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Why did I get a parking fine?

If you park illegally in Merri-bek, you can be fined. It's important to be aware of the parking rules in Victoria so that you can make sure you are always parking legally. More information about the parking rules that apply in Victoria is on the VicRoads website.

Illegal parking is referred to as an 'infringement' and it can include:

  • parking in a 'no parking' or 'loading zone' spot
  • parking in a 'no stopping' spot or a 'clearway'
  • overstaying the time on the parking signs
  • parking without a permit in a permit spot
  • parking without a ticket in a ticketed spot

Your parking fine may be placed on the windscreen of your car, given to you as you return to your car or mailed to you.

You can find out more about Merri-bek's parking management in our Parking Management Policy (DOC).

Pay your parking fine

If you get a parking fine, you can pay online through Council eServices. You will need to register as a user or sign in. You can user VISA or MasterCard to pay your fine online. Make sure you have your parking fine notice ready.

You can pay your parking fine online on our eServices website.

  • You can pay your parking fine by phone with a Visa or MasterCard 24 hours a day using our secure automated system.

    To pay your parking fine by phone:

    1. Call 9240 1111 and press 1 to make a payment. Then press 1 to pay 'fines and infringements' and follow the voice prompts.
    2. You will need to provide the 'Infringement number' located on your notice and your Visa or MasterCard number details.
  • You can pay your parking fine by post by:

    1. Separating the payment slip at the bottom of the notice and mailing it (before the due date) with your cheque or money order to: Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Brunswick VIC 3056.
    2. Make the cheque or money order payable to ‘Merri-bek City Council’ and cross it 'Not negotiable'. Do not include cash in the mail.

    We do not provide a receipt for payments received by mail. Please keep the top section of the notice for your records.

  • You can pay your parking fine in person by:

    1. Bringing your fine to a Customer Service Centre before the due date. You can find the locations of our Customer Service Centres on our Contact us page.
    2. You can pay by Visa or MasterCard, EFTPOS, cheque, money order and cash. The minimum payment for all card transactions is $10 and there is no cash out facility.
  • You can pay your parking fine on our eServices website.

Request a payment plan

A payment plan is a plan we make with you that gives you more time to pay your parking fine. A payment plan can allow you to pay your fine in instalments.

A payment plan lasts for a maximum of 6 months, and if you miss a payment, your plan will be cancelled.

Payment plans are not payable via direct debit or Centrelink deductions.

  • You can request to pay your fine through a payment plan if you have either:

    • a Pensioner concession card, DVA Gold Card TPI (Total and Permanently Incapacitated), DVA Gold Card WW (War Widow), or Health Care Card
    • more than one fine
  • A payment plan is a formal agreement with us and is available for a maximum of 6 months.

    Missing a payment or not making the initial payment will cause the payment plan to be cancelled. The fine will then proceed through the enforcement process and may incur additional costs.

  • Apply online: You can set up a payment plan with us by completing the online Payment Plan Application Form.

    Complete an online Payment Plan Application Form

    By phone: You can set up a payment plan with us by calling 9240 1111.

    In some circumstances, you might need to complete our Payment plan application form (PDF). Once you have filled in this form you can either: 

    • Mail it to Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Brunswick VIC 3056
    • Fax it to 9240 1212
    • Email a scanned copy of the form to citysafety@merri-bek.vic.gov.au

    The application for a payment plan must be received by us before the due date.

    Please note: if you get a fine from us, you have 28 days to pay or arrange a payment plan. Alternatively, if you meet certain circumstances, you can appeal your fine.

  • You can pay an installment on your payment plan on our eServices website. You will need to enter the notice number and the agreed payment plan amount will appear.

Payment extension

An extension of time to pay may be granted at Council's discretion. You can apply for a payment extension by calling our Customer Service team on 9240 1111

View photos from your fine

If you want to view your fine and any photos attached it, enter your details in the form below. We recommend you do this before you make an appeal.

How to appeal a parking fine

If you received a parking fine, you are entitled to apply for an internal review under the Infringements Act 2006 (the Act). An internal review must be received by Council before the fine is registered with Fines Victoria or lodged with the Magistrates’ Court.

