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.
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.
Choosing a lawyer can be a daunting task if you don't know where to begin. Yourxpert provides a variety of options to seek legal and tax advice and a free initial assessment and consultation in Germany. You just simply enter your question with a brief description about your situation on their website and they will get back to you.
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.
What should I do if I receive a parking fine in Germany but I wasn't driving the vehicle?
You can provide evidence that you were not driving the vehicle at the time of the violation to dispute the parking fine.
What happens if I am a tourist and receive a parking fine in Germany?
Tourists are also subject to parking fines in Germany. You can pay the fine online, by mail, or in person at a designated payment center.
How can I avoid getting a parking fine in Germany?
You can avoid getting a parking fine in Germany by following the parking regulations and paying attention to the signs.
Can I get a discount if I pay my parking fine in Germany early?
No, there is no early payment discount for parking fines in Germany. It is recommended to pay the fine as soon as possible to avoid additional fees.
Can a parking fine in Germany affect my credit score?
No, parking fines in Germany do not affect your credit score. However, if you don't pay the fine, it can lead to legal action and additional fees.
Can I request a payment plan for a parking fine in Germany?
Yes, you can request a payment plan, but it is at the discretion of the local traffic authority.
How can I check if I have any outstanding parking fines in Germany?
You can check for outstanding parking fines by contacting the local traffic authority or by checking online.