Speeding, and other traffic fines in Italy

PLEASE READ THIS:

I would like to underline that I do not suggest or condone the non-payment of fines. If I did, I would probably end up in big trouble here in Italy, and seeing as I live, work and have family here, I would like to avoid such a situation. If, by chance, someone has read this post, the comments, and then decided not to pay, then do not blame me if you end up with problems as a result.  Any and all advice I have provided to others has been and is provided informally – I am not an authority, and have not made any claim to be. For conclusive advice on the payment of traffic fines received as a result of a trip abroad, I recommend contacting motoring organisations, embassies or the police in your country of origin.

Sorry about the legalish stuff, but I thought covering my back may not be such a bad idea. You never know nowadays and this blog is public (Indeed, I have now been lucky enough to have been accused of being a scammer, I am not, but see the comments below and make up your own mind.) Now you can read this post… and wade through the 900+ comments!

UPDATE: December 2013

Watch out for this: Hertz Italia in Rome appear to have been trying to charge people for processing fines which never existed. Beware – see this: HERTZ ITALIANA SPA ROMA Complaints & Reviews – Verbale fine on line. Read the comments too.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: May 2013

While chatting with a tourism business operator in Tuscany today May 25, 2013, I was told that car rental companies now have a database which shows if you have not paid fines received for driving offences in Italy or in other parts of Europe. If you do not pay the fine at the time you attempt to rent a car, you will not be allowed to rent it.

One person, I understand, managed to avoid paying overdue fines by renting a car in his wife’s name.

It is not clear which car rental companies in Italy are using this database, nor for how long, although I was told that the system could have been in place for as long as three years.

What this means is that by ignoring, not paying or not appealing fines for driving offences in Italy you may cause yourself problems if you come to Italy again and attempt to rent a car.

If anyone has had experience of this, please let us know in a comment.

END of update.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: January 2013

If you are renting a car for a trip in Italy, some car rental agencies are now offering passes for entry into limited traffic (ZTL) zones in some of Italy’s cities and towns. Information on  this is still rather sketchy, although the website of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs does mention it. See the section Road Use

City center hotels should know about the existence of these passes, as should car rental companies.

Having one of these passes should help you avoid these pesky fines.

END of update.

Please read Section 1 BEFORE leaving a comment – thanks!

There are now three sections:

  • Section 1 – the Important ‘need to know’ stuff – read this if you have received a notification of fine or a fine
  • Section 2 – General background on the issue of receiving fines for driving offences committed in Italy – read this information if you wish to go the whole hog and pay a lawyer
  • Section 3 – General background on the issue of receiving fines for driving offences committed in Italy

Don’t forget to read the most recent comments as they may well answer any questions you have – many of the questions are similar – Thanks.

Section 1 – the Important ‘need to know’ stuff

UPDATED 4 September 2010

Summary of How to Deal with Fines received while in Italy

I’ve been getting lots of email from people on the subject of fines, so instead of repeating myself many times over, here’s how I understand the situation – BUT I am not a lawyer.

What happens:

  • You receive a ‘notification of fine’ – the notice of payment before official notification – from a fine collection agency for some infraction or other which you allegedly committed while in Italy.

Your options:

  • Pay the fine or fines at the time of the notification.  No further action will be taken – but you are not obliged to pay.
  • Wait until the actual fines arrive – usually a letter you have to sign for.  The Official Notification must be sent by registered/ recorded deliver mail.
  • Write to the agency which sent the notification in an attempt to carry out a form of ‘informal’ appeal.  While the agency is not bound to do anything, and cannot cancel the fines, it can contact the municipality in which the infraction took place and bring further information, such as extenuating circumstances, to the municipality’s attention.  This might cause the fine or fines to be cancelled or reduced.

What are the grounds for the ‘informal’ appeal?

  • You have a blue invalid badge because either you have a registered disability or you were transporting someone with a registered disability.  Even if you did not have the badge, but were transporting someone with a registered disability – the municipality might reduce the amount of, or cancel the fine or fines.
  • You had a hotel booking made before you entered a limited traffic area with a hotel within a limited traffic or ZTL area of an Italian town or city.  You would need to provide documentary proof of the booking – by producing a receipt showing for how long you stayed and when you checked out.
  • Factual errors.  Wrong car, or driver, wrong registration/licence plate.

If your ‘informal appeal’ did not work and you receive the actual fines.  What then?

  • You can pay.  Payments from outside Italy can be effected via credit card or bank transfer.  This perhaps the easiest way to bring the situation to a neat conclusion and is what the vast majority of people should really do – but read once more ‘What are the grounds for the ‘informal’ appeal?’ above.

The Formal Appeal

  • You can register a formal appeal within 60 days of receiving the actual fine to either the prefect or the justice of the peace for the Italian city, town or area in which you allegedly committed the offence.

Now it becomes complicated, and, potentially, expensive.  You do one or the other, not both.

Appeal to a Prefect

If you lodge an appeal with a prefect, which is easier, you may lose and be ordered to pay double the fine.  This is the risk inherent in appealing.  And appeals to Italian prefects are, I’m told, rarely successful.  The fine collection agencies, from what I’ve seen, tend to advise people to appeal to prefects.  In the main this is suggested because it is easier for foreign drivers to do, indeed, the EMO agency helpfully provides those who ask with all the necessary appeal documentation in English.

But, you can, if you like:

Appeal to a Justice of the Peace

If you appeal to a justice of the peace, you will have to make a payment of €38, and you really will need the services of an Italian lawyer to lodge an effective appeal.

The advantage of this option is that appeals to Italian justices of the peace are more likely to be successful – indeed, a good lawyer should be able to give you an idea as to whether an appeal is likely to succeed or not, before it goes to court.  Italian justices of the peace do sometimes annul or reduce fines, but do not always double them.  However, as lawyers the world over will confirm, judges can be unpredictable creatures, so the outcome of any appeal can never be 100% certain.

Should an appeal to a justice of the peace be unsuccessful, an appeal to a higher level court in Italy may be possible – but it will be very expensive, and time consuming.  Legal fees alone are likely to exceed the amount of any fine.

Time limits

Note first, and as I mentioned at the start of this section, the time the Italian authorities have to send out fines is changing – but one crucial aspect is not – the statutory time limit – which is the length of time which passes before a case can no longer be perused under Italian law.  This period is 5 years from the date of the offence was committed, as far as both Al, who has been reading up on this, and I am aware.

While ignoring these fines is an option, it is not an option I can recommend.  Not paying may cause you problems if you return to Italy within 5 years or so of an alleged offence.

Other updates follow, but most of what you need to know is in Section 1.  Section 2 below is merely supporting information which may or may not prove useful

With thanks to Al who has been throwing lots of information and documents at me recently – I hope I’ve managed to summarise the situation succinctly, and, more to the point, accurately. Remember though, I am not a lawyer.

Corrections received from reader Al – thanks, Al!

Prevention is often better than cure.

Some readers, iPhone users, for example, may be interested to hear that there is an iPhone application which can warn you of the presence of speed cameras – it’s called iSpeedCam Italy, and can be bought here for a couple of dollars: iSpeedCam Italy on Apple’s iTunes store.

For those who do not have iPhones, try Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk for GPS speed camera detectors - but before you buy something, make sure it will work in Italy. Note that the older type ‘radar detectors’ are illegal in most European countries, and you will be fined if you are caught using one.

Section 2 – General background on the issue of receiving fines for driving offences committed in Italy

Revisions to Italy’s highway code have been approved by the Italian parliament – new law n.120, dated 29 July, 2010.  Since August 13th  2010, the amount of time traffic fines have to be sent out to Italian residents has been reduced from 150 days to 90 days – Art. 201,1 – Notificazione delle violazioni (Notifcation of violations)

For foreign residents the 360 day period for sending out fines is unchanged.

Art. 201,1 – Notificazione delle violazioni.

Qualora la violazione non possa essere immediatamente contestata, il verbale, con gli estremi precisi e dettagliati della violazione e con la indicazione dei motivi che hanno reso impossibile la contestazione immediata, deve, entro novanta giorni (within 90 days) dall’accertamento, essere notificato all’effettivo trasgressore o, quando questi non sia stato identificato e si tratti di violazione commessa dal conducente di un veicolo a motore, munito di targa, ad uno dei soggetti indicati nell’art. 196, quale risulta dai pubblici registri alla data dell’accertamento.
Se si tratta di ciclomotore la notificazione deve essere fatta all’intestatario del contrassegno di identificazione.
Nel caso di accertamento della violazione nei confronti dell’intestatario del veicolo che abbia dichiarato il domicilio legale ai sensi dell’articolo 134, comma 1-bis, la notificazione del verbale e’ validamente eseguita quando sia stata effettuata presso il medesimo domicilio legale dichiarato dall’interessato.
Qualora l’effettivo trasgressore od altro dei soggetti obbligati sia identificato successivamente alla commissione della violazione la notificazione puo’ essere effettuata agli stessi entro novanta giorni dalla data in cui risultino dai pubblici registri o nell’archivio nazionale dei veicoli l’intestazione del veicolo e le altre indicazioni identificative degli interessati o comunque dalla data in cui la pubblica amministrazione e’ posta in grado di provvedere alla loro identificazione.
Per i residenti all’estero la notifica deve essere effettuata entro trecentosessanta giorni dall’accertamento.
Quando la violazione sia stata contestata immediatamente al trasgressore, il verbale deve essere notificato ad uno dei soggetti individuati ai sensi dell’articolo 196 entro cento giorni dall’accertamento della violazione. (When you are ‘caught in the act’ – parking in the wrong place, for example or flagged down by a policeman, the fine must be served on the person who committed the offence within 100 days of the violation being committed)

The relevance the EC -v- Italian Republic case no C-224/00 as grounds for an appeal (case no C-224/00 is mentioned below) still stands, but as Al, who’s been kindly offering lots of advice to people leaving comments on this post has, rightly, pointed out, quoting such a lofty case is not likely to get anyone anywhere during an initial appeal.  To stand any chance of using the C-224/oo argument successfully would mean taking the matter to higher level courts – read engaging the services of a lawyer – the cost of which is likely to be much, much higher than the level of the fines involved.

At the end of the day, the situation for foreign motorists who commit driving offences in Italy has not changed.

Alex Roe – end of September 4 revisions

UPDATE 17 February 2010 – please also see the 6th April 2010 Update below

Revised: 7 March 2010

Reader Peter has very kindly drawn my attention to the called EC -v- Italian Republic, case no C-224/00.  The text of the case which is available in English and other European languages, can be seen here:

Judgment of the Court (Sixth Chamber) of 19 March 2002.
Commission of the European Communities v Italian Republic.

Failure by a Member State to fulfil its obligations – Article 6 of the EC Treaty (now, after amendment, Article 12 EC) – Difference in treatment of persons contravening the highway code according to the place of registration of their vehicle – Proportionality.

In essence, it does look as though the fines European Union citizens have been receiving are, and always have been invalid.

Again, I would reiterate that I am not a lawyer, so I cannot be sure, but I would repeat Peter’s suggestion that if you are a European Union resident and you have received a fine more than 210 days after an offence, you should write back quoting case no C-224/00, and saying you will write to MEPs etc about this.  If this does not get the Italian authorities off your back – then speak to a lawyer (class actions are possible in Italy now -and I know a good firm of lawyers too!).

In summary – if you received a fine for any motoring offence after 210 days, and you are an EU citizen, you may be able to refuse to pay on the basis of C-224/00.

And here is a comment from reader Pablo, dated 7 March 2010, which other people may find interesting:

Many posts above complain about the Italian authorities’ delay in notifying traffic penalties and their insistence on communicating in Italian. Fear not – the law is on your side, as I think both issues contravene the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically Part I Article 6:

“1 – In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
2 – Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
3 – Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
(b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;
(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
(d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
(e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.”

NOTE: This should not be confused with Article 6 of the EC Treaty referred to in Alex’s 17 Feb “Important Update” at the top of this blog.

Key words/phrases italicised above are “within a reasonable time”, “presumed innocent”, “promptly”, “in a language which he understands”, “in detail” and “free … interpreter”.

You must be told promptly of an accusation – presumably so you can recall the circumstances of the incident and collect any evidence you need while memories are still fresh. It follows that if you were not told promptly, then you have obviously been denied the opportunity of “a fair & public hearing within a reasonable time”. Thus it seems the Italian law allowing up to a year to tell you about an accusation is incompatible with the ECHR and is therefore invalid & unenforceable. As Mike, James & Peter have mentioned, a UK prosecuting authority must serve a Notice of Intended Prosecution within 2 weeks of an alleged traffic offence, and a penalty notice or court summons within 6 months. If the UK can do it, so could Italy – if it wanted to. You can form your own opinion of why Italian authorities delay sending a penalty notice for a year or more. My guess is it’s to reduce the likelihood of drivers remembering what happened or having kept car hire paperwork & hotel/restaurant/fuel/shopping receipts (to prove when & where you were) after such a long time. Depending on its timing and the extent of detail given, notification of a violation (such as an “amicable” EMO invitation to accept a fine) might satisfy the requirement to inform you promptly of an accusation. But the penalty notice sent by registered post is the important one, so if it arrives after 210 days you can reject it as denying you the option of a hearing “within a reasonable time”.

