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Hey you mob - got a fine? (A)

Got a fine?

It’s not going to go away, deal with it straight away.

I’ve got a fine. What can I do?

The sooner you do something about a fine the better. Even if you have heaps of fines, or can’t pay in full by the due date, you can still get back on track.

What are my options?

There are things you can do to stop further action against you.

You can:

  • pay by instalments
  • ask for more time to pay
  • ask for a review of the penalty notice if you don't think you deserved it
  • apply to have the fine cancelled if you have serious financial, medical or personal problems
  • get a Work and Development Order (WDO)

Court fine or penalty notice?

There are two types of fines: court fines and penalty notices. There are different
rules for each type of fine.

  • A court fine is a fine imposed by a judge or magistrate.
  • Penalty notices are issued by an authorised officer such as a parking inspector, ranger or transit officer.

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you don’t pay your fine, State Debt Recovery can:

  • suspend your driver licence
  • cancel your car registration
  • charge you extra fees on your outstanding fines
  • take money from your wages or bank account
  • take away things you own

Once you have:

  • made a payment arrangement with State Debt Recovery or
  • started a Work and Development Order enforcement action stops and driving restrictions
    are lifted.

Don’t ignore a fine

Everyone has trouble paying fines. Overdue fines lead to bigger debt and more serious problems.

Get the book

Fined out! is a free handbook that helps people deal with fines, explaining the fine enforcement process and the options available for addressing fines.

It provides links to SDR forms and other publications and has sample letters and a contacts list for more help.

Work and Development Orders

Work and Development Orders let you clear fines with activities like unpaid work, counselling, courses or treatment programs.

If you tick one or more of these boxes, you could be eligible for a WDO:

  • I receive a Centrelink benefit
  • I am in serious financial hardship
  • I am homeless
  • I have a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or other substances
  • I have a mental illness
  • I have an intellectual disability
  • I have cognitive impairment (such as autism,brain injury or dementia)

The WDO Service at Legal Aid NSW or the Aboriginal Legal Service can help you with a WDO.

Find a service near you:


Or call LawAccessNSW 1300 888 529

All about WDO’s

For more information pick up a copy of our brochure Work and Development Orders: Help for people who can’t pay their fines.

Get legal help for debt and money worries
If you or your mob have money worries you can call the Civil Law Service for Aboriginal Communities on 1800 793 017 or email moneycounts@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.
The Money Counts team regularly visits Aboriginal communities in NSW. To find out where
and when we visit please call us on 1800 793 017 or (02) 9219 5057 or visit one of our civil lawyers in our offices across NSW.

Who can help

* LawAccess NSW
Tel: 1300 888 529
Free legal help over the phone

* State Debt Recovery
Hotline: 1300 478 879

* Aboriginal Legal Service
Tel: 1800 765 767

* Community Legal Centres
Tel: 9212 7333

* Credit and Debt Hotline
Tel: 1800 007 007

* Financial Rights Legal Centre NSW

* Financial Counsellors Association of NSW
Tel: 1300 914 408

This publication is intended as a general guide to the law in NSW. It should not be relied on as legal advice and it is recommended that you talk to a lawyer about your particular situation.

At the time of printing the information shown is correct but may be subject to change.

If you need more help, contact LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 for legal information, referrals and in some cases, advice.

Order brochures online at www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au (go to Order a publication) or email publications@legalaid.nsw.gov.au

If you are hearing/speech impaired, you can communicate with us by calling the National Relay Service (NRS) on 133 677.

September 2016