A fine notice is a fine issued by an authorised officer which contains details of the alleged offence and the monetary payment attached to that offence.

Even if you can’t afford to pay it upfront, it is best not to ignore a fine notice. If you do, it just gets more expensive and more complicated. As well as the increasing the amount of money you owe, Revenue NSW can:

  • ask Transport for NSW to suspend your driver licence or cancel your car registration,
  • take money from your bank account or wages,
  • refer your debt to a private debt collection agency,
  • register an interest on any land or property you may own, and
  • order the sheriff to take your goods or property and sell them to pay the amount you owe.

Each action taken may add more to your debt, they include:

  • $65 to Revenue NSW when an overdue fine is issued ($25 if you are under 18),
  • $40 to Transport for NSW for certain recovery action, such as suspension of your driver licence, and
  • $65 to the Sheriff for any action by their office.
  • Tip


    Even if you don’t think you can afford to pay a fine or overdue fine notice, there are ways to deal with it which will stop further action being taken against you. In some cases you can even do voluntary activities to pay the fine. 

    When you get a fine notice, read it carefully and make sure you know when the due date is. If you do nothing about the fine notice within that time, Revenue NSW will send you a fine reminder notice to the address provided by the issuing authority or the address recorded with Transport for NSW, and you have a further 28 days to deal with the fine notice before an overdue fine is issued.


  • Tip


    You must let Service NSW know when you change your mailing and residential addresses within 14 days. This means when you get a fine, it comes to the right address so you can deal with it. You can do this online or drop in to your closest office. Service NSW will give you a sticker to put on your licence or photo card so it’s up to date.

Your options to deal with a fine notice are:

  • pay the fine, 
  • organise a payment plan or add the fine to an existing payment plan,
  • apply for a 50% reduction of a penalty notice fine if you are on a Centrelink or Veterans benefit,
  • ask for a review of your fine or overdue fine if there are special or extenuating circumstances,
  • nominate another driver. If the fine relates to a parking or traffic offence issued to you as the registered owner of the vehicle, and you were not the driver of the vehicle, you can apply online telling Revenue NSW the name and address of the responsible driver. The fine will be withdrawn from your name and a new fine notice will be issued to the correct driver,
  • decide to have the matter heard in a Local Court, or
  • apply for a Work and Development Order (WDO).

If you don’t deal with the fine by the due date on the fine reminder notice, Revenue NSW will send you an overdue fine notice and an additional $65 will be added to the fine amount. 

If you do not want to request a review of a fine and you can pay it, then it is best to pay by the due date to avoid an overdue fine notice and additional costs. Once a fine has been paid in full the matter is finalised and no further recovery action occurs.

Paying the fine does not mean that you are admitting that you are guilty, however some traffic matters will stay on your record once you have paid the fine. These can be brought up in court later if you are being sentenced for other driving offences. If you pay either a fine notice or fine reminder notice you are accepting responsibility for the fine. If the offence incurs demerit points with Transport for NSW, these will be applied once payment is made. This will happen if payment is made in part or in full. 


You can set up a payment plan to pay over a longer period on your fine or overdue fine. It's best to set up the payment plan or have the fine added to an existing payment plan before the due date on the fine reminder notice to avoid any extra costs. If an overdue fine has been issued, you can still have a payment plan.

To set up a payment plan for a fine or overdue fine go to Set up a payment plan | NSW Government.

You can also choose to have your repayments deducted from your Centrelink payment by choosing Centrepay as your payment method.


Sharon's story
Sharon was driving home from her weekly yoga class when she heard her mobile phone ring. Without thinking she answered it and spoke to her daughter. A police officer saw her and pulled her over and fined her. Sharon receives a parenting payment from Centrelink and doesn’t have enough money saved to pay the fine in full. She sought advice from Nick, a volunteer lawyer at a community legal centre. Nick told Sharon that she could phone Revenue NSW to arrange a payment plan. That way she wouldn’t have to pay additional costs and could pay a small amount every fortnight until the fine is paid. Sharon phoned Revenue NSW the following day and was able to set this up. Sharon now has $30 per fortnight paid directly from her Centrelink payments to Revenue NSW. This will continue until the fine is paid in full.