A review for a fine can only be made once under the Act. We therefore encourage you to provide all information relating to the fine and supply any documentation that supports your grounds for review. The grounds for review are outlined below.

State laws prevent the Mayor and/or Councillors from playing any role in the internal review of an infringement notice. Merri-bek City Council has a clear process of reviewing infringements which is conducted by authorised officers in a fair and independent manner, in accordance with the principles of administrative law and under the relevant State legislation.

Grounds for internal review

Person Unaware – You can request a review under this ground if all of the following apply:
  • you found out about the fine within the last 14 days and fees had already been added

  • the fine was not personally given to you by an officer, and

If you moved house but you did not change your authorised address with the relevant agency (for example, VicRoads or Council) within 14 days of moving, your application may not be successful.

Your application may not be successful unless you provide evidence showing you did not know about the fine. This could be a copy of your passport or boarding pass showing you were overseas, an invoice from a removalist showing that you moved house, a VicRoads address change confirmation, or a report about mail theft.

You must submit your application within 14 days of the date you became aware of the fine.

If your application is successful, you will be granted a further 21 days to deal with your fine and any fees added to your fine will be removed.

Contrary to Law - You can apply under this ground if you believe that Council’s decision to fine you was inconsistent with the law. For example, you were fined for parking in a Permit Zone but you had a valid permit displayed.

Mistaken Identity - You can request a review under this ground if you have been incorrectly identified as the person who committed an offence and you have evidence to prove this. For example, if you know who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, you should nominate the driver.

Exceptional Circumstances - You should select this ground only if you can show that the offence occurred due to circumstances that were out of the ordinary, unavoidable or exceptional, such as a medical emergency or a vehicle breakdown.  

Special Circumstances  - These circumstances are very specific. You can select this ground if you committed the offence in part because:

  • you had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness

  • you had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance

  • you were homeless

  • you were a victim of family violence, or

  • you cannot deal with your fine/s because of severe disabling long-term circumstances.

You must provide document/s that supports the special circumstances. Depending on your circumstances, this may be a report from your treating specialist such as psychologist/psychiatrist or a social worker/case manager outlining your circumstances, how this affected you in committing the offence, and what interventions are in place to prevent it occurring again.

More information about Special Circumstances is available on the Fines Victoria website.

There are two ways to submit your application for an internal review:

What happens when you submit an internal review application:

  • The infringement will be placed on hold in accordance with the Infringements Regulations 2016.

  • Consideration will be given to the information and evidence you have provided and the evidence collected by the issuing officer.

  • Council has 90 days to consider your application and advise of the outcome.

  • You do not need to do anything until you receive a letter from Council.

What happens when a decision is made on the internal review:

  • Council will send you a letter advising of the outcome of the internal review application. The letter will be sent by post to the address you have provided (or where you have consented for someone to act for you, to the address of that person).

  • Should you wish to receive the response via email, please specify this in your request for internal review.

  • The letter will advise of Council’s decision and all relevant information.

Nominate another driver

If you believe the fine was meant for someone else, or that it wasn't your vehicle parked illegally, you can nominate a driver below. 

If someone else was driving your car, please fill in the Nomination Statement (PDF 541Kb) and either:

Request to go to court

It is recommended that you seek qualified independent legal advice before electing to go to Court, as the outcome of a court hearing may be different from the standard payment requirements of an infringement notice.

Under the Infringements Act 2006, a person issued with an infringement notice may request for their infringement to be heard and determined in the Magistrates Court. If you would like for your matter to be heard in court, you need to send a request in writing to Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10 Brunswick 3056 or by email to info@merri-bek.vic.gov.au.

  • If your fine is at Infringement Notice, Penalty Reminder Notice or Final Reminder stage, you can apply to have your matter heard in the Magistrates Court (or the Children's Court if you are under 18 years of age).

    If your infringement has already escalated to the Magistrates’ Court or Fines Victoria, you cannot apply to Council to go to Court. You need to contact the Court or Fines Victoria directly.

  • If your request to go to court is accepted:

    • the matter will be listed at the Magistrates Court (or the Children's Court if you are under 18 years of age)
    • you will be notified in writing of a date, time and location when you may need to appear before the court. This is referred to as a ‘hearing’.

