How this can happen

If we cannot match the image of a vehicle registration to our database, we contact the DVLA and ask for details of the vehicle and the recorded registered keeper. If the DVLA details have not been updated after the sale of a vehicle, the wrong person may receive a PCN.

Whether you're buying or selling a vehicle it is your joint responsibility to ensure the DVLA records for the vehicle are updated.

What to do if it happens

You can make a representation to let us know you were not liable for the PCN(s) and provide details of the previous owner. However, if they fail to pay a PCN for a vehicle you now possess, your vehicle may be immobilised or removed.

How to prevent it happening

If you are considering buying a vehicle, you can check whether it is subject to any outstanding PCNs by emailing the following information to

  • Your full name and address for identification purposes
  • An email address for the information to be sent to
  • The complete vehicle registration number (only one per enquiry is permitted)
  • Confirmation that you have the explicit consent of the current registered keeper of the vehicle (or, if unregistered, the owner of the vehicle) for the information to be sent to you

Information restrictions

  • The address above should only be used for checking a vehicle being bought
  • We can only confirm if there are outstanding red route penalty charges
  • Further details of any outstanding penalty charges can only be given to the person deemed liable for those penalties

If you want to make a representation against any PCNs you have already received you should follow the instructions on the PCN.

Data protection legislation

  • We will only process the personal information you provide for the purpose of the administration of the PCN Checker enquiry service. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of data protection legislation. It may be disclosed to or requested from the registered keeper of the vehicle in question. If, as a result of your enquiry, we have reason to believe that there has been an abuse of this service and/or an offence under data protection legislation may have been committed, your personal information may be disclosed to relevant third parties, including law enforcement agencies
  • It is an offence under data protection legislation to knowingly or recklessly, obtain, disclose, sell or advertise for sale, or bring about the disclosure of personal data, without the consent of the Data Controller (TfL)
  • We specifically prohibit you from making any other commercial use of the information you receive or in any way selling, publishing or publicising it
  • We will provide your name, address, and email address to the registered keeper of the vehicle that you have enquired about if requested to do so by that person. Your use of this service indicates your consent to the release this information

By using this service you are confirming your acceptance of these terms and conditions and your agreement that you will only use the information you receive for purposes relating to your possible purchase of the vehicle.