A number of options are available that may assist you, a family member, friend or carer to manage your outstanding fines.
These options are:
They may be able to help you:
More information on how these options work is outlined below, along with real-life examples of how they’ve helped people to manage their outstanding fines.
The Family Violence Scheme (FVS) is designed for people affected by family violence.
The scheme allows people to have their fines withdrawn if their experience of family violence contributed to the offence or if it is not safe for them to nominate the person responsible.
You can access the Family Violence Scheme if you:
Please note that the following fines are excluded from the Family Violence Scheme:
The day a Victoria Police Officer stopped Helen* and issued her with a fine for not having a valid licence was the day Helen realised how extensively her ex-husband’s control and actions continued to affect her life.
Helen knew that her ex-husband had used her car without her permission. What she didn’t know was that he had received multiple speeding fines while driving her car, which he had hidden from her. These fines had caused Helen to lose her licence without her knowledge.
Helen needed to collect her children from school on time or her ex-husband would attempt to collect them and possibly harm them. Helen was now terrified for her safety and her children’s safety. Helen also needed her licence to flee when her ex-husband would attend her home unannounced.
Helen contacted Fines Victoria and explained her situation to the Family Violence team. Helen explained that her ex-husband had isolated her from her friends and family, physically, verbally and emotionally abused her and her children and hidden her mail, including her licence suspension notice.
The Family Violence team were able to provide Helen with guidance, and she lodged a Family Violence Scheme application the next day.
Helen’s application was found to be eligible, and all fines were withdrawn. The Family Violence Scheme is a social justice initiative designed for victim survivors who have obtained their fines due to family violence substantially contributing to obtaining the infringement (offence) or being unable to nominate the driver. Due to the safety risk to Helen and her family, the Family Violence team also contacted VicRoads to request Helen’s demerit points be reversed urgently. Within 24 hours, Helen was able to lawfully drive on our roads and collect her children from school.
*Names changed to protect privacy
For more information on the Family Violence Scheme phone 1300 323 483
The Work and Development Permit (WDP) scheme provides vulnerable and disadvantaged people with a non-financial option to address their fine debt.
An eligible person can reduce their fine debt by participating in certain activities and treatment under the supervision of an accredited sponsor.
A sponsor is an organisation or health practitioner (psychologist, doctor or nurse) accredited by Fines Victoria. A sponsor can assess whether a person is eligible for a WDP and apply to Fines Victoria on their behalf.
To be eligible for a WDP a person will have, or be experiencing, one of the following:
If you undertake a WDP, your sponsor will help you choose the activities that are best suited to you. These may include:
Drugs and alcohol had caused big problems in Vanessa’s* life but she was trying to turn her life around after moving from Victoria to Queensland.
In a vulnerable position and feeling anxious about outstanding debts in Victoria, she contacted a community legal centre in Victoria for advice.
Vanessa was already doing some volunteer work with the Queensland branch of an organisation accredited to supervise Work and Development Permits (WDPs) in Victoria.
WDPs give people an opportunity to discharge their fine debt by participating in treatment, activities or volunteer work.
Fines Victoria spoke to the organisation and the WDP team organised for the Queensland branch to apply as Vanessa’s sponsor.
The WDP application was processed and Vanessa’s volunteer work was counted against the WDP.
As a result, Vanessa has made a lot of progress in working off her fines and has cleared more than $3,000 in fine debt.
*Names changed to protect privacy
For more information on the Work and Development Permit scheme phone 1300 323 483
A person may apply for a review of their fines on the grounds of special circumstances.
Special circumstances exist where the person who committed the offences:
The person's circumstances or condition must also have resulted in them:
A series of unpaid highway tolls spiralled out of control for David* as he battled psychosis and was admitted to a psychiatric unit. The 26-year-old’s parents had done what they could to manage the situation, cancelling his eTag to stop large bills accumulating with the toll company.
David’s acute mental illness and drug dependence resulted in him driving repeatedly on toll roads and being unaware of the consequences of his actions. When the reminder notices began arriving, David was unable to deal with his debts. David was ultimately admitted to a psychiatric unit. When his parents took control of David’s finances and affairs, they were shocked to learn he had incurred fines of more than $5,000 on top of the original tolls. David’s mother lodged an enforcement review application on behalf of her son. As a result of the review, fine enforcement activities were placed on hold, pending further information being provided.
On release from the hospital, David’s treating doctor was able to write a report to support David’s application. The review found that David’s circumstances meant he was unable to control his actions. As a result, his 30 outstanding fines were withdrawn, leaving David with no outstanding debt.
David and his mother were extremely grateful for the support to help them resolve the financial stress so they could focus on David’s mental health and wellbeing.
*Names changed to protect privacy
For more information on Special Circumstances reviews phone 1300 323 483
The Fines Reform Act 2014 provides that a sentenced prisoner, who has outstanding registered infringement fine(s), can request the Director, Fines Victoria to apply to the Magistrates' Court for the prisoner to serve a term of imprisonment instead of paying the registered infringement fine(s).
The Prison Program (Timed Served Scheme) enables prisoners to address their unpaid fines by converting them into imprisonment days that can be served concurrently or in addition to their sentence.
The intention of the scheme is to support prisoner rehabilitation and reintegration into the community by releasing prisoners with a 'clean slate' in respect to fine debt.
The Time Served Scheme enables 'time served' to be counted from the date the prisoner entered custody, including time spent on remand to the prisoner's earliest release date.
A Magistrate may hear an application after a prisoner has been released from prison provided the application was made and lodged with the court while the prisoner was in custody.
Magistrates can make orders to address 'excess fines' where the length of a prisoner's sentence doesn't account for their total fine debt.
Depending on the prisoner’s circumstances a Magistrate may:
The Prison Program is responsible for administering the Time Served Scheme. In particular it is responsible for:
For more information on the Time Served Scheme phone (03) 9948 8471