Police issue infringement notices in response to minor offending that is in breach of the law, such as speeding (these notices are often called speeding tickets) or not wearing a seat belt. A set infringement fee is imposed as a standard penalty and is written on the notice with a date when payment is due.
Many people call infringement fees 'fines', but technically the fees only become fines if they are not paid on time. This process is explained below.
Research demonstrates that taking positive action in response to minor offending reduces the occurrence of more serious incidents, including fatal and serious injury crashes. Infringement notices enable Police to respond to minor offending in a manner that holds people accountable for their actions, encouraging future legal compliance and safe practices, but without a more serious court prosecution.
What to do if you are issued an infringement notice
Your rights and obligations are explained on the back of the infringement notice. The options include pay the fee or take other action:
Pay the fee
If you pay the full fee by the due date the matter is finalised and no further enforcement action will be taken against you.Top
Take other action
You must write to or email the Police Infringement Bureau before the due date if you want to do any of the following:
- raise a matter concerning the circumstances of the offence for consideration by a Police adjudicator
- deny liability for the offence and request a court hearing
- admit liability for the offence and request a court hearing and make submissions for the court to consider in a hearing
- request a safety camera photo.
You need to tell us the correct notice number and clearly express your intentions or outline the details of your dispute or explanation. Phone explanations are not permitted as your intention must be clearly stated in writing. A Police adjudicator will consider your explanation or action your request for a court hearing and will reply to your correspondence.
If you want to start court proceedings, we will transfer the matter to the Ministry of Justice and they will contact you. They may add court costs in addition to any penalty.
For more information visit the Ministry of Justice website.Top
If you do nothing
If you do not pay the fee or take any other action by the final due date, the offence is automatically filed in court and becomes a fine for collection by the Ministry of Justice. They will send you a Notice of Fine and you will need to contact or pay the fine to the Ministry of Justice. A court cost will be added to the fine when it gets filed in court.
To dispute a Police adjudicator's decision in response to your explanation
If you dispute the validity of the notice, following a reply to your explanation from a Police adjudicator, you can bring the matter before a court for their consideration by requesting a court hearing.
To dispute the matter after it has gone to court
Once the offence is filed with the Ministry of Justice the matter is in their jurisdiction and enquiries must be directed to them.
Visit the Ministry of Justice web page on How to dispute a fine.
In some situations you can apply to the Ministry of Justice to have the matter returned to Police. You will need to ask for a 78B Application and provide evidence to support your application.