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Paying a court fine

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus - paying a fine

If you've received a fine, you should still pay it. You can't pay in person at court, but there are other ways to pay. Check the most up-to-date information on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service website.

Giving priority to paying a fine

If you've received a court fine, it's important that you give priority to paying it. If you don't, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service can:

  • clamp your car or other vehicle and sell it to pay your fine
  • stop your wages through your employer
  • freeze any money in your bank account
  • arrange with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to take money from your benefits.

Fines from a court or the police are priority debts. If you're having difficulty paying your fine because of other financial commitments, you can contact a fines enforcement officer. 

If you have a fine from your local council for parking or environmental offences, you have to pay the local council, not the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service. Read more about appealing a parking ticket issued by the local council.

How to pay your fine

Check the instructions on the notice of the fine you've received. The fine notice will usually provide contact details for paying online, by phone or by post. You'll need the reference number of your fine and you might need to have other documents to hand.

Online

You can pay many fines online using a debit card or another direct process like Paypal.

You can't pay a fine online if it's for a driving offence that puts points on your licence. For this, you have to send your driving licence to the court that imposed the fine to have the points put on the licence.

By phone

If you have a debit or credit card, you can usually pay your fine by phone - as long as it's not for a fine that puts points on a driving licence. 

By post

You can send payment for your fine by post, normally by cheque or postal order.

At court

You can usually pay your fine by cheque or postal order at the public payment counter of your local sheriff court.

Fines enforcement officers

Each sheriff court area has a team of fines enforcement officers who can provide advice and support if you're having difficulty paying.

You can contact a fines enforcement officer on 0300 790 0014 or at finesenforcement@scotcourts.gov.uk.

There's more information about paying a fine and fines enforcement officers on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service website.

Work out your budget

If you need to discuss with a fines enforcement officer what you can afford to pay, you can use our budgeting tool.

You might also find it helpful to get help from a debt adviser if you have other debts. Read more about how to sort out your debts.

Individual payment plans

A fines enforcement officer can discuss a range of options with you for paying your fine. You'll need the details of your income and expenditure to come to an agreement. If your financial circumstances change, you might be able to have a new plan drawn up, but only if a fines enforcement officer agrees.

The court might ask you to get help from a debt adviser. Get help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you don't pay a fine

If you don't pay a court fine, the procurator fiscal can issue a warrant for your arrest. This might happen if several fines have remained unpaid for some time and you haven't contacted a fines enforcement officer.

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