You are entitled to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) if you believe it should not be paid. We will consider any challenge made in writing about a PCN.
You can make an informal challenge online. Penalty Charge Notices will only be available to view and challenge online from the next working day after issue.
You can also write a letter to PO Box 227, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 3WX.
It is not possible to challenge a PCN by telephone.
Please include the PCN number, vehicle registration number and your name and address in any correspondence. If you do not provide this information, we may not be able to respond to you.
You should also include any evidence you may wish to submit to support your challenge.
What happens next?
Once you have submitted your challenge, the PCN is placed on hold until a decision has been made. We will normally send you a full reply within 28 working days, but some challenges may take longer to investigate. If you have not received a reply within 28 working days, please contact us on 01462 474631.
Please ensure that you make your challenge within 14 days of the issue date of the PCN, because if we decide to reject your challenge, you will then still be able to pay at the reduced charge for a further 14 days from the date of our reply, should we decide not to cancel the PCN. If you decide to challenge after the 14 day period, but within the 28 day period, the full charge would be due if we reject your challenge.
We will consider carefully all challenges that are made and reach a decision based on the evidence that is available to us. We will explain the reasons for our decisions and address all the points you have made. All cases will be considered on their individual circumstances.
Sometimes we may ask you to provide more evidence to support your case. If we do so, we will allow a reasonable amount of time for you to respond to our request.
If an informal challenge is rejected by us and you decide not to pay, a 'Notice to Owner' document will be sent to the owner / keeper of the vehicle.
Do not ignore a PCN. They do carry extra penalties if not paid (or challenged) promptly.
If the PCN is not paid or challenged, then after 14 days, the opportunity to pay at the reduced amount is no longer available and the full amount becomes payable.
After the 28 day period following the service of a PCN, if it remains unpaid, the Council may contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to obtain the name and address of the registered keeper of the vehicle. A legal document known as ‘Notice to Owner’ is then issued to that person.
If you submit a complaint at the same time as your challenge, please be aware that the PCN challenge procedure is a statutory process completely separate and outside of the complaints procedure.
Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act has established a process for dealing with challenges and appeals against PCNs. The team that deal with complaints are unable to influence the decisions of the PCN challenge team; neither can they put a PCN on hold pending the investigation of any complaints.
Whilst waiting for the outcome of a complaint you should submit a challenge or pay your PCN within the appropriate time frames. We would not put a PCN on hold pending the outcome of a complaint.
You may use the corporate complaints process to make a complaint but it is unlikely that your complaint with affect the outcome of your PCN challenge unless it is found that we have acted unfairly or unlawfully in issuing the PCN.