Do you know how to appeal a parking fine in Singapore?
Remember the last time you were running an errand and you couldn’t find a proper parking space? We’ve all been there. (Probably.) You zip off for one little 5-minute errand and you come back to a parking summons under your windshield wipers, and boom––your day just got a little bit crappier, and your bank account just shriveled up a little. Parking fines haven’t become any cheaper over the years. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
According to the URA, there are 23 listed ways you can commit a parking offence, ranging from failing to pay your parking charge to parking somewhere you weren’t supposed to, and even using a parking place for ‘unauthorised purposes.’ We wouldn’t like to say what these ‘unauthorised purposes’ might be, but what all this means is that statistically, around one in two cars in Singapore will be fined for illegal parking each year. Plus, not paying the fine can potentially land you in court.
But fret not: if you do receive a parking fine and you had a valid reason for the offence––perhaps it was an emergency, or a mistake on the part of the issuer––you can always try appealing the fine. This generally involves writing a letter of appeal to try and have your fine waived at their discretion.
But first, how do you avoid a parking fine?
It’s pretty simple.
One, obey the parking rules. This is tedious, but effective. Look at all the parking offences you could possibly commit––LTA, HDB, and URA have their own lists respectively––then avoid doing any of them! URA tends to discourage appealing parking fines, so keep that in mind if you’re leaving your car in URA-operated car parks.
Two, pay for your parking, and make it easy with the parking.sg app.
Three––and this is a real last resort––if you see the parking warden taking down your vehicle details and they haven’t issued the summons yet, you could ask them as nicely as you can to let you off the hook. (Disclaimer: ST Auto cannot guarantee this will work and this does not constitute actual advice to try this out.)
Photo by MyParkingSign.com
How to appeal a parking fine in Singapore
Find out who issued the fine
You can’t appeal the fine unless you know which organization it was––was it the LTA, HDB, or your local town council? They can all issue parking fines, so getting the right one is crucial. They can’t waive fines they didn’t issue, so get this part right and don’t waste your precious time.
These days, you should be able to send your appeal via email or through a form on one of their official websites. Not all organisations react the same way to appeals. For example, the URA actively discourages them. Anecdotally speaking, most appeals to the LTA fail, but HDB seems to be more flexible with appeals.
Gather your receipts
By this we mean: think like a lawyer. Keep evidence; receipts are everything, especially if you think you’ve been wrongly fined. Take photos of your car as you found it when receiving the parking ticket, as they are likely to help you build a clear case for waiving the fine. Make sure they’re clear and show the entire context––you want there to be no doubt at all!
Fill in the appeal form
If the HDB, LTA, or URA issued your fine, you can submit your appeals through their respective e-portals. You can find them here, here, and here. You’ll have to attach an explanation and any other photos you think will help your case.
If one of the town councils issued the fine, however, you’ll probably find it easiest to head straight to their office, pick up a hard copy of the form, and fill it up right there and then. Most town councils don’t have the capacity to digitally process your appeal, and you’ll actually need to physically mail it over. (Where are we, Japan?)
Write your appeal
Now you have to actually write the appeal. This should be in the section of the form for ‘details of your appeal.’ First, you should lay out all the details, like so:
Date of issue:
This makes it easy for the officers reviewing your case. Good first impressions are everything, and they’ll increase the chances of a successful appeal. Indeed, being polite throughout the whole letter (and process) will help your case much more than being rude!
Then, acknowledge what happened. If it was a mistake on your part, honesty is the best policy. There’s no point trying to deflect or bluster in defensiveness. Showing remorse may convince them you won’t repeat the same offence. (Right? Of course you won’t!)
If you think the officer was at fault, point out where they went wrong––but be clear and polite about it. The last thing you want to do is give them another reason to reject your appeal.
Next, you’ll need to explain just why you had to commit the offence. This is especially so if your reasons were legitimate––like a medical emergency, or for notices issued in error. You don’t need to go into too many details; provide just enough to make the case without turning it into a complete sob story.
Lastly, sign off with your contact details so they can contact you with the results of your appeal. Provide your name, phone number, and email, and request that they consider your case. Don’t forget to thank them for their time, and for goodness’s sake, give them a professional-sounding email, not the one you used for your old MSN account. (We exaggerate, but you know what we mean!)
Wait for the results
Now that you’ve sent off your appeal, all that’s left to do is wait until you hear back from the issuing body. It’s out of your hands now. In the meantime, don’t pay the fine––your deadline will be extended after the authorities receive your appeal. If your appeal is successful, they’ll waive the fine, but be warned that they’ll keep a record of this offence so you’re not completely off the hook. Happy driving, and careful parking!
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