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Parking FAQs

Content needs to be provided - FAQs and Answers

Where can I park in St Albans? Toggle accordion

You can find information about car parks and on-street parking on our Where to Park page

I’ve got a parking fine what do I do? Toggle accordion

You can either pay the charge and bring the case to a close or challenge the parking ticket. You cannot do both - it must be one or the other. For further information can be found on our Parking Fines page

I don’t understand why I was given a parking ticket – what should I do? Toggle accordion

You can write in telling us why you feel you should not have been given a ticket. After investigation a full response will be sent out to you within 10 working days. We will explain in all cases why a parking ticket was issued and fully explain your options. For further information on how to challenge a parking ticket visit our Parking Fines page

How do I make a complaint about the parking ticket? Toggle accordion

There is a legal right of appeal for raising parking ticket issues, which can lead to independent adjudication.  As there is a separate process, we cannot handle this through the council’s as a complaint. For further information about how to appeal against a parking ticket visit our Parking Fines page

Why do you take photographs of a vehicle when you are serving a parking ticket? Toggle accordion

We take photographs to provide evidence that the vehicle is parked in breach of the regulations. It protects the driver from any incorrect parking tickets and allows the investigating officer to understand the circumstances better. 

Sometimes people feel this is an invasion of my privacy. However, it is not against the law to take these photographs and any image captured is only what a driver leaves on display in a public place.

I have received a Notice to Owner letter, what should I do? Toggle accordion

A Notice to Owner letter is the first formal stage of the appeals process and is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle (recorded at the DVLA). Once a Notice to Owner is served, we can only deal with the registered keeper unless they have provided written permission that we can deal with a third party.

At this stage you can either pay the charge and bring the case to a close or make a written challenge against the parking ticket. 

You must not ignore a Notice to Owner even if you were not driving at the time when the parking ticket was served. If you ignore it the case will still continue to progress with the possibility of increased charges and the loss of the right of appeal.

For further information on how to challenge a Notice to Owner visit our Parking Fines page

I have received a Notice to Owner, but I didn’t get the parking ticket – what do I do? Toggle accordion

You must put any concerns in writing and outline everything you want us to consider.  We will then investigate your case. For further information on how to challenge a Notice to Owner visit our Parking Fines page

I have received a Charge Certificate what should I do? Toggle accordion

You should read the Charge Certificate and follow the advice in it as it is a legal document. If you want the case to be looked at you should outline your reasons why in writing and send it to us. For further information on how to challenge a Charge Certificate visit our Parking Fines page

I have received an Order for Recovery form what should I do? Toggle accordion

Receiving an Order for Recovery form means that the case is now being dealt with by the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) in Northampton. You should read the Order for Recovery document carefully and then decide whether you want to pay the charge or make a statement to the court in Northampton. 

If you are unsure, we advise you to seek qualified independent legal advice. We do not provide any legal advice about the Penalty Charge Notice recovery process. 

You may also contact TEC in Northampton:
Traffic Enforcement Centre 
5th Floor St Katherine’s House 
21-27 St Katherine’s Street 
Northampton 
Northamptonshire NN1 2LH 

Or email tec@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk 
Or telephone 0300 123 1059/ 01604 619 450 

An Enforcement Agent (formally known as a bailiff) contacted me - what should I do? Toggle accordion

Once an Enforcement Agent has become involved it means that a warrant has been issued by the Court. A warrant gives the Enforcement Agent the legal right to recover any outstanding debt from the named person on the warrant.  You must therefore deal with them directly. They will leave full contact details at your residence if you were not at home when they called. 

An Enforcement Agent can legally add further fees to the outstanding debt. 

All Enforcement Agents who enforce Traffic Enforcement Centre warrants for St Albans City and District Council are certified by the courts.

How do I complain about an Enforcement Agent? Toggle accordion

For the process for making a complaint about an Enforcement Agent visit the ‘What happens if I don’t pay my parking fine?’ section of our Parking Fines page

I am not the person named on the warrant or the person does not live here anymore – what do I do? Toggle accordion

You must prove this information to the Enforcement Agent so that they are satisfied. The Enforcement Agent will tell you what they will accept as evidence to prove this. If you have a forwarding address for the person named on the warrant, you should give this to the Enforcement Agent. 

The Enforcement Agent wants to remove my goods or my vehicle – what can I do? Toggle accordion

Enforcement Agents are legally allowed to take your vehicle or goods if you have not paid what is set out in the warrant. To avoid your vehicle or goods being taken and sold you must make payment to the Enforcement Agent or come to some type of payment arrangement.

Enforcement Agents are under no obligation to accept any payment arrangement, but they will not refuse any reasonable period and amounts. They will explain how long they are prepared to allow for any arrangement and what amounts will need to be paid.

Why has the charge gone up? Toggle accordion

By law Enforcement Agents will add fees for letters, visits and any other action that they need to take as part of recovering the outstanding amount. For example, if an Enforcement Agent requires a trailer to take someone’s vehicle away then the cost of this may be added to any outstanding amounts. The earlier you make payment on a case the lesser the charges will be.

For further information on the Enforcement Agent charges visit the ‘What happens if I don’t pay my parking fine?’ section of our Parking Fines page

I do not own anything or have any money – what can I do? Toggle accordion

You will have to prove your circumstances to the Enforcement Agent. Once they are satisfied, they will refer your case for further consideration. The Enforcement Agent will explain what it is they will accept as proof.

