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How to appeal a ticket
How to appeal a parking ticket

Where to find Penalty Charge Notice Number – Quick Guide

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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· Jun 12th, 2024
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Penalty Charge Notice Number

Have you received a penalty charge notice (PCN) and need help? Many people feel the same way. We offer guidance to more than 32,000 people each month who are looking for guidance on tickets and fines.

In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  • What a PCN is and why you might get one.
  • How you can try to fight a PCN and win.
  • How to find your PCN number, even if you lose your ticket.
  • What happens if you don’t pay your PCN or if your appeal is turned down.
  • What to do if you think your PCN is not fair or correct.

We know that getting a PCN can be hard and worrying. Our team has lots of experience with situations like yours. We know how you might be feeling, and we are here to help you. So, take a deep breath and read on to find out how you can deal with your PCN.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

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.

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.