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Want to appeal for a parking fine but don't know how? Check out our handy appeal guide. This guide also includes tips for appealing to HDB and Town Council parking offences.
Parking fines in Singapore are no laughing matter. For simple mistakes like displaying an expired coupon or parking in the wrong lot, you could be required to pay as much as S$200! And if you think paying your fines is painful, not paying them could land you in court, costing you thousands of dollars more. But what if you were wrongly fined due to an emergency or misunderstanding?
If your reasoning is warrant, you can always lodge an appeal. Your fine will then be waived altogether if the authorities accept your appeal. To learn more about how to write a convincing appeal, check out the steps below.
1. Before Writing the Appeal
Here are some things to prepare before you even get into the car:
Find Out Who You're Appealing To
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Before you rush off to make the appeal, look at the ticket and find out which organization gave you the fine. Fines don't just come from LTA—you can be fined by HDB or Town Council as well. You don't want to waste your time appealing to the wrong organization, since they can't waive fines that aren't given by them. Most parking tickets will have a website or email for you to send your appeal, so look out for that. The organization that your fine comes from might also affect whether or not you choose to appeal in the end. For example, it is said that HDB is much more flexible about accepting appeals, whereas most LTA appeals fail.
Take Photo Evidence
This applies if you believe you have been wrongly fined, or if you had an emergency that caused you to break parking laws. When you return to your car and see the parking ticket, stay calm and try to take some photos to prove your situation. It can really help your case, and for LTA appeals, it is a must to have some kind of documentary evidence. Make sure to take clear photos—you want to make it as easy as possible for your appeal reviewer to see what you're talking about.
Get the Appeal Form and Fill It Up
(Photo Credit: Ken Teegardin)
Most appeal forms can be found on the organizations' websites, so you can print them out and fill in your details. In the case of Town Council fines, some drivers do prefer to go straight to their Town Council to get a hard copy and fill it up on the spot. This is because not all Town Councils have a website for appeal processing, and any appeal will have to be physically mailed over, which could take very long to get a response. For HDB and LTA, however, there are e-portals which you can use for submissions. You can find them here and here. Attached to the form will be your explanation, and any other photo documentation you think may help.
2. Writing Your Explanation
Provide All the Details You Can
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Even if you may have stated it before, repeat all your details in the introduction. This includes the time, date and location of the offence as well as your vehicle number and your name. Being clear about the details will help the officer to quickly locate your case.
Acknowledge Your Mistake and Be Polite
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If the mistake was yours, it's best to be honest and admit it straightaway. These officers see many cases every day, and they can tell if you're trying to cover up your offence with excuses. Be polite and show remorse—being defensive or trying to force your reasons on the officer may end up offending them, and they have no obligation to accept your appeal. Showing remorse and honesty is a good way to reach out to them and convince them that you will not repeat your actions.
If the mistake was on the part of the fining officer, you should still be polite and point out their mistake without being aggressive. The reviewing officer is just doing their job, and with all the appeals they have to read, an angry and rude tone may cause them to dismiss yours as just another unreasonable person trying to get away with their offence by making a fuss. The most important thing is to get the appeal approved and the matter settled.
Explain Why You Had to Break Traffic Rules
This is the part where you give your reasons. Be sincere about it—a long sob story that is exaggerated for sympathy will make you seem unreliable and work against you. However, this does not mean you should play down your legitimate reasons. Just explain what happened fully and honestly, and provide any details or evidence that you can to back your reasons up. If you are a first-time offender, be sure to bring that up and reassure the officer that you are usually a rule-abiding driver. If you have any financial difficulties that make paying the fine hard for you, you can mention it as well, but again, do not exaggerate it as it may look like a lie.
Sign Off and Provide Contact Information
Finally, sign off with your contact details to allow them to get back to you. Provide a name, phone number and email, and politely request that they reconsider your case.
3. Awaiting the Results
Now that you've submitted the appeal, all you can do is wait to for what happens. In the meantime, do not pay the fine first. Don't worry about the deadline—it will be extended once the authorities receive your appeal. If the appeal is successful, the fine will be waived, but note that a record of the offense will still be kept, and any appeals you may have to make in the future might be affected. So from now on, park carefully!
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