We’re never going to suggest that, if you drive in Spain, you should ever drive anything other than the speed limit. Speed limits are important because they make sure that vehicles travel at a speed appropriate to the road, they promote pedestrian safety, and minimise the risk of accidents. But there may be a time when you do go over the speed limit and you are issued a fine for speeding or for other traffic offences.
So what happens then?
Here’s everything you need to know about appealing a traffic fine in Spain:
How Common Are Traffic Fines In Spain?
Traffic fines are a very common occurrence in Spain. According to figures released by the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) there were an incredible 5,542,178 fines issued in 2022. This is a 15.6% increase compared to the number of citations issued by traffic officers in 2021 and equated to 507 million euros being raised for the Spanish government solely from traffic fines.
The most common traffic fine issued in Spain is the speeding fine. But because many of the traffic radars that are used in Spain have a significant margin of error, drivers in Spain often seek to appeal speeding fines that they are issued.
Once you receive a sanction issued by a public authority under the Ministry of the Interior, you have a limited period to file an appeal to avoid paying fine that is associated with this. Here’s how:
How Do I Appeal A Traffic Fine?
To appeal a traffic fine you will need to initiate an appeal. The good news is that this is a relatively straightforward procedure that is clearly laid out by the Directorate General of Traffic. To initiate an appeal, you must submit an allegation, which can be done online using the Cl@ve certificate.
If you’ve not registered to use the Cl@ve system then you can also write to the Provincial Traffic Headquarters or the Automated Complaints Processing Center to initiate your appeal in a non-digital format. You could also file an appeal in person at your closest Traffic Office. However, because you only have 20 days to file an appeal once you receive your speeding ticket, you need to do this fairly quickly.
Understanding Where Your Fine Has Come From
You can’t appeal your traffic fine until you know which authority has issued it. Traffic-related penalties can come from a wide range of sources including:
- The General Directorate of Traffic/Guardia Civil Trafico
- City councils.
- Autonomous Communities with delegated powers: Catalonia, which operates the Catalan Traffic Service; the Basque Country, under its Traffic Directorate; and Navarre.
Each of these sources will have their own approach to issuing files and to handling appeals. So if you do choose to appeal you will need to contact the relevant authority or body responsible for issuing the fine to contest it.
Bear in mind that the DGT exclusively communicates your fines through one of these avenues:
- Postal mail (with a subsequent posting on the Edictal Board if you cannot be reached at your address).
- Electronic notification via the DEV - Road Electronic Address.
It's important to note that receiving a traffic ticket notice through email is fraudulent. The DGT will never use email for notifying fines, so if you do receive a traffic fine via email then this is a scam and should be ignored.
What Are The Ramifications of Appeal?
If you appeal your traffic fine and win, then you will not need to make any payment and your fine will be revoked. However, by making the choice to appeal the fine you will forfeit the right to a 50% reduction in the penalty amount. Therefore, if your appeal is rejected, you will be required to pay the full fine. This is intended to act as a deterrent to appeal, as you should only appeal if you’re confident you will win your case.
Some fines are not eligible for this 50% discount. These are the most serious offences such as being caught with a radar jammer inside your vehicle, resulting in a fine of 6,000 euros and the loss of 6 licence points. Other fines that do not qualify for discounts include falsifying documentation, causing damage to road infrastructure, and failing to comply with the regulations established for industrial activities.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can pursue further appeals through the administrative division of the courts.
How do I pay my traffic fine?
In the event that your appeal is unsuccessful, you will need to pay the associated fine, and you will need to do so promply. There are several ways of doing this including:
Face to face
MiDGT phone app
You have 45 days to pay a fine. If you fail to do so, the fine will be sent to the State Tax Administration Agency who will collect it with an additional 20% surcharge added.
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