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How to Appeal PCN if it was Issued after 28 days?

Janine Marsh Thrifty Family
Janine Marsh Thrifty Family

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.

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· Mar 1st, 2024
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PCN Issued after 28 days

If you have received a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) after 28 days, you might be feeling worried and unsure of what to do next. Each month, over 32,000 people visit this site looking for guidance on tickets and fines, just like you.

This article is here to help you understand:

  • What a Penalty Charge Notice is and why you might get one.
  • How to appeal your PCN and why it’s important to do so.
  • The rules about issuing a PCN after 28 days and what this means for you.
  • What happens if you can’t pay the PCN or if you don’t pay after 28 days.
  • The steps to take if your appeal against a PCN is rejected.

Having dealt with many cases like yours, we know how stressful and confusing it can be to receive a PCN. We’re here to help guide you through the process and provide the information you need to make an informed decision about your appeal. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the steps you need to take.

Do You Have to Pay?

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

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

Chat below to get started with JustAnswer

In partnership with Just Answer.

Why would you get a Penalty Charge Notice?

You’d get fined by an authority for many reasons, but mainly for minor offences. 

I’ve listed some examples below:

  • A minor parking violation
  • A minor traffic infringement which includes driving in a bus lane when it’s not allowed
  • Failing to pay a low emission zone fee
  • Littering in a public place is a crime

Can an authority issue a PCN after 28 days?

There are certain situations when an authority could send out a Penalty Charge Notice after 28 days. That said, PCNs should be issued within 28 days of the offence being committed.

But unfortunately, there is a “but” which is that the time limit can be extended. This can happen when the issuer needs to retrieve your details from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA).

Although the DVLA should reply within 14 days, it can take longer if the authority is slow to respond to the issuer’s request.

In fact, the Penalty Charge Notice could drop through your letterbox weeks or sometimes months later!

Check out what happened to one person who got a PCN months after the incident:

Can an authority issue a PCN after 28 days

Source: Moneysavingexpert

Should you pay a Penalty Charge Notice after 28 days?

Yes. Even when the PCN arrives later than 28 days after the offence was committed, the fine is still enforceable. You should pay it within the 28 deadline!

When a Penalty Charge Notice arrives late, you have three choices which are:

  • Contest the Penalty Charge Notice by following the correct procedure, or
  • Pay the PCN within 14 days and pay the discounted amount, or
  • Pay the fine within 28 days and pay the full amount

What if you don’t pay after 28 days?

If you fail to pay a Penalty Charge Notice within the 28-day deadline, the amount increases by 50%!

When you still don’t pay, a court order is issued for you to pay. You risk having a County Court Judgement recorded on your credit file. It will ruin your creditworthiness for several years.

Can you appeal a Penalty Charge Notice after 28 days?

The deadline for filing a Penalty Charge Notice appeal is 28 days. Plus, you must appeal the fine in writing whether by letter or via an online process.

That said, the response you receive is sent by post informing you of the following:

  • You need to provide more evidence
  • Your appeal is upheld and the Penalty Charge Notice is cancelled
  • Your appeal is rejected and you have 28 days to pay the full amount

Also, when you appeal a PCN you must provide the reference number because, without it, you won’t be able to challenge the fine.

Successful Appeal Case Study


Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

What happens when an appeal against a PCN is rejected?

If the issuer rejects your appeal against the Penalty Charge Notice, you can escalate your appeal. If you decide to go down this route, it’s best to seek legal advice first!

That means if your second appeal fails, you’d have to pay the full fine, the solicitor’s fees and court costs on top of the original amount!

You might reconsider filing a formal appeal based on this knowledge. You could be better off paying the fine to save yourself more stress and money!

What if you ignore the PCN when it arrives late?

It’s never a good idea to ignore a Penalty Charge Notice whether it arrives later than 28 days or not. First, these fines are enforceable by law although they fall under civil law.

Second, if you don’t pay on time the amount increases by 50% which could make it harder for you to pay it!

The issuer could register an unpaid PCN as a debt which means you’d get a County Court Judgement (CCJ). It will ruin your credit rating and make it harder to get any sort of loan.

You’d get a Notice from Enforcement Agents threatening to visit you at home which is something to avoid at all costs!

Getting the support of a Solicitor can take a huge weight off your mind.

Get started

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What happens if you can’t afford to pay the PCN?

If you can’t afford to pay the Penalty Charge Notice because you’re struggling financially, you should appeal the fine.

It prevents the issuer from taking the matter any further until a decision is made on whether to uphold or reject the appeal.

That said, you may want to think about getting some free debt advice from one of the UK charities. They could point you in the right direction on how to get out of debt and how to choose the best debt solution to get your finances back on track!

I’ve listed some of the leading UK charities in the table below:

Name of Charity Link to Charity Website
Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
National Debtline https://nationaldebtline.org/
Stepchange http://www.stepchange.org/

What is the 14-day rule for a PCN?

Although you have 28 days to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice, you could opt to pay within 14 days. It means you pay a lesser fine. Plus, if your appeal is rejected, you still get to pay 50% less than the original amount.

Hire a Parking Solicitor for less than a coffee.

If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket then getting some professional advice is a good idea.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.

For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.


Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

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The authors
Janine Marsh Thrifty Family
Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.