We enforce parking restrictions on the street and in off-street council-run car parks. Our Civil Enforcement Officers (previously called traffic wardens) issue tickets called ‘Penalty Charge Notices’ (PCNs) to motorists who have parked incorrectly.
If you have received a parking fine, here is information to help you pay or challenge the fine.
Pay a parking fine Toggle accordion
If you pay your parking fine within 14 days from the date of issue of the Penalty Charge Notice, a 50% discount will be applied to your charge.
If you challenge the parking fine do not make a payment until you receive our response. If you pay we will be unable to accept your challenge.
To pay you’ll need the 10-digit number listed on your Parking Charge Notice (PCN) and your vehicle registration number.
If you’ve lost your PCN, please contact us as soon as possible.
To pay a parking fine, please complete the online form below
What happens if I want to challenge a parking fine?
If you feel you have been issued with Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) unfairly, you can challenge it. You can view the photographic evidence online.
Step 1: After the Penalty Charge Notice Toggle accordion
You must make your challenge in writing within 14 days of the Penalty Charge Notice being issued. Don’t pay your fine until you have our response.
To make a challenge:
Tell us why you believe you shouldn’t have to pay the penalty.
Quote the Penalty Charge Notice number and include your full postal address.
Attach any evidence to support your challenge – for example, blue badge, permit or voucher.
Typical reasons challenges are unsuccessful.
Typical reasons that challenges are not normally accepted are:
The parking restrictions are unfair
You had gone to get change for a pay and display machine
You had only parked for a few minutes
There was nowhere else to park
You were not causing an obstruction
You were not aware of the parking restrictions
We will respond to your challenge in writing within 14 days, and let you know if your challenge has been successful.
If you challenge the penalty charge within 14 days of it being issued, you will still be able to pay the fine at the discounted rate if your challenge was not successful.
Challenge a parking fine
We suggest that you write your challenge using Word or Notepad first and then copy it into the online form. This is to avoid the system timing out if you need to take a break in the middle or if it takes you a while to do.
To challenge a parking fine, please complete the online form below
Please refer to the Useful information before you decide to challenge, before submitting your challenge.
Step 2: The ‘Notice to Owner’ Toggle accordion
If you challenge your penalty charge and it is not cancelled, and you still have not paid it 28 days after the Penalty Charge Notice was issued, we will send a legal document called a ‘Notice to Owner’. We send this to the vehicle’s registered keeper at the address supplied by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).
The Notice to Owner gives you a further 28 days to either:
pay the full penalty charge, or
make formal representations to us.
To make a formal representation about the penalty, please complete and sign the Notice to Owner form. This includes a form called ‘Representations’. Return this to the address given on the form.
Grounds for appeal
When you make a formal representation, you can use any of the following grounds:
I was not the owner of the vehicle at the time of the alleged contravention.
The vehicle was parked by a person who was in control of it without my consent. If your car was stolen, we will need a police crime report number and the name of the police station that the crime was reported or proof of an insurance claim from the insurer.
We are a hire firm and the person hiring the vehicle has signed a statement accepting liability. We will need to see a copy of the agreement, including the name and address of the hirer.
The alleged contravention did not occur. You will need to explain why you believe no contravention took place including any proof you feel is relevant.
The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case. You will need to explain why you believe you have been asked to pay more than you are legally liable to pay.
There has been a procedural impropriety on behalf of the authority (St Albans City & District Council). You will need to explain why you believe we have acted improperly or in breach of the regulations.
The penalty has been paid, either in full or at the discounted rate within the discounted period. You will need to supply proof of payment - for example, a receipt or your payment reference number.
If there are any other reasons why you consider we should cancel the Penalty Charge Notice, you will need to explain your reasons in full.
If your representation is successful, we will cancel the Penalty Charge Notice and the Notice to Owner. If your representation is not successful we will send you a ‘Notice of Rejection’.
Do not ignore the Notice to Owner. It is your last chance to appeal. If your case progresses to a Charge Certificate, you will no longer have the right to appeal. And the charge will increase by 50% to £70 (higher rate) or £50 (lower rate) depending on why you received a Penalty Charge Notice.
Step 3: Appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Toggle accordion
If you disagree with our decision you can appeal to the independent adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The adjudicators are independent of us and their decision is final and binding on both parties.
You can appeal by visiting the Tribunal’s website
The website explains what the adjudicator can consider and how to appeal. There is no charge for appealing and costs are not normally awarded.
You should appeal within 28 days of delivery of the Notice of Rejection.
We will put the case on hold while the tribunal considers your appeal. If your appeal is allowed, you will not have to pay the penalty charge. If it is dismissed, you will have to pay the full amount. Instructions will be provided by the adjudicator at the time of the appeal hearing.
What happens if I don’t pay my parking fine?
Notice to Owner Toggle accordion
If you don’t pay your Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days, and it hasn’t been cancelled after an appeal, we automatically request the name and address of the registered keeper of the vehicle from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).