The Enforcement Agent was wearing a video camera and I think they filmed me. Is this right? Toggle accordion

Enforcement Agents do sometimes wear what is called a “body cam” when attending to enforce a Court Warrant. They do this to:
    a) Protect you from unfounded claims – such as an Enforcement Agent claiming to have been assaulted 
    b) To protect themselves from unfounded claims – such as claims of assault and intimidation against you 
    c) To allow evidence of the visit to be used in the event of a complaint or if a case is taken to Court 

Can the Council take back my case from the Enforcement Agent so I can deal directly with the Council? Toggle accordion

Once a court Warrant of Control has been issued to the Enforcement Agent, you must deal with them as their role is to recover any outstanding amounts. We will only revisit a case at the warrant stage if there is evidence that a customer is vulnerable. The Enforcement Agent will refer such cases back to us once the situation has been verified.

For further information on Enforcement Agent charges visit the ‘What happens if I don’t pay my parking fine?’ section of our Parking Fines page

I cannot use your online services as I don’t have a computer – what can I do? Toggle accordion

Computers for use by everyone can be found at:

  • St Albans Civic Centre (Council offices) 
  • Harpenden Library 
  • London Colney Library 
  • Redbourn Library 
  • St Albans Central Library 
  • Marshalswick Library 
  • Wheathampstead Library 

There is no charge for using the computers at these locations and staff will be happy to help. If your mobile phone is internet enabled, you can use that too. 

If you prefer to use post then send your enquiry, parking ticket challenge, permit or suspension application to:

Parking Services 
Drovers Way Car Park 
Drovers Way 
St Albans 
Herts AL3 5EB 

Why can’t I discuss my parking ticket case with someone and cancel it? Toggle accordion

You can discuss your case with us, and we will provide you with advice on the process (not legal advice) for challenging a parking ticket. What we are unable to do is have a face to face or telephone discussion about the merits of the parking ticket.  This is because all challenges must be made in writing. We cannot act on verbal challenges. 

The reason that we are only able to deal with written challenges is so that there is a physical record of all action taken. This is in the event that the case ends up being considered by the independent adjudicator and or the Courts. A clear record should mean that any ambiguity or misunderstandings are kept to a minimum. 

For further information on making a challenge, please visit our Parking Fines page

Why do you issue parking tickets? Toggle accordion

Vehicle ownership has increased to high levels resulting in congestion, pollution, road safety issues and pressure on our finite kerb space. By issuing parking tickets we help to tackle some of these issues, encouraging people to park where it is safe and doesn’t cause hold ups. We also have a statutory duty to enforce the regulations and drivers have a duty to adhere to the regulations.

Some facts:

  • Hertfordshire has the 4th highest car ownership in England 
  • 82% of households have access to one or more cars 
  • 41% of households have access to two or more cars 
  • 9% have access to 3 or more cars 
  • Within the St Albans District 44% of all travel journeys made are less than 3 miles 
  • Less than a third of journeys are made by cycling or walking 
  • Commuting to work by car accounts for some 60% of all journeys 
  • Over 1.5 million vehicles use St Albans car parks each year 
  • Traffic flow on our roads has grown by 64% since 1980 and is expected to grow by a further 33% by 2021 
  • Vehicles on our roads account for the largest share of CO2, PM10 and NOx emissions produced in the UK

How do I apply for a permit? Toggle accordion

The easiest and quickest way to apply for a permit is online. For details on how to apply and the information you will need to provide, please visit our Parking Permits page

How do I apply to suspend a parking bay? Toggle accordion

For details on how to apply for a parking bay suspension and the information you will need to provide, please visit our Parking Permits & Suspensions page

How do I get a disabled parking bay? Toggle accordion

For details on how to apply for a disabled parking bay and the information you will need to provide, please visit our Where to Park page

Can I pay for my permit with cash? Toggle accordion

We cannot accept payment by cash. If you do not have a bank account or card payment facility you can visit the local post office to convert your cash into postal orders which we will accept. 

When will I get my permit? Toggle accordion

Once your online application has been accepted and the payment cleared, you can print off your permit immediately. Any permit application that cannot be processed immediately will be sent out by first class post once processed.

If you are concerned about the progress of an application, please use the contact us button below.

Contact us

What happens if the website goes down and I need a permit? Toggle accordion

If technical issues with our website mean you are unable to complete your transaction and as a result your permit expires, we will take a common-sense approach. We will have a record of such incidents.

How do I report a vehicle that is parked illegally? Toggle accordion

For details on how to report an illegally parked vehicle, please visit our Abandoned & Unwanted Vehicles page

It's snowing and I cannot see if there are yellow lines - will I get a ticket? Toggle accordion

In cases where there is settled snow, we will not take action if the lines cannot be seen. Likewise, we won't take action if the windscreen is covered in snow and we cannot see the parking permit.

It’s snowing and I cannot see the lines of the parking bay – will I get a ticket if I’m outside the lines? Toggle accordion

We won’t take action if snow melts during the day and your vehicle is parked out of the bay. Only if it is obvious the vehicle parked after the snow had melted.