Fines abroad

Fined abroad? ECC Belgium explains:/p>

Traffic offences and parking fines

If you breach the traffic regulations in another European country, you will be fined. European legislation allows Member States to exchange information about traffic safety. This means that the foreign competent authority may send you the fine directly in the following cases.

  • speeding offence
  • failure to use a safety belt 
  • failure to stop at a red light
  • driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs 
  • failure to wear a safety helmet
  • driving down a prohibited lane
  • using a mobile telephone or another communication device while driving

If you park illegally in France or the Netherlands, you may also be liable to pay a fine on the basis of bilateral agreements.

Did you receive a payment request for unpaid toll on European roads? Since 19 October 2021, the European directive 2019/520 allows the exchange of data between EU member states in the event of non-payment of tolls. This legislation has no retroactive effect. Whether you have to pay the bill for unpaid tolls therefore depends on the time of the events:

  • Does the amount claimed relate to facts before 19 October 2021?
    The payment request is only valid if there is a bilateral agreement between Belgium and the country concerned (to be checked with the FPS Mobility and Transport).
  • Does the amount claimed relate to facts from 19 October 2021 onwards?
    The request for payment received is valid as long as it comes from a Belgian bailiff, a lawyer or a collection agency recognised by the FPS Economy (NL or FR).

Paying the fine

Fined on the spot

Have you been stopped by the police on the spot for a minor offence?

  • If you do not challenge the fine, it is best to pay immediately to avoid extra costs.
  • If you do not agree with the fine, tell the police. If the police wants you to pay a deposit, make sure they put this down in writing. 

If the police arrives at the spot after a major offence and/or an accident with victims, legal proceedings will follow. The court may impose a financial penalty and, occasionally, a driving ban.

Fine sent by mail

If you have committed any of the aforementioned offences without having to pay an on the spot fine, as the owner of the vehicle you will receive an information letter which includes:

  • the nature of the traffic offence
  • the place
  • the time
  • the penalty
  • the articles of the law that apply to the offence

This letter is sent in the language of the registration document of the vehicle (in so far as available) or in one of the official languages of the country of the person concerned. If you receive a document in another language, ask as soon as possible and in writing for a translation of the letter to the authority imposing the fine.

Fine through car hire company

If you have committed an offence with a hire car, either the hire company receives the fine and sends it on to you to pay, or the police will ask the hire company for your details and send the official report directly to your home.

The hire company will charge administrative costs, either by sending you an invoice or by debiting them from your credit card.

Challenge or pay?

If you want to challenge the fine, follow the rules and terms that apply in the country where the fine was imposed and provide the necessary evidence.

Please note: If you fail to reply in time, the fine will be irrevocable and the country that imposed the fine may request the Belgian authorities to collect it. 

Do you still have a question? Go to the website with FAQs.