So, the dreaded white slip stating that you have been caught and fined for a parking offence appeared on your car’s windshield, a sight no Singaporean driver ever wants to see. Time to pay up for your offence.
(Related story: The Most Common Parking Mistakes And How To Avoid Them)
But what if you believe you were wrongly fined? Perhaps you committed the offence in the midst of an emergency, or it truly was a mistake on the part of the issuer of the fine. If you indeed have a valid reason and are able to prove it, you may submit an appeal letter and have your fine waived instead.
If you are clueless as to how to go about appealing for the fine, read on for our comprehensive guide to do just that.
Identify the issuer of the fine
Take a close look at your ticket to identify which organisation issued the fine. LTA, HDB and Town Council can all issue parking fines, so be sure to address your appeal to the right one.
You would not want to spend precious time filing for an appeal only to find out that you have addressed it to the wrong one, after all. Also, check your ticket for the email address or website for you to address your appeal to.
Gather ample evidence
If you believe that you were wrongly fined or you committed the offence in an emergency, this step is crucial to the success of your appeal. Take a good number of photos of your car which can be used as proof in your case.
Fill in the appeal form
You can find most appeal forms on the organisation’s website. From there, you can print them out and fill them in with your details. Alternatively, you can go straight to your Town Council to fill in a hardcopy if you would prefer to do so in person.
Give your details
Now it is time to get started on writing your actual appeal letter. First thing’s first, make sure you state all of your details in your introduction, such as your name, the time and date of the offence, the location, the notice number, and your vehicle plate number. Doing so will help expedite the process of your appeal.
Acknowledge your offence
If the mistake was on your part, you should own up to it and apologise. Being honest and acknowledging your offence while showing remorse will help you at least make a good impression on the officer handling your case. Be as polite as possible and avoid being defensive or rude while stating your reasons for your offence, as you may end up offending the officer and hinder your case instead of helping it.
If you believe that you were mistakenly given the notice and the fault instead lies with the officer, you should still be polite when pointing out the reasons why you believe they made a mistake. Again, being rude will not help your case. Bear in mind that reviewing officers have to go through many appeals each day, many of them being rude and exhausting to process. Being polite and showing remorse will help you stand out as an understanding individual.
Explain why you did it
Now comes the time for you to show your evidence and reasons. Clearly explain your reasons for making your offence, but avoid being long-winded or turning it into a sob story. These reviewing officers can spot a cover-up a mile away, so your best bet is to be objective but sincere. If you are a first-time offender or have any other information that may help sway the officer such as financial or personal difficulties, you can bring those up, but avoid being overly-dramatic.
If you had legitimate reasons for making your offence, be sincere but concise. Exaggerating your story will only make you look like you are lying. At the same time, do not downplay your points. After all, you had a valid reason for making your offence. Provide sufficient evidence and details so that your reviewing officer has enough to go on when reviewing your case.
Sign off properly
Last but not least, sign off by providing your personal details and contact information and concisely reiterate your apology and your request for them to reconsider your fine. Be sure to also thank them for their time. After that, it is just a matter of waiting for a reply.
In the meantime, don’t pay your fine just yet, as the deadline will be extended once the authorities receive your appeal. However, you should still be careful in the future, as a record will be kept of your offence whether or not the fine is waived.
(Related story: How To Park Your Car)
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