COVID-19 Penalty Notice FAQ’s


What happens when you are issued a COVID-19 infringement notice?

When you are issued an infringement notice by the Police or any institution that is authorised to issue notices, Revenue NSW takes over the enforcement and recovery of the fines.

What are my options when I am issued an infringement notice?

The options to deal with your fine are:

  • Pay the fine or organise with Revenue NSW to make instalment payments over time;
  • Ask for a review of the fine;
  • Elect to dispute the fine in the Local Court.

We can offer legal advice on electing your fine in the Local Court. We can facilitate your consultation via telephone and video (via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype) in compliance with all social distancing measures.

Can I ask Revenue NSW to reduce or cancel my fine?

Yes, you can. This is always an option when fines are issued. However, between 1 January 2020 and 24 February 2021, of the 1854 fines issued, only 246 were reviewed; 206 were upheld, 12 were withdrawn and 13 people we cautioned.

Can you get out of paying a COVID-19 Penalty Notice?

As outlined above, the only option you have to get out of paying the fine is to ask for a review or take it to Court. If you do not pay the fine in full or arrange to pay it in instalments, they will commence recovery action. Further charges can be added to your fine if enforcement action is taken.

Revenue NSW has several different ways they can recover the fine amount. They can:

  • Suspend your licence
  • Cancel vehicle registration
  • Seize your belongings to sell at auction as a way to enforce payment.
  • Deduct money from your wages or bank account
  • Take you to court
  • Register an interest in property you own

What if you have been issued a fine wrongly or unfairly?

If you believe you have been issued a fine wrongly or unfairly, you can elect to take it to court. Your matter will be heard before a Magistrate who will determine if the fine was issued wrongly or unfairly.

We can offer advice on the strength of your case and whether you would be successful.

I heard they cancelled all the COVID-19 Penalty Notice last year – is that true?

Unfortunately, this is not true. All fines that were not disputed are still enforceable. However, less than 25% of the 1854 COVID fines issued in NSW between 1 January 2020 and 24 February 2021 have been paid in full.

Are COVID-19 fines against the Australian Constitution?

The fines are not against the constitution. In the matter of Gerner & Anor v State of Victoria [2020] HCA 48, the lockdown laws in Victoria were challenged arguing that they went against the implied right of freedom of movement. The HCA dismissed the challenge stating that there is no implied right in the constitution.

We are here to help

If you have been issued with a COVID Infringement Notice or Court Attendance Notice, we are here to provide you with reliable advice during this pandemic.

Contact our Newcastle and Central Coast lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building a strong case for you, the higher your chance of getting a good outcome.