When you get a fine in NSW, the fine notice/penalty notice will have a due date that the fine must be paid on or by.
If you fail to pay by the due date, an agency which collects debts for the Government, called Revenue NSW, will get involved who will issue you with a 'penalty reminder notice'. This reminder notice will require you to pay the outstanding fine within 28-days.
Failure to pay the penalty reminder notice issued by Revenue NSW on time will cause Revenue NSW to issue you with an overdue fine notice. This overdue fine notice will add an overdue fee of an additional $65 on top of your overdue fine. This fee will be $25 if you are under the age of 18.
Failure to pay the overdue fine will then result in further consequences, including an enforcement order in an attempt by Revenue NSW to collect the debt. An enforcement order can have significant consequences, including the suspension or cancellation of your driver licence, cancellation of your vehicle registration, or court action to get a property seizure order.
If a court order is not complied with, then some of the consequences may include community service order, and imprisonment.
To avoid these things occurring, our criminal lawyers Parramatta branch have outlined everything you need to know about the law on fines in NSW. Including, how to check if you have a fine, red light fine, red light speed camera fine, how long it takes to receive a fine in the mail, how to pay a fine online, and how to appeal fines and your options after getting a fine in NSW.
PENALTY NOTICE NSW | WHAT IS A FINE?
A fine is also known as a penalty notice, on-the-spot fine, infringement notice, ticket or a CIN ('Criminal Infringement Notice'). A fine is basically a financial or monetary penalty for breaching certain laws or Regulations, including parking, public transport, local council, traffic and minor criminal infringements.
A fine can be issued to you by the local council, transport NSW transit officer, police officer, a court or a government agency including Revenue NSW. Wherever a fine is in the form of penalty units, remember that 1 penalty unit is equal to $110.
HOW TO CHECK IF YOU HAVE A FINE NSW | CHECK FINES NSW
To check your fine in NSW, you simply go to the Revenue NSW website. Here you can pay your fine online, enquire about your fine, enquire about an overdue fine, or if you've been issued with an enforcement order after an overdue fine- you can enquire about this through the myEnforcement portal of the website.
You will need to enter your penalty reference number which will be located on your penalty notice (usually at the top).
If you wish to request for a review of your fine, or nominate someone or you wish to court elect to have the matter heard in court, you can do this by following the prompts through the myPenalty portal. Here you'll need to enter your penalty notice number and offence date which should be outlined on the penalty notice or overdue fine notice.
If you want to know the balance of your fine, or how much of your fine is outstanding, you can find this by downloading the Service NSW mobile app which allows you to view or pay fines. You can also pay a penalty or reminder notice through this app.
CAN I CHECK IF I HAVE BEEN CAUGHT BY A SPEED CAMERA? | NSW SPEEDING FINES CHECK
You can view the camera photo of your penalty notice for free if you've been issued with a penalty notice for an alleged offence captured on camera. To do this, you go to the service NSW website. You then click the 'view camera photos online' button, enter your penalty notice number displayed on your fine, enter the date of the alleged offence. You will then be provided with a security check code which will display on the screen for you to enter before pressing 'submit'.
There will be a few more steps to follow before you will be able to view your camera photo of the alleged infringement.
FIND MY PENALTY NOTICE NUMBER | I LOST MY FINE HOW DO I PAY IN NSW
Losing or never receiving the fine or penalty notice is not uncommon. This occurs either due to life circumstances, the fine ends up getting lost or because you've moved to a new residence but failed to update Revenue NSW with your new and current address.
The law considers it to be your responsibility to update the revenue NSW as to such details.
If you find yourself having lost your fine or wish to find your penalty notice number, you can do this in any one of the following ways:
- Immediately contact Revenue NSW on 1300 138 118 or 1300 655 805 between 8:30am to 5pm weekdays.
- Visit Revenue NSW website and complete their online fine enquiry form.
To successfully obtain your penalty notice number or details about your fine, if you've lost it but wish to pay, you will need to provide them with your residential address, date of birth, licence number and registration number.
Upon contacting revenue NSW, you can pay by:
- credit card, which they process using a secure online Westpac link online; or
- Over the phone on 1300 130 112
- In person at a Service NSW service centre or post office
- By mail by sending a cheque or money order
CHECK FINES ON CAR REGISTRATION NUMBER IN NSW
You can check your fine associated with the car registration number you drove in NSW by directly contacting Revenue NSW on 1300 130 112, and by providing the customer service operator with the registration number and some other essential details. After successfully doing this, you will be able to check your fine(s).
It is important to note, that a fine is issued to people, not vehicles.
Because a fine is issued to the person who drove the vehicle, it is difficult to check fines on a car registration number alone. The car rego number plate will usually be identified in order for the fine to then be issued to the person who is registered with that vehicle registration. The fine will then go out to that person's registered address.