You may be eligible if you:

  • have not yet paid your fine,
  • were receiving a government assistance payment at the time of the offence,
  • can't pay the fine in full or have set up a payment plan, 
  • have not had four or more similar fines within 12 months of the offence date, 
  • can't take part in a work and development order, or
  • your fine was not for a serious offence, or you haven't been charged with a serious offence in the last 12 months.

A reduction will not be granted if you are able to deal with the fine in another way, such as a payment plan or WDO.

A reduction may not apply to:

  • fines that have already been paid, enforced, withdrawn or resolved in any other manner
  • finesfor which the penalty reminder notice has expired
  • court fines (including fines that originated from a fine notice)
  • fines related to voting or jury duty
  • fines issued to a body corporate
  • further fines from a repeat offender.

Some significant offences that are usually not eligible for a reduction include:

  • speeding over the sign posted speed limit
  • offences in school zones
  • heavy vehicle offences
  • seatbelt offences
  • mobile phone offences
  • red light offences
  • parking offences which attract demerit points, like parking in a disabled parking area
  • animal offences relating to dangerous dogs
  • littering offences relating to fire safety hazards
  • bicycle related mobile phone or red light charges
  • pollution offences (including asbestos offences)
  • COVID-19 offences, 
  • criminal offences, and
  • alcohol and drug related driving offences. 

Note that you may still apply for a reduction for a significant offence because Revenue NSW may still consider granting a reduction.

You will must apply for a reduction in your fine over the phone with Revenue NSW.

You will need to specifically ask for the 50% reduction because Revenue NSW may not offer it to you.

You will need to tell Revenue NSW why you are not able to pay for the fine in full. For example, you have other existing debt with Revenue NSW.

You may be asked to confirm your government benefit by providing:

  • your Customer Reference Number (CRN); or
  • a copy of your healthcare card.

Revenue NSW may also ask for other supporting documents including:

  • copies of pay slips;
  • a statement of income from Centrelink; or
  • copies of bank statements.

Another person can apply for a reduction on your behalf. They will need to provide Revenue NSW with a written authority to apply for a reduction from you or be a registered advocate with Revenue NSW.

If your application is approved, you will receive written notification and be given options on how to deal with the rest of your fine (such as through a payment plan).

Although the fine itself will be reduced by 50%, this will not change the status of other fines you have incurred such as demerit points, driver licence sanctions, suspensions, cancellations or disqualifications.

You will still receive a written notice of the decision along with further information on your options for dealing with the fine (such as through a WDO or a payment plan).

If your application is refused, you can still ask Revenue NSW to review the decision.

If you believe a fine should not have been issued to you or your personal situation or circumstances resulted in you receiving the fine, in certain circumstances you can ask for it to be reviewed. You can make a request for a review of a fine or an overdue fine at any time except if  the fine has been paid in full and no fine reminder has been issued, then the request for review must be made within 60 days from the date the fine was issued.

To request a review of your fine, go to: https://www.nsw.gov.au/money-and-taxes/fines-and-fees/fines/request-a-review . To apply online, you’ll need to enter the fine notice number and the date of the offence.  If you’ve lost your fine and are unable to log in, contact Revenue NSW on 1300 138 118.

You can also request a review via post.  You will need to provide proof of identification such as your address, date of birth or driver licence number. 

You can submit documents in writing to:

Revenue NSW
PO Box 786
Strawberry Hills 2012

Make sure you request a review before the due date on the fine notice to avoid further costs or action.

Revenue NSW will tell you about the outcome of your review in writing via email or a letter including what options you will have to finalise if unsuccessful.

Read more about the documents Revenue NSW will accept as supporting evidence on the Review Assist page.



If you believe there are special circumstances in your case, or you want to ask for leniency, you can request a review of your fine. You can apply online or you can complete a form and send it to Revenue NSW. You must add supporting documents if you are asking to have the fine notice withdrawn. Read more on the Revenue NSW website: www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/fines-and-fees/request-a-review

The Revenue NSW Review Assist Guide explains what evidence you need to provide when you ask for this type of review.

