Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) Appeals guidance
Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued in council car parks. A PCN issued in a Council car park can be identified with the prefix MEA. A payment of £90.00 must be made within 28 days from the date the PCN was affixed to your vehicle. If the PCN is paid within 14 days from the issue date, the charge is reduced by 50% to £45.00
Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), more commonly known as parking tickets
As you will appreciate, no one likes to receive PCNs. The Council receives frequent and varied requests to have them cancelled. However, it's important to understand that the Council refers all queries, appeals, challenges, or representations related to PCNs directly to Car Park Services Limited (CPS).
All such communications should be made in writing to ensure they are appropriately reviewed and addressed by CPS.
Please note: Traffic Attendants are not on commission/bonuses related to how many PCNs they issue.
How to pay a PCN
You need to have your PCN reference number which is noted on the PCN affixed to your vehicle together with your vehicle registration (VRM) to hand.
- Online: To make a payment online with a debit or credit card, please visit https://carparkservices.ec6pay.com or scan the QR code on your PCN
- By Telephone: 02895907942 (24-hour automated line)
- By Post: Cheques or Postal Order payable to Car Park Services Ltd, 36 Great Patrick Street, Belfast, BT1 2LT. Please ensure to include the PCN and vehicle registration on the back of the Cheque or Postal Order. Do not send cash through the post. It is your responsibility to make sure that the cheque or postal order arrives on time before the discount period ends and to retain any proof of postage. Postal delays will not be accepted as reason for late payment.
If you have received a PCN and you feel that it has been issued incorrectly you have the right to challenge this.
How to Challenge a PCN
A PCN can be challenged in either of two ways. Challenges cannot be accepted over the phone.
- Online through the Car Parking Services Appeals portal. You will be required to provide all necessary evidence supporting your claim. This can include clear photographs, front and back of your blue badge, relevant documents, or witness statements. If your challenge involves mitigating circumstances, ensure to include appropriate evidence to aid in the consideration of your case.
- In writing to:
Car Park Services Ltd
36 Great Patrick Street
Ensure to include all relevant evidence and provide a return address for the outcome of your challenge.
It’s crucial to submit all relevant evidence with your challenge. CPS decisions are based on the information provided, and having comprehensive, clear, and relevant evidence is vital. If challenges or mitigating circumstances are involved, having substantial evidence enhances the processing of your claim.
Once Car Park Services Ltd (CPS) receives the Challenge the PCN is placed on hold until you receive a decision.
CPS will endeavour to respond within 14 days.
If you have submitted your Challenge via the online portal, you will receive the decision via the email address you have supplied. (Please ensure you check your junk/spam folder).
If you have submitted your Challenge in writing by post, you will receive the decision at the postal address you provided. If no postal address or details of the PCN are provided, you may not receive a response.
Checklist for Postal Appeals of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)
1. Complete Information:
- Full name
- Complete postal address (ensure this is clearly written to receive a response)
- Contact number (optional)
- Email address (optional)
2. PCN Details:
- PCN number
- Date the PCN was issued
- Vehicle registration number
3. Written Appeal:
- Clearly written and detailed explanation of the grounds for your appeal
- Include any mitigating circumstances, if applicable
- Photographs (clear and relevant)
- Official documents (such as receipts or records)
- Witness statements, if available
- Any other supporting documents
5. Double Check:
- Review all provided information for accuracy
- Ensure all documents are legible and clear
6. Send the Appeal:
- Addressed to Car Park Services Ltd, 36 Great Patrick Street, BELFAST, BT1 2LT
- Consider sending via recorded delivery or retain proof of postage
7. Follow Up:
- Mark your calendar for 14 days after sending to expect a response
- Prepare to contact CPS for an update if no response is received after the 14-day period (ensure all previous steps were completed accurately)
8. Additional Notes:
- Ensure that all documents are copies; retain originals for your records
- Remember, incomplete information or lack of PCN details can result in non-response
Utilise this checklist to ensure your postal appeal is as comprehensive and accurate as possible to facilitate a smooth review process.
After a Challenge
If a Challenge is successful, you will be notified in writing that the PCN has been cancelled, the case closed, and no further action will be necessary. If you haven’t received a response after 14 days, it is advisable to follow up with CPS. However, avoid contacting CPS before the 14-day period is completed to allow adequate time for processing and responding to your Challenge.
CPS accepts phone call follow-ups, but only after the 14-day period has passed and provided that the Challenge has already been submitted. Remember, Challenges cannot be accepted over the phone; they are only processed when submitted online or by post.
If a Challenge is rejected, you will be informed as previously described, and a new deadline date will be provided for you to pay the PCN.
If an NTO is issued, the registered keeper of the vehicle has the right to make a Representation to CPS. Each Representation will be considered individually. Note that the discount period is not applicable after the NTO has been issued; the full charge is required if the PCN is upheld following the Representation.
Making a Representation about a PCN
If, as the registered owner of a vehicle, you receive a Notice to Owner in relation to a PCN, you can either choose to pay it or contest it. If you choose to contest it, you can make a Representation.
A Representation is how you state the reason(s) why you feel you should not have to pay the PCN. It will be considered by Car Park Services.
The grounds for making a Representation are listed in the Notice of Owner document you receive.
How to make Representations
Online through the Car Park Services Appeals portal.
