What is a Default Fine?
A fine is a monetary award made in a Magistrates Court for criminal cases in England & Wales.
Some of the most common reasons for fines include: traffic offences, unpaid TV licenses, public order offences and antisocial behaviour.
A default fine can be registered following a defendant’s failure to respond to a Further Steps Notice.
Default fines are registered at the discretion of The Fines Officer at the Magistrates Court.
If the judgment is registered with us the amount will include costs and compensation.
We do not hold details of defaulted fines for limited companies.
Default fines appear on our register as satisfied or unsatisfied and remain on our public register for five years from the date of conviction unless removed by the court.
The information appearing on the Register is as follows:
• Defendant details – name and address the judgment was recorded against
• Court name
• Case Number
• Date of Conviction
• Satisfied date, if satisfied
The defendant will be contacted at the time of registration, advising them that the default fine has been registered against them and providing them with details on how to amend the record.
At the same time, details of Default Fines are passed onto Equifax for inclusion in their files.
How to satisfy a Fines Default
If a default fine has been paid in full, you can apply to have it marked as satisfied by court by sending them in your proof of payment.
Once the court has notified as that a Fine Default has been satisfied, we will amend the Register to show that it has been satisfied, including the date of satisfaction.
The Fine Default will remain on the Register for five years, however it will show as satisfied.
If you require a certificate showing that your record has been paid, you can apply to the relevant court for a 'Certificate of Satisfaction'. To do this, you will need to fill out the N443 form and enclose a £16 cheque or postal order made payable to HMCTS.
You can only receive a ‘Certificate of Satisfaction’ if your debt is paid in full; we do not record partial settlement information.
Removing a Fines Default
Fine Defaults can only be removed from the Register if they are set aside or cancelled by the court.
Having a CCJ Set Aside
To have a CCJ set aside, you will need to contact the court that issued the judgment.
They will ask you to fill out an N244 form explaining the reasons you believe the Fine Default should be set aside, enclosing a £275 court fee. You may be entitled to help with fees. For more information see here.
If the court approves your application to set aside you will be given a new hearing where a judge may order the judgment to be set aside.
If the judge approves your consent form, the Fine Default may be set aside.
If a court sets aside a Fine Default, they will notify us to remove the judgment from our public Register. You can check if a Fine Default has been set aside by conducting a search on Trust Online.
Cancelling a Judgment
If the Fine Default amount is paid in full within a calendar month from the date of notification, the record can be removed from our Register.
Either yourself or the claimant can contact the court providing proof of payment, however if you are providing proof of payment and require a ‘Certificate of Cancellation or Satisfaction’ you will need to fill out the N443 form and provide a £16 cheque or postal order.
Once the court notify us that a Fine Default has been cancelled, we will remove the record from our register.