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Penalty Charge Notice Number – What You Need to Know

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Penalty Charge Notice Number

What is a penalty charge number and where do I find it? We answer the most asked questions about PCN numbers here, as well as other common questions from people who have received a Penalty Charge Notice. 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances, parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

What is a penalty charge notice?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is a fine for illegally parking a vehicle, breaking specific traffic rules or for failing to pay a road fee on time, such as the Dart Charge or London Congestion Charge. The PCN will be sent to you in the post, or it could be left on your vehicle by a council traffic warden if you have parked illegally. 

You are usually given 28 days to pay the PCN, but if you pay within 14 days some of the fine is wiped, saving you money. You can pay in a variety of methods, including online. If you do not pay on time, your fine will be increased by 50%, and thereafter you could be issued with a court order and face bailiffs. 

Note that a PCN is not the same as a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), which is more likely to be issued by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) or the police. 

What is a PCN number?

A PCN number is used to uniquely identify your PCN. It can be found at the top of your notice. It will begin with two letters that indicate why or where the PCN was issued. The PCN number is important because it is needed to make a payment online and clear the fine. You might also need it for other reasons, such as challenging your PCN. 

How can I do a PCN number check?

You can check your PCN number on the top of your PCN. If your PCN was issued by Transport for London, you’ll find it in the top right corner above the image of the vehicle. 

If you have lost your PCN, you’ll need to contact the council or company that issued the PCN to ask for the PCN number and other details you need. It’s not possible to do a PCN number check online. 

Can I check an outstanding congestion charge?

There is no official way of checking if you have an outstanding congestion charge for driving in London. You will receive a letter if you have an outstanding charge, and if you don’t pay on time, you could be issued with a PCN. 

But you may be able to use a free service to check congestion charges designed for people considering buying a used car. Since 2007, you can check for an outstanding congestion charge against a second-hand vehicle you are considering buying. 

You will need to send an email to OutstandingCCPenaltyCharges@TfL.gov.uk with your name, address, the vehicle’s registration number and state you have authorisation from the current vehicle owner to complete the check. You should receive a response within 10 working days. 

What is a PCN reference number?

A PCN reference is the same as a ‘PCN number’. It is a unique identifier of your PCN and is required to pay the fine or challenge it. The PCN reference number can usually be found on the top of your PCN and starts with a prefix containing two letters. 

Do parking tickets go on your record (UK)?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) does not create a criminal record as these fines are considered civil offences rather than criminal offences. However, you may still need to declare a PCN on some applications, such as visa applications to visit other countries. Usually, they have no bearing on the outcome of your visa application but still need to be declared. 

Do I need to declare a PCN to my insurance company?

Most insurance companies do not need to know about any PCNs you have received. If you are applying for or renewing your insurance, they’ll only need to know about traffic incidents you have been involved in. 

Can I challenge a PCN?

You can challenge your PCN within 28 days if you believe you shouldn’t have been issued with the PCN. If the PCN was left on your vehicle, you must make an informal appeal to your local council. And if you received the PCN in the post, you must make a formal challenge with details and evidence. 

If you have been issued with a court order to pay the fine, you can challenge this order. You may do so if you already paid the PCN or weren’t given any notification of the PCN previously – among other possible reasons. 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

GET STARTED

PCN number (quick summary)

A PCN number is used to identify your specific PCN and can be found at the top of your notice. You will need your PCN number to pay your fine online or to challenge the PCN. 

Have another PCN question?

We’ve been dedicating posts to all of the common PCN questions. So if you have a query concerning your PCN, there is a good chance we have the answers. Browse our other parking ticket posts for free information across this subject. 

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