Powered by MoneyNerd, featured in...
How to appeal a ticket
How to appeal a parking ticket

Wrong Registration Number on PCN Appeal – Your Options

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.

Learn more about Janine
· Mar 1st, 2024
Fight back against parking tickets with JustAnswer, get legal guidance now!

In partnership with Just Answer.

Powered by MoneyNerd, featured in...
Wrong Registration Number on PCN

Have you got a penalty charge notice (PCN) with the wrong registration number on it? You’re not alone. Each month, more than 32,000 people visit this site for advice on tickets and fines.

It can be a bit scary, but don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll help you understand:

  •  What a penalty charge notice (PCN) is and why you might get one.
  •  How you can appeal against your PCN and maybe not have to pay it.
  •  Who gives out PCNs and why they might make a mistake with the registration number.
  •  What happens if you choose not to pay your PCN.
  •  Where to find more help if you need it.

We know how you feel when you get a PCN, and we’re here to help you understand your options. Let’s dive in.

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.

Who issues PCNs?

Local councils, the police, Transport companies and Highways Agencies have the authority to issue penalty charge notices to motorists. Whether caught on camera committing an offence or caught red-handed, an issuer can give you a PCN.

Not to be confused with Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs), which are issued for more serious traffic violations. Plus, you can be prosecuted for an FPN but not for a PCN because the fine falls under civil law.

Do you have to pay a PCN with the wrong registration number?

First, make sure the error is not clerical. That said, if the registration number on the PCN bears no resemblance to your actual registration details, then take the matter up with the issuer.

Mistakes happen. Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems get it wrong – a lot! So, the first thing to do is challenge the PCN by following the correct procedure.

What if the issuer claims it’s a clerical error?

If the issuer confirms the wrong registration on the PCN is just a clerical error, you may have to pay the fine. Unless you can prove otherwise, that is.

For instance, you were nowhere near where the fine was recorded on camera or issued. And you have evidence to support your challenge.

Is a PCN legal when it contains the wrong registration number?

You may wonder if a PCN containing the wrong registration is legal. The short answer is yes, it’s legal, according to a specialist traffic violation lawyer!

That said, you could challenge the fine when you’re convinced the PCN is wrong. Providing you can prove it, that is.

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’s the correct appeal procedure against a PCN?

How you appeal a PCN depends on how you got the fine. For instance, if the PCN is handed to you or left in your car, you could make an informal appeal to the issuer. But if you got the PCN in the mail, you could file a formal appeal, also known as representations.

You must respect the deadline when you appeal a PCN, no matter how you got it! For example, if the PCN was left on your car, it’s 14 days. When you get the fine in the post, it’s 21 days!

But when you get a Notice to the Owner through the post, don’t panic. You have 28 days to file a formal appeal against the fine!

All very confusing for someone dealing with a penalty charge notice for the first time. Don’t worry. You’re not alone!

Providing strong evidence could get the PCN cancelled!

You must provide supporting evidence when you appeal a PCN you think is unfair or has the wrong details. For example, you could provide photos of your actual registration number as proof the PCN is just plain wrong.

The more evidence you can provide, the more chance you’ll have of filing a successful appeal!

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

Wrong registration number on PCN, should you just pay?

It depends. I mean, if you know the fine is yours and can’t prove otherwise, it may be easier to pay the PCN within 14 days. Moreover, you get to pay half the amount. Definitely, worth considering.

But you could challenge the PCN when it’s just plain wrong. That said, you must prove you were nowhere near the location when the fine was issued. It might be a tricky task!

What happens if I ignore the PCN and don’t pay the fine?

Don’t ignore a PCN with the wrong registration number on it. You have two choices, pay or challenge. But never ignore the fine because it could get expensive!

The fine increases by 50% when you don’t challenge or pay a PCN within the set time limit. Once you get the Notice from the Owner, you have 28 days to decide what to do.

When you ignore the PCN, things get complicated. First, you’ll get a Charge Certificate issued against you. Then, you get a court order to pay the PCN. Lastly, bailiffs (enforcement agents) are instructed to contact you when the penalty charge remains unpaid.

Ignoring a penalty charge notice, whether the details are correct or not, could be an expensive decision.

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

Get started

Reviews shown are for JustAnswer.

So, what happens when an appeal against a PCN is rejected?

The issuer will consider your appeal when you challenge the fine because it has the wrong registration. If the issuer accepts your appeal, you may get lucky and have the penalty cancelled.

But, if the issuer turns down your appeal, you have a couple of choices. First, you can pay the fine within 14 days and pay the reduced amount (50% less than the original fine amount).

Second, you could take the matter further and appeal the issuer’s decision. The appeal is heard by an independent adjudicator. So, where the PCN is issued dictates which adjudicator considers your appeal.

If you got the fine in London, you’d appeal to London Tribunals. But if the PCN was issued outside of London, the adjudicator is the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

Note: An adjudicator’s decision is final. The issuer must respect the decision, and so must you!

How to pay a PCN

You can usually pay a penalty charge notice online. However, you could also pay the fine over the phone or in writing when you don’t have access to the internet. Just get in touch with the issuer to find out how.

They’re always pretty quick when taking your money, even when there’s a wrong registration number on the penalty charge.

Thanks for reading my article. I hope the information in my post helps you decide what to do about a wrong registration number on PCNs. 

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.

Did you like this article?
Show your support ❤️
We're glad you liked the article! As a small team, your support means everything to us. If you could rate us on Google, it would be amazing. Thank you!
We are so sorry...

Is there something missing? We’re all ears and eager to improve. Send us a message and let us know how we can make our article more useful for you.

You can email us directly at [email protected] to share your feedback.

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