Fines enforcement

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The court can take action against people and organisations who don’t pay their fines on time.

If you owe fines and aren’t paying, any of these actions could be taken against you. A fee of $102 can be added when the court takes enforcement action.

The court can take money from your income or bank account

The court can take money from you if you don’t pay a fine within 28 days or arrange to pay a fine over time. The court can take money from:

  • your wages or benefit (using an Attachment Order)
  • your bank account (using a Deduction Notice).

The law requires employers, Work and Income and banks to make the deductions. Only the court can stop or change the deductions. Call 0800 4 FINES to ask the court to stop or change the deductions.

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The court can clamp your car

Your car can be clamped for unpaid fines. The court can only release it if you pay in full or make an arrangement to pay your fines.

To arrange payment contact 0800 4 FINES or a bailiff using the details on the clamp notice attached to the car.

The court can seize your car and property

The court can seize your car and property to pay for unpaid fines.

If your property has been seized, a notice of seizure will be left at the address and you have 7 days to pay in full or ask for time to pay. To arrange payment, contact the court within 7 days of the seizure.

Your property will normally be sold if you don’t arrange payment within 7 days. Money from the sale will be allocated:

  1. first, to pay costs from the seizure and sale, such as transport, storage and auction costs
  2. second, to the unpaid fine
  3. third, to you if any money is left over after the costs and fine/s or reparation are paid.

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The court can stop you travelling overseas

If you have unpaid fines and try to leave or come into New Zealand, the police can stop you at the airport. You will be allowed to pay by credit card over the phone with a registrar.

If you don’t pay, the police can:

  • arrest you
  • prevent you from travelling
  • confiscate your passport
  • summons you to appear in court at a later date.

If you have a payment arrangement and your payments don't continue while you are away, you may be stopped when you come back to New Zealand.

If you think you have fines that could affect your travel plans, you should contact us

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The court can suspend your driver licence

The court can suspend your driver licence if you have overdue fines from traffic offences. You will be sent a warning letter before this happens.

If you do not respond to this warning letter an order will be made to suspend your license. This order may be served on you by an officer of the court, or by a police officer if you are stopped on the roadside.

Once served the order will be in force. You will no longer be permitted to drive and you will be required to surrender your license.

If you drive while suspended you risk:

  • having the vehicle you are driving impounded for 28 days
  • prosecution potentially resulting in imprisonment, fines, and disqualification.

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You may not be able to get a loan, credit card or hire purchase

Any fines that are overdue that you are not paying will show up on your credit record. Finance companies usually do not lend money to people with outstanding fines.

Ways to pay your fine

Help with paying fines

If you are having trouble paying you should call us on 0800 4 FINES.

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