By Post: Complete the details on the Notice to Owner by ticking one or more appropriate boxes. Give all relevant details in the space provided. If possible, please supply evidence to support your claim. The registered keeper must sign the form and return it within 28 days of the NTO issue date to: Penalty Processing Department, Car Park Services Ltd, 36 Great Patrick Street, Belfast BT1 2LT.
If a Representation is successful, the PCN will be cancelled, and the case will be closed. You will be informed of this in writing.
If a Representation is refused, you will be informed in writing and you will receive information about how to appeal to an independent adjudicator. You can then either pay the parking ticket or appeal.
You can only proceed to appeal to an adjudicator after your initial representation to Car Park Services Ltd (CPS) has been reviewed and rejected. This step can only be taken once you have received a Notice of Rejection of Representation from CPS. Along with this notice, CPS will provide detailed information guiding you on the next steps for appealing to an adjudicator. Ensure to follow the instructions to move forward with your appeal process.
You will be given the opportunity to explain fully why you feel the PCN should not have been issued.
You may make a request for a personal hearing to be arranged so that you can present your case directly to the adjudicator, or you may choose to have the matter dealt with as a postal appeal.
In either case the adjudicator will consider the material provided by both the person appealing and by Car Park Services Ltd before reaching a decision.
Both the person appealing, and Car Park Services will be informed in writing of the adjudicator’s decision.
If you lose an appeal
If an adjudicator decides the PCN was correctly issued, it must be paid within 28 days of the adjudicator’s decision.
If it isn’t paid, a Charge Certificate will be issued to you which increases the amount from £90.00 to £135.00. If there is no response to the Charge Certificate, a Notice of Enforcement will be issued against you.
The Notice of Enforcement affords you the opportunity to serve A Statutory Declaration on an Adjudicator before the end of the period of 21 days from the date of the Notice. A Statutory Declaration is a sworn written statement, signed by either a Solicitor, Commissioner of Oaths, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, or Resident Magistrate/ Lay Magistrate. It is an offence to make a false statement knowingly or wilfully.
A Statutory Declaration may be made on one of the following grounds:
- the person appealing did not receive a Notice to Owner
- the person appealing sent a representation to Car Park Services but did not receive a Notice of Rejection
- the person appealing sent an appeal to an adjudicator but did not receive a notice of his/ her decision
Statutory Declarations are dealt with by an adjudicator.
What happens next if the PCN is not paid?
If the PCN is neither paid nor cancelled as a result of a Challenge or Representation, or if a Statutory Declaration is not submitted, CPS will issue a 'Charge Certificate.' This action increases the initial PCN (£90) by a further 50% to £135 under the following circumstances:
- The PCN remains unpaid,
- An appeal to the traffic tribunal is not submitted,
- A Statutory Declaration is not filed.
In the event of non-payment or the absence of a Statutory Declaration, the increased Penalty Charge may be recovered by CPS through various means. This could involve treating the outstanding amount as a civil debt, managed through the Enforcement of Judgments Office, or entail clamping and/or removal of your vehicle. The involved individual may also incur additional costs associated with the actions of the Penalty Processing Department.
A debt registered with the Enforcement of Judgments Office against your name could potentially impact your credit rating adversely in the future. Consequently, PCN recipients are urged to respond promptly to avoid such additional charges and complications.
Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)
The amount of a PCN is £90.00, however if you pay within 14 days, a 50 per cent discount is applied and you may pay £45.00.
If a PCN is not paid within 28 days, a Notice to Owner will issue to the registered keeper of the vehicle.
When a Notice to Owner has been issued, the parking ticket PCN must be paid within 28 days or a Charge Certificate will be issued. The effect of a Charge Certificate is to increase the amount from £90.00 to £135.00.
Getting a Notice to Owner (NTO) but didn’t get a PCN on your vehicle
If you did not get a PCN but have now received a Notice to Owner requesting that you pay £90.00, the discounted rate of £45.00 is not available, as it only applies for 14 days from the date of the PCN.
Getting a PCN for a vehicle you no longer own
If you receive a PCN for a vehicle you no longer own, the most probable reason is that you are still listed as the registered keeper of the vehicle with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The registered keeper of the vehicle at the time a PCN is issued is responsible for the PCN.
In such circumstances, it's essential to make a representation to CPS, providing evidence that you no longer own the vehicle. Simultaneously, ensure that you inform the DVLA of the change in ownership to update their records accordingly.
Contact Car Park Services Ltd (CPS)
CPS is available to assist you with your queries and concerns regarding Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). However, please note that challenges or appeals against PCNs cannot be accepted over the phone. All such communications must be submitted in writing to ensure they are formally documented, reviewed, and addressed.
For PCN Payment, Challenges or Appeals, use the following methods:
- Payments: Visit the Car Park Services Payment page
- Challenges: Submit online through the Car Parking Services Appeals portal
Send your communications to: Car Park Services Ltd 36 Great Patrick Street BELFAST BT1 2LT
Ensure to include all necessary details and evidence, along with your return address for the response.
For general enquiries, you can reach CPS on 028 9023 0767. However, CPS do not process challenges or appeals over the phone.
Core Office Hours
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Closed on public holidays)
(Please note: Challenges or appeals are not accepted via email)
CPS aim to provide prompt and efficient service. To facilitate a smooth and effective process, kindly ensure that your written communications are complete with all required information and evidence.