Challenge a PCN

Make a representation

To challenge a PCN you need to make a representation. This forms part of a legal process. You can either make your representation online or in writing.

The registered keeper

PCNs are normally sent to the registered keeper of a vehicle as per the records of the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). They may also be issued to the nominated hirer or lessee of a vehicle if a valid hire agreement is provided by the registered keeper.

The person or organisation named on a PCN must make the representation, even if they were not the driver.

Note:

  • The registered keeper or operator can make a representation on behalf of a third party
  • We will not consider a representation from a third party unless the registered keeper or operator provides us with written authorisation
  • If you have been passed a PCN by the registered keeper or operator and wish to challenge it, have them write in on your behalf or provide you with written authorisation to submit with your representation
  • If the registered keeper or operator is a company and you are making a representation on behalf of the company, please indicate your position and authorisation within the company when making your representation
  • We will always advise the registered keeper or operator of the outcome of any investigation

Timing your representation

You have 28 days from the date of service of the PCN to either pay the penalty or challenge the PCN by making a representation. If you pay within 14 days of the date of service, you'll receive a 50% discount and the amount payable will be £250 rather than £500.

We do not have to consider any representations received outside the 28-day period.

If you are prevented from sending us your representation within 28 days, we will use our discretion and may still consider it. You must provide supporting evidence to show what delayed you (eg proof of illness or holiday).

Once we receive your representation, the PCN will be frozen until we have investigated it and written back to you.

Representation in writing

To make your representation in writing complete the representation section of the PCN. Please remember to:

  • If applicable, indicate on which ground you wish to make the representation
  • Use the space provided to explain relevant details. If you need more space please attach additional sheets of paper, remembering to write the PCN number on each sheet
  • Enclose supporting evidence
  • Sign and date the representation
  • Ensure it is received within 28 days of the date of service of the PCN

Send it to:

Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit
PO Box 335
Darlington
DL1 9PU

Our response

When we have considered your representation, we will write back to you with our response. You will be sent one of three things:

A request for further evidence

This means that we need more evidence from you to help us consider the points raised in your representation. The PCN will remain frozen for a number of days to give you enough time to return the information requested.

If the required evidence is not received you will be issued with a notice of rejection. If the required evidence is received you will be issued with a notice of acceptance or a notice of rejection depending on whether we consider the evidence to be sufficient.

Notice of acceptance

This means you are no longer liable for the PCN. Read the notice of acceptance carefully and follow the advice given. It will explain why you received the PCN and advise you on how to avoid PCNs in future.

Notice of rejection

This means we have assessed your representation against accepted grounds and considered any mitigating circumstances, and believe you are still liable for the PCN.

Read the notice of rejection carefully and follow the advice given. We'll tell you how much you must pay and how to pay. Not paying will mean an increase in the amount you owe and enforcement action continuing.

We will tell you about your right to appeal to an independent adjudicator. We may ask you for additional information. If this is the case then follow the advice given and return the information to us within the time stipulated.

Do not do nothing.

Grounds for representation

A representation may be made on one of three grounds. If none of these applies to your situation, you can still state the reasons why you believe you are not liable for a PCN.

The three grounds of representation are:

  • I was not the operator of the vehicle at the time when the alleged contravention of the order took place.

You must tell us the name and address of the operator who is defined as the holder of any operators' licence in respect of the vehicle under Section 2 of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995. This is not the same as naming the driver.

  • There was no contravention of Order - the Greater London (Restriction of Goods Vehicles) Traffic Order 1985 (as amended)

This may mean the vehicle was not in a restricted street or you were in possession of a valid HGV Safety Permit Scheme for the vehicle for the date of the contravention.

  • The penalty exceeded the amount applicable to the circumstances of the case.

This means the value of the PCN notified to you is above the value defined in the regulations.

Each ground for representation is defined by parliament in the governing regulations. The information we provide about each ground, the evidence you need to provide and the circumstances that are applicable are for guidance only - they do not affect your right to make a representation.

Mitigation and discretion

If none of the statutory grounds are applicable, you can still make a representation to us. If you explain your circumstances, we will consider any mitigating circumstances and use our discretion in reaching a decision.

We will not accept the following explanations:

  • Not knowing how to apply for an HGV safety permit.
  • Not meaning to enter the HGV safety permit enforcement zone or entering it as a result of getting lost
  • Disapproval of the HGV safety permit scheme
  • Not knowing about the HGV safety permit scheme

Making an appeal

You can only appeal to the independent adjudicator at London Tribunals if you have made a representation in time which has been rejected by us. You will have been sent a notice of appeal form with the notice of rejection. The decision is final and binding on both you and us.

