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Service of a fine

An overview of the procedures for issuing fines and serving other notices on the person who has been fined.

A fine may be served:

  • in person
  • via post to the person’s last known address or workplace
  • by attachment to the windscreen in a conspicuous place, or
  • in any other manner (if specified in some other law).

See s. 12—Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Person must have at least 21 days to pay

An infringement notice will be invalid if the due date listed on the fine is less than 21 days from the date that it is served. This makes sure that agencies post notices promptly.

See s. 12(3)—Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Notices returned to sender

If a fine or associated document that has been sent to the authorised (registered address) of a person and that document or fine is returned unopened to the sender, the law states that the document is deemed to have been served 7 days after the date written on the notice or fine.

This allows the agencies to proceed with the process of enforcement based on the time lines allowed under the Infringements Act 2006 (Vic).

See ss. 12, 163A—Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If person did not know about the fine

If the person did not know that they had been fined, they may seek an internal review (agency review) asking for the fine to be cancelled.

They must do this within 14 days of becoming aware that they had been fined. The application must include a statement that sets out the reasons that they did not know about the fine.

The procedure for doing this is different depending on the Act that governs the offence for which the person was fined.

See Person unaware and Agency review.

Drivers and owners of registered vehicles who change address

If the fine involves a motor vehicle the owner could be fined for failing to notify VicRoads if they change their address within 14 days of moving.

A fine of 3 penalty units applies.

Note: If this offence is dealt with by issue of an infringement notice, the penalty is 1 penalty unit.

See r. 68—Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic) and Schedule 7—Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019 (Vic).

Avoiding service

A court hearing may proceed if the court is satisfied that the defendant is avoiding service of the notice or cannot be found after a reasonable search.

If the court hearing goes ahead ex parte (without the person being present), the absent person may apply to court for the application to be reheard. The original decision of the court will be stayed (put on hold) until the rehearing decision has been made. It is the applicant’s responsibility to serve a notice on the agency and on the Director Fines Victoria. The notice must be sent within 7 days of filing the notice. This notice must also state why the person did not appear at the hearing.

If the person does not turn up at the re-hearing, they will only be able to re-apply with leave of the court.

See s. 41—Infringements Act 2006 (Vic) Part 3.4—Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic).

More information

Legislation

Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)

  • s. 12—service of infringement notice
  • s. 12(3) invalid if not given 28 days to pay
  • s. 22—applying for an internal review
  • s. 41—avoiding service
  • s. 163A—deeming provision for document returned to sender

See Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)

  • Part 3.4—Rehearing

See Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic)

  • s. 32(1)(d)—application for enforcement review on grounds that they were unaware they had been fined
  • s. 38(2)—if director cancels enforcement as person unaware

See Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic)

  • r. 68—obligation that a driver notifies VicRoads within 14 days if they change their address

See Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019 (Vic)

  • Schedule 7—lists the matters that can be dealt with by issuing an infringement penalty

See Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated