When you can apply to have an infringement notice reviewed
You can apply for an internal review of your infringement notice if you believe:
- service of the infringement notice wasn’t lawful
- the infringement notice should have been given to someone else
- “Special Circumstances” apply to you
- the conduct for which the infringement notice was served should be excused due to “Exceptional Circumstances” relating to the infringement offence.
How Special Circumstances and Exceptional Circumstances apply to review of infringement notices
"Special Circumstances" is set out in the Infringements Act 2006. It means a person may not be in control of their actions or understand that their actions resulted in breaking the law. Special Circumstances apply to:
- mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
- serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.
If a review on the grounds of "Special Circumstances" results in an infringement notice not being withdrawn, it must be referred to the courts.
“Exceptional Circumstances” isn’t set out in the Infringements Act 2006. This is to allow discretion and flexibility in individual cases. The Exceptional Circumstances must, however, be linked to conduct for which the infringement notice was issued. For example, the following won’t be considered exceptional:
- you’re sorry you broke the law and promise not to do it again
- you didn't know the law
- you’re experiencing financial problems
- this is the first time you’ve broken the law
- you have an illness or condition that isn’t within the definition of "Special Circumstances"
- you think the penalty is too high. There are laws that set penalties. EPA can’t change them
- you think it’s unfair that you received an infringement notice.
How to apply to have an infringement notice reviewed
Once you’re sure you can apply for an internal review of your infringement notice, you must:
- complete the relevant section on the back of your printed infringement notice
- follow the notice’s instructions for sending your application to us.
You should make a copy of the infringement notice for your records.
Understanding the infringement notice review application process
You can’t make an application for internal review of an unpaid infringement notice. This is also true if you have an enforcement order from the Infringements Court.
With your consent, someone else can make an application for you.
Applications must be in writing. You must include a statement of why you’re seeking a review, and any evidence you’re using to support your application.
You can only make an application for review of an infringement notice once. If you have more than one infringement notice you want reviewed, you must make a separate application for each one.
Your application must be within the requirements of the Infringements Act 2006. If we find your application doesn’t meet the Act’s requirements, we’ll contact you to seek to understand your application, or ask for further information.
We provide a receipt for all valid applications. An independent person within EPA will review the application.
As part of the internal review process, we may ask for more information. If you get a request for more information, you must provide that information within 14 days.
What happens after you apply to have an infringement notice reviewed
When the review is complete, you’ll get a written notice of the review’s outcome. The reviewing officer may decide to:
- withdraw the infringement notice and refer the matter to a court
- confirm the decision to issue the infringement notice. If this happens, your payment date will be extended by 28 days
- withdraw the infringement notice and give you an official warning instead
- withdraw the infringement notice and take no further action
- tell you that you don’t have to pay some or all your costs
- approve a payment plan through Fines Victoria
- do any combination of the above.
Find out more about fines and infringements
Reviewed 28 June 2021