Revenue NSW will review the fine if:

  • there was a medical emergency. For example, taking someone who needs urgent medical attention to a hospital
  • the offence was committed because you feared for your safety
  • there was a mechanical breakdown. For example, your car was parked in a no parking zone, or
  • you have had a good driving record for the last 10 years.

Revenue NSW will not consider applications for leniency for some more serious offences, where safety is an issue, for example:

  • Excessive speeding. This means speeding more than 20 km/h over the limit.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving.
  • Ignoring RailCorp safety notices.
  • Demerit point offences in school zones.
  • Proceeding through a red light.

If Revenue NSW does not withdraw the fine, they will tell you in writing and will also send you a new fine reminder notice. Further time will be given to pay the fine or make a court election.

David's story
David and Lucy were at home watching TV when Lucy started to experience severe stomach pain. David immediately rushed Lucy to hospital. On the way to hospital David’s vehicle was captured by a speed camera exceeding the speed limit by 10 km/h. David got Lucy to the hospital and she was admitted with acute appendicitis. Fortunately, she was able to receive treatment in time and made a full recovery. One week later David received a fine notice in the mail. He went onto the Revenue NSW website and completed a request for review form online, explaining that he had been rushing his wife Lucy to hospital as she had appendicitis. He was able to provide a report from a doctor confirming that Lucy had been admitted to hospital shortly after the offence occurred. Revenue NSW reviewed the fine and withdrew it because David was responding to a medical emergency at the time of the offence.

If you own the vehicle involved but were not driving or in control of it at the time of the offence, you can fill out and submit an online nomination to let Revenue NSW know who was driving the vehicle, or who owns it.

The form can be completed online through the Revenue NSW website

You can nominate another driver at any time, even after the overdue fine has been issued and as long as Revenue NSW has enough time to transfer the fine to the correct driver. When you submit the details online to Revenue NSW the fine should be withdrawn and a new fine notice issued in the name of the nominated driver.

It is a criminal offence to provide false or misleading information on a nomination. There are significant penalties for this offence including fines.

You can’t use the nomination process if you were given an on-the-spot fine by a police officer, a rail transit officer or another authorised government officer.

Self-nomination as a driver

You can nominate yourself as the person in charge of a vehicle at the time an offence for which a fine notice has been issued. You can let Revenue NSW know your details by sending a Statutory Declaration to Revenue NSW with the your details and the details of the offence.

As well as friends and family, phone, gas and electricity suppliers, and anyone else who sends bills or money to you, you need to let the following agencies know when you change your address:

Transport for NSW

After you have lived at a new address for 14 days fill in the application online at:
Tel: 132 213
Visit a Service NSW office.

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and New South Wales Electoral Commission (NSWEC)

After you have lived at a new address for 28 days:
Fill in an electoral enrolment form and send it to your Divisional AEC office or scan it and email it to info@aec.gov.au. You can get the forms and prepaid envelopes from an AEC office, the NSWEC, post offices, or your state or federal MP’s office, or from:
AEC Tel: 132 326
NSWEC Tel: 135 736

And because we all forget to tell someone, we can also do this:

Australia Post

Before you move to a new address:
Fill in and lodge an Application to Redirect Mail at any Australia Post outlet. You can also download the form from the Australia Post website.
Tel: 137 678

Note: If you have sold or given away a vehicle, it is your responsibility to notify Transport for NSW. Make sure you get the new owner’s full name and driver licence number. If you do not do this, you could be held responsible for penalty notices incurred after you have disposed of the vehicle. You can complete a notice of disposal online if the buyer is a NSW resident with a NSW driver licence or download the form

Call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 for free legal help if you get a penalty notice after selling a motor vehicle.

You can elect to go to court if you:

  • believe you are not guilty, or
  • believe the fine is too harsh.

Before making a court election, you may wish to consider ask for a review of the fine (see above), as it is a lot simpler than going to court and you will still be able to make a court election if the review is unsuccessful, provided you make the court election before the penalty reminder notice due date. To go to court you can apply online or fill out a court election form. Find the form here www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/fines-and-fees/go-to-court and send it to Revenue NSW. 

You should apply to go to court before the due date on your fine reminder notice.



It is not always clear exactly what offence the fine relates to. To find out, ask Revenue NSW or the issuing authority for more information about the offence.

