Internal reviews, including special circumstances

Under the Infringements Act 2006, if you are issued with an infringement notice or penalty reminder, you may be able to apply to the agency that issued you the notice to have the matter reviewed.

An internal review is carried out by a person not involved in the decision to issue you with the infringement notice.

Only one application for an internal review can be made regarding any one infringement offence.

When can I apply for an internal review?

If you have been issued with an infringement notice or penalty reminder notice, you may apply to the agency that issued you with the notice for an internal review if you believe that:

  • The decision made was not correct, or contrary to law
  • there has been a mistake of identity
  • you were unaware of the notice and it was not personally given to you*
  • you have special circumstances (unless the special circumstances referred to in the application is family violence and you have made a FVS application)
  • there are other exceptional circumstances

An internal review is only available for fines that have not escalated to notice of final demand or enforcement warrant stage. For further information on your options where a notice of final demand or enforcement warrant has been issued visit the Fines Victoria (external link) website.

* An application made on the grounds of being unaware must be made within 14 days of you becoming aware of the infringement.

How to apply for an internal review

An application for review must:

  • be in writing
  • state the grounds (see above) for internal review
  • provide your current address details and contact number.

If you believe you qualify for an internal review you should write to the agency that issued you the infringement notice and request a review of its decision to issue you an infringement notice. The contact details of the agency will be on the infringement notice.

You may authorise someone to make the application on your behalf.

In your application, you must explain why you think the decision to issue an infringement notice should be re-considered based on one of the grounds listed above. You may include any supporting documentation with your application.

You are encouraged to seek legal assistance from your legal practitioner or Victoria Legal Aid (external link) before completing your application.

Outcome of an internal review

If you have requested an internal review of your infringement notice, the issuing agency will respond in writing to let you know the outcome of the review.

After an internal review, an agency can:

  • withdraw the infringement notice and take no further action against you
  • withdraw the infringement notice and issue an official warning in its place. This means that you do not have to pay the fine, but the issuing agency will keep a record of the offence that it believes you have committed. This record may be used by the agency to decide what action to take against you if you are alleged to have broken the same law in the future
  • withdraw the infringement notice and refer the matter to the Magistrates' Court
  • waive or vary any penalty reminder notice fees payable (if you demonstrate that you did not receive the original infringement notice)
  • confirm its decision to issue you with an infringement notice. If so, you must:

If the application for internal review is made on the grounds that you were unaware of the infringement notice being served, the issuing agency may:

  • grant the application if satisfied that the applicant was not in fact aware of the infringement notice, or
  • refuse the application if not satisfied that the applicant was not in fact aware of the infringement notice.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your internal review, your remaining option is to have the matter heard at the Magistrates' Court.

If you wish to pursue this option, please complete the 'application for action by a court' section on the back of the notice or write to us specifically requesting to have the matter heard in court, and quote the infringement notice number.

Court elections should be directed to:

Victorian Electoral Commission
Reply Paid 76032
Melbourne VIC 8060

You may call 1300 551 575 if you wish to speak to a customer service representative.

Official warning

All agencies have the discretion, upon review, to withdraw an infringement notice and issue an official warning in its place.

Each application for an official warning is judged on a case-by-case basis.

Exceptional circumstances

Applications may be made on the basis of 'exceptional circumstances'. This term is not defined in the Infringements Act and applications may be made on any basis. This means that you will have to explain your circumstances to the issuing agency and that you have some evidence to back up your case (for example, a doctor's letter).

If a person wishes to claim exceptional circumstances on the basis of medical or health reasons, they will require supporting evidence from their practitioner to show that because of particular circumstances they should be excused from liability to pay the infringement.