How Long Can a PCN Be Issued After the Offence?
Sometimes we forget about a parking ticket or don't even know we were issued one until we get a PCN in the post. "When did that happen?", we wonder. "How long can a PCN be issued after the offence, anyway?" It's important to understand the time frames involved with parking penalty charge notices, so you can better recall the circumstances under which the offence occurred and how much time you have to dispute any penalties.
Even if you're unsure if you were in the right, it is best you take your chances and dispute the PCN. Whether it was issued in Islington, Birmingham, London, or any other city in the UK, DoNotPay can extend legal assistance.
Let's take a look at the steps you'll take to contest a PCN on your own, and then we'll tell you about the easy way to get off the hook with the help of DoNotPay—your virtual legal representative in fighting parking violation penalties. Because easy is always better, especially when dealing with bureaucracy, and when money is on the line.
When a PCN Is Unexpected
There are several reasons why you were surprised by a PCN in the post. Here are some:
- The original penalty charge notice in its yellow plastic pouch was "stolen" by a passerby
- Wind dislodged the PCN from underneath your wiper blades
- You stashed the PCN in your jockey box and forgot about it
- You weren't the person driving the vehicle at the time of the violation
Most councils aren't required to leave a ticket on your vehicle at all—they can simply send you a letter straight away. This is also how councils send PCNs in response to violations captured on traffic cameras. But you shouldn't be too surprised by a PCN coming from "out of nowhere", because most councils are required to send the notice within 28 days of the infraction provided they're able to access your contact information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
If the DVLA takes too long to respond, this deadline can be extended multiple times. Still, you might have grounds to use the delay in your favour should you decide to contest the penalty.
What to Do When You Wish to Contest a Parking PCN
Fortunately, you typically have about a week longer to pay your fine if it was originally issued by post rather than if it was left on your vehicle, but the extra time is no excuse to procrastinate. If you feel you have grounds to appeal the PCN, you'll want to get started immediately. The course of action you'll take is called a representation, by which you'll explain why you feel you are not liable for the PCN, or why you should be given relief.
8 Reasons Why You Might Seek a Dismissal of Your PCN
You might have no trouble at all deciding why you shouldn't have to pay the penalty, but if you're unsure, these are frequent arguments against PCNs:
- The PCN came to you so long after the infraction that you cannot remember what happened and therefore, cannot properly defend your actions.
- You believe you were not violating any laws at all,
- The violation occurred during an emergency
- The vehicle's previous owner committed the offence.
- The information on the PCN was incorrect.
- There wasn't sufficient signage notifying you that the parking area was off-limits or restricted.
- The penalty fee would be a financial hardship.
- The best reason of all: The potential for having the penalty dismissed is worth the effort, if you're willing to go through the process, and even if your challenge is rejected, you'll likely have your fee reduced by half.
Tips for Fighting a PCN on Your Own
The sooner you submit your defence against your PCN, the better. If you do so within 14 days of receiving the notice, you have a better chance of having your fine reduced regardless of your success.
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Whatever reason you have for contesting your case, be sure you can back it up with evidence. For example:
- Take photographs of the parking spot if you feel the signage was insufficient
- Witness statements from passengers or others who can corroborate your argument
- Time-stamped receipts showing you were not in the area
- Purchasing documents for your vehicle if the incident occurred before you bought it
- A financial statement proving the hardship
Write a statement that clearly explains why you deserve the PCN to be waived and reference any evidence and additional documents that support your case. Follow the instructions on the PCN for contesting the penalty, or go to this government website where you can look up the issuing council and follow their specific instructions for arguing your case—each jurisdiction will have its own processes, though generally, they'll be similar.
Be certain to follow the instructions to the letter, or you risk losing your case and defaulting on your chance to have your fees dismissed. Worse, you can be forced to pay additional PCN fines!
How DoNotPay Will Contest Your PCN for You
DoNotPay can help you fight your parking ticket in minutes, with the least amount of hassle. You may have heard about us from BBC or in other prominent publications, but the best way to get to know our services is by trying us out yourself! Here's how it works:
DoNotPay can help you fight your parking ticket (again for UK users, we cannot mail the letter)
- Log-in to DoNotPay and go to the Speeding Ticket category. Select the Speeding Ticket product.
- Upload a photo of your citation.
- Provide us with some details on why you believe the citation issued is a mistake.
- That’s it! You’ll receive an appeal letter that contains the best argument to win your case.
There's nothing more to it, other than printing out and mailing the letter DoNotPay will generate for you to use when you contest your ticket.
Looking For Help With a Specific Jurisdiction?
We can fight your parking tickets for you, no matter where you live in the UK or the United States including, but certainly not limited to:
And parking tickets aren't all we take care of!
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Here are some other tasks that DoNotPay can take care of for you:
- Negotiate car leases
- File Insurance claims
- Complain against corporations
- Get airline compensation
- Car registration renewal
If you can think of a challenge common to consumers and citizens, chances are we can handle it on your behalf... faster, easier, and dare we say, far more enjoyable! Sign up with DoNotPay today and discover a more convenient way to get things done.