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What happens if I do not pay my PCN

Find out the steps we take if you do not pay your PCN, from the charge certificate and increased charge to notice of enforcement.

If you do not pay your PCN, this is what will happen next.

1. Charge certificate

If you ignore any of these PCNs, you may be sent a ‘charge certificate’ letter letting you know the cost of the PCN has increased by 50%:

  • postal PCN - for moving traffic offences
  • notice to owner - for on-street parking offences
  • enforcement notice - for bus lane offences.

2. Increased charge

If you do not pay the increased charge within 14 days, we may tell the Traffic and Enforcement Centre (TEC) and they register the amount you owe as a debt.

3. Order for recovery

We then send you an ‘order for recovery’ letter.

We add a surcharge of £10 to the amount not paid on the PCN. This is the cost for registering the order. If you believe you have a reason to not pay the charge, the letter will tell you how to make a statement about this to the court.

4. Warrant of control

If you do not pay the PCN for another 21 days after you receive the ‘order of recovery’ letter, we may ask the TEC for a ‘warrant of control’. The case is then passed to an enforcement agent (used to be known as a bailiff) to recover what you owe.

5. Notice of enforcement

The enforcement agent writes to you or visits you within 14 days to serve a ‘notice of enforcement’. This notice tells you the amount you owe and any other fees.

Contact about an unknown or resolved PCN

If you have been contacted about a PCN that you did not know about, or you thought was paid or cancelled, you can contact the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) applying for permission to make an out of time ‘witness statement’ or ‘statutory declaration' (depending on the type of PCN). 

Once you've got notification from the TEC, the enforcement agent will put the case on hold while this is investigated. More information is available from the TEC or by calling 030 0123 1059.

6. Enforcement agent

If you do not or cannot make an out of time ‘witness statement’ or ‘statutory declaration' and do not pay the money you owe, an enforcement agent will visit you to recover the amount you owe.

Enforcement agent fees

The fees an enforcement agent can charge are outlined in the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014. These can be added to your debt.

  • Compliance fee – £75
  • Enforcement fee – £235 (plus 7.5% if you owe more than £1,500)
  • Fee for selling your goods – £110 (plus 7.5% if you owe more than £1,500).

If you are vulnerable or cannot pay

If you’re contacted by an enforcement agent and are a vulnerable person or will have difficulty paying, contact the agent named on the ‘Compliance Letter’ you receive.

Contact an enforcement agent

Recovery actions are made for us by these enforcement agents.



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