     

  • The Magistrate or Judicial Registrar will hear your case. They may decide to:

    • record a conviction if they find you guilty
    • issue you with a new fine (the penalty may be either more, the same, or less than the amount on your Infringement Notice)
    • dismiss or discharge your case
    • adjourn (delay) the matter
    • order you to do unpaid community work.

Important Information

If you were the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence but you are not the registered owner of the vehicle, the registered owner must nominate you as the driver first. Once the fine is issued in your name, you can then submit your request to go to court. If the infringement is issued to a company, only the Director of the company or the nominated driver of the vehicle may request to have the matter heard in court.

Note that Council incurs costs as part of this process, and we seek to recover these costs if the court finds the matter proven. Once the fine is lodged with the Courts, if you change your mind and decide to pay the fine, you will be required to pay the lodgement fee incurred by Council along with the original fine amount.

Court elect fees

For a single offence the fee is $90.60 and for multiple offences the fee is $136.70 (subject to increase 1 July each year).

What happens if you don't pay a parking fine

If you do not pay a fine by its due date, extra costs will be added to your fine. We may also register your fine to Fines Victoria if you continue not to pay. You can find out more about this on the Fines Victoria website.

In some instances we may also lodge your fine at the Magistrates Court.

Report a ticket machine issue

If you see a ticket machine that isn't working, you can report it on our eServices website. You can also get in touch with us using the details on our Contact us page.

Report illegal parking

You can report illegal parking to us if you see a vehicle in any of the following situations:

  • blocking the safe flow of traffic
  • blocking a driveway
  • in a no stopping or no parking zone
  • in a disabled parking zone without a valid permit
  • on a nature strip, footpath or median strip
  • impacting the safety or amenity of the community

It is not necessary to report a vehicle that has over-stayed a time restriction as regular patrols will manage these situations.

You can report this on our eServices website. You can also get in touch with us using the details on our Contact us page.

Abandoned vehicles

A vehicle may be considered abandoned if:

  • the registration is listed as expired or cancelled on the VicRoads website, which you can check on the VicRoads website
  • the vehicle has no number plates
  • the vehicle is registered but has not moved for at least 2 months. These cars will get a pink sticker. If you get a pink sticker, you need to move your car. 

Abandoned vehicles are unsightly and can be unsafe. You can report an abandoned vehicle on our eService website. You can also get in touch with us using the details on our Contact us page.

If the abandoned vehicle you see is listed as stolen on VicRoads, call Victoria Police at Brunswick on 8378 6000 or Fawkner on 9355 6000.

What to do if you find a yellow sticker on your car

We will place a yellow sticker on your vehicle if we think it is abandoned. You then have 48 hours to register the vehicle or move it to private property.

If you do nothing, your vehicle may be impounded.

If your vehicle has been impounded, you will need to contact Nationwide Towing to arrange to retrieve the car. If your vehicle has been impounded you will need to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle and photo ID to Nationwide Towing when you retrieve the vehicle.

To contact Nationwide Towing please see their contact details below:

  • Phone number to make an appointment is 134 869 and ask for Sunshine Impound
  • Out of business hours requests can also go to sunshine.impound@134tow.com.au
  • Business hours are between 8:00am-4:00pm Monday – Friday APPOINTMENTS ONLY

Please see the release fees below:

  • Impounded vehicle release fee $528 per item
  • Impounded vehicle daily charge (excludes heavy haulage vehicles) $20 per item per day
  • Impounded vehicle release fee (heavy haulage) $906.00 per item
  • Impounded vehicle daily charge (heavy haulage vehicles) $32.75 per item per day

If the vehicle is not reclaimed within 14 days of the impoundment date, the vehicle will be disposed of. 

Have a vehicle you no longer need?

If you have a vehicle you no longer need, you can donate your car to Kids Under Cover to help them prevent youth homelessness in Australia. Kids Under Cover will pick up your vehicle, auction it off and the proceeds from the sale of the car will help fund Kids Under Cover's work in preventing youth homelessness. 

