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Are you having problems with fines?

Are you having problems with fines?

All fines have a due date for payment.

If you don’t pay by the due date, Revenue NSW will start enforcement action against you.

What is enforcement action?

Enforcement action means that Revenue NSW can:

  • add enforcement costs to your debt
  • suspend your driver licence
  • cancel your car registration
  • take your property, or
  • take money out of your wages or bank account.

You can stop Revenue NSW taking enforcement action. You just need to make an arrangement to pay or manage the fine in a way that suits your circumstances.

Types of fines

There are three types of fines that Revenue NSW look after: court fines, penalty notices and Victims Restitution Orders.

Court fines are fines imposed by a court and include court costs and victims support levies.

Penalty notices are fines issued by parking inspectors, police officers, rangers, transit officers, Transport for NSW cameras or other government departments. They can include parking, speeding, train, failing to vote or jury offences.

Victims Restitution Orders are issued by Victims Services and go to Revenue NSW if they aren’t paid.

What can I do?

Reducing your fines debt may be easier than you think.

Even if you have lots of fines debt that has built up over time, there are still things you can do to stop enforcement action and get back on track.

There are options and services available to help you if you are having serious financial, medical or other personal problems.

Some of these options and services are explained in this brochure.

Options for dealing with your fines

Pay it. Pay the fine by the due date. Or make an arrangement with Revenue NSW to set up a payment plan and make payments over time. This can be done even if the fine is overdue.

Early enforcement. You can apply to have your fine enforced early, before the fine becomes overdue. If you do this, Revenue NSW won’t add enforcement costs to your fine. You can then pay your fine under a payment plan or by doing a Work and Development Order activity (see below).

Request a review. If you believe the fine should not have been issued to you, you can apply to Revenue NSW for the fine to be reviewed. You can find more information on requesting a review on the Revenue NSW website: www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/fines-and-fees/request-a-review

Nominate another driver If you get a camera detected driving offence and you weren’t the driver of the vehicle at that time: www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/fines-and-fees/nominate-someone-else

Court election and appeal. You can choose to dispute your penalty notice fine by going to court. If you have received a court fine, you may be able to appeal to a higher court. Get legal advice before you court elect. Once you get a court attendance notice, you can’t change your mind.

Work and Development Order (WDO). If you have mental illness, intellectual disability, cognitive impairment or a serious addiction, or if you are homeless or experiencing acute financial hardship, including people on Centrelink or a Veterans Affairs benefit, or young people under 18, you may be able to do an activity to pay off your fines. Activities include unpaid work (volunteering), education or personal development courses, counselling, financial counselling, case management, treatment programs or mentoring programs for young people under 25. Once an arrangement to do a WDO with a sponsor organisation has been made with Revenue NSW, enforcement action stops and driving restrictions due to unpaid fines are lifted.

If a payment plan isn’t suitable and you aren’t eligible for a Work and Development Order you can ask Revenue NSW for a 50% reduction for some penalty notice fines. These reductions apply only if you were on a Centrelink or Veterans Affairs benefit at the time of the offence and your fine is not overdue.

Write off. If you are experiencing serious financial, medical or personal hardship and are unable to pay your fines, you can apply to Revenue NSW to write off (cancel) your debt. You can get help with this by phoning LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529.

To explore your options, you can:

Go online and use our free guided pathways. There are two to help you with your fines – FineFixer NSW and Traffic Offences. Legal Aid NSW lawyers developed these to help you work out the best option for your situation. You can find these and other guided pathways on the LawAccess NSW legal help webpage.

Have a look at Fined Out – a free online handbook to help people know their options to manage fines. Fined Out is available on the Legal Aid NSW website publications page.

Talk to Revenue NSW – see the phone numbers on the back of this brochure or go to their website: www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/fines-and-fees/cant-pay-your-debt

Phone LawAccess NSW for free legal help on 1300 888 529.

Need help?

Legal Aid NSW: Visit www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au or phone LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 for free legal help, information and referrals.

Community Legal Centres (CLC): Free legal advice and assistance. To find your nearest CLC call 9212 7333 or go to: www.clcnsw.org.au

National Debt Helpline: 1800 007 007 for free legal advice and assistance. Information about free financial counsellors: www.financialrights.org.au

Revenue NSW: www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/fines-and-fees/cant-pay-your-debt

Penalty notices: 1300 138 118

Enforcement Orders: 1300 655 805

Work & Development Order Hotline: 1300 478 879

© Legal Aid Commission of NSW 2021

May 2021