The complete guide to parking fine appeals: What to do when you need to get out of a fine

Car Advice    Zia Xin

(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Parking fines in Singapore are no joke. For mistakes like displaying an expired coupon or parking illegally, you could be required to pay as much as $200! And if you think paying your fines is painful, not paying could get you summoned to court, and end up costing you thousands of dollars more. But what if you've been fined unfairly? Or what if you were dealing with an emergency? Don't hand over your money unnecessarily, lodge an appeal! If your explanation is accepted by the authorities, your fine will be waived altogether. Read on to find out how to lodge a parking fine appeal.

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

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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

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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

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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 you up. It may also be good to mention if you are a first-time offender, and to 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 for them to get back to you or check up some more if they need to. 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 see 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!

And now you're all set to send in that appeal! If you've followed this guide, you'll have done everything you can to get through to the authorities, and if they're understanding, you should be on your way to getting your fine waived. For more help with tracking your vehicle fines and documentation, or to get other helpful driving articles like this one, download our app at the Apple Appstore and Android Playstore!


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