New South Wales councils could soon make a big change to how parking fines are issued, after the state government stepped in to address complaints about ticketless infringements.

    Since May 2020, 48 of the state’s 128 councils have transitioned to a ticketless parking fine system where motorists who have parked in a space illegally are sent an infringement notice in the mail – rather than an official note on their vehicle.

    The system has faced backlash from motorists who haven’t realised they were in the wrong until weeks after allegedly breaking the parking laws – leaving them unable to gather evidence to contest the fine.

    In a letter written to the state’s councils, NSW Minister for Finance Courtney Houssos requested for those issuing the fines to reintroduce a physical written notification for motorists when they are penalised, saying the current system has “eroded trust” in how parking fines are issued.

    “This could be as simple as a note, which could take the form of a standardised, pre-printed card, noting that a fine has been issued”, Ms Houssos said in the letter.

    “This note does not necessarily need to form part of the infringement notice but at a minimum it should inform the driver they will soon receive an infringement notice via post or the Service NSW app. 

    “Doing so will provide drivers immediate notification that they have been given a parking fine and will allow them to take their own photos and note down relevant details. 

    “One of the key benefits of the ticketless parking scheme is that it provides drivers with access to photographic evidence of their alleged infringement. This streamlines the review process.”

    The Daily Telegraph reports almost 750,000 ticketless parking fines were issued across the 48 NSW councils last year, totalling $139.5 million in revenue. 

    According to Ms Houssos, 45 per cent of all penalty notices issued in NSW last year were for parking infringements, with 55 per cent of those issued by councils using the ticketless parking fine system.

    The current ticketless system also doesn’t require councils to photograph vehicles alleged to have parked illegally, with Ms Houssos now requesting this change be implemented and images submitted to Revenue NSW.

    “Providing immediate notification to drivers is the right thing to do and is an important first step to restoring community trust in the administration of the fines system,” Ms Houssos added in the letter. 

    “I believe these common sense changes ensure the parking fine systems function in a fair and transparent way and meet community expectations.”

    MORE: Is it illegal to park on a footpath?
    MORE: Is it legal to park at an electric car charger without charging?

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers