Since 6th April 2006 a record of fines defaulters relating to individuals and businesses convicted in magistrates and crown courts in England & Wales has been held by RTL as part of the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.

The court only registers a fine default following the offender’s failure to respond to a Further Steps Notice issued by the relevant court. At this point the Fines Officer at the court has the discretion to decide which of the range of enforcement options is appropriate to best recover the outstanding amount. If the officer chooses to add the default to the Register the registration will include all outstanding monies owed on the fine(s) including costs and compensation.

At the time of registration, a letter is sent to the offender confirming the registration, the steps required to amend the Register entry and listing a court contact telephone number for any queries.

Information appearing on the Register includes the name and address of the offender, the court, case number, amount, date of conviction and date of registration plus satisfaction details once RTL has been notified by the court.

If the fine is fully repaid after one calendar month from the date on the notification letter, the entry will be marked as ‘satisfied’ on the Register where it will remain for the statutory five year period from the date of conviction. If fully repaid within one calendar month from the date on the notification letter (the registration date), the record can be removed from the Register. The offender can also apply to the court for a Certificate of Satisfaction or a Certificate of Cancellation, whichever is appropriate, enclosing the court fee of £16 (cheque/postal order payable to HMCTS). Part payment of the amount is not recorded on the Register.

Details of fines defaults remain on the Register for a statutory period of five years from the date of conviction, unless the conviction(s) to which it relates is set aside or reversed by the court, or the amount is fully repaid within one calendar month from the date of registration.

If an offender feels that details of a registration are inaccurate, a query should be raised directly with the relevant court who will investigate and, if appropriate, send any amendment to RTL. Upon receipt of their response, the Register will be amended by the end of the next working day.

Details of fines defaults held on the Register, and any subsequent amendments, may be passed to commercial organisations and may then be supplied to credit grantors and others seeking information regarding an individual’s financial standing.