​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Have you got a fine? - Frequently Asked Questions​​

​1. I got a fine and I was going to pay it but I lost it. I just foun​d​​ the fine and it says ​it was​​ due two days ago. What can I do now?

You can still pay the fine. If you do not pay a penalty notice (fine) by the due date, State Debt Recovery (SDR) will send you a penalty reminder notice. You will have 28 days from the date of the penalty reminder notice to either pay the fine, elect (choose) to go to court, or request a review.

If you do not take any action by the due date of the penalty reminder notice, enforcement action may be taken against you. A $65.00 administrative fee will be added to the fine, or $25.00 if you are under 18 (as at July 2015).

For more information, see Paying the fine.


2. I got a fine for exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km/h. I'm worried that I will lose ​my licence if I pay the fine. How can I check how many​​ demerit points I have?

You can check how many points you have by going to a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS, formerly known as the RTA) registry office, calling RMS on 13 22 13 or ​online at S​e​rvice NSW.

If you don't pay the fine by the date on the penalty reminder notice, State Debt Recovery (SDR) can take enforcement action against you. When an overdue fine is issued, the demerit points will be added to your record.

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3. I have so many bills to pay I ​​am struggling to stay on top ​​of everything. I recently received a parking fine that is due in one week. Can I arrange more time to pay?

When you receive a penalty notice you usually have 21 days to pay.

If you do not pay the penalty notice in time, State Debt Recovery (SDR) will send you a penalty reminder notice. You will have a further 28 days to pay. During this time you can make partial payments if it is easier to pay the fine off bit by bit.

If you have not paid all of the fine within 28 days of the date of the penalty reminder notice, SDR will take enforcement action and the amount you owe will be increased by an enforcement fee of $65.00, or $25.00 if you are under 18 (as at July 2015). You can then contact SDR and make formal arrangements to pay by instalments. It is not possible to make a formal arrangement to pay by instalments until after an overdue fine is made, unless you receive a Centrelink Benefit.

If you are on a Centrelink benefit, such as Newstart or Austudy, you can arrange for instalments to be deducted from your payment through 'Centrepay' and you do not have to wait. This is called voluntary enforcement. If you contact SDR and arrange payment by instalments before the due date on the penalty reminder notice, you will not be charged the enforcement fee of $65.00 (as at July 2015).

For more information, see Paying the fine.

It may be useful to talk to a free financial counsellor about your financial situation. For more information, go to Financial Counsellors Association NSW website


4. I have received an overdue fine from the SDRO​.​ It says that I have failed to pay the penalty notice and penalty reminder notice but I never received either. I want to challenge the fine. What can I do?

If you can show that you did not know that the penalty notice had been issued until you received the overdue fine, you may be able to have the overdue fine cancelled (annulled) by making an annulment application. The fee for making this application is $50.00 (as at July 2014).

 From April 2013, State Debt Recovery (SDR) may send private debt collection companies to visit the homes of some people who have overdue fines.  If you receive a visit from a debt collector, you should get legal advice.

For more information, see Responding to an overdue fine.


5. I have thousands of dollars ​​in unpaid fines and I can't afford to pay them. What can I do?

If you have multiple fines that you cannot pay, you may be able to apply for:

  • permission to pay your fines by instalments
  • a Work and Development Order (WDO), which would allow you to participate in an approved activity instead of paying the fine
  • a write-off of the fine, because of your financial, medical or personal circumstances.

 From April 2013, State Debt Recovery (SDR) may send private debt collection companies to visit the homes of some people who have overdue fines.  If you receive a visit from a debt collector, you should get legal advice.

For more information about paying your fines by instalments, see Paying the fine.

For more information about WDOs and getting your fines written off, see Multiple fines.

It may be useful to talk to a free financial counsellor about your financial situation. For more information, go to the Financial Counsellors Association NSW website. ​


6. I run a company and​​​ I have a number of drivers who ​drive cars belonging to the company. The company received a fine for one of the cars going through a red light. The fine is in the company's name but I know who was driving at the time. What should I do?

If you receive a fine in your company's name, you need to fill in and return to State Debt Recovery (SDR), a statutory declaration nominating the driver. The statutory declaration must be signed in front of, and witnessed by, a Justice of the Peace (JP) or a solicitor. You can get a statutory declaration from the SDRO website.

If you do not nominate the driver of the vehicle by the due date of the penalty reminder notice, your company may be fined. The fine for failing to nominate a driver can be substantial.

If you do not know who the driver of the car was, you should get legal advice. ​

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7. I am a student from overseas. ​​​Last week I got​​​ a parking fine. I am leaving Australia next month. Do I still have to pay my fine?

Yes. An unpaid fine will not go away. Once an overdue fines is issued, State Debt Recovery (SDR) can enforce it any time, even if it is for an offence that you committed many years ago. SDR may suspend your Australian driver's licence, cancel the registration of any vehicles you own in Australia, take money from (garnish) your Australian bank account, take property you have in Australia or put a charge on any land you own in Australia.

For more information, see What if I do nothing?​​​

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8. I got a fine for going through a red light ​camera ​​and it says I will get three demerit points. If I elect to go to court will I still get the demerit points?

If you elect to go to court, whether you still get demerit points will depend on what happens at court.

If you are found not guilty, you won't get any demerit points. If you are found guilty and ordered to pay a fine, you will get the demerit points. If the court finds you guilty, but decides not to record a conviction (called a 'section 10 dismissal'), you won't get the demerit points.

For more information, see Electing to go to court. ​


9. If I have a fine in Queensland, ​can it be enforced in NSW?

If you have a fine in any other state or territory other than NSW, that fine can be referred (given) to State Debt Recovery (SDR) in NSW. If the fine remains unpaid, the SDR can enforce that fine in the same way as they can enforce a fine issued in NSW. ​​

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10. What if the details on the​ fine are incorrect?

Fines do not automatically become invalid if some of the details are incorrect - it depends on what the details are and whether they are critical to whether or not you will be held legally responsible for the offence. A fine is not usually invalid because of a misspelling of a name or an incorrect date of birth.

 You should get legal advice if you want to dispute your fine because the details are incorrect. ​​


11. My previous fine was written ​​off by SDR 3 years ago. I just received a new overdue fine. Do I still have to pay the previous fine?

A write-off means deferring the fine for five years. If your financial circumstances improve or you receive a new overdue fine within five years State Debt Recovery (SDR)​ may ask you to pay the fine.

SDR will not ask you to pay a written off fine if:

  • you have previously completed a Work and Development Order
  • you are not suitable to complete a community service order
  • you are under a management order with the NSW Trustee and Guardian
  • you can only be contacted through an advocacy group
  • you are not capable of making payment due to your financial, personal or medical circumstances.

If you are asked to pay a fine which has been written off, you should get legal advice. 

For more information, see Responding to an overdue fine​.