If that person was not the actual person who drove that vehicle at the alleged time, date and place, then that person must elect the driver who was driving it at the relevant time in order for the fine to be issued to the correct person. This is usually done by executing a statutory declaration.
For overdue fines, you can make an enquiry by lodging an overdue fine enquiry form online.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE A SPEEDING FINE IN NSW?
A common question is how long does it take to get a fine in the mail in NSW? And how long do speeding fines take to arrive? NSW doesn't really have a specific timeframe in which a fine should arrive in the mail by, but within two weeks would be reasonable.
If you haven't received your fine within 2-weeks from the alleged offending incident, then you should contact Revenue NSW to make enquiries and all reasonable attempts to avoid late payment penalties or enforcement orders down the track.
PAY FINE IN INSTALMENTS IN NSW
It isn't uncommon to have difficulties in paying fines. For those who are experiencing financial difficulties and are struggling to pay the entire fine up-front, you can pay by instalments if:
- You're able to pay the full fine in a three month period; or
- Require more than three months to pay the fine; or
- Are also paying other fines off
To apply to pay your fine in instalments, you must either contact Revenue NSW directly or complete and lodge a payment plan application form with Revenue NSW.
In fact Revenue NSW can help you in other ways for you to pay off your fine if you are in serious financial, medical or other personal peril. They provide eligibility for up to 50% off the fine amount, a work and development order (WDO), or apply to have your debt written off.
A WDO is basically a way to reduce or pay off the fine by conducting unpaid work, doing a course or receiving treatment.
You may be eligible for a work and development order instead of a payment plan if you're:
- Suffering from a mental health disorder, intellectual disability or cognitive impairment
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Extreme financial hardship
REVIEW OR APPEAL SPEEDING FINE
If you have received a fine or penalty notice, you may request Revenue NSW to conduct a review if:
- You believe there's been a mistake; or
- There's an extenuating explanation or reason for your offending conduct.
To lodge a review, you must make the request with Revenue NSW within the payment due date noted on the penalty reminder notice.
If you've already paid the fine, you can still ask for a review if you lodge the review within 60 days from date of issue of the penalty notice.
Upon reviewing your fine, Revenue NSW can do any one of the following:
- Require you to pay the full amount of the fine
- Give you a caution due to the circumstances you've outlined. This results in no fine with no demerit points incurred as a result. However, for driving infringements, it will be recorded on the driving record.
- Cancel the fine if it is accepted that there was a mistake, the offence is not properly disclosed, or the notice wasn't issued properly.
How to Lodge a Review of Your Fine?
You can lodge a review of your fine with Revenue NSW by going to their myPenalty page of their website to lodge a review or through their my ServiceNSW app. These are secure online services where you will be required to follow through their prompts.
You will need to enter your penalty notice number and offence date. You will then be asked to answer some questions. You can attach any documents you wish to rely upon as evidence to strengthen your application for review.
You can also lodge a review via mail to Revenue NSW, PO Box 786, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012.
You can call Revenue NSW to discuss your review on 1300 138 118 between 7:30am to 8pm weekdays.
Revenue NSW may accept your review application if:
- Your fine was issued in error because the offence didn't occur; you weren't the person responsible for driving the vehicle at the alleged time and date.
- There are extenuating circumstances surrounding the offending conduct, for example, medical emergency or crisis; mental health disorder or extreme financial condition.
- You're asking for leniency based on your exceptional driving record.
RED LIGHT CAMERA FINE | A RED LIGHT FINE
The fine for running or going through a red light varies from $191 to $457 in addition to 3 demerit points under rules 56, 57, 59 and 60 of the Road Rules 2014 (NSW). You can also find out the fines from the Service NSW fines online website.
The below table outlines the various types of red light camera fine cost or amount.
