Internal reviews, including special circumstances
If you are issued with an infringement notice, you may be able to apply to have the matter reviewed.
Under the Infringements Act 2006, if you are issued with an infringement notice, 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, you may apply to the agency that issued you with the notice for an internal review if you believe that:
- there has been a defect or mistake made (in issuing the infringement notice)
- there has been a mistake of identity
- you have special circumstances
- there are other exceptional circumstances.
An internal review is only available for fines that have not escalated to enforcement order or infringement warrant stage. For further information on your options where an enforcement order or infringement warrant has been issued visit the Infringements Court (external link).
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
- be sent by the due date on an infringement notice or penalty reminder notice.
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.
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. Usually the issuing agency will complete the review within 90 days of receiving your application; however, it may be longer depending on whether the agency has asked you for additional information.
If your application for internal review is made on the grounds that you have special circumstances the issuing agency is no longer entitled to enforce your infringement notice through the Infringements Court. If the issuing agency decides to enforce the offence, they must lodge the matter with the Magistrates' Court and request a formal hearing.
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
- refer the matter to the Magistrates' Court
- waive or vary any additional 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 need to pay the infringement notice by the due date to avoid being issued with a penalty reminder notice, and incurring additional costs. Alternatively, you can apply for a payment plan or elect to go to court.
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.
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.
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. A Guide to Practitioner’s Report (external link) provides information about ways health practitioners, case workers and support agencies can support applications.