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How to challenge a public transport fine

Information about what a prison can do if they have been fined or charged with a public transport related offence.

Gather evidence

If a person is involved in an incident on public transport and they believe that it is likely that they will be fined, they are advised to get as much evidence as possible about what actually happened. This might include:

  • keeping the ticket (if the officer has not taken it) so it can be used as evidence about whether a person was able to 'touch on' or not
  • recording the number of a ticket machine or card reader in case this contributed to the problem (and take a photo if possible)
  • trying to get the contact details of any witnesses who saw what happened
  • taking notes of what happened in journal or diary
  • complaining about any misbehaviour or conduct by the officer
  • taking photos of any injuries sustained
  • visiting a doctor if there are any injuries.

See Public Transport Fines: How to dispute them in Public Transport Users Association(opens in a new window).

Challenging a fine

Ask for an internal review

A person who has been fined can seek an internal review from the Department of Transport and Planning if they:

  • want to dispute the circumstances of their fine,
  • have special or exceptional circumstances to explain their offending behaviour
  • did not know about their fine
  • believe a defect or mistake was made when the fine was issued
  • want to report a fine being delivered to the wrong person.

See Department of Transport and Planning—Public transport internal review(opens in a new window).

For more details about the infringements process and challenging a fine, see Fines—Contesting the fine.

How to apply for internal review

Applicants must supply enough evidence to support their claim. This will depend on the kind of infringement and why the they are seeking a review.

For details about the evidence needed see Public Transport Victoria—Requesting an internal review.

Applications can be made online.

To apply for internal review see See Department of Transport and Planning—Public transport internal review(opens in a new window).

A person can also object in writing by letter to

Department of Transport

Case Review team

Public Transport Regulatory Operations

GPO Box 2392

Melbourne 3001

or by email to: ptro@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Information to include

The person can explain exactly what happened, the circumstances of the offence. They should include copies of any evidence that may support their case.

The letter or email should include:

  • infringement number
  • customer's name
  • customer's address (especially if this has changed since the infringement was issued)
  • reason person is seeking a review
  • contact phone number.

See Department of Transport and Planning—Public transport internal review(opens in a new window).

The Liberty Victoria site has a tool to help people to craft an application see Confident commuter(opens in a new window).

Enforcement review

If the agency does not agree to withdraw the infringement notice, the person can seek an enforcement review from the Director of Fines Victoria.

See Fines—Contesting the fine.

Contact the local State MP

If the circumstances surrounding the issue of a fine were inappropriate, this is likely to be more successful that seeking a review.

The Public Transport Users Association website has a link to help find the local Member of Parliament.

See Public Transport Users Association(opens in a new window).

Going to court

A person can elect to have the matter dealt with in court. If they choose to do this they will be able to tell the Magistrate the circumstances of the offence. The Magistrate can take their financial and individual circumstances into consideration when they are deciding whether to issue a penalty and what penalty to give. They should get legal advice before they do this. It is possible that the penalty will be higher than the amount of infringement penalty that they would have received.

See Fines—Electing to challenge fine in court.

More information

Reference

Public Transport Users Association

This is a recognised consumer organisation that represents passengers who use all types of public transport.

  • Public transport fines: how to dispute them

See Public Transport Users Association(opens in a new window).

Public Transport Ombudsman

The ombudsman will receive complaints about the infringements process or behaviour by public transport officers.

See Public Transport Ombudsman(opens in a new window).

Department of Transport and Planning

Public transport matters sit within the Department of Transport. The statutory body, Public Transport Victoria (PTV), was absorbed within this department in 2019. However their website continues to provide information about public transport matters. The PTV website has information to help plan a public transport journey. It provides assistance with myki cards and includes a comprehensive fares and ticketing manual.

See Department of Transport and Planning—Public transport internal review(opens in a new window).

See also Public Transport Victoria—Victorian Fares and Ticketing Manual (2019)(opens in a new window).

Liberty Victoria

Liberty Victoria have developed a site to help public transport users who have an infringement notice or who want help dealing with ticket inspectors. It explains the rights and responsibilities of people using public transport and has a tool to help people, suggesting wording to help them to seek an internal review if they want to challenge the circumstances of their fine.

See Confident commuter(opens in a new window).

Updated