|Road Rules 2014 (NSW)||Red Light Offences||Demerit Points NSW||Fine|
|Rule 56(1)(a)||Not stop at stop line at red light||3||$457|
|Rule 56(1)(a)||Not stop at stop line at red light-toll booth||0||$191|
|Rule 56(1)(b)||Not stop before stop sign at red light||3||$457|
|Rule 56(1)(b)||Not stop before stop sign at red light-toll booth||0||$191|
|Rule 56(1)(c)||Not stop before lights at red light||3||$457|
|Rule 56(1)(c)||Not stop before lights at red light-toll booth||0||$191|
|Rule 56(2)(a)||Not stop at stop line at red arrow||3||$457|
|Rule 56(2)(b)||Not stop before stop sign at red arrow||3||$457|
|Rule 56(2)(c)||Not stop before lights at red arrow||3||$457|
|Rule 59(1)||Proceed through red traffic light||3||$457|
|Rule 59(1)||Proceed through red traffic light (camera detected)||3||$457|
|Rule 59(1)||Proceed through red traffic light-toll booth||0||$191|
|Rule 60||Proceed through red traffic arrow||3||$457|
|Rule 61(5)||Not leave intersection after light/arrow goes red/yellow||3||$457|
|Rule 60(1)(a)||Not give way at lights to pedestrian on road||3||$344|
|Rule 62(1)(b)(i)||Not give way at lights to other vehicle (left turn)||3||$344|
|Rule 62(1)(b)(ii)||Not give way at lights to other pedestrian (left turn)||3||$344|
|Rule 62(1)(c)||Not give way at lights to oncoming vehicle (right turn)||3||$344|
RED LIGHT SPEED CAMERA FINE
The below table outlines the demerit point penalties and fines for speeding offences in NSW.
Table of on-the-spot fines & demerit points for speeding offences
|Penalties for Speeding Offences||Light Motor Vehicles||Larger Vehicles (4.5 - 12 Tonnes)||Heavy Vehicles|
|Exceed Speed Offences||Demerit Points||Fine||Fine||Fine|
|Over 45km/h in School Zone||7||$2,635||$2,635||$3,895|
|Over 30km/h but less than 45km/h||5||$920||$920||$1,441|
|Over 30km/h but less than 45km/h in School Zone||6||$1,161||$1,161||$1,522|
|Over 20km/h but less than 30km/h||4||$481||$599||$599|
|Over 20km/h but less than 30km/h in School Zone||5||$599||$721||$721|
|Over 10km/h but less than 20km/h||3||$280||$481||$481|
|Over 10km/h but less than 20km/h in School Zone||4||$360||$599||$599|
|Over 10km/h but less than 20km/h for L or P Plater||4||$280||$481||$481|
|Over 10km/h but less than 20km/h for L or P Plater in School Zone||5||$360||$599||$599|
|Not more than 10km/h||1||$121||$360||$360|
|Not more than 10km/h in School Zone||2||$200||$481||$481|
|Not more than 10km/h for L or P Plater||4||$121||$360||$360|
|Not more than 10km/h for L or P Plater in School Zone||5||$200||$481||$481|
NSW POLICE ISSUE PENALTY NOTICES FOR PENALTY NOTICE OFFENCES
The below table outlines the penalties that NSW Police officers can issue for some of the common penalty notice and speeding offences in NSW.
|Penalty Notice Offences||Penalty|
Certain Small & less than traffickable quantity drug possession offences (Except for Cannabis leaf)
|$572 + 3-month suspension of driver licence|
|Exceeding speed by over 45km/h||$2,482 + 6 demerit points + 6 months immediate licence suspension|
|Exceeding speed by over 30 but less than 45km/h if driver is 'L' or 'P' plater||$920 + 5 demerit points + 3 months immediate licence suspension|
Larceny offences if the value is $300 or
|Goods in Custody offences (section 527C(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW))||$350|
Offensive conduct or language offences (section 4 or 4A Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW))
|Obstructing traffic offence (section 6 Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW))||$200|
|Unauthorised entry of vehicle or boat offence (section 6A Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW))||$250|
|Continuation of intoxicated and disorderly behaviour following move on direction (section 9 Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW))||$1,100|
This above table outlines the penalties for some main penalty notice offences under schedule 4 Criminal Procedure Regulation 2017 (NSW).
A police officer or other authorised officer can issue a penalty notice or on-the-spot fine to a person where, for example, it appears to a police officer that the person has committed a penalty notice offence.
The penalty notice can be issued personally or by post.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU PAY THE FINE?
Paying the fine will not result in a criminal conviction nor any admission of liability.
In addition, it puts an end to the case without the need to attend court at all.
There will be 21-days to pay the fine.
However, if it's a demerit point traffic offence, by paying the fine, you will incur demerit points, which will result in a demerit point suspension if enough demerit points end up accumulating.
Some offences will also result in an immediate police suspension which can also be appealed to avoid the suspension in order to lawfully continue driving.
If you're unable to pay the full amount of the fine immediately, you may apply to Revenue NSW to pay it off in instalments if it's still at the stage of a penalty notice or reminder notice.
HOW DO I DISPUTE A FINE IN NSW?
To contest a fine in NSW, other than requesting for a review of the fine, your only other option is to dispute it by court electing the fine.
A penalty notice can be court-elected, with or without paying the fine.
You may want to court-elect in order to avoid demerit points, suspension of your driver licence and fine.
Court-electing a penalty notice will require you to attend the Local Court to enter a plea of either "guilty" or "not guilty".
