of measures that can be applied when overdue fines and debts remain unpaid. They include:
- removing your ability to sell a vehicle, renew your driver's licence or renew vehicle registration
- suspending your driver's licence
- taking automatic payments from your salary or bank account
- clamping and impounding a vehicle
- seizure and sale of property
- forcing the sale of property
- publishing your name and the amount you owe.
Types of enforcement - Fines Unit
Disputing an enforcement
You can dispute the enforcement of your fine by applying for a review. This is not a review of the fine itself. It only relates to the enforcement of the fine.
A review of enforcement may take place for a fine if:
- you have already paid the fine
- the agency failed to receive your election to be prosecuted, statutory declaration, or other required document
- you failed to receive a notice required by legislation
- procedures required by legislation were not followed
- the expiation notice should not have been given to you in the first instance
- due to exceptional circumstances, there was not a reasonable opportunity to elect to be prosecuted
- due to exceptional circumstances, there was not a reasonable opportunity to apply for review of the expiation notice.
If you are disputing the existence of, or the amount of an overdue state debt, you need to apply to the Magistrates Court within 30 days of the enforcement determination so the court can consider your dispute.
There are a small number of reasons you can ask for enforcement action to be reviewed:
- the fine has already been paid
- the issuing authority didn't receive a document you sent them
- you didn’t receive a legally-required notice
- legal procedures weren't followed.
Fines review process - Fines Unit
Set up a payment plan
If you need to spread your payment over a period of time, you can request a payment arrangement.