• What Should I Do If My PCN Was Issued After 28 Days

    What Should I Do If My PCN Was Issued After 28 Days?

    We can all make mistakes sometimes. That’s why the PCN that dropped through your letter box wasn’t such of a shock. Firstly, don’t panic, you’re not the first and you certainly won’t be the last person to accidentally break a local parking rule. But what happens if the PCN didn’t come through until 28 days after you accidentally broke a rule?

    Today we’re going to talk you through what a PCN means and what comes next, as well as what your rights are when it comes to finding potential loopholes! Perhaps you might just have grounds to appeal your PCN!

    Can a PCN be issued after 28 days?

    In short, yes.

    However, the issuing authority should always try and issue the penalty charge notice within 28 days of the contravention happening. But, there may be extreme circumstances that stop this from happening.

    As an example, the issuing authority will need to get your details from the DVLA if they noticed the parking contravention after you’ve left the car park. They will then need to wait for those details to come through, and if there are delays at the DVLA, it might mean your PCN comes through after 28 days.

    Essentially, this means that you could be waiting a few months before you actually receive your PCN. However, on the whole, the issuing authority will aim to get it to you in 28 days or under.

    What happens if it doesn’t come through after 28 days?

    Yes, you still have to pay if it doesn’t come through after 28 days. The 28 days is what’s known as a soft time limit, which means there is wiggle room for the issuing authority.

    This means that even if the PCN you were expecting arrives after 28 days, you’ll still need to pay it or go through an appeals process. You can read through our complete guide on penalty charge notices to find out what you need to do to make an appeal against your PCN.

    Can I ignore my PCN?

    No, we’d advise against ignoring your PCN. Even if it came through after 28 days, it’s still a fine that’s legally enforceable. Once you’ve received your PCN, you’ll then have 28 days to either pay it or start an appeal.

    Keep in mind that if you pay within 14 days you’ll receive a discount on the amount owed on the fine, which is usually 40%.

    If you do ignore your PCN, the issuing authority won’t just give up. They will issue you 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. So you’re actually better off trying to pay the original fine within the first 14 days!

    If you still ignore your PCN, the issuing council can then take you to court for a court order, which means you’re now legally obliged to pay the fine. From there, you’ll have 14 days to pay the fine. If you still don’t pay, the issuing authority can then use debt collection methods such as debt collection agencies or bailiffs to collect the fine.

    You might also end up being issued with a CCJ, which will affect your credit score for six years, meaning you may struggle to take out any credit in that time frame.

    Essentially, don’t ignore your PCN. Either pay the fine or start an appeals process!

    Source: Money Saving Expert

    As you can see from the example above, this motorist is wondering whether they can appeal on the grounds that they weren’t given the 10 minute grace period to leave the car park. It’s always worth checking these details to see if you have a reason not to pay!

    Should I appeal my PCN?

    If you believe that you were issued the PCN unfairly, then you should consider appealing it. You’ll have 28 days from the date the PCN was issued.

    You’ll need to write what’s known as a representation letter, but don’t let that name scare you! It’s essentially a letter detailing why you don’t feel you should pay the PCN. It should include:

    1. Your PCN reference number
    2. Your name and address
    3. Your vehicle registration number
    4. A good reason for appealing
    5. Evidence to back up your appeal

    We’ve even created this free and easy to use parking ticket appeal letter template so that you can build a solid appeal against your PCN.

    Once you’ve submitted your appeal, the issuing authority then has 56 days to review and consider your appeal. If you’re successful, the fine will be wiped and you no longer have to worry about it.

    However, if your appeal is rejected, you’ll receive what’s known as a notice of rejection. This letter will detail why your appeal wasn’t accepted and then guide you further if you still want to take your appeal further.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    What happens if the decision takes longer than 56 days? (READ THIS)

    If you’ve made your appeal correctly (in the right format and within the right time frame), and the issuing authority hasn’t responded after 56 days, you automatically win your case. It’s a good idea to make notes of the dates you’ve corresponded with the issuing authority so that you can keep track of things too. Don’t forget to factor in how long it might have taken for your appeal to be posted too.

    What if my appeal doesn’t work?

    If your appeal to the issuing authority isn’t successful, they will send you details in your notice of rejection detailing how you can take your appeal further if you so wish.

    Essentially, you’ll need to take it to the General Regulatory Chamber to appeal it further. Now is the time to think about getting a solicitor to represent you, as this case may now end up in court. Lots of people worry about the implications of taking a parking ticket to court, but if you know that you weren’t in the wrong, we recommend standing your ground.

    However, if the stress of court isn’t something you want to burden yourself with, you will still have the chance to pay the fine. Once your appeal is rejected, the time frame to pay is reset. Your best bet is to pay as soon as possible to avoid any further fines or stress in your life.

    What Should I Do If My PCN Was Issued After 28 Days?

    Unfortunately, your PCN is still valid even if it arrived after 28 days. However, it “should” arrive within 28 days of the contravention!

    You should still always check the dates on the PCN itself. If you’ve noticed that more than 28 days have passed since the contravention, it’s worth getting in touch with the issuing authority to find out why it took so long to get to you.

    For example, if the only reason it took so long to get to you was because it got lost in their office, you might have grounds for appeal.

    However, the bottom line is that the “28 days” they have to issue the ticket to you is simply a soft time limit, and you may still be required to pay or begin an appeals process.

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    Lucy R.14-11-2020
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