You can then visit www.legislation.nsw.gov.au and follow the links to that section of that Act and check the minimum and maximum penalties for the offence. These will be set out as “penalty units”. In 2021, a penalty unit is $110, so if the maximum fine is 10 penalty units, that means it is $1,100.

Court election after your fine is overdue

If the due date on the fine reminder notice has passed, you will need to wait until you receive an overdue fine from Revenue NSW. You can apply to have an overdue fine listed in court however you will need to prove that you were prevented from paying or managing your fine before the due date – this is called hindrance. You will need to supply supporting evidence, such as medical or travel documents.

When an overdue fine is issued, any demerit points will remain on your licence until your court election is processed

When Revenue NSW receives the court election form, they will send you a court attendance notice telling you when to go to court.

If your court election for an overdue fine is NOT successful you have the right to appeal to the Local Court. You have 28 days from the date of Revenue NSW’s decision to send in your application to the Local Court and there is an application fee for each overdue fine you are appealing. The Registrar of the Local Court may waive this fee if you ask for this when submitting your form.

To appeal a Revenue NSW decision to the Local Court you need to:

  • use a general ‘application notice to the Local Court’ form available online. You can download this form in PDF to fill out by hand or Word to fill out on your computer.
  • you can find this form here – www.localcourt.nsw.gov.au [ES1] – click on the Forms and fees button and you will find the form under the heading Applications to the court, called Application Notice to the Local Court - General.
  • on the form in the orders sought section you need to write ‘Appeal against refusal application by Commissioner, Section 50 Fines Act’
  • submit the form with the Revenue NSW letter stating that they refused your request to court elect your fine to your Local Court Registry
  • you can request for the fee to be waived at this time also
  • the Registry will give you a court attendance notice with all the details you need to turn up to court

if your application to allow you to court elect your fine is successful, you will get another court attendance notice to take your case to court. You will then get the opportunity to have your say.

if your application is unsuccessful, Revenue NSW will be notified and you will be issued with a new overdue  for payment of the fine.

It’s a good idea to get legal advice before you do any of this. The maximum fine a court can give you may be higher than the amount in the fine notice, and the court can order you to pay some court costs as well. A lawyer can help you decide if this is the right option for you.

For free legal information contact LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529. LawAccess NSW can refer you to your closest free legal service.

You can also visit your local public library or go online to www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au to find plain English legal information about fines.

This process applies to fine notices only. For information on appealing a court fine see Factsheet 3.

If you are under 18 years of age, homeless, experiencing serious financial hardship, mental illness, intellectual disability or cognitive impairment or have a serious addiction, you may be eligible to pay off your fine through a WDO. A WDO means you do an approved activity with a WDO sponsor organisation or health practitioner to pay off all or part of your fines, such as unpaid work, education and personal development courses, counselling or treatment programs.

Isabelle's story

Things were finally looking up for Isabelle and her two kids Sarah and Leo. After all the trouble they had had in the city Isabelle had made a tree change, and moved to a small rural town where she had been able to get a job working as a receptionist for a local vet. Two years earlier she had managed to leave an abusive relationship she had been in since she was 16. She had just turned 29. There was just one problem: her driver licence was suspended.

When she saw Don, a lawyer at a free advice service, she explained that she didn’t have a driver licence because of unpaid fines and enforcement costs totalling more than $3,000. Her former partner, and the father of her two children, had been violent and abusive and she was terrified of him. Isabelle had a car during the relationship, which was registered in her name, but mostly he drove it, leaving Isabelle and the kids to use public transport. He received fines for speeding and parking offences and never paid them. She was so afraid of him that she never filled out a Statutory Declaration to say she hadn’t been driving at the time of the offence. With two school-aged children and a new job she really needed her licence so she could get them to school and then get to work.

Don helped her to complete court elections so the fines could go before a court. In support of her application Isabelle was able to provide a detailed report from her psychologist as well as some support letters from domestic violence workers who had known Isabelle when she was trying to escape the relationship. She was also able to provide police records and a statement she had made to them about her former partner. After considering all of the evidence, Revenue NSW wrote to Isabelle to say that the fines had been withdrawn, which meant it wasn’t necessary for her to go to court to challenge the fines.

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