Regarding time limits, if you receive a penalty notice ask the car rental Co for a copy of documents showing when the police asked for the renter’s data and when they were given, so you can check whether the prescribed time scales were complied with and reject the penalty as out of time if they over-ran. If they claim they’re allowed 360 days remind them of European Court case C-224/00 (see Alex’s 17 Feb “Important Update”). Although that case concerned disparity in the treatment of drivers depending on where their cars were registered, it reinforced the principle in ECHR Pt.1 Art.14 that laws must not discriminate between nationalities. Thus you can reject any liability on the basis that the 360-day rule discriminates against non-Italians, so is incompatible with the ECHR and is therefore invalid & unenforceable.

You can insist on being told of the accusation in your own language, despite what Italian authorities might prefer. Again, an Italian law allowing authorities to demand communication in Italian is incompatible with the ECHR and is therefore invalid & unenforceable. It seems you are allowed 60 days from receiving a fine to pay up or appeal, so you could email or fax – in your own language – on the 59th day from receiving a penalty notice in Italian (or an incorrect own-language translation containing bad grammar or wrong spelling such as “Grait” Britain), saying you don’t understand it and ask for an accurate translation. Meanwhile the 210-day clock is still ticking, as the notice doesn’t count as served unless it’s “in a language which [you] understand”, and of course sent by registered post. If it contains any factual errors (name, time, date, location, car Reg.No, make, model etc) you can safely ignore it as it does not accurately describe the accusation and is thus unprovable – but don’t tell ‘em as they could re-issue a correct one within the 210-day period. The longer you spin out the arguments the more they would be likely to abandon the fine or run out of time. As Alex suggested, you could impose your own time-limit, such as “If I do not receive the information requested within 14 days I will assume you have (a) withdrawn all accusation/s, (b) cancelled all associated penalties & charges and (c) ceased all action/s”. With luck they won’t bother to provide a proper translation in time, or just give up. If they complain send them a copy of Article 6 – in English – with the relevant text highlighted (to be ultra-helpful you could also send the Italian version if you can find it).

Another thing: in earlier posts Alex (and the Bella-Toscana link) suggested that Italian law assumes you are guilty until proved innocent. That too is incompatible with the ECHR, under which – as in most western-style democracies – the accused is presumed innocent until proved guilty. Thus an authority has no right to collect a penalty unless the accusation has been proved. Just saying you were seen in such a place at such a time does not prove you were. A photo of your car – or its number plate, or the driver, or the road – proves nothing without context such as time, date, place, nature of infringement and applicable law – including evidence that adequate signage was in place and operative (the international symbol of a red ring on a white background with a pictogram and/or text specifying the restriction). A close-up snap of a number plate without any verifiable context might lead a suspiciously-minded person to wonder if there could be an element of fakery involved, but of course I can’t imagine who could possibly be so uncharitable… Find the road in Google maps – there might be a “street view” showing if there were proper signs, properly positioned and visible. You could make their life more difficult by asking for proof – in your own language – that the recording equipment has been properly maintained, calibrated and tested, as we can in the UK for camera-related allegations. If the authority can’t prove the camera was working properly, who’s to say it recorded the correct time & date when the photo was taken or if a restriction actually applied when it was taken? Ask for the make & model of equipment and copies of certificates etc (translated to your language) showing this particular device has been certified & approved for this particular use; does it have a good or bad reliability history? You can probably think of a string of other things to slow up the process which you can keep trotting out, one after the other, until they get bored. If they don’t like it or won’t co-operate, tough – the greedy, profiteering scumbags shouldn’t try to rip off foreign tourists with unverified accusations. I certainly wouldn’t even think of using the appeals procedure, for which you have to deposit twice the initial fine! If they try to pursue you for non-payment, you’ll probably have a whole bunch of unanswered technical questions as your defence. The bottom line is, they must prove their case if asked.

EU member nations are legally bound to ensure their laws comply with the ECHR. Therefore I believe the above applies to all nationalities driving in Italy, not only EU citizens. National laws that don’t comply with EU legislation can be challenged in the European Court, as Alex pointed out in his 17 Feb “Important Update”. Italian cities probably issue several million of these fines every year (the Bella-Toscana article said 859,959 in Florence alone in 2008). If even only 10% were challenged it would clog the fines system to the extent it would be unworkable – and might even persuade city authorities to review their policy of killing off the tourist trade.

For those concerned at the legality of the above strategies, I must stress that none of them contravene any valid regulations or laws. On the contrary, they rely on applying the appropriate laws, though not necessarily those the Italian authorities would like. These arguments are equally valid if your own national traffic authority tries to collect under some sort of reciprocity agreement.

Like you Alex, I’m not a lawyer, just an ordinary bloke who can read & think, and I’ve no idea if any of this has been tested in court. If not, who’s first …?

End of 17 February 2o1o and March 7 2010 Updates

Section 3 – General background on the issue of receiving fines for driving offences committed in Italy

Speeding, and other traffic fines in Italy

I had a contact via this blog from some people (And I hope they don’t mind my mentioning this situation, but I do think it needs mentioning) who have, in a sense, come face to face with the black side of European unity, in that these people found an Italian speeding fine, written in Italian, lying on their English doormat after the postman had done his thing.

John Folkard, one of the many who have been caught out by the restricted traffic zone in Piza, posted something about the problem on the travel tips message boards of the UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

Check out my updates to this post, but please do try to read everything and the comments, yes, I know there are lots of them:

  • SEE ALL PAGES FOR UPDATES and YET ANOTHER UPDATE, May 2007, for more info on Pisa, and
  • look at One more update – 18/09/2007, for some potentially interesting info.

20th May 2007: SUGGESTION: If you wish, you can tell me where (Place, street, time, date) you got your fine and I will add it to the Platial Map system. I’d also like to post photos of the restricted traffic zone signs to help others avoid falling into the same trap.

Have a look at this more recent post:  Speed Cameras in Italy

It will help you to know what you need to look out for and where the cameras are.

Although, regretfully, it may be too late for many who arrive here, I’ve also written a post entitled:
How to Avoid Fines while Staying in Italy

I’ll try to keep both posts up to date, so check back here from time to time.

Time Limits – this is confusing – Updated

Important April 6th 2010 UPDATE

A son of one of the victims, Al (not Alex Roe) who knows Italian, French and English, supplied me with some very interesting information on the subject of time limits.

Al states that the time limit for the sending out of notices to drivers who are not resident in Italy is 360 days from the date the offence was committed – not, as had been my previous interpretation, 360 days, plus the 60 days which is often used to ‘identify’ the driver of a hire/rental car.

Here is Al’s research (note that Al is not a lawyer – and like everything else here, his interpretations need to be verified) – which I’ve published in its entirety with only a few minor edits, because I, we, think it may help a few people:

Codice della strada http://www.aci.it/index.php?id=869

Art. 201. Notificazione delle violazioni

1. Qualora la violazione non possa essere immediatamente contestata, il verbale, con gli estremi precisi e dettagliati della violazione e con la indicazione dei motivi che hanno reso impossibile la contestazione immediata, deve, entro centocinquanta giorni dall’accertamento, essere notificato all’effettivo trasgressore o, quando questi non sia stato identificato e si tratti di violazione commessa dal conducente di un veicolo a motore, munito di targa, ad uno dei soggetti indicati nell’art. 196, quale risulta dai pubblici registri alla data dell’accertamento. Se si tratta di ciclomotore la notificazione deve essere fatta all’intestatario del contrassegno di identificazione. Qualora l’effettivo trasgressore o altro dei soggetti indicati sia identificato successivamente, la notificazione può essere effettuata agli stessi entro centocinquanta giorni dall’identificazione. Per i residenti all’estero la notifica deve essere effettuata entro trecentosessanta giorni dall’accertamento.

As I, Al, see it you have two “notions”:

1 – “identificazione” which can be “applied” (if necessary) to the resident in Italy,

2 – “accertamento” which refers to the day you were ascertained, “controlled” (“checked”).

(For instance the day a ZTL traffic camera took a beautiful picture of your license plate).

In this case “accertamento” doesn’t mean ascertainment (checking) of your identity.

Al’s opinion matches that of the Aduc (Associazione per i Diritti degli Utenti e Consumatori) web site:

http://sosonline.aduc.it/scheda/multe+violazioni+al+codice+della+strada+verbale+sua_12880.php

LA NOTIFICA DEL VERBALE

Resident in Italy

E’ quindi chiaro che il giorno da cui partire col conteggio dei 150 giorni non e’ facile da stabilire perche’ puo’ variare da caso a caso, e non e’ pertanto possibile standardizzare ne’ le regole ne’ i possibili ricorsi riguardanti questo delicato punto.

Resident abroad

Il caso di residenti all’estero, invece, il verbale dev’essere notificato entro 360 giorni dall’accertamento, calcolati inequivocabilmente dalla data dell’infrazione.

Al’s translation: For the resident abroad, however, the fine must be notified within 360 days of the ascertainment / (police) control, calculated unambiguously from the date of the infraction.

Decision 198/1996 of the Constitutional Court

Excerpt from Alex Roe’s post: My translation: Decision 198/1996 of the Constitutional Court established that the 150 (360 days – for non-Italian residents) day period in situations in which the identification of the actual offender is subsequent to the moment in which the violation occurred shall run from the date the authority is able to identify such offender. “

Alex Roe should never have added : “(360 days – for non-Italian residents)” (I agree – I should not have added this – Alex Roe)

Decision 198/1996 of the Constitutional Court established that a resident in Italy is ”identifiable” from the first day he’s registered at the DVLA. Not five months later when the police finally decided to inquire.  “If you behave in such a way there’s no time limit anymore” said the Judge in essence.

Regarding Residents abroad in that same decision

mentre per i residenti all’estero il legislatore fissa un termine di notificazione assolutamente insuperabile, sia pure determinandolo in un’ampia misura (più del doppio di quella prevista per i cittadini italiani), per questi ultimi invece il termine di centocinquanta giorni viene fatto decorrere dal momento in cui l’effettivo trasgressore o gli altri soggetti responsabili siano stati identificati successivamente”

si consentirebbe una protrazione del termine, rimessa in ultima analisi alla discrezionalità dell’amministrazione, con un possibile slittamento perfino oltre l’ampio ma rigido termine previsto dalla stessa legge per la contestazione della violazione ai residenti all’estero”

While there is an ample 360 day time limit (for residents abroad) that from the onset (the date of the traffic violation) cannot increase : it’s 360 days (and that’s all folks!), not 361, 362, ……………..

On the contrary the time limit of 150 days (for Italian citizens subjected to the whims of their administration) could…………….”slide along”……………to the point that it could even go beyond ……… the ample but rigid time limit of 360 days for foreigners abroad.

To bring the matter of time limits to a close

Yes, I do agree with you: “Time Limits – this is confusing” (Thanks, Al – it confused me!)

An Italian Court can render a sensible decision. Too rare not to be appreciated.

There can be no doubt any more that 360 day time limit for residents abroad runs from the date of the offence, not later.

The EMO fine collection agency’s Misleading Information

On their web site (http://www.emo.nivi.it/) the collection agency EMO appears to mislead traffic offenders when they answer FAQ n°17 (http://www.emo.nivi.it/Faq.aspx) :

According the Italian Traffic Code the police have 360 days after the date of the violation or identification of the owner of the vehicle within which to notify fines to foreigners. In the event of rented vehicles, the 360 days start as from the date of identification of the holder of the rental agreement at the time of the violation, or from the date of receipt of the personal data sent by the car rental company.”

Al spoke to someone at EMO and tried to explain the 360 day time limit but EMO would not listen.

EMO acts on behalf of the municipal police of more than 150 Italian local council areas.

The FAQ section of the EMO web site is in ten languages, but there are many mistakes, not only with spelling and grammatical mistakes, but also with fact.  For example:  The answer to FAQ n°16 in the French version states the opposite of what it should say: NO, you must absolutely not pay the fine after having received the Official Notification if you intend to lodge an appeal !

They must have availed themselves of Google or some other translation web site.

Not taking into account the matter of the 360 day time limit.

What bugs me is that I can’t seem to find out if EMO misleads foreign tourists deliberately or just out of sheer stupidity.

I would not exclude the second assumption !

Also this article: (attempt from Milan to recover fines in Ticino)

http://www.tio.ch/aa_pagine_comuni/articolo_interna.asp?idarticolo=449497&idsezione=1&idsito=1&idtipo=3

Excerpt: Errore che riguarderebbe i “termini di notifica all’estero (dall’Italia) delle violazioni del Codice della strada”.

In sostanza il Codice della strada dice  che “per i residenti all’estero la notifica deve essere effettuata entro trecentosessanta giorni dall’accertamento”. Secondo quanto ricostruito, molte delle multe notificate ai cittadini sarebbero avvenute oltre i 360 giorni necessari. “Le pretese zurighesi (e a monte milanesi) sono tardive” scrive il giornale, arrivando alla conclusione che “la C&S se ne infischia altamente della decorrenza dei termini”.

I responsabili della C&S Credit Management Ag di Küsnacht, contattati  sulla questione e messi di fronte alla legge secondo la quale il termine ultimo di notifica è 360 giorni dopo l’accertamento dell’infrazione, hanno spiegato che per “accertamento” si intende dell’identità del possessore della targa, non dell’infrazione.