We then send a legal document called a Notice to Owner to the registered keeper at the address supplied by the DVLA. We’re obliged to do this by law and do so even if we have already had correspondence about the penalty from a different person or address.
The Notice to Owner gives the registered keeper (who is liable for the charge) a further 28 days either to pay the full penalty or to make formal representation to us.
For more information on the appeals process, see the section above on What happens if I want to challenge a parking fine?
Charge Certificate Toggle accordion
f you do not pay or submit a formal representation to the Notice of Owner after 28 days, the charge will increase by 50% and the registered keeper will be sent a Charge Certificate. Once a Charge Certificate has been sent, you have lost your statutory right to challenge (appeal) the Penalty Charge Notice.
Order for Recovery and Witness Statement Toggle accordion
If no payment is received within 14 days of the date of the Charge Certificate, we will apply to register the outstanding debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court. The registered keeper will then be sent an Order for Recovery (TE3 form) and a Witness Statement – Unpaid Penalty Charge (TE9 form). At this stage, the charge will increase by a further £9.
When a Penalty Charge Notice has progressed to Order for Recovery, it is too late for us to accept any representation made. The only options available are to either pay the charge or to file a Witness Statement with the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court. The statement can be made on one of the four grounds:
I did not receive the Notice to Owner/Penalty Charge Notice
I appealed against the council’s decision to reject my challenge, within 28 days of the Rejection Notice, but have had no response to my appeal.
I made representations about the penalty charge to the council within 28 days of the Notice to Owner, but did not receive a Rejection Notice.
The penalty charge has been paid in full. (You will need to state the date it was paid, how it was paid and to whom it was paid.)
If you believe one of these options applies to your situation, and you wish to file a Witness Statement, complete the TE9 form and return it to:
The Traffic Enforcement Centre
At County Court Bulk Centre
St Katherine’s House
21-27 St Katherine’s Street
If you do not have the TE9 form, please contact the Traffic Enforcement Centre using one of the following options:
Note: There are only four limited grounds on which you can make a statement (as detailed above). Proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against you if you make, or cause to be made, a false statement in any document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.
If none of the options apply to your situation, then the only option is to pay the charge, either online or by telephone (using a credit or debit card) on 0845 305 2131, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Alternatively, payment can be made by cheque/postal order made payable to St Albans City and District Council, quoting the Penalty Charge Notice number and sent to: Parking Service, Drovers Way Car Park, Drovers Way, St Albans, AL3 5EB.
Enforcement Agents (formerly bailiffs) Toggle accordion
If the Penalty Charge Notice remains unpaid for 21 days following the registration of the debt, a Warrant of Control (formerly known as a Warrant of Execution) will be issued and the case will be passed to a certificated Enforcement Agent (formerly known as baliffs) to recover the debt on our behalf.
Enforcement Agent action is split into three different stages, each with its own additional fees which you will have to pay on top of the outstanding sum of the Penalty Charge Notice.
Once the charge has passed to the Enforcement Agent, they will write a letter of compliance to you, or visit you within 14 days to serve a Notice of Enforcement. This notice advises of the outstanding dept, plus any additional fees. Following the delivery of this notice, if the debt remains unpaid the case will the progress to the Enforcement Stage.
Compliance stage fee - £75
This stage involves an Enforcement Agent visiting your premises to recover the debt, plus additional fees incurred. Please note: the fee of £235 is payable from the first time the Enforcement Agent visits your premises.
Enforcement stage fees - £235 (plus 7,5% for debts over £1,500)
This stage involves selling your goods in order to pay the outstanding debt, plus any additional fees incurred.
Sale stage fees - £110 (plus 7.5% for debts over £1,500
Once the case is with the Enforcement Agents, it is too late for us to accept any representations (or payments) about the case. You will need to contact the Enforcement Agent or seek legal advice as soon as possible to avoid any additional charges.
Enforcement Agent complaints Toggle accordion
Enforcement Agents are licensed by the court, while central government sets the scale of charges they use. If you are unhappy with any aspect of your experience with an Enforcement Agent, there is a complaints procedure you can follow. Contact the Enforcement Agent for details of their complaints procedure.
In the first instance, you should outline your concerns in writing to us so we can decide whether the issue is a matter for the Council or a matter for the Court. This is whether you feel that an Enforcement Agent has behaved inappropriately or if you feel that they have added incorrect fees to the outstanding debt.
Complaints about Enforcement Agents and fee disagreements are normally a matter for the Court as Enforcement Agents are certified by the Court. To make a formal complaint or to have the fees formally reviewed, you will need to visit a District Court and complete the relevant forms. You will need to give the Enforcement Agent’s details and outline what it is you wish to complain about.
We do not provide any legal advice about Enforcement Agents. You should seek qualified independent legal advice if you do not understand what your options are.