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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself > Fines > Have you got a fine?

Asking for a review

This section covers: 

    When can you ask for a review?

    You can ask State Debt Recovery (SDR) to review and withdraw the fine any time up until the due date on a penalty reminder notice.

    You can ask for a review even if you have paid the fine. If you paid the fine in full:

    • before you received a penalty reminder notice, you can ask for a review up until 60 days after the date you received the penalty notice.
    • after you received a penalty reminder notice, you can ask for a review up until the due date in the penalty reminder notice.

    After SDR has issued an overdue fine, you generally lose the chance to ask for a review. The SDR may consider a review after it has issued an overdue fine, in some limited cases.

    For more information, see Can you ask for a review after you get an overdue fine?

    If you are out of time to ask for a review, you may still be able to elect to go to court. If you paid the fine in full before you received the penalty reminder notice, you have 90 days from the due date of the penalty notice to elect to go to court. Otherwise, you have until the due date in the penalty reminder notice to elect to go to court.

    For more information, see Electing to go to court.

    What will the State Debt Recovery (SDR) consider?

    SDR looks at the circumstances of each case. SDR is less likely to withdraw a fine where safety is an issue, for example, fines for not wearing seatbelts, using a mobile phone while driving or speeding in a school zone.

    SDR will consider these circumstances:

    • where the penalty notice should not have been issued (for example, the fine was given to you by mistake)
    • where you were not the person who committed the offence (for example, your car was stolen)
    • where there were exceptional circumstances relating to the event (for example, you committed the offence because you feared for your safety)
    • where you suffer from a mental illness, a disability or are homeless
    • the fine was issued in a situation where you should have been given a caution instead (for example, you put money in the wrong meter)
    • the offence occurred during a medical emergency
    • the offence occurred during a mechanical breakdown (for example you stopped in a 'no stopping' zone because your car broke down)
    • you have a 10 year clear driving record (if your fine relates to a traffic matter or a parking offence that carries demerit points).

    Foe more information fo to the SDR Review Guidelines section of the SDR website.

    Alert IconIf someone else was driving your car at the time of the offence, you should fill out a statutory declaration form explaining this and giving the name, address and licence number of the driver. You should send your statutory declaration to SDR, rather than asking for a review. For more information see Naming the person responsible.

    How to ask for a review

    You can request a review in the following ways:

    Online via myPenalty

    To login to myPenalty, you will need the penalty notice number and the date of the offence. Once you have logged in, you will be able to make a request for review.

    By filing out a Request for review of a penalty notice form

    You can get a copy of the form from the SDR website.

    You will need to:

    • attach any documents that support your claim, for example, the police report about your car being stolen, or your receipt from a parking meter that turned out to be the wrong meter, and
    • send the application and attached documents to:
      State Debt Recovery
      PO Box 786
      Strawberry Hills NSW 2012

    There is no fee to ask for a review.

    Sample: Sample Request for Review of a Penalty Notice
    Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

     (340 kb) or text only version.

    When SDR receives your request, they may send it to the department that issued the fine, such as the NSW Police Force, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), or Railcorp. Your fine will not be enforced until the review is ​​completed.

    You should not tell SDR that you wish to take the matter to court in your request for a review. If you do, the SDR cannot complete the review and must send the fine straight to court.

    By phone

    You may request a review of a fine by phone if your request is based on:

    • a claim of a 10 year clear driving record, or
    • where you believe the fine was issued to the wrong vehicle registration number

    You can contact the SDR on 1300 138 118 if you think this applies to you. 

    Can you ask for a review after you get an overdue fine?

    If you do not ask for a review or pay the fine by the due date on the penalty reminder notice, you will receive an overdue fine.

    If you still want to challenge a fine once you have received an overdue fine, you will generally need to make an annulment application so that you can elect to go to court. Before annulling an overdue fine, SDR will review your fine if it has not done so already.

    SDR may be willing to review a fine after it has sent an overdue fine, without the need for an annulment application if:

    • you did not own the vehicle at the time of the offence and have notified the RMS of the new owner's details
    • your identity has been misused and you didn't commit the offence, or
    • the fine was for a traffic offence and you can prove your vehicle was not at the location at the time of the offence.

    When you ask for a review after an overdue fine has been issued, you will need to explain to SDR why you did not ask for a review, or take any other action, before the overdue fine was issued.

    Alert IconYour overdue fine will not be reviewed if the fine has already been reviewed.

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

    What happens after a review?

    SDR may:

    • withdraw the fine,
    • give you an official caution, or
    • decide that the fine remains.

    If SDR decides that the fine stands, what happens next depends on whether you have already paid the fine or not.

    • If you have paid the fine, SDR will send you a notice of the review decision.
    • If you have not paid the fine, you will be sent a new penalty reminder notice which will include a new due date.

    If you would still like to challenge the fine you can elect to go to court.

    • If you paid the fine after you received a penalty reminder notice, you can elect to go to court up until 28 days after you get notice of the review decision.
    • If you paid the fine in full before you received the penalty reminder notice, you can elect to go to court up until 90 days from the date the penalty notice was served.
    • If you have not paid the fine, you can elect to go to court up until the date of the new penalty reminder notice.

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

    Picture of 'safety camera ahead' sign​​