The Parking Enforcement Process: Penalty Charge Notice by post

Step 2:

Should I pay or challenge?

A PCN is usually issued on behalf of a council by a Civil enforcement officer (CEO), who attaches it to a vehicle.

However, under the Traffic Management Act 2004, a council may now issue a PCN by post if:

  • It has photographic or CCTV evidence that a penalty should be paid.
  • A CEO tried to issue a PCN but someone prevented them.
  • A vehicle was driven away before the CEO had been able to finish issuing the PCN.

The PCN is posted to the Vehicle  owner. The owner is presumed to be the person on the DVLA records as the registered keeper.

If you get a postal PCN you must pay it or challenge it quickly.
You should not ignore it.

You should always quote the PCN number in any letters or phone calls regarding it.

You have 14 days from the day the Notice is served (this is presumed to be two working days from the date of the notice) to pay the discounted amount, 50% of the Penalty Charge. This is extended to 21 days if the contravention is detected by camera. Failing this you have 28 days beginning with the date of service of the PCN (deemed to be two working days after it was posted) to pay the full amount of the PCN.

(Please note, challenging the PCN within the 14 day period may, in some cases freeze the discounted rate but this is not always the case - you need to check with your individual council)

If you are unable to respond in time (e.g., you were on holiday or the PCN was delayed in the post), you should inform the council immediately.


Download this diagram from the PATROL leaflet explaining the parking penalty enforcement process

parking penalty enforcement process diagram