Penalty Charge Notices (PCN)

Recovery process for unpaid tickets

When a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued, you must either:

Pay the charge within 28 days (you will receive a 50% discount if it is paid within 14 days of the PCN issue date).


Contest the PCN by making informal representations within 14 days of the date it was issued (if you do this, the 50% discount will be re-offered if the PCN is upheld).

If the charge is not cancelled as a result of informal representations, and remains unpaid after 28 days, a Notice to Owner will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle asking for the full amount of the charge.

If you receive a Notice to Owner you must either:

  1. Pay the full charge within 28 days, or
  2. Make formal representations to the council

If you do nothing, a Charge Certificate will be sent and the charge increases by 50%.

If you receive a Charge Certificate you must pay the charge within 14 days. There is no right of appeal at this stage.

If you do not pay the charge, it is registered as a debt in the County Court, a court fee is added and a Notice of Debt Registration is sent.

If you receive a Notice of Debt Registration, you must either: 

  1. Pay the charge within 21 days, or
  2. For PCNs issued prior to 31 March 2008, file a statutory declaration witnessed at your local county court or by a solicitor. For PCNs issued after 31 March 2008, complete the Witness Statement accompanying the Order for Recovery of Unpaid Penalty Charge and send it direct to the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court.

If you do nothing, the Court will grant authority for a warrant to be issued and a bailiff will be asked to recover the debt from you. The bailiff will charge you for this.

Please remember:

  • Pay your parking ticket within 14 days to receive the discount
  • Informal representations against payment of the PCN must be received within 14 days of the date the PCN was issued, in order to receive the discount if the charge is upheld
  • Do not ignore any letters from us
  • If you wish to make formal representations, do so within 28 days of the Notice to Owner, which is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle

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