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What should you do if you receive a parking fine in Germany?

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Prompt payment is recommended for parking fines in Germany to avoid extra processing fees. However, if the decision is disputed, an appeal can be made within the given timeframe, including relevant evidence. Taking responsibility for violations while also exercising rights to contest unjust fines is important.

how to challenge a parking ticket in Germany

In the event that you fail to buy or showcase a parking ticket in a controlled area, you are most likely to get a parking fine in Germany.

Issuing parking fines

It is usually the Ordnungsamt who issue parking fines in Germany. Their power is limited to finding out public offenses, issuing fines and dealing with small disturbances. Despite this, they cannot make arrests.

A white slip (Verwarnung) will usually be placed under your windscreen wipers if you are accused of parking illegally. Tickets can cost anywhere from 5 to 60 euros. However, this ticket is only a warning. You will receive an official notice via post if you do not pay the warning fine within the specified time period.

It is recommended to pay the warning as soon as possible to avoid incurring any additional fines.

In most cases, the ticket contains the payment details of the local authority. You can pay the fine using online banking. However, make sure to include the ticket reference number in the customer reference area to avoid any confusions.

Even if you believe you have been wrongly accused, appealing the parking warning fine is usually not possible.

If you wish to challenge the warning, you need to wait until you receive the official notice of offense (Bußgeldbescheid). You will usually receive it in the post within one to three months. The Bußgeldbescheid will be 20 - 25 euros higher than the warning notice as it includes the processing charges as well.

Appealing your parking offense

If you can prove yourself that you haven't committed the offense, you can take it to the next level by appealing against the fine. Usually this is proved by different photos of your vehicle parked on the location in question.

As soon as you receive the official notice of offense by post, you have 14 days in which to appeal the offense in writing to the issuing authority. If you miss the appeal deadline, you will lose your chance to appeal. Therefore, It is best to send the appeal with a tracking number in order to avoid any future conflicts with the authority.

Do I need a lawyer to appeal against the parking fine?

The fine can generally be appealed by you on your own. You can prepare your appeal letter by using one of the many templates available online..

In the event that you wish to appeal against the fine, it is recommended to hire a lawyer who specializes in traffic violations. However, the cost of hiring a lawyer would be much more expensive if you do not have lawyer insurance.

Your appeal will be replied to with a stiffly worded letter referring to the laws that uphold the offense. They will typically request payment within 14 days of receiving your appeal.

The fine will then increase significantly if you are still not willing to pay. If you wish to defend your case, you can inform them of your intention

If the authority understands and accepts the appeal, you will receive another letter stating that the fine has been waived. There have also been times when the authority did not respond to the appeal.

Finally, we recommend that you think very carefully before seeking legal counsel to contest a relatively small fine. The costs can easily reach hundreds of euros. In most cases, it's more trouble than it's worth unless you are very sure about your innocence.

Some frequently asked questions about parking fine in Germany

Can I negotiate the amount of a parking fine in Germany?

No, the amount of a parking fine in Germany is fixed and non-negotiable. However, you can dispute the fine if you believe it was issued unfairly.

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