This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Cost of fine penalties

Explains when additional costs may be added to the fine and how a fine penalty is calculated.

The cost of each fine penalty is fixed or set out in the legislation that allows a fine to be issued for an offence. An infringement penalty should generally be set at 20-25% of the maximum fine for the offence.

Fines are measured in penalty units. The value of one penalty unit may change each year. Any change in the value of a penalty unit will apply from 1 July each year.

See Value of penalty units.

Paying off the fine slowly

Payment plans and payment arrangements

If a person is having trouble paying a fine by the due date, they should contact the agency and negotiate a payment plan to pay the fine off in instalments or ask for more time to pay. If the person meets certain eligibility criteria, the agency must offer a payment plan.

If the person does not meet the eligibility criteria, the enforcement agency has discretion about whether or not to allow a payment arrangement. Applications must be made before the fine is registered with Fines Victoria.

Once an application is made, the enforcement agency must cease any action to collect the fine until they decide to allow a payment arrangement.

If the agency does not wish to manage the payment plan, they may refer the matter off to the Director of Fines Victoria ('the director') for management of instalment payments under a payment arrangement.

If an order has been made in the Magistrates’ Court, the person may apply to pay their fine by instalments.

See Negotiating payment.

Additional costs

If a fine is not paid on time, extra costs may be added at various stages of the enforcement process, as follows:

  • fine not paid by due date and reminder notice sent—extra costs: 1.74 fee units
  • notice of final demand collection fee—extra costs: 9.01 fee units
  • registration of infringement fine or court fine with director—extra costs:5.21 fee units
  • enforcement warrant fee—extra costs:3.94 fee units

See Value of penalty units and rr. 9—Infringements Regulations 2016 (Vic) and re. 8, 9, 10—Fines Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic).

Vary or waive additional costs

A person who believes that they have grounds for not paying additional costs that have been added to their fine may apply to the director for an enforcement review to vary the amount of costs that have been added.

See Enforcement review.

Magistrate has discretion about the fine amount

If the offence is dealt with in court, the magistrate has discretion about how much the person should be fined, up to the maximum amount that is set out for the offence.

The court will assess the person’s individual circumstances and make a decision about the appropriate penalty to order.
The person may ask the court for an instalment order so that they can pay the fine off slowly.

See Electing to challenge fine in court.

If person in acute financial hardship

In some very limited circumstances, an eligible person who is experiencing acute financial hardship (or drug addiction, homelessness, family violence or mental health issues) can participate in the Work and development permit scheme to 'pay off' their fine by participating in the program instead of paying the fine.

The person will need to be sponsored by an accredited agency such as a drug and alcohol counsellor, financial counsellor or doctor to participate. Usually this means that they will already be supported by one of these agencies.

See Work and development permits.

More information

Legislation

Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)

  • s. 29—prescribed costs may be added if fine not paid by due date
  • s. 46—an enforcement agency may be required to offer payment plans if people meet particular criteria set out in the guidelines
  • s. 3—definition of prescribed costs

See Infringements Act 2006 (Vic).

Infringements Regulations 2016 (Vic)

  • r. 9—lists the amounts that may be added to the cost of an infringement notice at different stages of the enforcement process

See Infringements Regulations 2016 (Vic).

Fines Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic)

  • r. 8—collection fee (notice of final demand)
  • r. 9—enforcement warrant fee
  • r. 10—registration fee

See Fines Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic).

Updated