How to Request Review
If you commit a minor offence in Victoria you have a right under the Infringements Act 2006 to apply to a review in certain situations. The legislation provides you with the opportunity to apply to the agency that issued the notice for an internal review, where you believe you have grounds for a review.
Accepted Grounds for Internal Review
The grounds are described in the legislation and fall within five categories.
You can apply on the ground of contrary to law if you believe that the enforcement agency’s decision to serve and enforce your fine was inconsistent with the law. For example, you might believe that the fine is invalid for some reason, or that the officer who issued the fine acted unlawfully, unfairly, improperly or outside of their authority. If you apply on this ground, the Agency may consider:
•Whether the officer who issued your fine was authorised to do so, made a mistake or acted improperly or unfairly
•Whether the enforcement agency has complied with its legal requirements
•Whether any signs (such as traffic signs) were clear and visible, if this is relevant to your fine.
You can apply on the ground of mistake of identity if you think that the fine was issued to you in error. For example, you might apply on this ground if you are not the person named in the fine.
•If you apply for a review on the ground of mistake of identity, your application should include evidence such as your birth certificate, passport or driver licence showing that you are not the person named in the fine.
You can apply on the ground of special circumstances if you:
• have a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
• have a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
• are homeless, or
• are a victim of family violence
You are experiencing severe, long-term circumstances that:
• may not have been present at the time of offending,
• are particularly disabling or incapacitating in nature, and
• result in the person being unable to pay or otherwise deal with their infringement fine.
You must be able to show that there was a connection between your special circumstances and your offending behaviour. This also means that you need to show that you had special circumstances at the time of the offence. Specifically, if you
• have a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness, or a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance, you need to show that, because of your circumstances:
o you didn’t understand that your behaviour was against the law, or
o you couldn’t control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law)
• are homeless or a victim of family violence, you need to show that, because of your circumstances, you couldn’t control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law).
The Family Violence Scheme
If you are a victim survivor of family violence, you might be eligible to have your fine withdrawn under the Family Violence Scheme, instead of applying for a review.
You can apply under the Family Violence Scheme if you are a victim survivor of family violence, and the family violence substantially contributed to you:
• committing the offence, or
• not being able to name the responsible person.
There are some important differences between the Family Violence Scheme and a review. If you are considering making an application relating to family violence, you should get more information to understand which option is best for you.
You can apply on the ground of exceptional circumstances if you had awareness and control of your conduct that resulted in your fine but the circumstances leading to the offence were out of the ordinary, unavoidable or unexpected.
Examples of exceptional circumstances include if you committed the offence because of circumstances that you couldn’t foresee or prevent, such as a medical emergency or if your car broke down.
If you apply for internal review on the ground of exceptional circumstances, your application should include evidence such as medical evidence or an invoice from a mechanic or a towing service, if it’s relevant to your fine.
You can apply on the ground of person unaware if you didn’t know about your fine.
To apply for internal review on the ground of person unaware you must submit your application within 14 days of the date that you become aware of the fine. You can make a statutory declaration as evidence of the date that you became aware of your fine.
If you apply for internal review on the grounds of person unaware, your application should include evidence showing why you were unaware of your fine. This might include, for example, a copy of your passport or a boarding pass showing that you were overseas, removalist invoices if you moved house or mail theft reports if your mail was stolen.
Starting the Process
You can begin the Internal Review process by submitting an Internal Review statement available on this website. You can find the Internal Review statement along with other frequently used statements at the top of this page.
We strongly recommend you read the accepted grounds for internal review before lodging your statement.
Application by post
If your decision is to not use our online Internal Review application, you can request a review of your infringement by writing to the agency that issued the notice with:-
1. Full details of the infringement
2. The address you want correspondence to be sent to
3. The grounds for your review. Note:- the grounds for your review must match one of the five categories set out in the legislation.
4. Evidence to support your grounds for a review. Sample details of the evidence required is provided in the table - Grounds for an Internal Review Note:- it is important that you provide as much information as possible because you cannot lodge multiple requests for the one infringement – the law allows only one internal review.
5. You will also need to advise if you are not the person named on the infringement notice and your relationship to that person, plus
6. If the person named in the Infringement Notice was 18 years old or under at the time of the offence, that person’s date of birth.
You can find our postal address by visiting the Contact Us link at the top of this page.
If you lodge a request for an internal review, please do not pay the infringement until you have been advised of the outcome.
You can elect to have the matter heard in open court
If you choose to take the matter to open court rather than use the internal review process, the internal review process will stop.
Most agencies request that you lodge your internal review request within 28 days of the date of your infringement notice. When a request for review has been lodged, other actions in relation to your infringement notice will be suspended.
You should receive a decision within 90 days of your letter requesting an internal review or, 90 days + 35 days where additional information has been requested. If you do not receive a reply within the time frame, the infringement may be withdrawn.
The review process is terminated if
• the person elects to have the matter heard in Court or,
• in the case of an infringement notice served on a child, heard and determined in the Children's Court.
You have to nominate which of the grounds applies to you.
You cannot simply request a review because you think the infringement is ‘unfair’. You must fit the reasons that you think the decision is unfair into a category and then explain why you believe this. You may then support your belief with evidence. If two of the above reasons apply, then you should provide evidence for both or, at the very least, provide evidence for one and indicate that the other category is also a possibility.
Supporting Your Request - Evidence
Depending on your grounds for internal review, you will need to provide specific documentation to prove your circumstances. The evidence required for each category is detailed in the "Accepted Grounds for Internal Review" table above.
• If you do not provide adequate information, you may be requested to provide more.
• If you fail to respond to a request for information within 35 days, a decision will be made on the evidence that you have provided to date.
• The reviewing officer will consider your submission within the scope of the legislation and use discretion where the legislation allows this to occur.
Requests for Additional Information
The grounds for internal review require adequate documentation. If you do not provide the right information, you may be requested to submit specific details to prove your claim.
A request for additional information should be responded to within 35 days of the date you receive the letter. You should contact BTA if you are having difficulty in obtaining information. Where information has not been provided within the specified timeframe, the process will continue using the information at hand.
If you fail to respond to a request for additional information in the timeframe indicated
a decision will be made on the evidence that you have provided to date. You are also required to respond within the timeframe as once a decision is reached, you will not be able to request an additional review.
Notification of the Decision
The final decision will be sent to you in writing. The decision will be one of these actions:
- confirm the decision to serve an infringement notice;
- withdraw the infringement notice and serve an official warning in place of the infringement notice;
- withdraw the infringement notice;
- in the case of an infringement notice served on a child, withdraw the infringement notice and file a charge and summons in the Children's Court for the matter to be dealt within that court.
- in the case of an infringement offence involving additional steps, alter or vary those steps provided the alteration or variation is consistent with the Act or other instrument establishing the offence;
- waive all or any prescribed costs;
- approve a payment plan;
- do any combination of any of the actions referred to in the above paragraphs (1) to (7).
Arranging Payment After a Decision
You letter will include full details of any payments to be made and the new due date for these payments.