• Fines and sanctions

    1. Must traffic offences be notified at the time they occur?

    2. Where should notification of a traffic offence be sent to?

    3. Must I notify change of address?

    4. What is the time limit for sending in dispute statements once the offence has been notified?

    5. What should be done if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle at the time of the presumed offence?

    6. What is the prescriptive period of the offence?

    7. What is the time limit for resolving a presumed traffic offence?

    8. Can an appeal be lodged against the fine?

    9. What is the prescriptive period once the fine has been imposed?

    10. Is the owner of a vehicle obliged to notify its transfer?

    11. What is the procedure for collecting fines not paid within the deadline?

  • 1. Must traffic offences be notified at the time they occur?

    In general, the driver is notified at the time of the offence. They can be notified at a later date only for specific reasons, such as the absence of the driver, or when the vehicle cannot be stopped on the spot. The reason should be stated in the notification of the offence.


    2. Where should notification of a traffic offence be sent to?

    The address the notification is sent to is that expressly designated by the interested party. If one is not expressly designated, the notification is sent to the address which figures in the register of drivers and driving offenders, and of vehicles, respectively.


    3. Must I notify change of address?

    Yes. Change of address for both driving licences and ownership of vehicles must be notified to the offices of the Jefatura de Tráfico (Traffic Board).


    4. What is the time limit for sending in dispute statements once the offence has been notified?

    Statements of dispute and evidence that the presumed offender considers adequate as a defence must be sent in within a period of 15 days from the day after notification of the offence.


    5. What should be done if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle at the time of the presumed offence?

    When the owner of the vehicle receives notification of the driving offence, they must identify, within 15 days, the driver presumed responsible for the traffic offence.

    Failure to comply with this obligation may be considered a serious offence, carrying a fine of between 301 and 1,500 euros. The same fine may be applied to the owner of the vehicle if, as a result of their action, it is impossible to notify the driver they have identified.


    6. What is the prescriptive period of the offence?

    The limitation for minor traffic offences is three months, six months for serious offences, and a year for very serious offences.

    This period is interrupted by notification of the offence or any action by the public administration to make the presumed offender aware of the offence or to find out their identity and address.


    7. What is the time limit for resolving a presumed traffic offence?

    The time limit is one year from the start of the procedure.

    If sentence has not been pronounced within this time period, the file is closed and can be archived at the request of any interested party or by the official competent to dictate the sentence.

    This is not the case when the procedure is held up due to action by interested parties or suspended due to legal or administrative procedures carried out by other administrations with sanctioning powers.


    8. Can an appeal be lodged against the fine?

    Yes. Within a month from the day after receiving the notification, an appeal can be lodged, at the mayor’s office, against the sentence to pay the fine for an offence against the rules and regulations in the Ley de Seguridad Vial (Road Traffic Law).

    An appeal must be lodged if the interested party plans to go through the process of administrative litigation.


    9. What is the prescriptive period once the fine has been imposed?

    Fines through public administration prescribe after one year, but the period is interrupted by actions taken to execute the sanction.


    10. Is the owner of a vehicle obliged to notify its transfer?

    Yes. Transfer of a vehicle must be notified at the offices of the Jefatura de Tráfico (Traffic Board), within 10 days. Articles 32 and 33 of the Reglamento General de Vehículos (general regulations regarding vehicles), approved by Real Decreto (Royal Decree) 2822/1998, 23 December, lists the necessary documentation, which includes the vehicle licence.

    Until the person who transfers the vehicle complies with this obligation, they will still be considered the owner of the vehicle when it comes to legal matters of traffic, circulation and road safety, and a corresponding sanctions procedure may still be opened.


    11. What is the procedure for collecting fines not paid within the deadline?

    Fines not paid by the deadline are collected through final demand procedures, regulated in the Reglamento General de Recaudación (rules on tax collection), approved by Real Decreto (Royal Decree) 939/2005, 29 July.

    The corresponding surcharge and interest for late payment are added at the start of the period of enforced collection.

    An appeal can be lodged against a final demand, for the reasons stated in article 167.3 of the Ley General Tributaria (General Tax Law), within one month from the day after receiving notification.


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