C&S Credit Management Ag di Küsnacht appear to adhere to the interpretation of the word “accertamento” as referring to the date that the driver’s identity has been established, not, the date of the infraction.  This, in Al and the Italian Aduc consumers association, appears to be wrong.

To cut a long story short, foreign drivers who have received fine notifications beyond the 360 period can write and request that the fine, or fines, be annulled.

With great thanks to Al for all his research into this matter.  Shortly, I will publish a letter which people can use to request that these pesky fines are officially torn up.

END of April 6th 2010 Update

This issue has been discussed on several forums:

If you come across any more, let me know.

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Comments

  1. Al says

    Hi ozlemkan,

    Normal? That’s open to debate. :-)
    But legal?
    Excerpt from Art. 198,2 of the Italian Highway Code: “For limited traffic zones, the offender […] is subjected to the fine for each single violation.”

    Read FAQ n°3: http://www.emo.nivi.it/Faq.aspx

    Once the car rental company has provided your details to the police, it’s a matter between you (holder of the rental agreement) and the authorities.

    Best,

    Al

    • says

      As I figure out the car rental company would withdraw double amount from my bank account with extra charges if I didnt pay it. This what I learned from Europcar, they wrote me a black mail :):

      “If you don’t pay, the rental company might eventually pay the fine plus the late fees and pass 

      that on to you via your credit card company. Read the small print of the car rental

      agreement you signed to see if they give themselves the right to do that.”

      Sorry but I hate Italy now, it used to be my favorite country before…

  2. David says

    Hertz have kindly sent me 8 (yes 8) notices of admin fees (that they have ‘sustained’) – €341. I have not received any formal fine/notification from the civil authorities of my alleged infractions (No Transit Area Riservata).

    It is distinctly possible or indeed probably that I unknowingly used these ZTL but of the 8 2 sets of 3 were minutes apart – it does not make sense.

    On the back of the Hertz invoice is a copy (‘not for payment’) of the local fine notice – I will need to get it translated but it shows (fine?) amounts €15 up to €95.

    If my maths is correct this could end costing €1,200.

    Stunned.

    • ozlemkan says

      Hi David and Al,
      Poor you David but dont feel alone; I have 7 fines from ZTL :) I rented the car in August 2013, Europcar withdraw 315euros from my credit card on January for 7 fines and this week I got the fine papers at the end (totally about 1060euros).
      I checked the roads that is written on the fines, I saw that one is in front of my hotel via scala! and other 2 of them are in PZA DELL’UNITA’ITALIANA VIA PANZANI and very close to my hotel. It is also inteeresting that in the same street I got 2 fines in 2 minutes! Do u think it is normal and legal?
      Do u think I can do something about my hotel place now? They didnt register my plate to the ZTL system when I arrived obviously… And the most important question If I wont pay the fines, CAN CAR RENTAL WITHDRAW MONEY FROM MY BANK ACCOUNT EVEN IF I CLOSED MY CREDIT CARD?

  3. Martyn says

    Hi, As many others have mentioned, I too have received three fines for driving in a restricted area in Rome, which I was unaware of. I too have been charged £30 for each infraction by the car rental company and now have fines on my desk for 113 euros each. Very nice (not). I have read many of the comments previous and can confirm that reading my fines it clearly states that the infractions occurred on the 17th, 20th & 21st of August 2012. I states also on the fines that as of the 11th Dec 2013 I am being fined by CORPO DI POLIZIA for these offences. Some 481 days later.. As I no longer live at the address these letters were sent to and the redirection will run out soon I will not be paying this ludicrous amount. I also will not be visiting Rome again. I hope their economy collapses due to lack of tourism.

  4. Peter Coleman says

    Here’s hoping you can help.

    We were in Rome in August 2012. Booked in at the hotel and then drove round for a while site seeing before parking the car for three days.

    Today (16 Jan 2014) received two fines for driving in ZTL zone.
    Didn’t know it existed, but ignorance is no excuse.

    The offence(s) are well in excess of the 360 day time limit.

    Date of infraction is 20 Aug 2012
    Date of ascertainment is 21 Jan 2013
    Received 16 Jan 2014

    Where do I stand? Can I safely ignore this? If the postie tries to deliver anything else that needs a signature I just might ignore them.

    Look forward to any advice you may have.

    Thank you

    Pete

  5. says

    Listen Al…I wont write a book on here and getting tired of it and you still haven’t answered my other questions…if the police or governemtn sends me a notice of a ticket after 365 days and I got the notice in 439 days..is the ticket good or not..meaning there has to be a certain amount of time to send a notice…so for the sake of other readers is the ticket void or not..now I see why I moved away from Italy…so for the readers and say YES or NO…

    ciao

    • Al says

      Listen J.M. from Canada…
      If you had bothered to read closely April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment, you’d know that:
      - Article 201,1 of the Italian Highway Code (Violations Notification) states that the offenders residing abroad must be notified within 360 days (NOT 365).
      - The fine must be SENT (not received) by registered mail within 360 days of the alleged offence.
      - Even if the time limit has well and truly run out, you must dispute your fine and appeal to the Prefect within 60 days from the day of receipt of the Official Notification.

      Capisc?
      So, don’t bother wasting your time and… mine.
      Do not pay, do not appeal, ignore any collection agency that might unlawfully harass you, and if you ever feel like it, come back to beautiful Italy, you won’t get arrested at customs.

      Addio,

      Al

  6. J.M. says

    Not sure who will be reading this or sending me a reply if I do get one..but what if one gets a notice of traffic infraction by registered mail at 439 day after of the infraction that had occured?…and how can someone pay the fine at either police station or where ever it applies to and one doesnt see a traffic ticket on their windshield..my main question what is the maximum time period the police have to send of a notice of infraction?? or the police have the power to send a notice 50 years later if they wanna to..

      • J.M. says

        Hi again..J.M. from Canada…I would basically like a yes or no answer is because reading some of these letters is going to make someone jump of a bridge or get locked up jail in Italy and stomp grapes and how in the hell are people going enjoy to come back to Italy and have certain woories of this ZLT bullshit…you know people come to Europe to enjoy themself’s and if the cops get their jollies for giving tickits to innocent toruist and want to enjoy their holidays and if the Hotels or Rental Car Agencies dont provide all the information we need on certain roads and it should be in writing and this way it may get the car company off the hook is because they put it in writing…one cant not go by their word if they told us or not..the cops will believe the car company..I would pay a $10000 a day to enjoy my holiday and wont give $1.00 to this crap the the Italian police force will do and hope they will scare the shit out of people and pay up..lets put it this AL..if this goes on Italy and maybe other places in Europs is maybe its time we spend holidays in other places thats more curtious by providing proper information for us to know…and mainly this car issues..I was born in Italy and first trip back in 53 years and what a welcome greeting I got….I’ll stomp grapes IF IF IF I come there and they catch me one way or another and as I said before..I wont pay a dollar to some fat ass that has nothing to do and smile and grin and he gets his Christmas bonus..WHY DONT THEY PUT THESE ZLT SIGNS AND MORE VISIBLE AND THEY WE WONT DRIVE IN THERE….BUT THEY KEEP THE SIGNS LOW AND THIS THEY MAKE THEIR EXTRA MONEY FOR THE CITY…I have read many of people’s concerns and most of them say is to pay and get it over with..here are a few questions that only needs a words or one word

        (1)..is there any consequences if one doesnt pay the fine..through no fault of the driver

        (2).. I get a notice by mail 436 or 437 or so and after the infraction…is this ticket alive or dead

        (3)..and if they get collection agency to harrass us in Canada or wherever esle in the world..is it legal for them to haunt us and put a dead horse’s head in our bedroom.

        (4)..excuse some of my language but I kept it mild and could say much worse…it also seems to .
        …to appeal the infraction is a waste of time is because no one seems to win…

        and should anybody come back to Italy and take a change is how can they catch someone if they didnt pay a certain fine…at airport when you arrive or leave by checking passport and scan the computer for any outstanding fines…or only if you get caught in a ZLT sone or maybe a speeding by an actuall cop and he does a scan on that person..they can make you pay before they will releaze the car back to you…if any of this story make senses or not…and again mainly..WHAT IF WE DONT PAY ANY TYPE OF TICKET….TELL THEM TO GO STOMP GRAPES THEMSELF..OR JUST GO ON HOLIDAYS IN THE STATES AND AT LEAST WE KNOW WHAT CERTAI NSIGNS SAY AND MEAN..OR TRAVEL TO HAWAII AND LAY ON THE BEACH AND WHO NEEDS TO DRIVE..

        CIAO
        J.M.

        • J.M. says

          PS;…. I think some of us or most of us are getting sick and tired of all kinds of certain things to read on here …if appeals dont work…why bother wasting our own time….anyways I wont jump of any bridges of all the bullshit the cops do out there….is there other countries that do the same things or just Italy isnt civilized yet and money hungry like Uncle Luigi and violin case…

          ciao

          JM

    • says

      Not at all easy to remember, I’m sure. Could you look at bank or credit card statements to check? I know this will be time consuming, but it might mean you can write back and say: I paid, so why should I pay again?

      Cheers,

      Alex

      • Filip Gjetvaj says

        I thought about this but my bank deletes record after 1 year and I never keep hard copies because don’t expect to have such claim after more than few months. Also shouldn’t they have some evidence. They should prove that I’m guilty and not me to prove to be innocent, moreover is there any time restriction in which they can send this. If not people could get tickets for not paying highway in 80s or 90s just because Nivi decides like this.

        Best,
        Filip

        • says

          Oh well, no luck on that front.

          As for time limits – yes they do exist but I’m not sure how they apply in this case, as I mentioned before, this is a new one for me. I think the limit is around 5 years – but would need to check that. Italy is well known for sending out fines at just about the last minute!

          Cheers,

          Alex

          • Al says

            Hi Filip,

            Read November 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm comment.
            (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34466).

            It’s a pity you don’t have your bank/credit card statements. You should keep them in electronic format for at least five years.
            I assume when you logged into Nivi’s website, there was no photographic evidence, a picture of the rear of your car. If they have no picture, how do they know the name of the tollgate (Salbertrand)?
            Usually, when the toll charge is not paid or is only partially paid, a non-payment/outstanding payment report (Rapporto di Mancato Pagamento Pedaggio/Rmpp) is issued directly at the tollgate. Rmpp can be paid within 15 days, without surcharge.

            In your case, what could have happened is that your credit card was accepted, the toll bar went up, but subsequently, for some reason, the payment didn’t go through.

            I would email SITAF (Società Italiana per il Traforo Autostradale del Frejus – Ufficio Mancati Pagamenti : tel. 0122.621.695 e 0122.621.697 (ore 09.00-12.00/14.00-16.00) – a32.autofrejus@sitaf.it).
            Ask for some photographic evidence/detailed explanation , don’t forget to mention their “Rmpp” number: 3191236169 and, if you understand Italian, let them know that they can reply in Italian.

            Or email Nivi with the same request, or, even better, email them both! :-)

            I wouldn’t pay before I fully understood what happened!

            Best,

            Al (not Alex Roe – Italy Chronicles publisher)

  7. Filip Gjetvaj says

    Hi Alex,

    I have a question for you regarding a receievd notice for non-payment of motorway toll. Last week my father recieved a mail from company caled Nivi Credit (website nivi.it) that he didn’t pay motorway toll in March 2010. I was driving his car that day on the motorway and also 100% sure to pay all the tolls, actually don’t see how could I go without paying.
    First I believed it was just a scam because in the letter it says it was sent from Florence and on the envelope there was a post mark of Zurich. The letter was sent by ordirary mail. But after some research on interenet it seems that this firm is completly legal and operating for many years. Do you know if they are legal or not?
    Unfortunatelly as it passed almost 4 years I don’t have ticket (bill) any more therefore it is not possible to prove that I paid it. And not to forget they didn’t give me any evidence that I didn’t pay it.
    Any suggestions what to do?

    Best
    Filip

    • says

      Hi Filip,

      Yes, Nivi Credit is legitimate. As for the claim you did not pay the toll, without the ticket it is virtually impossible to contest the non-payment notice.

      You have two options: Pay or ignore the notice. If you think you will return to Italy in the same car then paying should end the matter and ensure you don’t encounter problems when visiting Italy in the future. If you don’t pay, you will probably end up with other notices and the amount requested will probably increase. It is unlikely that Nivi Credit will attempt to chase you though the courts in your own country.

      It sounds as if the fine is linked to the car and not the driver, so if you were to come to Italy in a different car not owned by your father, you would probably be OK.

      Seek the advice of others too.

      Best,

      Alex

      PS Keep those Italian motorway toll tickets and payment receipts for at least 10 years!

    • says

      Just come up in conversation about this, Filip – technically, it’s virtually impossible to leave Italy’s motorway system without paying, so the reason for the fine is highly questionable. Did you have an accident and were you taken away in an ambulance? This might explain the fine.

      You might like to write back to Nivi Credit and point this out. The notification you received could have been lost in the post.

