• What Should I Do If I've Lost my PCN Number

    What Should I Do If I’ve Lost my PCN Number?

    As you may have read in our guides on penalty charge notices, the last thing you want to do is ignore it because it’s legally enforceable, and you may end up in court. But what happens when you’ve lost your PCN number? Firstly, try not to panic, as there are things you can do to get it back, whether you’re choosing to pay or start an appeals process, and we’ll go through those now.

    What’s a PCN reference number?

    A PCN reference number is a unique number that’s printed onto every PCN that’s issued. It’s indicative of the reason for your PCN and also your details. The numbers on the PCN will start with two letters which help you identify why you received your PCN and also who issued it.

    You can find your PCN reference number by looking at the top of your parking ticket. However, if your PCN was issued by Transport for London, it will be in the top right corner, just above the image of the vehicle.

    You’ll need your PCN number to pay for your parking ticket. You’ll also need it if you’re choosing to appeal your PCN, so it’s best to keep it safe.

    How do I pay if I’ve lost my PCN number?

    The most simple and best way to resolve your problem is by getting in touch with the local authority that issued you with the penalty charge notice. Without your PCN number, you won’t be able to pay online, which is often the easiest and most convenient way for motorists to pay.

    When you call the issuing authority to ask for your PCN number, they may give you an option to pay for your PCN over the phone. Keep in mind that this might take a few days to clear.

    However, if you plan on appealing your PCN number, you’ll need to make that clear to them over the phone. They’ll be able to search for your parking ticket using your vehicle registration number.

    NOTE: you might need to be the registered owner of the vehicle to receive your PCN details.

    What should I do if I’ve lost my parking ticket?

    The best thing to do if you’ve lost your parking ticket is to get in touch with issuing authority. Both private and council issued parking tickets will be easily found through a simple search using your registration number on your vehicle.

    Keep in mind that you should get in touch as soon as you’ve realised you’ve lost your PCN number to avoid any late fees or further action being taken against you.

    What will happen if I don’t pay my parking ticket?

    If you choose not to pay for your parking ticket and ignore it altogether, you’ll be issued with what’s known as a charge certificate after the original 28 days are up. This will then give you another 14 days to make the payment, but it will add 50% of the fine on top of the original one.

    If you still choose not to pay, the issuing council may then choose to take you to court, and could even end up with bailiffs turning up at your home. That’s why it’s better to either pay within the first 14 days or start an appeal.

    Can I appeal a PCN?


    If you don’t believe you committed the alleged contravention, you have the right to appeal your parking ticket. But, you do need to make sure your appeal is submitted within 28 days of the penalty charge notice being issued.

    It’s important to take note of which council issued the penalty charge notice to you. For example, if you took a day trip outside of the locality you live in, it’s completely possible to get a penalty charge notice from another council if you committed a parking contravention. This means that you’ll need to appeal to the right council, not the area you live.

    There’s a few other things to note too!

    If your penalty charge notice was handed to you or left on your car, your first step would be to make an informal appeal to the local council. You’ll need to do this within 14 days of the date that the penalty charge notice was given to you or left on your car. An informal appeal involves writing them a letter or looking on the local council’s website for contact details. If your informal appeal isn’t accepted, you can then make a formal appeal.

    If your penalty charge notice came through the post, the option to make an informal appeal no longer applies. You’ll now need to make a formal appeal to the council that issued the penalty charge notice or Transport for London if applicable. You have 28 days from the date of the penalty charge notice to make a formal appeal. We’ve created a free and easy to use parking ticket appeal letter template to help you create a solid appeal against your PCN.

    How long will I have to wait for a decision for my PCN appeal?

    The longest you’ll usually have to wait is 56 days for a decision on your PCN appeal. The only time it might be longer is if there are extreme circumstances.

    Not only that, if the issuing authority don’t respond after 56 days, you automatically win your appeal!

    If you’re successful, your fine will be wiped and you no longer have to worry about the PCN. If you’re unsuccessful, you’ll receive a notice of rejection, which will host details on what your potential next steps can be.

    Will a PCN affect my credit score?

    No, a PCN itself will not affect your credit score. This is because it’s not a credit debt. However, if you don’t pay your PCN, the issuing authority may take you to court, and you’ll be issued with a CCJ. if you don’t pay that CCJ within a month, it could show on your credit score for six years!

    Is a PCN legally enforceable?

    Yes, a penalty charge notice (PCN) is legally enforceable.

    This means that if you don’t pay your fine, the issuing council has the right to take you to court, which could result in a court order that forces you to pay the fine.

    We’d never recommend ignoring your parking ticket! It’s always best to either pay up as soon as possible or start an appeals process.

    What should I do if I’ve lost my PCN number?

    In summary, if you’ve lost your PCN number, the most simple way of resolving your problem is by getting in touch with the issuing authority. They’ll be able to search for your ticket using your registration number and get you back on track.
    You can find your local council’s contact details using this government website!

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    Lucy R.14-11-2020
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