More information on how to do this can be found on the Kids Under Cover website

Parking rules in Victoria

Key Victorian road rules involving parking

The Victorian road rules are published in 'Road Safety Road Rules 2017'. The key section of the road rules regarding parking is Part 12 – Restrictions on stopping and parking.

A summary of the key road rules in Victoria about parking is available on the VicRoads website. There you can find information about the types of parking, parking lines and zones, and other stopping and parking rules.

Rules for clearways and tow-away zones

  • A clearway is a section of road where parking and stopping is not allowed at the times shown on the clearway sign.

    Clearways are put on some main roads which have more traffic during peak hours. They allow cars, trams and buses to keep moving and avoid delays during peak times.

    If you park in a clearway zone during the restricted times, your vehicle can be towed away.

  • Merri-bek City Councils enforces clearways on Lygon Street in Brunswick.

    Department of Transport (VicRoads) enforces all other clearways in Merri-bek.

  • Drivers should contact Nationwide on 13 48 69. This number is located on the back of the clearway sign.

    Drivers can also check if their vehicle has been towed on the Nationwide website. You will need to enter the registration number of the vehicle into their search tool.

     

  • There is a fee to release your vehicle from the storage yard.

    If you do not collect your vehicle within 5 days, a storage fee also applies for every day after that until you collect the vehicle.

    You may also receive a parking infringement notice from us or Victoria Police in addition to the release and storage fees.

    VicRoads fee information and further details about the location of the storage yard and opening times is on the VicRoads website.

  • To report a vehicle parked illegally in a tow-away zone on a major road, please contact the VicRoads Traffic Management Centre on 13 11 70.

  • Community members can contact the Department of Transport and Planning using the details below.

    Phone: 1300 303 505

    Email: Clearway.Infringements@transport.vic.gov.au

    You can find more information on the Department of Transport and Planning website.

    If community members received a fine from a Council infringement, they will need to contact the relevant council.

How to get your vehicle released

  • If your vehicle has been towed you can collect it from Nation Wide Towing impound yard (secure storage) at 34 Cromwell Street, Collingwood.

    The yard is open from 7am to 9pm on weekdays, and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. It is also close to tram and train lines.
    You must provide proof of identity and pay the vehicle release fee to leave with your vehicle.

    If you believe that your vehicle should not have been towed, you may request a review only after you have paid the vehicle release fee.

  • We are introducing a roadside release program that will help drivers who have parked their vehicles illegally in clearway tow-away zones to get them back more quickly.

    If a driver returns to their vehicle being towed before it has left the area to travel to the impound yard, they will have the option to pay the vehicle release fee and have their vehicle released at the nearest safe location.

    Each tow truck will have an EFTPOS machine to take payment from drivers to enable release of their vehicle.

    This program is already operating in the City of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Yarra and will be made available in all municipalities from 1 December.

    In the event where the tow truck driver deems it unsafe for OHS reasons to release the vehicle roadside, they may use their discretion and choose to tow the vehicle back to the impound yard for collection.

    Aggression and violence will not be tolerated. In those circumstances vehicles will not be released.

Appeals for Department of Transport issued fines

The Department of Transport has an appeal process for towed vehicles and infringements.

  • If you believe that your vehicle should not have been towed, you may request a review from the Department of Transport.

    Reviews will be considered on the grounds of exceptional circumstances and applications will need to provide details of the time, date and location of the tow along with supporting evidence.

    Evidence for exceptional circumstances may include reports, letters, statements, submissions, police reports and family violence safety notices.

    Please post your review request to:
    Clearway Towing Administrator
    VicRoads
    Locked Bag 9000
    Kew Victoria 3101

    More information on clearways is available on the VicRoads website.

  • Community members may apply for an internal review of  clearway fines issued by the Department of Transport (VicRoads).

    VicRoads provides information about how to ‘request of review of your fine’, the grounds you can apply for, FAQs and an application form. It also provides information on how to pay your fine, request a payment extension, legal assistance and interpreting services.

    You can find the information on towaway zoneson the VicRoads website.

    You can find more information about appealing towaway zone fines on the Department of Transport website. You can also email clearway.infringements@transport.vic.gov.au to get in touch with the Department of Transport.