If you disagree with our decision to reject your representation, you have the right to appeal.

  • To appeal you need to complete the form sent with the notice of rejection
  • Do not send this to us but to the address shown on the appeal form
  • You may opt for either a personal or postal hearing
  • Remember, you only have 28 days from the date of the notice of rejection to appeal to an adjudicator at London Tribunals
  • You need to provide all your evidence to the adjudicator and not us
  • When we are notified of your appeal we will freeze the PCN. You should note however that you may be asked to pay the PCN at the full amount if you are unsuccessful. We will then also provide evidence to London Tribunals and will provide you with a copy of this evidence
  • The adjudicator will then make a decision looking at your evidence and our evidence pack. Adjudicators cannot consider mitigating circumstances or apply their discretion
  • A copy of the adjudicator's decision will be sent to both you and us

Appeal allowed

This means that following consideration by the adjudicator the tribunal has found in your favour. This will mean that you are no longer liable for the PCN.

Appeal refused

This means that following consideration by the adjudicator the tribunal has found in our favour. The adjudicator will have listed the reasons why and given direction as to the amount that is owed and how quickly this must be paid.

Find more on the appeals process on the London Tribunals website.

Making a Statutory Declaration

If your PCN remains unpaid after we have served the charge certificate, we may apply to the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) and register the penalty as a debt. You will then be sent an Order for Recovery.

This is not a County Court Judgement and will not affect your credit rating.

You should either pay the increased amount or, if applicable, make a Statutory Declaration before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the date upon which the County Court order is served.

Failure to take action will result in bailiffs being instructed.

Submitting a Statutory Declaration

A Statutory Declaration is not a representation or a complaint. You may only make a Statutory Declaration if:

  • You did not receive the original PCN. This does not apply if you just forgot to pay it, mislaid it or forgot to make a representation
  • You made a representation but did not receive a reply. This only applies if you made a representation within the 28-day period and did not receive a response from ourselves. It does not apply if you received a reply you disagreed with or we refused to consider your representation because it was late or from a third party
  • You made an appeal to London Tribunals and did not receive a reply

Remember:

  • The Statutory Declaration is a sworn oath
  • You must accurately complete the form enclosed with the Order for Recovery
  • It must be signed before a Commissioner of Oaths (eg a solicitor), an officer of the County Court appointed by a judge to take affidavits, or a Justice of the Peace (at any Magistrates Court)
  • There is no charge if your signature is witnessed at a County Court
  • The Statutory Declaration is not a chance to complain or challenge the reason a PCN was issued

If the Statutory Declaration is not signed and witnessed, or if you do not make it on one of the three grounds, the Court may refuse it.

Do not send your Statutory Declaration to us but send it directly to the TEC. It deals with Statutory Declarations only and cannot advise you on other matters or take payments.

You have the right to challenge the registration of the debt by making an application to file a Statutory Declaration, Out of Time. When submitting such an application you must explain your reasons for not completing the Statutory Declaration within the original time limit.

These reasons may be accepted or rejected by the local authority. If they are rejected, then the case will be referred to a Senior Officer of the Court at the TEC who will determine whether the application should be granted or refused.

We will review each application submitted Out of Time and may challenge the application in the event that:

  • There is evidence that you knew of the PCN
  • You have failed to update the DVLA with your correct address
  • You are still resident at the address to which correspondence was sent

There are other grounds under which the application can be challenged.

For further guidance on submitting an application Out of Time, please refer to the TEC website or contact their helpdesk on 0300 123 1059.

If you have submitted an application to file a Statutory Declaration Out of Time, you should make the bailiff aware of your circumstances and provide them with evidence of the application.

Outcome

If your Statutory Declaration is successful it does not mean that the PCN has been cancelled.

  • If it was made on ground one, 'that you did not receive the PCN', we will reissue it and allow you to pay or make a representation. Do not ignore this PCN. (If you did not receive the original PCN because you changed address, ensure your Statutory Declaration includes details of your new address)
  • If your Statutory Declaration was made on ground two or three, 'that you did not receive a response to either your representation or appeal', then we will refer the matter to an independent adjudicator. This does not automatically cancel the penalty charge. We will send you a copy of the evidence we are required to pass to the independent adjudicator and they will then contact you about the hearing and its outcome. If this appeal is refused you will be notified and must then pay the PCN

You do not have the automatic right to make a Statutory Declaration. Filing a false declaration knowingly and wilfully is a criminal offence under Section 5 of the Perjury Act 1911 and you may be imprisoned for up to two years or fined or both.