      Alex

      • Filip Gjetvaj says

        Well the problem is that I live in Croatia so not going to Italy is not an option for both me and my father. Ticket is issued to his name and also license plates of car are written. It is entitled: Object : Non Payment or motorways tool – Art 176. Italian Highway Code
        You wrote: it’s virtually impossible to leave Italy’s motorway system without paying. And this is my point exactly there was no accident or something similar. It was a normal drive through Italy as I did it before and after many times. Now I’; worried that if they see that I paid to get rid of them they will start to send me tickets all the time. As you said there is no way to defend without highway ticket and if they send it to you after 4 years I bet that 90% of people doesn’t have them anymore. To me this look like a typical racket and therefore I\m looking how to defend my self.
        Telling that I didn’t receive the letter is not an option anymore because I fell on their trick. They send you user name and password to log in their web page. I thought there will be an additional explanation but there isn’t. I’m pretty sure that they keep record how log in. Also don’t think so that this would stop them because they already want me to pay 20 euro although the original toll was 7.6. It is not the matter of money but more principles and to prevent it to occur again.

        this are links to see what I got:
        http://postimg.org/image/gxhm5kmd3/
        http://postimg.org/image/uu27cqdcj/

        Regards
        Filip

        • says

          Quick question, Filip: Did you pay in cash or with a credit or other card?

          As you come to Italy, paying may be your only option, assuming you cannot prove in any way you did not use that motorway toll gate. Italy’s authorities do get license plate info wrong sometimes.

          It won’t be easy to avoid future payment requests and I don’t know what you can do aside from drawing attention to your case to the Croatian authorities or reporting the case to Italy’s police and asking them to investigate – point out that it is impossible to leave Italy’s motorways without paying unless you have an accident or there is a strike by motorway toll booth operators.

          This is not something I’ve heard of before and I have no idea whether it’s common or not.

          Best,

          Alex

  8. rene says

    Hi all,
    So this is story as usual, I got fine and need some advice how to successfully avoid payment.

    My travel to Italy: 11.09-23.09.2012
    1. I noticed in 16.11.2012 that car renting company: Maggiore has charged me 2*37 euros (for giving information to authorities)
    2. When I asked renting company for explanation I got to know for what the money was taken for (explained in p 3.)
    3. IN answer letter, renting company provided me with web page information how to find out detailse of the payment (company web page)
    4. 4.10.2013 I got signed letter from: with fines (on stamp there was date : 16.09.2013 but on the back of the yellow envelop 04.08.2013).
    5. The offence: Circulating in restrictid traffic zone… Date of offence: 11.09.2012; place : Via di Simone Giovanni, Pisa.

    Now, I have few urgent questions :)
    1. I’m I entiteled to pay?
    2. If not should I appeal to prefect of .
    3. If they will reject my appeal, what are the conciquences?

    best regards!

    Rene

    • says

      Hi Rene,

      Did you commit the offence of driving in a restricted traffic zone? If you did, they you should pay the fine. If you did not commit the offence, appeal.

      If an appeal to a prefect is rejected, the fine will double:

      Appeal to a Prefect

      If you lodge an appeal with a prefect, which is easier, you may lose and be ordered to pay double the fine. This is the risk inherent in appealing. And appeals to Italian prefects are, I’m told, rarely successful. The fine collection agencies, from what I’ve seen, tend to advise people to appeal to prefects. In the main this is suggested because it is easier for foreign drivers to do, indeed, the EMO agency helpfully provides those who ask with all the necessary appeal documentation in English.

      Best,

      Alex

      • rene says

        I might, because I was kind of lost in the traffic. My point about with the question is , what about this 360 day rule? Does it matter or does my dates make any case here?

        • says

          If you read the main article, Rene, you’ll find that we, Al and myself, believe that if a notification of a fine reaches you more than 360 days after the date of the offence, you can point this out and request that the fine be annulled. You could try this. If you do, give them a time limit to reply to you stating that if you have not heard from them within, say, 14 days, you will consider that the fine has been cancelled and that the matter has closed. Keep copies of all correspondence and be aware that if the fine is not actually cancelled, it could show up when you try to hire a car in Italy or elsewhere in Europe. Really, you need written confirmation that the fine has been cancelled and you should take this with you whenever you go hire a car – just in case.

          !!! Please note any advice offered here is informal and needs to be confirmed by a lawyer !!!

          Best,

          Alex

          • rene says

            So can i write this in English? The ugly truth is, that it is hard to undrstand how they want to get the payment:D It is mostly in Italian and only partially in English. Also the question is, is the problems with not paying only linked to rent a car in the future or could i face a bank account arrest?

            rene:)

          • says

            Hi Rene,

            Yes, you can write in English. You can usually pay by bank transfer or credit card. Not paying could lead to problems renting a car in your name in the future in Italy and in other countries, or that’s that I have been told. Don’t worry about your bank account. I assume the fine is valid and you were where they say you were on the date of the offence.

            Best,

            Alex Roe

        • Mario Ricci says

          Salut René,
          Tu devrais aller voire avec Google l’article “Parcheggia dove vuoi se sei straniero la multa non conta”.
          Tu pourras voire que ces ammendes ne sobt que des simples avis bonairs de paiement et si tu t’en foutes les communes n’y peuvent rien faire.
          N’aies aucune peur, ces ammendes peuvent etre poursuivies seulement envers les residents d’Italie (italiens ou non).
          Seulement si tu es résident peuvent-ils essayer de te chercher chez toi.
          Aussi il ne s’agit pas de loi pénale mais de droit administratif sans conséquence aucune pour non-résidents.
          Tu peut dons bien te rélaxer et jéter tout cela à la poubelle.
          C’est dommage que les auteurs de ce blog n’aient pas le courage d’expliquer tout ca comme le fait la presse locale.
          FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS:
          Please use Google to find this article
          “Parcheggia dove vuoi se sei straniero la multa non conta”.
          You will see how the fines are merely a request to pay and if you
          don’t the city police cannot demand anything.
          Have no fear since fines can be enforced only if you are a resident of
          Italy. Only if you were a resident would they try and collect at your
          Italian address.
          Nor are they a criminal offence but only an administrative offence
          carrying no other action for residents elsewhere.
          Relax and dump all the bloody paperwork if you are non-residents.
          It’s a pity that the authors of this blog are afraid to explain this in this way when the local press does it.
          Cheers to all of you from
          Mario Ricci
          Via Trittico 15
          Viareggio
          (to show I can throw the stone but will not hide)

          • says

            Hi Mario,

            We are not afraid to explain this, but find it hard to believe. You need something more convincing than an article in a local paper. While you might be right on this, it is my understanding that you could end up causing people big problems when they attempt to hire/rent a car in the future – either in Italy or elsewhere. I know of a case, in Italy, where this has happened.

            Be aware that I do not agree with your advice. Are you a lawyer? Do you have any legal basis for your claims? If not, beware. If you are wrong, you could end up in legal trouble yourself.

            This blog does not encourage the non payment of fines.

            Best,

            Alex

  9. fang says

    We are Australian.

    Yesterday in the mail we received a letter by regular post from NiviCredit inviting us to make payment for non payment of motorway tolls. The date on the letter was 7 Ottobre 2013.
    The date of alleged toll travel was 7/4/11 which on my count makes it exactly 2 years 6 months since the date of travel.

    This date of travel coincides with the night my husband got lost in northern Italy and ended up being waved through a toll booth by a man who spoke no english (my husband speaks no italian). He took a wrong turn as directed by the NavMan and 12 minutes later ended up back at the exact same tollbooth and was waved through a second time.

    Of course we accept we are liable for to pay the toll as he didn’t pay the fee at the tollbooth as he had no cash having just flown in to the nearby airport and collected the car, and they had no facilities to accept payment by credit card.

    About six months after we got home from Italy we were notified of the admin fee x2 charged for notifying the authorities of the responsible driver details. That admin fee was around 25 euros x2 from memory

    The total fee sought by the NiviCredit – 17.73 Euros. This is 2 toll fees of 4.31 plus their costs.

    I made the decision to pay up online by credit card as “invited” rather than wait for any formal notice especially as I would hate us to end up on a blacklist for hirecars.

    Thanks for the blog page, interesting reading!

  10. Martyn E says

    Thanks to Alex and Al and everyone else for all their work on this page – with the help of the information here I have just sent a letter to the Prefect of Cagliari for a parking fine received 15 months after the event. The alleged violation was “Parked in a paying-fee area beyond the allowed time limit on the displayed ticket”. At the time there was no notice attached to the car. I would be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar experience?

    I’m particularly interested because, having done some research, it seems that in Italian law there is no obligation for the authorities to actually attach a fixed penalty notice to the car for a parking violation. Given their own interpretation of “accertamento” in article 201 of the Codice della Strada, and the fact that Italian law also lets them treat you as “guilty until proven innocent” for such violations, how would a foreign resident reasonably be expected to defend him/herself against potential official corruption, for example a post-issued ticket?

    I plan to do some more research on this matter, and in particular I would like to discover if it is legal for the authorities to willfully misinterpret both the Codice della Strada (where “accertamento” refers to the ascertainment of a violation, and most certainly not of the identity of the individual) and the Constitutional Court ruling on the absolute insuperability of the 360 day limit. In the meantime however many thanks once again for this site!

  11. Mario Ricci says

    Cheers Everybody!
    I am the bearer of good news to all the non-Italians who write to this site.
    As I have maintained all along the fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of requests, yes requests because they are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-hungry city councils.
    For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”:
    “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value).
    Here is the link:
    http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027
    Scrap all the bloody paperwork at the most you’ll get debited some 20-30 euros through your credit card only if you hired a car for the car hire to pass your name and address to the city police.
    Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations.
    Cheers
    Mario Ricci – Viareggio

    .yields

    • says

      Thanks for this Mario – but, and as we have discussed before, until there’s some formal confirmation that this situation exists, I would advise readers to think very carefully before they decide to ignore fines for traffic offences in Italy.

      I am aware of a situation where someone attempted to hire a car in Italy but before the hire could go ahead, the person was required to settle outstanding fines. Had the fines not been settled, the person involved would not have been able to hire a car in their name. Note too, that it is my understanding that unpaid fines in Italy may be flagged as unpaid when someone attempts to hire a car in other nations in Europe.

      Before deciding to pay or not, contact a motoring organisation and seek their advice. Or contact a hire/rental company and ask if there are any unpaid fines linked to your driving licence. You should really do this before travelling and bring a reserve driving licence with you. So, for example, if the your partner’s licence is flagged for unpaid fines, you will be able to hire a car in your own name (though if you have hired a car in Italy before, you too may end up with unpaid fines linked to your licence).

      Adopt Mario’s advice at your own risk. Italy Chronicles accepts no responsibility for what its readers decide to do and the advice offered on Italy Chronicles is informal and must be confirmed with appropriate and authoritative sources.

      Thanks for reading.

      Alex Roe – Publisher of Italy Chronicles

  12. Yoav says

    Hi!

    Yesterday I recieved A parking report in Pompei, even though I parked in a legl place and payed for it (I have the parking ticket). I am a tourist and this is a rented car (from Europcar). What do I need to do in oreder to cancel the report?

    Thanks,
    Yoav

  13. Tom C says

    Hi Al,

    I have received a letter with the yellow envelpe attached to the back. It says recommande on the front.

    It is addressed from

    NCDS
    C/O FIRENZE CMP
    50100 Firenze italia

    It states a date of ascertainment of 9/4/2012 but the infraction was 4/24/2012. On the back it states the clock starts at the date of ascertainment. I am understanding that is not true for non residents.
    Just making sure I understand.

    Is it too late to send the email to EMO? I cant remember if I did that but this letter starts with “It was not possible to contest the following violation immediately inasmuch as the violation was observed using approved video control system.

    Thank you, Tom

    • Al says

      Hi Tom,

      Yep, not true for non residents.

      Three options:
      1 – You send the email to EMO with documentary proof of your hotel booking. Make sure you get an answer asap.
      2 – Even though you haven’t signed for the official fine (yellow card still attached), you send the appeal letter to the Prefect of Rome within 60 days from the date of receipt of the certified letter.
      3 – You ignore this letter and any subsequent demands from EMO or Cedar Financial.
      Read February 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm comment and following comments.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30124)

      NCDS –> Nuovo Codice della Strada/New Highway Code.
      CMP –> Centro di Meccanizzazione Postale/Postal Mechanization Center.

      Al

  14. Michael Gordon says

    Hi Alex,
    I just received 2 letters from the Municipality of Pisa, one for a parking offense and one for being in a restricted traffic zone. Of course, I wasn’t aware I was in the wrong and we double checked all the parking restrictions before we did, but then we don’t speak Italian! We had the parking fine on our windscreen, and we paid the full amount by of 39 Euros by IBAN a couple of months later after an enormous amount of letters back and forth and much Google translating.

    I’m ok with paying these as it’s just one of the drawbacks of driving abroad, but they’ve sent me a fine for the parking one which is now 84 Euros. I guess they’re being sticklers as the original 60 days from fine to payment must have lapsed.

    These have been issued within the 360 day limit so it doesn’t sound like I’ve got a leg to stand on.

    All correspondence has to be in Italian, so that doesn’t help matters. Is there any body in the UK I can ask to help in this matter?

    Kindest regards,
    Michael.

    • Ayevee says

      @Michael,

      I have had 2 fines for driving in the bus lane in Florence from my holidays last year. I am a careful driver yet did not see any clear markings so ended up ignoring the fines. Its been over 12 months and during this time have been to Italy 3-4 times for work with no issues and recently drove again in Italy few weeks back without any problem or being stopped.

      Although I don’t suggest ignoring the fine if one makes a genuine mistake but if the marking are not clear then there is a element of doubt which is why I decided to not pay. You’ve done well by paying and if I was in your shoes then I would ignore any subsequent demands, I live in UK and car agency had my UK licence and address on file yet in last 13 months I have seen no enforceable action from Italian authorities.

