Graduated Fixed Penalty and Deposit Scheme
Graduated Fixed Penalties are fixed penalties offered by Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) enforcement officers in relation to certain driver and vehicle related offences. Depending on the nature of the offence, drivers found to be non compliant with legislative requirements may be offered a fixed penalty in lieu of prosecution in court.
Why was the scheme introduced?
The main benefit of the scheme is to simplify the process of enforcing offences dealt with by DVA enforcement officers. The scheme will help to reduce road hazards by making freight and taxi drivers and their vehicles more compliant. Although the scheme is mainly directed at the freight and taxi industry, it will also impact on private cars and drivers that are in breach of legislative requirements.
What are Graduated Fixed Penalties issued for?
Graduated Fixed Penalties will be issued for certain driver and vehicle related offences in relation to freight vehicles and taxis.
Penalties offered for freight and bus related offences include:
- mechanical defects
- driver's hours and record keeping
Penalties offered for taxi related offences include:
- mechanical defects
- failing to wear a taxi driver's badge
- no taxi roof sign
The nature of the offence will determine whether a penalty is endorsable or non-endorsable and this will affect the level of fine.
For a full list of offences click the link below:
Do the offences attract penalty points?
Depending on the nature of the offence, drivers found to be non compliant with legislative requirements may have their licence endorsed with penalty points as well as being offered a fixed penalty. However, in cases where an offender has committed an offence that will take them over the mandatory limit of penalty points (where they may be disqualified from driving) a fixed penalty cannot be offered. In these cases offenders will be prosecuted in court.
If an offence is endorsable, drivers should expect between three and six points to be awarded for an offence.
How much will I have to pay?
The level of fixed penalty will initially be £30 for non-endorsable tickets and £60 for endorsable tickets.
How long do I have to pay?
Offenders have 21 days to pay a penalty by cheque, postal order or debit / credit card. Alternatively, if an offender chooses not to accept the penalty within the 21 day time period, they can elect to have the case heard in court.
Where do I pay?
Payment of a fixed penalty is made to the Fixed Penalty Office, Laganside Courts, Belfast. The Fixed Penalty Office is located within Laganside Courts Complex and is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.Fixed Penalty Office
Laganside Courts Complex
45 Oxford Street
- Tel: 028 9072 8233
- Fax: 028 9031 0227
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can the Fixed Penalty be reduced or appealed?
The penalties given at the side of the road cannot be reduced. If an offender chooses not to pay the fine, they may appeal the penalty by having the case heard in court.
I have sent my penalty payment to the Fixed Penalty Office and have now received a Court Summons, what should I do?
You should contact the Fixed Penalty Office, Laganside Courts (details above), to get further information on whether their payment has been received and why a Court Summons has been sent to them.
I have sent my payment and have not received a receipt, what should I do now?
You should contact the Fixed Penalty Office, Laganside Courts (details above), who will be able to advise them if their payment has been received and accepted for the fixed penalty in question.
Where do I submit my licence?
In cases where an endorsable offence has been committed, driving licences (paper part and photo) should be submitted to the Police Station indicated on the fixed penalty ticket within seven days of the offence.
Your licence will be endorsed and returned to the address provided, you should then allow approximately four to six weeks for this process to be completed and your licence to be returned.
I have submitted my driving licence to have penalty points recorded and I haven’t received it back, who do I contact?
When a licence has been submitted for penalty points to be recorded, the offender must allow approximately four to six weeks for it to be processed. If you have not received their licence back after this period of time, you should contact the Fixed Penalty Office (details above).