• How Long Should I Wait for PCN to be Issued After the Offence

    How Long Should I Wait for PCN to be Issued After the Offence?

    Receiving a penalty charge notice can bring up a whole range of emotions; confusion, anger, frustration, and even feelings of anxiousness. The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath; you’re not the only one in this situation! Did you know that there are tens of thousands of parking tickets issued every day here in the UK? That’s staggering!

    Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to deal with the situation you’re in. We’ve created this guide to help you:

    1. Know how long you should wait for your penalty charge notice to be issued
    2. Know your rights as a motorist
    3. Find out how to appeal your PCN if you don’t agree with it
    4. Information on what could happen if you ignore it all together

    Our team know what you’re going through, and some have even been in your shoes before. So, let’s talk about how long you should wait for your PCN to be issued after the offence and what your next steps should be.

    How long do the council have to issue my penalty charge notice (PCN)?

    In short, 28 days.

    The issuing authority should send your penalty charge notice to you within 28 days. However, there are some caveats to this.

    For example, if you’re not issued with the PCN on site, the issuing authority will need to request your details from the DVLA. And, if there’s a delay on the DVLA side of things, it can then take longer for the PCN to arrive with you.

    The 28 days is more of a “soft” time limit, which means that you could be waiting much longer for your ticket to arrive.

    It’s important to check the issuing date against the date you received your PCN through the post, because if there wasn’t a valid reason for it arriving to you late, you might have grounds to appeal.

    Source: Money Saving Expert

    As you can see from this example above, this motorist didn’t receive their PCN within that timeframe and is wondering whether they have a right to appeal. We’d recommend checking with the issuing authority if this is the case for you.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    How long should my PCN take to arrive?

    There are different ways you can receive a PCN, meaning that the answer to this might slightly vary. You might receive your PCN in one of these three ways:

    1. Handed directly to you
    2. Left on your vehicle
    3. Through the post

    If the PCN was handed to you or left on your vehicle, this means that you were served the PCN instantly. However sometimes, the alleged contravention will be spotted using CCTV, which means it could take longer to get to you through the post. This is where the soft rule of 28 days comes into play.

    As mentioned earlier, this could be longer if the DVLA have delays and don’t get back to the issuing authority within that timeframe.

    How long can I be chased for a PCN?

    You can be chased for a penalty charge notice for up to six years. After that, the debt will then become statute barred, and a court wouldn’t even look at chasing you for the money that’s owed.

    However, the issuing authority is unlikely to ever let it get that far. In fact, most PCNs are resolved within a month of it being issued.

    Remember that no good is going to come from ignoring your PCN, so you’re better off paying or appealing the ticket.

    How can I pay my PCN?

    The PCN itself will detail all of the different ways you can pay, but the most commonly used method is an online portal for the issuing council. However, you might choose to pay over the phone, or even by checque if you wish.

    If you do want to pay online and can’t find where to pay it, visit the issuing authority’s website and look for the payment portal. From there, you’ll need your vehicle registration number and your PCN number to pay for your fine. Always make sure that the parking ticket is legitimate before making any payments, as there are parking scams going around.

    NOTE: if you pay within 14 days of the PCN being issued, you’ll receive a discount on the total price of the fine. This is usually 40%, but will vary between issuing authorities.

    How can I appeal my PCN?

    If you don’t believe that the PCN was issued correctly, you have the right to appeal. However, you must appeal within 28 days of the PCN being issued. There are a few different ways you can appeal depending on how you received your PCN:

    1. If the ticket was handed to you, you can make an informal appeal. You can achieve this by writing to the issuing authority explaining why you think the PCN was incorrectly issued. You should back this up with as much evidence as possible. They then have 28 days to decide whether to withdraw the PCN.
    2. If your PCN came through the post, you’re no longer able to make an informal appeal. Now you need to write what’s called a representation letter. This is a formal letter written to the issuing authority that includes:
      1. Your name
      2. Date of the alleged offence
      3. Your PCN number
      4. Your address 
      5. A good reason for appealing
      6. Solid evidence to back you up

    The issuing authority has 56 days to review your appeal and make a decision. If your appeal was successful, the PCN will be wiped and you no longer have to worry about it. However, if your appeal was rejected, you’ll then need to make an appeal to an independent tribunal.

    Note: if the issuing authority do not respond after 56 days, you automatically win your appeal! That’s why it’s a great idea to keep track of all of the correspondence dates you have with them.

    What are some good reasons to appeal a PCN?

    Lots of people are unaware that they can even appeal a PCN, yet alone some good reasons! We’ve written a post detailing loads of good reasons to appeal a PCN, but here are some of the most common:

    1. Your PCN didn’t arrive in time
    2. The parking machine wasn’t working
    3. You didn’t break any rules
    4. Unclear signage

    How long do I have to pay my parking fine?

    In short, 28 days.

    If you pay the fine within 14 days of the PCN being issued, you’ll receive a discount on the amount owed.

    However, you may be able to get longer to pay your parking ticket if there are extreme circumstances involved.

    For example, if you or a loved one were hospitalised and you’re only just seeing the PCN, you might be able to apply for more time to pay for your parking ticket.

    The same kind of rule applies for issuing your ticket, as mentioned earlier. If they are unable to get your details to send your PCN through the post, the time limit can be extended. However, if the DVLA are taking too long, the time limite can only be extended by up to six months.

    How long do private parking companies have to send my ticket?

    When it comes to private parking, the rules are a little different. Parking charge notices (also PCN) normally have to be issued to the driver within 14 days of the alleged contravention if the ticket wasn’t given to the motorist on scene.

    However, if the motorist knew about the PCN coming their way, the issuing company has up to two months to issue the fine, but it won’t normally take that long.

    Remember that if you received a parking charge notice after those two months are up, you might have solid grounds to appeal. But, private parking companies are relentless, and won’t give up as easily as you might think.

    Much like a penalty charge notice, you shouldn’t ignore a parking charge notice. The problem won’t simply go away! You’re better off paying the fine as soon as possible to take advantage of a discount on the price, or going down an appeals route.

    We have full guides on appealing a penalty charge notice and appealing a parking charge notice that we recommend reading if you’re planning on appealing your parking ticket.

    How Long Should I Wait for PCN to be Issued After the Offence?

    In short, 28 days.

    However keep in mind that it could be months before you hear anything! Remember to always check with the issuing authority the reason for your PCN being late because you might have a solid ground to appeal!

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    Lucy R.14-11-2020
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