      Hope it helps, your call now to ignore or pay up the extra ransom.

      cheers…
      Aye

      • Mario Ricci says

        Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  15. Gabby says

    Hi There,

    We were in Italy just two weeks ago and where going to Milan from Orio al Serio with a rental car (from Europecar) when we passed through a toll, it was new for us as we live in Malta and we have no tolls. Anyway, we took a ticket from the booth and at the end of the Auto Strada we went through a booth that said we had to pay by Cards by mistake not Cash. We inserted the ticket into the machine and inserted the Visa, however the barrier did not open! The machine spit out the Visa but the ticket got held by the machine. We tried to call for help by pressing a red button but it did not work either. We reversed the car and went through a man operated booth. When we told him what happened and that the machine took our ticket and all he did was give us a ticket saying we had to pay a EUR 67 something when all we had to pay was EUR 3 something!!

    The ticket said we had 15days to pay it and tomorrow will be the 15th day.

    Can anybody help please??

    Many thanks & Best Regards,
    Gabby

    • says

      Hi Gabby,

      You had a nasty bit of bad luck and it’s hard to know just what you could do to get you out of the fine.

      About the only thing I could suggest is writing, in English, to the Autostrada operator. Explain, politely, what happened and that as it was the first time, you were not familiar with the system – the signposting can be confusing for first timers, I know – and ask them whether you would be prepared to drop fine in view of the circumstances. It might work.

      You can find contact details for the Autostrada company, in English, here: http://www.autostrade.it/en/contatti.html

      Good luck.

      Alex

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  16. Jacob Blomqvist says

    Hello out there!
    I’ve also recieved tickets to from violation restricted areas, etcetera…

    I just sent an email to the Italian Parliament (info@parlamento.it, subject: Ripped off by the Italian Parliament) with a couple of harsh remarks and conclusions. By using the mail address info@parliament.it, it gets registered, and thts the point. I quote the message here:

    To the members of the Italian Parliament

    One year ago, I visited Rome with my daughter. The last day of that stay, in your beautiful capital, we rented a car.
    Nice to go around and have a look at the city and it’s surroundings, wasn’t it? Got lost sometimes – but Rome is a big city, too?

    Well, what happened next? Oh yes, a couple of weeks ago, two envelopes landed in my letterbox here in Sweden. What did they contain, you ask? A fine by around 100 Euros each. For something called “violation of a restricted area”.

    Now, my good Italian members of Parliament: I will NOT pay this shitty astronomic fine just because your corrupt, half criminal society has got the brilliant idea of stealing from tourists visiting your country. How ingenious it may seem, maybe this will fall back on your self, don’t you think? I mean, this law to get some extra-incomes-from-innocent-foreigners that you have invented may be unique in the world. But your country’s economy certainly is not! And if you want the rest of the EU to give you a hand, before you go down the drain like Greece, I suggest that you THAKE AWAY THIS LAW and recall all your stinking fines from all over the world!

    Well, if you don’t do that what can I do? No much, of course. But the least I can do is to talk to my friends and neighbores about Italian culture – the down side of it. At least some will prefer Spain and Portugal.

    Then I can also vote for any party here in Sweden that says: LET ITALY CLEAN IT’S OWN DIRTY ECONOMY or LET IT DROP TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. Because I don’t give a damn!

    Regards,
    Jacob Blomqvist
    Stockholm, SWEDEN

    Best regards,
    Jacob

    • Mario Ricci says

      Hei Jakob,
      Sorry about your misadventures for which as an Italian I offer you an apology. However cheer up there’s some good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  17. Majken Andersen says

    I read your blog with great interest.
    My boyfriend and I visited Milan in April 2013 and rented a car to get to and from our hotel. We prebooked a hotel within Area C (ZTL zone) and asked upon our arrival what to do. They said to just buy a ticket in the parking meter outside the hotel and that was it. We did and thought everything was ok until two weeks ago when we received two notices from the car rental company saying we received two fines for driving in the ZTL zone (on the day of our arrival and the day of our departure). We are not sure if we should have done more? But we did what we were told by the staff at the hotel.
    We haven’t received the actual fines from the local authorities yet, but only copies from the rental company. However, you write that you can complain if you have a prebooked hotel within the ZTL zone. Could you please advise me where to find more information regarding this? I really don’t know what to do from here. We did everything right, or so we thought. I really hope you can help :)

  18. SteW says

    Hi Al,
    I received one fine today from EMO for a Lucca ZTL, and know another will come shortly from Bologna. I’m an out-of country resident (Canadian), and this fine was dated May 28, 2012. As it’s 360+ days and I understand from your posts there’s a good argument to be made citing the time limit statue. But I’m not confident enough to risk potentially doubling the fine if it’s rejected.
    So my question : How much post-appeal feedback have you had from folks who have brought this argument? What proportion of the responses were positive vs negative? Are Lucca & Bologna notable for leaning to either the negative or positive when responding to the 360 day appeals?

    Thanks

    • Al says

      Hi SteW,

      Out of the dozens of (360 day limit) appeals sent, three reports of negative responses from the same misguided civil servant in the Sassari (Sardinia) Prefecture! And one from Verona.

      In most cases, they haven’t bothered to reply.
      A Prefect has up to 360 days to give you an answer.
      After 360 days without reply, the appeal is deemed to be accepted. (Art. 204,1-bis – Prefect’s measures – Italian Highway Code)

      Best,

      Al

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  19. Jason Piombino says

    Hi AI and Luvi,

    I too received a speeding ticket from Venezia on July 12th 2012!! Like Luvi, my ticket was sent registered mail and I received it just recently and signed on Tuesday July 23rd. It was sent postmarked from Italy on the 17th. This would mean it falls outside the 360 limit.

    It states i have broken the following articles of the Highway Code:

    “142/9 the speed of the car was between 40 and 60km/h over the speed limit with 06 points on the driving license. The car’s speed was 106 Km/h where the speed limit is 50Km/h. Considering the margin of the art. 345 DPR 495/92, the speed exceeded exactly 50,70 Km/h the speed limit. The fine was imposed using an AUTOVELOX 105SE MATRICOLA, perperty of the Comune of Venice, approved by the Ministry of Public Works. The police speed camera has the original photo is at offender’s disposal at our Comando Polizia Municipale – Ufficio Contravvenzioni, at opening time (D.L. 196/03). Additional penalty; confiscation of the driving license.”

    “Owner/hirer’s data HERTZ FLEET (ITALIANA) SRL, address VIA D>CASALE CAVALLARI 201 ROMA”

    “It was impossible to fine immediately, according to art. 201 c.1 bis del D. L.vo 30/04/1992 n. 285 and following amendment.”

    “To settle the fine, is allowed the payment of a minimum fare of Euro 500,00 plus Euro 13,80 of postal carges and Euro 10,00 of operating expenses, Tot. Euro within 60 days after the notification of this ticket 523,80.”

    “Payment methods are listed below”

    It then goes on to list terms of payment and or Appeal (art. 203 segg.)
    “The notify date is the same as the postmark”

    First off, i was traveling with my whole family (5 people in a Fiat Bravo) there is no way i was going that fast… but definitely the 360 days have elapsed. No way i want to pay over 500 Euro’s!!!
    AI – what to do?

    Should i appeal to the Prefect and risk getting rejected?
    Should i email or call the comune di Venezia?
    Call Hertz?

    Thank so much in advance.

    Sincerely,
    Jason Piombino

    • Al says

      Hi Jason,

      As you wrote, this speeding ticket, sent on July 17th, 2013 falls outside the 360 day limit.
      I would appeal (within 60 days) to the Prefect of Venezia.
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584)

      Enclose with the letter, not only a readable copy of the formal notification, but also Decision 198/1996” of the Italian Constitutional Court with the relevant passages highlighted.
      Page 3: “Come si nota dal raffronto [...] siano stati identificati successivamente.”
      Page 4: “si consentirebbe una protrazione [...] ai residenti all’estero;”
      Write: “Allega: fotocopia del verbale notificato, sentenza Corte Costituzionale 10-17 giugno 1996, n. 198.”
      Download Decision 198/1996 as a pdf document from: http://www.cortecostituzionale.it/actionPronuncia.do
      (“Anno: 1996, Numero/i: 198”, click on “Ricerca”)
      (Click on the adobe reader logo – top right of the page)
      If the appeal is denied, I’d wait peacefully for them to drag me to court. :-)

      Best,

      Al

      • Jason Piombino says

        Thank Al. One quick question as I am about to send off my letter with the enclosed documents as you suggested. Where exactly do i write, “Allega: fotocopia del verbale notificato, sentenza Corte Costituzionale 10-17 giugno 1996, n. 198″

        Thank you so much for your help, Jason

      • Jason Piombino says

        Hi Alex,

        I finally received notification back from the Prefect pertaining to my appeal that I lodged back in September. It appears they denied my appeal. I am very disappointed. I do not understand the writing as it is all in Italian. The only English states: in reference to the order injunctive relief at issue, we announce that your worship is required to pay an administrative fine of 1,035.00 Euro (penalty determined by the prefect and notification of the order 11.20) payable only by bank transfer using the following bank account:

        Bank payment to / Fuer Bankbezahlung / Pour payer avec la Banque:
        Servizio Tesoreria Comune Di Venezia
        Polizia Municipale
        Contravvenzioni C.D.S
        etc, etc.

        Then it says:

        “Failure to pay the fine will result in the activation of the registration procedure on the rolls and levying of the penalty with a further increase in costs and surcharges required by law.”

        There is also another couple of paragraphs written in only Italian and a whole other page written in only Italian which looks to be an explanation of things. It is a lot to type. Was wondering if I could email it to you and you could possibly interpret it and tell me the basics of what it says?

        I am a bit concerned about this. Based on what I’ve read and following he appeal letter instructions, I did everything as outlined in this blog. I showed without a doubt that the original fine was sent to me weeks beyond the 365 days of the date of infraction. Why do you think it was denied? Is this just BS scare tactic and should i wait peacefully for them to drag me in :) ?

        • says

          Hi Jason, sorry to hear about this.

          Bearing in mind the amount of money involved, it may be worth your while to speak to lawyers in Italy before deciding what to do next. I know one in Milan who speaks English who could probably help you – ask for an estimate of fees if you want to go down this route.

          If you want to do this, reply and I can send you contact details for the lawyer. The lawyer may also be able to advise you whether you are obliged to pay or not though you may have to pay for this advice.

          Let me know.

          Best,

          Alex

        • Al says

          Hi Jason,

          To be precise, the fine was sent 370 days after the date of infraction (July 12th 2012 –> July 17th 2013), 10 days beyond the 360 (not 365) day notification time limit.

          “Why do you think it was denied?”
          Because the Prefect’s underling misrepresented (intentionally or out of sheer stupidity) the law, because he doesn’t give a damn, because foreign tourists/drivers are ignorant/easy targets and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t help to alleviate Italy’s economic difficulties, …
          Disregard any future possible contact from a debt collection agency.

          Al (not Alex Roe – Italy Chronicles publisher)

          • says

            Do what you feel is best, Jason. Al knows plenty about this sticky subject too!

            The only thing you might want to check up on is whether you are likely to be flagged in a car rental agency database for non-payment of fines. How you can check this, I don’t know and I have no idea when you might be flagged, or if it will happen. All I know, from a tourism business owner in Tuscany is that it can happen.

            It is not improbable that Italy is treating foreign motorists unjustly, I’m afraid.

            Cheers,

            Alex

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  20. Luvi says

    Hi Al:

    Thanks for this very informational website. I recently received on July 10th & 11th, 2013 – two tickets for speeding on highway near Venezia (Venice), Italy. Speeding ticket was issued on July 7th, 2012. I also received another threat that since my speed was 30Kms/h more than the allowed, I have to pay !82.00 Euros and 03 points on my driving license. Not sure what I should do as I do not remember much about the incident that happened a year ago. Any advise?

  21. Silviu says

    Hi Al, congratulations for this helpful blog.

    I’ve been in Italy/Firenze 2 years ago (2011) with a car rented in Germany.

    These days, I have received this fine of 76 EU plus 52.04 EU for “procedural and notification costs” ? :).

    Violation was “circulated on a lane reserved for other vehicle”. I don’t even know when that happened as I’m pretty focused when I drive.

    Is it possible? After 2 years?What will be your friendly advise for me? I would write a letter to the Prefect, but as you said there are not too many chances to have the fine cancelled. I would pay the fine too to avoid other hassles. If I pay right away, how much is the reduced fine?
    I also don’t plan to go in Italy in the next 3 years :). Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks a lot for your time.

    Silviu

    • Al says

      Hi Silviu,

      After 2 years this fine is invalid.
      This is the reduced amount.
      Did you receive the unofficial “Notice of payment before notification” or the official “Violation of the Highway Code Report” via registered mail (detachable yellow card).
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584)

      Date of infraction?
      Date of ascertainment (identification)?
      Date stamp on the letter?

      Best,

      Al

      • Silviu says

        There is a “Violation of Highway Code report” sent to me.
        - incident happened on 5/06/2011
        - violation prepared on 26/07/2011
        - “responsible party has been identified on 20/08/2012
        - ….”we confirm that on 13/06/2013 report was notified and forwarded to the office in charge of notification”.
        The letter with the stamp was sent to me in June 2013, with detachable orange card.