If the Court finds you "not guilty" after hearing both sides of the evidence, the charge will get dismissed, putting an end to the case. This will result in no fine, no conviction, no demerit points and no suspension or disqualification of your driver licence.
We highly recommend speaking to an experienced traffic lawyer if you believe you have a defence. An experienced lawyer can help you to try to get the charge withdrawn early through police negotiations.
If the Court finds you "guilty" or if you "plead guilty" in court, the Court will sentence you with an appropriate penalty after hearing any further evidence you wish to produce.
If the Court gives you a non-conviction penalty on your sentence, such as a section 10 dismissal or Conditional Release Order, it will result in no fine, no conviction, no demerit points and no suspension or disqualification of your driver licence.
However, the Magistrate or Judge also has the discretion to impose heavier penalties, including prison, fine, criminal conviction, and disqualification of your driver licence for certain offences. This can then also result in incurring demerit points.
If you intend to plead guilty and you wish to maximise your chances at getting a section 10 non-conviction to avoid all penalties, it is recommended you speak to an experienced traffic defence lawyer early.
The below table outlines the maximum penalties a court can impose for speeding offences in NSW.
|Exceed Speed Offences||Max Court Fine||Licence Disqualifies|
|Over 45Km/h||$3,300||6 months|
|Over 30Km/h||$2,200||3 months|
|Over 20Km/h but less than 30Km/h||$2,200||-|
|Over 10Km/h but less than 20Km/h||-||$2,200|
|Not more than 10Km/h||$2,200||-|
|13 Demerit Points in 3 years||-||3 months|
|16-19 Demerit Points in 3 years||-||4 months|
|20 Demerit Points in 3 years||-||5 months|
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T PAY A FINE NSW?
The below diagrams provide a step-by-step guide on the process and consequences if you don't pay the fine.
Under Part 3 Fines Act 1996 (NSW), the following steps will be taken if you fail to pay the fine and also fail to court-elect:
Failure to pay enforcement order within 21 days can result in any one or more of the following consequences:
|If you fail to pay the enforcement order within 21-days, the followings things can occur|
If the fine remains unpaid, revenue NSW can take following Court Actions:
If the court action is not complied with or fine is not paid, the following community service order can be imposed:
|Community Service Order (CSO):|
If community service order is not complied with where fine remains unpaid, the following imprisonment option can be imposed:
CASE STUDY EXAMPLE OF ELECTRIC SCOOTER FINES
Bob visits Brisbane and uses their famous electric Lime scooter in the CBD. It proved to Bob to be a great way to travel economically.
It appeared such a great idea to Bob, that when Bob went back home to Sydney, he decided to purchase an electric scooter as a cheaper and environmentally friendly way to travel in Sydney.
The escooter was fantastic, as it had rear taillights and an LED headlight. It was meant to be used for Bob to replace his daily 1 hour walk or 40 minutes public transport journey to work, into a quick 20 minute ride on the pedestrian footpath.
Bob's choice to do this was also contributed by the fact that it was the most efficient choice of transport, while not having to ride a bicycle on the road, given the risks of accidents and the horror stories associated with riding on a road.
One morning, as Bob is riding his escooter on the footpath of Sydney, he is pulled over by a NSW Police officer, who takes photos of him and the escooter before asking for his driver licence.
He advises Bob that he is not allowed to ride the escooter on the footpath or the road in NSW. Bob then had to walk the rest of the journey to work.
The police officer gave Bob penalty notice fines totalling about $2,500. The fines includes, using an unlicensed vehicle for Class C/R/Lr; using an uninsured and unregistered motor vehicle on a road; and driving on a footpath.
Bob pleaded with the officer that he did not know he was committing all these offences, and requested leniency with a warning on this occasion, but the officer declined.
Bob sought legal advice and decided to seek a review from Revenue NSW. When Revenue NSW came back with a response confirming the fine, Bob decided to court elect the fine.
As a result of court electing the fines, Bob appeared before the Local Court Magistrate, explained the circumstances surrounding the infringements after pleading guilty. The Court extended leniency to Bob and sentenced Bob with a non-conviction outcome, with the result of not incurring any demerit points nor fines.
Click here for a complete guide on the law on electric scooter laws in NSW.
NSW BUREAU OF CRIME STATISTICS DATA
The New South Wales Bureau of Crime and Statistics in 2021 suggested that the fines that were issued by police during NSW's Coronavirus lockdown period were generally enforcement driver breaches rather than a pattern of non-compliance.
In conclusion, it can be inferred from the data that this was a result of a stronger police presence in certain areas including Blacktown, Canterbury, Bankstown, Liverpool, Cumberland, Parramatta, and Fairfield.
The greatest number of public health order offences were committed in Sydney city LGA, with more than half of those were committed by non-residents of the local area government of Sydney city.