If your client has been served with a 7 day notice, the application for a payment arrangement must be made prior to the expiry of the 7 days (s 42(3) FRA).
Note that an enforcement agency may refer an infringement notice to the Director of Fines Victoria for management under a payment arrangement at the request of person applying for the payment arrangement (s 43 FRA).
To add additional fines to an existing payment arrangement, your client will need to make a new application: s 51 FRA.
Fines that may fall within a payment arrangement
If your client has drink-driving, drug-driving or excessive speeding fines, while your client will not be eligible to apply for an enforcement review, he or she is able to apply for a payment arrangement. Consider including a request in the application to waive the prescribed costs and fees added to the original penalty due to any exceptional circumstances. This may result in a significant reduction in the ultimate amount payable under a payment arrangement application.
Where your client has a mixture of outstanding fines, some of which are eligible for enforcement review and others which are not (for example because they are for excessive speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), you should prepare separate letters:
a letter applying for a payment arrangement/ fee waiver for matters that are not eligible for enforcement review.
How to make an application for a payment arrangement/extension of time to Fines Victoria
The application can be made online or by writing to Fines Victoria. The application should be sent to:
PO Box 14487
Melbourne City Mail Centre VIC 8001
Before making the application for a payment arrangement / extension of time, make sure you have obtained clear instructions from the client that:
they want to proceed with the application; and
that the amount proposed (eg. $10 per fortnight) is manageable for them.
Fines Victoria will make a decision based on the information that is provided to them. Your client’s application should include:
when your client will be able to pay the first instalment (or the entire amount in the case of an extension of time to pay);
any available evidence as to their hardship (e.g. it may be helpful to include a budget showing the person’s capacity to make the proposed repayments);
a request that any fees that have been applied to the fines be waiver or reduced; and
a request for written confirmation of whether or not the application has been accepted.
When deciding whether to offer a payment arrangement, the Director of Fines Victoria can have regard to any liabilities or financial responsibilities of the applicant, including any existing payment arrangements, and how many dependents the applicant has: s 45(3) FRA.
If your client receives a Centrelink benefit, they may be able to pay the instalments via nominating this on the payment arrangement application.
Decision of the Director
Pursuant to s 45(4) of the FRA, the Director can impose conditions on proposed arrangements, including:
length of arrangement; and
conditions for consolidation of infringements and court fines or compliance with existing court orders relating to any of the fines.
What if your client is unhappy with the outcome an application?
If your client is not happy with a payment arrangement proposed by the Director of Fines Victoria, they can object and request an alternative offer (s 45(6) FRA).
If the Director of Fines Victoria refuses an application for a payment arrangement (or refuses to include a fine that has been referred to it by an enforcement agency under s 43 FRA, your client must, within 21 days of being notified of the Director’s decision:
(a) pay the fine within; or
(b) take another action allowed under the Fines Reform Act or the Infringements Act (e.g. apply for an internal review or enforcement review).
What happens if my client misses a payment?
Pursuant to s 56 of the FRA, if a person defaults on a payment arrangement (i.e. they fail to make a payment within 14 days after it is due), the Director of Fines Victoria must send a written notice to the person advising they are in default. The overdue amount must be paid within 14 days of the notice or the payment arrangement will be cancelled and further enforcement action will be taken.
Where a payment arrangement is cancelled, enforcement can recommence from the same point in the infringements lifecycle as the relevant fine had reached prior to the start of the payment arrangement (s 57 FRA).
When assisting your client to apply for a payment arrangement, you should advise them of the consequences of default.
What are the payment arrangement guidelines?
For information on payment arrangement guidelines to assist you in providing advice to your client, please refer to the Fines Victoria payment arrangement guidelines.