        • Al says

          Silviu,

          It took them a little over a year to identify the “responsible party”, I don’t know if I believe that.
          Anyway, I would never pay this invalid fine, sent over 360 days after the date of the traffic violation.

          Al

    • Michael says

      Dear Silviu, I had a rather similar case some years ago. I received a fine from Rome, stating the same reason. Very well done, in proper foreign language and in due time (within 210 days). I asked for evidence and did not pay. It had no follow-up. As at that time I scanned the documents in, by accident I looked at them recently. And trying to remember where the cases where, it gave me an idea to check on …..Google Street View. To my greatest surprise I discovered (years after !), that at least in one case at the address indicated in the fine notification, there is absolutely no way/route reserved for other vehicle (actually it was the bus lane mentioned, but there is no bus lane there !), as it was pretended that I used ! I do not even remember to have driven on that street ! (as looking to the map now !) This produced me interesting thoughts. I have the impression that the fines sent to me are false ! Nevertheless, those who prepared them should be close to police and have access to international car registration databases. There may be people who produce false, indicating probably there own bank account, simply having notified your car in the region. Once you left Italy, and particularly if you are living far from Italy you obviously are not in the position to verify the veridicity of the statements of the fine. Not even the data of the authority demanding to pay. Many people are certainly obedient and will immediately pay. Which is the trick these falsifiers may use. So, my advice, check carefully the veridicity of the statement in the fine and ask for evidence.

  22. Stefanie Philippe says

    Hey Al,

    Just received a ticket in Venice from one of their water bus companies. There was no place to purchase tickets at our stop, hoping we could purchase one whilst on the bus or when we got off and instead we got fined. I’m only in Italy for another 5 days (heading to Rome after day of issue) which is also when they want me to pay the fine before it starts increasing. I’ll be back home in Australia shortly anyway with no plans to come back here in the next few years. What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t pay it? The address my friend gave them was wrong but they have my passport number and thats the thing that worries me.

    • Al says

      Hi Stefanie,

      I believe it was possible to ask the boat attendant for a ticket as soon as you were on board.
      An Italian cop won’t come knocking on your door down under. :-)

      Best,

      Al

  23. Frank Engqvist says

    Dear Al and all,
    After spending alot of time in Italy and in a rented car I had to sign for a blank envelope, with another envelope inside. Either the postman nor the envelope could statethat this letter came from Italy. OK, so far so good. The letter came from “Commune Di La Valle Agordina, Provincia Di Belluno” and It took awhile to understand that this was some sort of fine and it was some sort of traffic fine. Do I have to tell everyone that the translation from Italian to English is so bad so when I later on have to translate this to Swedish it looks like XX (can not be posted here). I got all the above posts included, more or less but I have NOT been billed by the Car rental office, no connection to EMO or Nivi. I can see that I have to pay €139 for something but can´t find what the violation actually is. There was only ONE page in the envelope, typed in four languages, Italian, German, English and French. Stamped by “Polizia Municipale”. The letter X states the violation on the first side and here is where the trouble starts.

    It says:
    1. Sorpassava/nonostante fosse vietato da apposito cartello stradale – Overtaking/ prohibited by an appropriate sign forbidding. Does this mean that I should have seen a sign that states “You can NOT pass other cars”?
    2. On page 2 of the letter they state where and when the violation was, 23.03.2013 and the report was written 02.04.2013 and “Town Police – Verification of violation of the highway code (no. 285), It was impossible for us to contest the below mentioned violation (art.200 of the decree). According to the Decree (art.201) must be considered responsable of the violation, until we have no proof of contrary, the owner of the vehicle indicated by the competent authority.
    What does this mean? Who has to prove what?

    They also point out that the art of violation is ” ART.40 C.8 E ART. 146 C.2 E ART. 6 C. 4 B) E C. 14″
    What does this mean? It does NOT stae anywhere what this actually mean. Any idea?
    Another point is that it was not me driving the car that day, it was a friend of mine. But I guess I´m, as a renter of the car, responible anyway?

    Question is if it is worth it to complain, send a letter to “Prefetto di Belluno”, ask for proof that this really happened, proof of me driving, ask for the report in Swedish etc.
    Or should I just pay the (what ever it is) fine?

    • Al says

      Hi Frank,

      ART.40 C.8 – Road markings: Continuous longitudinal lines must not be crossed…
      ART. 146 C.2 – Violation of road signs: Anyone who does not comply with road signs and lines […] is subjected to a fine of €41 (up to €168).
      ART. 6 C.4B – Traffic Regulations outside population centers: The entity owner of the road can […] establish obligations, prohibitions and limitations on a temporary or permanent basis for each road…
      ART. 6 C.14 – Anyone who violates other obligations, prohibitions and limitations contained in this Article is subjected to a fine of €84 (up to €335).

      You are being fined €84 (overtaking despite the vertical “no overtaking” road sign) + €41 (crossing continuous line) + notification/procedural costs.

      Art 196,1 (Solidarity principle) states that as owner of your (private) vehicle, or as holder of the rental agreement of the vehicle, you are considered to be jointly liable with the author of the traffic violation for the payment of the fine.
      Except in certain cases (red light crossing, overtaking, …), Art 200 states that, whenever possible, the traffic offender should be fined on the spot.

      Read February 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34959).
      Read October 8, 2011 at 12:29 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-31902).

      Appealing to the Prefect on such grounds won’t get you anywhere.
      Should you just pay? This is up to you to decide.

      Best,

      Al

  24. Claude Scicluna says

    Hi Al,

    Thanks for your feedback.
    Yes both violations were sent over 1 year 2 months from date of violation.
    I will be ignoring them.

    Best regards,
    Claude

  25. Claude Scicluna says

    Dear Al,
    I would like to add the following to my previous post.
    I notice that in the letter from the Prefetto is written that I need to pay a total of Eur394 but I also find a receipt from ‘BancoPosta’ which seems that I need to fill in and send the money back maybe? And the total of this receipt is Eur304???…I don’t think that we have a BancoPosta branch in Malta actually.
    What can happen at the worst if I just ignore everything and I don’t pay?
    Thanks and best regards,
    Claude

    • Al says

      Hi Claude,

      If the fines (mailed via registered mail) were sent over 360 days after the date of the traffic violation, then they are invalid.
      You may be harassed by a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.
      Just ignore them!

      Best,

      Al

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  26. Claude Scicluna says

    Hi Al and all,
    Just wish to share the following:
    In 2012 I received two separate ‘Notice of Violations’ following a holiday in Italy I had in 2011.
    I ignored the first two letters since they were not sent as registered mail. EMO sent a second set of letters this time registered telling me that I need to pay Eur152 on each violation.
    The violations are for the same offence they say that I did twice.
    I then wrote a letter of appeal to the ‘Prefetto Di Verona’ using the exact wording suggested on this website since more than 360 days had passed since the violation and the day I received the emails.
    Today I received back from the Prefetto telling me that the appeal is decided against me since the 360 days start counting from the time the rental car gave the police my details and not from the date of violation. The Prefetto has now also added an extra Eur90 charges for the appeal.
    I don’t know what to say and I really feel this is daylight robbery and I really feel I should still not pay. Any suggestions?
    Thanks and best regards,
    Claude

  27. Joseph says

    I rented a car with europcar last february and i received 2 months later 2 letters from europcar charging me each with 50 euros for traffic violations and management fees, they automatically charged them to my credit card but i also received the notice from the comune di milano for the same violations, my question here is that if europcar has already charged me that means they paid the violation fee to the comune di milano?

    • Vux says

      Joseph,

      No, Europcar charged you only for their costs which they had when they gave your data (information about you) to comune di milano.
      You have to pay also fines which comune di milano sent you.
      I have similar situation, rental agency took from me 50 Eur, and now I am waiting fine from comune di milano, because i didn’t yet receive anything.
      Please tell me how much is each fine ? ( my fine will be for driving in limited traffic zone),
      and tell me how many days past from date when Europcar took money from your credit card until you receive fines from comune di milano ??
      Thank you for answer
      Vux

      • Mario Ricci says

        Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  28. Vux says

    Al,

    After rental company informed authorities about driver datas, how many days (weeks or months) municipality need to send unregistred or registred fine to driver? Approximately, what do you think?

    Regards,
    Vux

  29. Mark says

    Hi Al – you helped me on Thursday last week with a letter we’d received from the Perugia police regarding entering an limited traffic zone.
    Thanks for sending me the web address. This link *wasn’t* included in the letter from the police.
    I’ve checked the link and it shows the fine as Euros166, as the notification date was 27 Sept 2012. However as per my post to you, their letter to me received last week was dated 28 March. Presume I am still okay to just pay the initial “within 60 days” amount?
    Also the photo evidence is just a rear shot of the car, which frankly could have been taken anywhere. Would this stand up as evidence?
    Happy to email you the reg# and verbale# if it would help provide more info.
    Thanks again for all your help with this!
    Regards
    Mark

    • Al says

      Mark,

      In Italy, for privacy reasons, photographic evidence identifying the offending driver is prohibited. Such pictures are allowed only if taken by laser speed gun and if the traffic offender is pulled up by the police on the spot.

      The info on the comune di Perugia website refers to the Fine Notification sent to the car rental company.
      You bet! If you wish to, you are still okay to pay the initial amount. The Perugia municipality will be grateful.

      Al

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  30. Vux says

    Hi Al,

    I have read all your post and thank you and others for helping people.
    I am from Serbia (outside EU), and have similar situation… Received notification from AVIS, they took 42,35 eur on my credit card and send me information “drove in restricted traffic zone in Milano” 07. February.2013.
    They sent my datas (address, name…) to italian polizia municipale in Milano.
    I HAVE NOT RECEIVED FINE YET FROM Polizia municipale… but i am expecting it in next few weeks.

    The main question is : I have to go to France and I will go across Italy in July. Is it possible to have any problem on the Italian or some other EU country border (slovenia ?) because I didn’t pay fine yet (because I didn;t receive it), or I will not have this problem ?
    Anyway, Have I 60 days for appeal (in this period they can not flagged my passport and after that maybe they flagged my passport because this fine or not?) Please ADVICE, because it is very important for me to go in July in France, and after this month I can solve this violation.
    I will pay it probably, because I am forced to go in Italy every 3 months …
    Thank you in advance, please send me email with response if you could
    Best regards to all people with same troubles :)
    Vux

    • Al says

      Hi Vux,

      “Is it possible to have any problem on the Italian or some other EU country border?”
      “Have I 60 days for appeal (in this period they can not flagged my passport and after that maybe they flagged my passport because this fine or not?)”
      Absolutely no problem at all! :-)

      Best,

      Al

      • Vux says

        Thank you very much for prompt reply.

        1.I suppose that they will send me fine on address from my passport ??
        2. Can you give me website where I can find photos of my car in restricted zone in Milano, as you put here for many cities ( as Piza …) ?

        Vux

        • Al says

          Vux,

          1. They’ll send you the fine at the address you gave to Avis.
          2. You have to wait for the fine. The letter will provide you with the website link, username and password.

          Al

          • Vux says

            Al,

            Thank you very much for prompt reply.
            Everything is clear.
            I am sorry because I would like to ask you question more :
            Do I have 60 days for appeal when I receive registered letter because I am not living in EU
            and
            is the rules for us (which are living outside EU) the same: if we didn’t receive nothing in period of 360 days, we can appeal that the fine can be canceled?
            Thank you very much for your answers.
            I wish you all the best!
            Vux

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  31. Mark says

    Thank you for all your support and hard work in helping out tourists visiting Italy!
    We visited Perugia in a hired car last July (31st) and I received today (6th June) a Fine Notification saying I had entered a limited traffic zone.
    It’s the first piece of correspondence we’ve had on this matter, so we were surprised to have seen it. We know we were in Perugia around this time, but don’t honestly recall seeing limited traffic zones on our approach to the car park.
    The letter was registered, is dated 28th March 2013, and advises that the fine is 89 euros if we pay within 60 days (unfortunately we are over this)…else it is 166 euros.
    There is no vehicle make/model on the letter – it just has “car”. There is also no photographic evidence in the letter or a link to where we can view this.
    We weren’t staying in Perugia, just visiting for the day.
    Can you provide guidance on our rights given it has taken over 60 days to reach us from Italy, we’ve had no initial notice and also no photographic evidence.
    Many thanks
    Mark

    • Al says

      Hi Mark,

      You have 60 days to pay (or appeal) from the day you receive (sign for) the registered Fine Notification. June 6th + 60 days –> August 5th.
      No vehicle make/model –> Insufficient, especially if all other details are correct.
      No initial notice –> Only EMO (Nivi – collection agency officially mandated by a large number of Italian municipalities to notify fines to foreigners) sends an unofficial notice (“courtesy letter”). The fine you received came directly from the Perugia police.

      The letter should have referred you to a website link (http://intranet.comune.perugia.it/visualmulte/default.asp) where you should be able to view photographic evidence of the offence.
      Numero Targa —> Car number plate
      Numero Verbale –> Fine number

      Best,

      Al

      • Mark says

        Thank you for coming back to me so quickly. While it’s a steep fine for something that we are not even aware of doing, a least it’s not the full amount/post 60 day fine!
        Best Regards
        Mark

  32. sasha says

    Hi

    I have just received a speeding fine from Firenze, 62 km in 50 km region. The date stamp on the letter is just under the 360 day limit so I believe the fine is valid.

