Challenges & Representations
There are three stages to the appeal process –
- an informal challenge after the penalty charge notice is issued
- a formal representation after the issue of a Notice to Owner to the registered keeper of the vehicle
- an appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, an independent adjudication service if a representation is rejected by the Council
Details of these three steps are given below, as well as what happens if the case progresses further.
If you wish to challenge the issue of a penalty charge notice you must submit in writing the reason you think the charge should be cancelled. The easiest way to do this is through the Sefton online customer portal, which can be accessed here. You will need to view your penalty charge notice by entering the reference number and vehicle registration, then use the “add further information” tab to submit your challenge.
Alternatively you can email your challenge to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to
PO Box 225
If your challenge is received within 14 days from the date it was issued and is unsuccessful the council will generally reinstate the discount payment terms. Please ensure you include your reference number (beginning SF) or vehicle registration number in any correspondence. If your appeal is received after the first 14 days the opportunity to pay the reduced charge will be lost.
If no payment is received to close a penalty charge notice (either following its issue or after an informal challenge has been rejected) a Notice to Owner will be issued to the person registered at the DVLA as being the keeper of the vehicle.
Following the issue of the Notice to Owner the registered keeper has 28 days to either pay the charge or make formal representations to the council. If you have received a Notice to Owner through the post you may use the online customer portal to access your case and to submit a formal representation. You will need to view your penalty charge notice by entering the reference number and vehicle registration, then use the “add further information” tab to submit your challenge.
Formal representations may be made under one of the following grounds –
- that the alleged contravention did not occur
- that the recipient of the Notice to Owner was never the owner of the vehicle or that they were not the owner at the time of the contravention.
- that the vehicle had been taken without the owner’s consent
- that the recipient of the Notice to Owner is a hire company and can provide evidence that the hirer had accepted liability for any penalty charge notices issued to the vehicle
- that the penalty charge exceeded the relevant amount
- that there has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the Council.
- that the traffic regulation order is invalid
- where a penalty charge notice has been served through the post, that no penalty charge notice was served at the time of the contravention and the officer was not prevented from serving it.
- The penalty charge notice has been paid in full.
- Other compelling reasons.
It is the council's policy to consider all representations received on their own merits, whether or not any of the statutory grounds apply. If you have sufficient grounds -or have presented compelling reasons in the particular circumstances of the case which the council consider merit the exercise of discretion - the Council will cancel the penalty charge notice and no payment will be required.
If the Council rejects the representation a of rejection of representation will be issued by post to the registered keeper.
If the registered keeper is not satisfied with the decision made by the council to reject their representation, they can appeal against it to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal where appeals are heard by an independent adjudicator. Appeals must be made within 28 days of the rejection notice being served and must be made directly to the Tribunal service. Please note that a case can only be referred to the tribunal service after ALL of the following have occurred – a Notice to Owner has been issued a representation has been made by the person named on the Notice to Owner the representation has been rejected and a formal notice of rejection has been issued by the Council Details of how to appeal are given in the notice of rejection and can also be found on the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s website.
If you do not make a representation or payment following the issue of a Notice to Owner, or you do not make an appeal or payment following the issue of a notice of rejection, you will be issued with a Charge Certificate. This will increase the charge by 50% (to £75 or £105) and you will no longer have the opportunity to submit a representation.
If no payment is made within 14 days of the issue of the Charge Certificate the case will be registered as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court. This will increase the charge by £9 (to £84 or £114) and you will be issued with an Order for Recovery.
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