Where to find Penalty Charge Notice Number – Quick Guide

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Janine Marsh
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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.

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Updated 29 November 2023
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Penalty Charge Notice Number

Have you lost a parking ticket and need to know where to find Penalty Charge Notice number? It could send you into a panic when you don’t know what to do.

I explain how you can retrieve a PCN number in my post and answer many other questions motorists commonly ask.

How to appeal and win

If you want to avoid paying a PCN then you’ll need an airtight appeal.

The best way to perfect your appeal is getting a little advice from a Solicitor. I’d 100% recommend spending a fiver to get a trial of JustAnswer.

You can explain your situation in their chat and they’ll connect you with a Solicitor who can advise you and give you the best chance to win your appeal. For £5 it’s actually amazing value.

Click here to get the trial offer with JustAnswer.

What is PCN reference number?

A PCN reference number is a unique identifying number that’s printed on every Penalty Charge Notice. You need this reference number to pay or appeal the fine. So you need to retrieve the number before you can do anything.

How do I find my PCN number?

The PCN number is found at the top right-hand corner of the Penalty Charge Notice you’re given. Whether the fine arrives in the post, or you find it on your windscreen.

The reference number begins with a two-letter prefix which identifies where the infringement happened. The prefix also identifies which type of violation was committed.

If Transport for London gives you the fine, the reference number is found above the image of the vehicle in the top right corner of the ticket.

Is a PCN number the same as a reference number?

Yes. A PCN number is the same as a reference number. So, when you’ve lost the actual ticket, you have to retrieve the number by going online.

Can you beat your PCN?

In many cases, PCNs aren’t actually enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but you could pay £5 to chat with an online Solicitor.

They’ll give you support in crafting the best appeal possible and give you the best chance of not paying your PCN.

You can try it below. 


What do I do if I lost my parking ticket UK?

It can be stressful when you lose a parking ticket. But don’t panic. There are ways you can find out all the information needed to appeal or pay the fine. Without a PCN reference number, there’s nothing you can do about dealing with the fine.

First, you should contact the issuer. For instance, if you know it was a specific local authority, get in touch with them sooner rather than later.

Second, only a registered keeper can retrieve the information from the issuer, and would need to provide the following information:

  • Your vehicle registration number – VRN
  • The date of the alleged violation (if known)

Can you just ignore a PCN?

No. Don’t ignore a PCN because you’ll face a larger fine in the form of a Charge Certificate. If you still don’t pay, you’d get a CCJ registered on your credit history.

What happens when you don’t pay a PCN?

First, the issuer sends you a Charge Certificate and you have another 14 days to pay the PCN. However, the amount goes up by 50%. So, say the original fine was £100, you’d have to pay £150!

If you still don’t pay the PCN within 14 days, an Order of Recovery is issued and enforcement agents (bailiffs) will contact you. Your possessions could be seized and sold at auction!

Penalty Charge Notices are legally enforceable as they are backed by UK law.

Can you appeal a PCN without a reference number?

No. You need the PCN reference number to appeal a PCN. As such, you need to contact the issuer to retrieve the number. Once you have it, you can then file an appeal.

However, it depends on how the fine was issued. For example, if you found the PCN on your windscreen, you file an informal appeal. But if the fine arrived in the post, you’d have to file a formal appeal called a ‘representation’.

A representation consists of a formal letter which details why you think the PCN should be cancelled. Moreover, you must provide as much solid evidence as possible when you make a representation.

What happens when an appeal against a PCN is rejected?

You can escalate your appeal when it’s rejected by an authority. There are independent tribunals which assess your case to have a PCN cancelled. So, whether the PCN was issued in London, outside London, Northern Ireland, or Scotland, you’d escalate things to the relevant tribunal.

I’ve listed them here.

London https://www.londontribunals.gov.uk/
Outside London and Wales https://www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk/
Northern Ireland https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/articles/northern-ireland-traffic-penalty-tribunal
Scotland [email protected]

Should you declare a PCN to your insurers?

No. You won’t have to tell your insurers about a PCN which means your annual premium won’t be affected. However, you may have to declare a PCN on a visa application if you plan to go abroad. The fact you got a PCN shouldn’t affect the outcome of a visa application.

Will I have to go to court over an unpaid PCN?

You’ll receive a Charge Notice, followed by an Order of Recovery when a Penalty Charge Notice goes unpaid. Enforcement agents otherwise referred to as bailiffs contact you to recover the amount owed.

Bailiffs have the right to seize your possessions and sell them at auction and may use other ways to recover the money! So it’s important to deal with the situation sooner rather than later.

Where to find Penalty Charge Notice number on lost ticket

If you’ve lost your PCN and therefore the reference number, you won’t be able to deal with the fine. You should get in touch with the issuer as soon as possible to retrieve the information.

Otherwise, the amount you pay could increase, and you could end up with bailiffs at your door.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope the information helps you deal with a lost PCN reference number so things don’t escalate out of control.

Don’t submit your appeal yet.

The best way to beat a PCN is to get professional advice.

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

The authors
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My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.
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