    I was not driving on the day, it was one of three people: my brother, wife or mother. If I sign the declaration and transfer the fine to the person whom we can recall was driving, they will receive the fine after the 360 limit so can then rightly refuse to accept it. Does this sound feasible?

    The alternative is that I write back requesting a high resolution image so I can correctly identify the driver. What can happen if we cannot recall whom was driving and cannot identify the driver from the images?

    thanks

    • Al says

      Hi Sasha,

      “Does this sound feasible?” No!
      Art 196,1 (Solidarity principle) states that as owner of your (private) vehicle, or as holder of the rental agreement of the vehicle, you are considered to be jointly liable with the author of the traffic violation for the payment of the fine.

      Did you receive the unofficial “Notice of payment before notification” or the official “Violation of the Highway Code Report” via registered mail (detachable yellow card).
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584)

      Best,

      Al

      • sasha says

        Hi

        I recieved the “voilation of the highway code report” and the envelope has the detachable yellow card on it. Date on the yellow card is 2013-05-16. Date of post mark is 16/05/2013.

        Date of alleged offence is 03/06/2012.

        They did enclose a form to make a legal declaration of whom the driver was at the moment. I certainly know it was not me, it was another family member.

        but if I transfer the fine to the actual driver they would not be receiving the “violation of highway code report” after the 360 day limit. I guess I am missing something here as you clearly stated above that is not the case. Will you please clarify how the 360 day limit applies to transferring the fine to the actual driver.

        any other suggestions on how to approach this?

        • Al says

          Sasha,

          Since 1st of January 2013:
          Art. 142,8 – Italian Highway Code, speeding by more than 10km/h up to 40km/h over the limit: –> Fine: from 168 to 674€ and 3 points deducted on the driver’s driving licence.
          At the time of “your” speeding violation (03/06/2012), fine from 159 to 639€…
          I believe you’re being fined roughly 190/200€: 159€ (minimum amount) + notifying/procedural costs.

          As I’ve written in my previous post, you are liable for the payment of the fine because you signed the rental contract.
          3 points will be endorsed on the driver’s driving licence, that is why you are being asked to provide the driver’s details.
          Failure to provide the driver’s details and you could be subjected to an additional fine of 284€ (up to 1133€). (Art 126-bis)
          But no points are endorsed on a foreign driving licence. The 3 point deduction (out of a total of 20) applies only in Italy.

          If you still have the detachable yellow card, I believe you didn’t sign for the registered letter.
          Read February 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm comment and following comments.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30012).

          Al

          • sasha says

            Hi Al

            thanks for clarifying that.

            So it seems I have no official grounds for complaint/not to pay as official notification was issued within 360 days …(even tough I received it after 360 days :( . From my understanding my options are from what I understand:
            1 Pay the fine
            2 Ignore the fine
            3 Waste their time by writing to request calibration records of the camera in question, write back again requesting them in english and so on …..

            I do not want to pay this, nor any fine in general, and typically I avoid accruing them but that is a separate issues.

            What are you thoughts on doing 2 or 3?

            thanks :)

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  33. Bev says

    Hi Al

    Would you be able to advise on ZTL fines in Sorrento? We visited last May (2012) for my brother’s wedding and inadvertently strayed into a ZTL area (Via Tasso). We didn’t realise it was a ZTL and looking at google maps image it’s not entirely clear which road is the ZTL (it’s a cross road and the sign is not on the road that is the ZTL).

    Anyway, I’ve received a notice from the Sorrento Polizia which is translated very badly. However, the problem is that it doesn’t say how or who to pay the fine. Presumably I don’t send cash in an envelope?!

    I’ve tried contacting the car hire company but it’s been over a week and they’re not replying to my emails. I don’t even know where to send a letter to asking for help and there’s no email address. Any ideas would be gratefully appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Bev

    • Al says

      Hi Bev,

      1. When exactly did you commit this ZTL violation?
      2. When was the letter dated and postmarked?
      3. Was the letter sent by registered mail? Did you sign for it?
      4. Really? :-) They do not mention a bank account number!? Any other way of paying?
      5. Do they at least mention that you have 60 days to pay or lodge an appeal?
      6. Do they specify that you can appeal to the Prefect of Naples or the Justice of the Peace of Sorrento?

      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584)

      Best,

      Al

      • Bev says

        Hi Al

        Thanks for the prompt response. In answer to your questions:

        1. When exactly did you commit this ZTL violation?
        12 May 2012.

        2. When was the letter dated and postmarked?
        There isn’t a letter from the police. All that came was a copy of the letter the hire car company sent my information to the police (that letter is dated 27/09/2012), a check list of traffic violations with a box ticked under Art. 7 cc. 13-14 stating Accedeva abusiveamente in Z.T.L and a photocopy of the notice (not dated as far as I can see) in Italian, bad English, German and French.

        The envelope is post dated 6 May 2013. It arrived on 9 May but as I wasn’t in to sign for it the letter went back to the sorting office until I could pick it up on 17 May 2013.

        3. Was the letter sent by registered mail? Did you sign for it?
        Yes, it was registered. I signed for it on 17 May.

        4. Really? They do not mention a bank account number!? Any other way of paying?
        I can’t see anything. But then there is a line only in Italian with numbers and letters. Looking at it, maybe that is the bank details but it’s not obvious. It’s directly underneath the fine (Euro E. 98,09):
        “Postietaliane S.p.A Filale Sorrento Cab 03400 Abi 07601 IBAN IT87 E076 0103 4000 0000 0238 808 Codice Swift BPPIITRRXXX”

        5. Do they at least mention that you have 60 days to pay or lodge an appeal?
        Yes, it says: “Writin 60days from the date the claim or notification of the violation the person concerned can mak an appel. It must be addressed to the Prefect of the place in Whict the offence look place and be handed in at the mentioned Municipla Police Station:The person concemed can in any case present opposition to the competent judicat autority in Sorrento.”

        6. Do they specify that you can appeal to the Prefect of Naples or the Justice of the Peace of Sorrento?
        Covered above.

        We drove up the road to realise that it was a dead end, turned around and came back out. My dad (who is registered disabled) needed the toilet and we were looking for a public convenience. It was our first day in Sorrento and we were trying to find somewhere to stop for him. I’m quite upset that the Italian authorities have taken so long to send this and then when they do, it’s badly translated and extremely difficult to understand.

        And I’m also perplexed about why we have to pay 98.09 euros when the hire car company letter to the police says the fine is 74 euros.

        Again, thanks for your very fast reply!

        Kind regards
        Bev

        • Al says

          Bev,

          €98.09 = €74 (ZTL violation) + notifying/procedural costs.
          As far as I can tell, the notice was sent out in time, 359 days after the date of the traffic violation.
          If you wish to pay, the bank is Poste Italiane S.p.A. Swift/BIC code and IBAN (International Bank Account Number) are mentioned. For the payment description, give the fine number.
          But who would pay after having received such a badly translated/near-incomprehensible notice? :-)

          Al

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  34. Daniel says

    Hi again Al,

    Another Question after you posted “IMPORTANT UPDATE: May 2013″:

    Do you think that after five years from the felony (Statute of limitations), the renting agency can decide not to rent me a car if I am listed in database?
    Is this database available only in Italy, or in more countries in Europe?

    Thanks,
    Daniel

    • Al says

      Hi Daniel,

      EMO will send a “payment deadline reminder” and you may be contacted by a debt collection agency in Israel.
      You won’t be stopped at customs for not paying a traffic fine.
      I don’t see why your name should be on a car rental company’s database. They have one legal obligation and that is to provide your details to the municipal police.
      This is now a matter between yourself and the municipal police/EMO.
      If the car rental company had paid your fine, that would be another matter.

      Best,

      Al (not Alex Roe – Italy Chronicles publisher)

  35. says

    Hi Al, I’m wondering if you are able to help us. We visited Italy in June last year and visited Florence for 1 day during our trip, driving our Hertz rental car (from Bologna). Today we received 3 fines (which we had to sign for at the post office). They are all in my partners name as he was the named driver and he is an Icelandic national. We have 3 letters from the Polizi Municipale Comune Di Firenze. The first 2 are within 6 minutes of each other and they are both for the same offence ‘Circulating in a Limited Traffic Area without Authorization’ (ART. 007 C.9 E 14 In Rel.Art. 146 C.2) and the third letter is 16 minutes earlier than the first one for the limited traffic area, this one though is for ‘Circulating on a Lane Reserved for Means of Public Transportation as Indicated by Traffic Signs.’ (Prot/Access No.121198747). All of the above ‘offences’ were of course a mistake as we became lost and confused by the entire traffic system in Florence and quite honestly we didn’t even know that we were in a restricted zone or transport lane of any kind. We have just started to google map the streets and the first one has a sign only in Italian and there is no clear or specific times on it.
    I am really upset that we have 3 fines for €76,00 each plus an additional €42,96 for each one for the procedural and notification costs within 6- days from the receipt of the notification. Firstly, I am confused, are we being fined €118,96 per ticket or are we being fined €76 per ticket if we pay quickly? Secondly, since we received 3 fines within 20 minutes of each other is there any way to appeal as it’s quite obvious that this was a genuine mistake and front just 1 bill instead of 3. Has this been successful in the past? If so, how would we do this as neither of us write Italian.
    Any help and advice would be most appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance
    Heather

    • Al says

      Hi Heather,

      1 – You are being fined €118,96 per ticket.
      2 – Excerpt from Art. 198,2 of the Italian Highway Code: “For limited traffic zones, the offender […] is subjected to the fine for each single violation.”
      Scroll down through some of the comments.

      Best,

      Al

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  36. Luke Fuda says

    Hey Al,

    I have received a “payment deadline reminder” now they are telling me that if I don’t pay the fine it will double in price. The infringement was back on the 29-09-2011.
    I am wondering should I just pay it to get it over or can I leave it as I am not looking to return to Italy for at least a few more years.

    Luke

    • Al says

      Hi Luke,

      You may be contacted by a debt collection agency in your country of residence.
      Just ignore them.

      Best,

      Al

  37. Daniel says

    Hi Al,

    I read a lot from the comments above and i just want to make it simple:

    I’ve Just received the first Unregistered Letter from EVO.
    they says I’ve entered a public traffic lane – Fine: 110E.
    I think there will be at least on more fine.

    I will probably not return to Italy in the 5 years to come.
    I am an Israeli citizen.
    I am thinking of taking the “I don’t give a damn” approach – and not signing any official letter that I will receive.

    Can in any case any board guard in other EU country can ever stop me for that?
    Can any officer in Italy can stop me after the 5 years?
    What happens after 5 years? Do they just erase it from the system?

    I just want to make sure I am doing the right decision.

    Thank you very very much for the helpful advices!

    Best,
    Daniel

    • Mario Ricci says

      No need to avoid Italy for the next 5 years. The fines you all keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  38. Luciano says

    Hi, thanks for your great work on this matter!, I understand the 360 days limit for the italian authorities to sending out fines to foreigners, but why are you mention 210 days ?? (for italians you write it was 150 and now 60 days). I have danish citizenship, and after nearly 9 months I have not yet received any fines (just received at letter from the car-rental company telling me that they gave my data to the italian authorities because I had offended restricted traffic zone regulations in Florens).

    Best regards Luciano

    • Al says

      Hi Luciano,

      Art. 201,1 (Violations Notification) of the Italian Highway Code states that:
      - Italian residents have to be notified within 90 days (150 days for violations committed before August 13th 2010) from the date of the traffic violation OR AS SOON as they can be identified.
      - Foreign residents have to be notified within 360 days from the date of the traffic violation.

      There is no 210 day notification time limit!

      Best,

      Al

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  39. Svet says

    Hi Al,

    First of all, thank you for the comprehensive information on this site. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of it, took me 4h to read only the most recent 2pages/responses from you. It’s amazing that you keep on updating us and responding, even after 6 years from the start of this page. It’s very, very helpful.

    Can you please advice me on what to do? Here is my case:
    - I live in US (as a US resident)
    - I was in Florence May 7 – May 9 2012
    - My rental car company was Hertz (rented with my US driving license)
    - My apartment/not a hotel, was “Antica Sosta Dei Viandanti” Via Fiesolana 24, 50122 Florence. The apartment was booked via booking.com and the only proof I have is the confirmation email from booking.com (no receipts after that)
    - I have not received unofficial letters warning me for the upcoming ticket
    - My credit card was not charged ever (the 30E fee for my data)
    - For different reason, I’ve canceled my credit card account ~2m ago :)
    - April 27 2013, I received a notification from the post office saying there is a letter that needs signing, from Italy “NIVI Credit”.

    Reading on-line, found out that most likely this is going to be a ticket from “Florence ZTL” and I ended up at your blog. Can you please advice me on what should I do? As you said in previous posts:
    1. “I don’t give a damn” option – do not go to the post office and ignore everything after.
    2. “Proactive” option – I can pick up the letter (sign for it) and try to email Nivi the booking.com confirmation.
    3. “Wait” option – Ignore the first mail (or pick it up after May 4th), pickup any mail after. Fight it with the 360 days requirement (it should be mailed after May 4 and within 60days receiving of the official letter).
    4. Or any other option you can think of and suggest.

    Regards,
    Svet

    • Al says

      Hi Svet,

      Thanks for reading before posting.

      3. “pick it up after May 4th”. As you must have read :-) , “for notification purposes (360 day rule), the relevant date is the fine sending date.”
      EMO/Nivi Credit won’t send another official ticket, only a “last reminder” letter. If you “fight it…”, you will acknowledge having received a letter (sent via normal mail) but not the official notification sent via registered mail.
      At any rate, they’ll reply: “with the (late April) notification, we deem that you have been formally notified, even if you didn’t sign for it.”

      2. You could. It might work, but no guarantee.
      How many ZTL infractions? Did you always take the shortest route to reach the apartment? Or did you wander in and out of the ZTL area?
      Is “Antica Sosta Dei Viandanti” like any other hotel/B&B/registered tourist accommodation? Has the owner of the apartment ever inserted a license plate into the “white list” of cars allowed to enter the restricted area?

      I can’t think of any other option other than the ones you already mentioned. :-)

      Best,

      Al (not Alex Roe – Italy Chronicles publisher)

      • Svet says

        Hi Al,

        Thank you for your advice and the super fast response. I will go with your advice “option 3″: wait couple of more days before picking the mail. Then I might try to do both: “email Nivi with the confirmation from booking.com” and “send dispute” following you guidance for the 360 days rule.
        - I am not sure how many ZTL infractions were done, since the mail is still in the post office. There are people with multiple tickets within couple of minutes, so helpfully that is not the case. Probably there will be 2 ZTL infractions – one time from dropping our luggage and one time picking it. Without me knowing about the ZTLs, I did not use the car in Florence at all: dropped the luggage and then drove at the parking of Piazzale Michelangelo where I left it.
        - I was using GPS, and was not wandering around … was just lucky.
        - “Antica Sosta Dei Viandanti” looked like private apartment rented via the site (could be company renting it or private person, not too sure about that). They did not even asked us for the license plate. Once we arrived, we’ve called them for a parking spot and they just told us that they do not have parking.

        Regards,
        Svet

        • Al says

          Svet,

          The notification was SENT out in time, within 360 days from the date of the alleged offence.
          Whether you receive it on the 361st, 385th or 400th day is not relevant. You can’t appeal on the grounds of the 360 day rule.
          But if there are only 2 ZTL infractions on your arrival/departure dates, then EMO/Nivi should cancel your fines.
          Read October 2, 2012 at 6:41 am comment.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34255).
          As you wrote, “email Nivi with the confirmation from booking.com” and an explanation about the loading/unloading of luggage and the Piazzale Michelangelo parking.

          Al

  40. Al says

    Hi Dawn.

    1. – The Violation of the Highway Code Report is the official notice. Your postman left the detachable yellow card without getting a signature. Thus, you have not been officially notified.
    You will probably receive a “Last Reminder” letter via normal post (requesting the same amount), and then they sell your “debt” to a US collection agency called Cedar Financial.
    Just ignore any unofficial last reminder letter you may receive and any future possible contact from Cedar Financial.
    Read February 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm comment and following comments.
    (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30124)

    2. – It is an official (certified) notice from Pisa. Pisa doesn’t send unofficial notices.
    Don’t pick it up or read May 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm comment.
    (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30749)

    3.- Cedar Financial have no court order that would entitle them to enforce the payment of your Italian traffic fines or mess with your credit history.
    Absolutely no issues with customs. Despite your reservations, you can even return to Italy. :-)

    Best,

    Al

  41. Dawn Schumaker says

    Hi Al,

    You are amazing plowing through all this stuff. I just spent 2 hours reading and most of the complaints are past the 360 days but mine is not. Here are the specifics, just want to make sure I have everything straight. After reading this I have no plans on giving my credit card to NIVI which I almost did.

    Trip July 1st to 11th 2012 with Hertz Rental Car. So far have received 3 administration fees on credit card.
    1. Received in mail (no signature) in December 2012 yellow card & Violation of the Highway Code Report from Florence on Polizia Municipale letter head with information in English on the back about Nivi Credit with payment options, & how to appeal. From reading this website for 2 hours this is not official and we should not pay off of this notice correct? Appeals should only be done off of the certified signed notification as well? This is already past 60 days but want to make sure I get it straight when & if the official one comes, hopefully past the 360 days.
    2. Recently received from our post office a notice of a certified letter waiting for us at the Post Office something from Pisa (so nothing to do with the Florence unofficial notice). I’m assuming this is an official notice and this is what we should pay from???? It is within the 360 days. Haven’t picked it up yet not sure if we should. Any advice?
    3. Could some one please elaborate on how often this gets transferred to the United States against your credit? And has anyone had issues with their US Passport going to other countries (other than Italy) because of nonpaid traffic tickets in Italy?

    Thanks for all your help and apologize in advance if I missed answers to these questions. There are no plans to go back before 5 years and after this craziness I doubt if we will ever go back. We did a lot of research before we went & mapped out the route to follow & avoid the restricted areas which are not clearly marked at all and still had issues. My recommendation to anyone – save a lot of money so you can stay in town and walk or find another country to visit! We spent close to 5G and stayed in Scandicci not close to public transportation and had to rent a car. It’s sad we are now faced with paying all of these traffic fines when we were really careful of where we were driving.

    • Mario Ricci says

      Good news! The fines you keep getting are basically a “scarecrow” operation against the faint-hearted which produces a positive result in about 50% of what are nothing more than requests to pay by cash-strapped city councils. For Italian speakers the n-th confirmation to this is yesterday’s article on “Il Tirreno”: “Parcheggia dove vuoi, se sei straniero la multa non conta” (Park where you please, if you’re not Italian the fines have no value). Here is the link: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/regione/2013/09/15/news/parcheggia-dove-vuoi-se-sei-straniero-la-multa-non-conta-1.7751027 Scrap all the bloody paperwork. Not a chance of any criminal procedures since these are only administrative (civil law) violations. Cheers Mario Ricci – Viareggio

  42. Bee says

    Thanks for all the helpful comments on this Forum. Al and others I admire your stamina in continuing to respond after all this time.

    I’m hoping for advice but perhaps this note will just confirm that Pisa authorities have got their act together finally!
    i live in the UK and it seems I stupidly parked in a Pisa TZV [P.za Toniolo Giuseppe]in my Rental car (2hours after getting off a plane) on 26 June 2012. Got a charge on my credit card which alerted me that they had provided details to authorities.

    No letters arrived until today when I got an “Infringements of the Italian Highway Code” yellow card on back wasn’t asked to sign for it and it arrived through my letterbox at 21:00.

    Anyway it is in Italian on the front and English on the back (same text). They are looking for 121 Euros rising to 198 Euros if not paid within 60 days

    Its less than 360 days since the “infrazione” but is over 210 days (274 days) that is mentioned in earlier posts.

    Have I any grounds for Appeal based on being over 210 days (yet it is <360days)?
    Do I have any grounds for appeal in that they state myself as being “owner” of the vehicle, yet it is a rental car?

    Do I just accept that they have refined their methods and have now become more efficient in sending out their notices? If so I’ll pay the fine.
    Ta
    Bee

  43. tom c says

    I live in the United States and have received a “Notice of Payment” from Nivi Credit. The letter appears to be on Corpo di Polizia Roma Capitale stationary. Based on the details below, should I wait for the certified letter, the 360 days will be up in 19 days?

    It states “Notice of Payment Contravention of the Italian Highway Code”…was driving in a limited traffic area without authorization.

    It states on the back that payment must be made within 20 days to the Municipality. Oddly there is an officers signature but we were never stopped by an officer. We only drove into rome to the Marriott on Via Veneto, which is right near where the address on the letter is. We literally only had a vehicle in Rome for minutes until we surrendered it to the hotel parking garage, and returned it the next morning.

    It states at the end that “The present notice is not a Notification of violation, therefore it allows the recipient to make the payment due in amicable circumstances.

    Regards, Tom

    • Al says

      Hi Tom,

      The “Notice of Payment” is a “courtesy letter” sent via normal post by the collection agency EMO (Nivi Credit), which is mandated by the Rome authorities to notify fines to foreigners.
      The appeal authorities (Prefect or Justice of the Peace) are not mentioned, you can’t lodge an appeal.

      You should write an email to the EMO (infoemo-en@nivi.it) and explain that you entered the ZTL in order to check in and that the hotel failed to register the licence plate of your vehicle with the Municipal Police. Provide documentary proof of the booking (invoice or declaration from the hotel). Contact hotel Marriott, if necessary.
      The EMO/Municipal Police of Rome should then cancel your fine.

      If not, you should lodge an appeal with the Prefect of Rome within 60 days from the date of receipt of the official notification (certified letter).
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am (an appeal template is included) comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).
      Copy/paste the appeal template and send your registered letter with proof of receipt to:
      Al Prefetto di Roma
      Prefettura di Roma
      via IV Novembre 119/A
      00187 Roma
      Read November 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34504).

      Best,

      Al

      • says

        Hi Al,

        I have received a letter with the yellow envelpe attached to the back. It says recommande on the front.

        It is addressed from

        NCDS
        C/O FIRENZE CMP
        50100 Firenze italia

        It states a date of ascertainment of 9/4/2012 but the infraction was 4/24/2012. On the back it states the clock starts at the date of ascertainment. I am understanding that is not true for non residents.
        Just making sure I understand.

        Is it too late to send the email to EMO? I cant remember if I did that but this letter starts with “It was not possible to contest the following violation immediately inasmuch as the violation was observed using approved video control system.

        Thank you, Tom

        tom

  44. Stephen says

    Gentlemen,

    Many Thanks and Commendations for all the work you do here.

    My problem: Two fines have come though my door in the last month. It was a hire car, three drivers, and I was only driving for some of these fines.

    Problem One: This arrived with the official yellow slip of paper, indicating it is probably the fine itself. On the 30th January 2012 a speeding infringement occurred and they charged me 189 Euros. They sent me the letter telling me this on the 7th February 2013, a date clearly over the 360 time limit. I have sixty days (ending April 14th) to pay or they increase the fine to 349 Euros. It also requests that if I wish to appeal it must be sent in Italian, a clear infraction of the human rights law mentioned above. Also three points on my licence, do they have power to enforce this. Any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Problem Two: This one came with no yellow slip but it only gave me twenty days to pay (only have four days left). This is for driving through the Rome ZTL on the 22nd March 2012 and is or 108 Euros. Again, advice much appreciated.

    Many Thanks,
    Stephen

  45. Sofia says

    Hi Al,
    Thanks for your last reply.
    I looked up the article in Art. 201,1 Codice della Strada and it does say 360 days from ‘accertamento’ – what’s that? Is it when they ascertain who is driving?
    Sofia

    • Al says

      Sofia,

      NO!!!
      I thought you spoke a little Italian.
      The word “ascertainment” in Art. 201,1 ALWAYS refers to the ascertainment of the traffic violation (by means of a traffic camera, speed radar, …on the day it was committed!).
      The concept of “subsequent identification” applies only to Italian residents!
      And Sofia, if you reply, please click on the green “Reply” button just below this message.

      Al

      • Sofia says

        Yes, sir! :-)
        In my defence, even my Italian friend said she found this ambiguous. (but she also said Italians usually ignore these fines!!)
        Ok, I think I’m officially ‘safe’, being on the right side of the 360 days. And having driven numerous times in Veneto since the incident in question one would expect something to have been said, if it was going to be said, by now….
        Keep up the stirling work, Al. The rest of the site is good stuff, too. Refreshing to see Italy from a ‘real life’ perspective. No place is perfect (and if it is where you are, don’t leave!) – despite their underhand tactics in some arenas, I do still love bella Italia ….
        Grazie mille,
        Sofia

  46. Alex says

    Thanks to all great contributors on this forum… I had a couple of fines for driving in bus lane (someone else driving at the time) and as far as I remember, there were no signs on the road as I am a very cautious driver..

    Anyway I chose to ignore the fines (they never took my signature on delivery so can claim never received them), I have today entered Italy for work purpose and there was no stoppage at the airport what so ever. So anyone who has the concern that they’d be arrested entering Italy in case of non-payment of fines should rest assured that it does not happen, at least I faced no issues as such..

    Now the arrest part being out of the way, I will wait and see if NIVI hands over the fine to a UK debt collection agency… Will come back with my experience on that as well when it happens…

  47. Jonathan says

    Hi, AI and Alex,

    First of all well done on the website and you dedication. Very much appreciated.
    I am from Malta and recieved 2 fines, 2 minutes, apart for entering in a restricted Zone in Firenze 2 Years ago.

    The thing is i had to enter to Firenze to return the car (which i rented from Bologna) to the rental agency which was in the restricted zone. Apperently Sixt told me to return the car to an address in a restricted area in Firenze. I am assuming this is the car rental agency’s fault not mine.

    Moreover in the fine it states that the 360 days start, from the day of identification. which they claim was in May of 2012 (less than 360 days). This is a lie as i was charged by Sixt 72 euros in November 2011 (more than 360 days) for providing identification to the police. I have also an email from Sixt telling me they charged me 72 euros for the 2 fines as Admin fees.

    I have read the comments and will send an appeal letter on >360 days from the day of infraction.

    I have 3 questions though:
    1) Can the appeal be rejected since in the fine it states that 360 days count from the day of identification (even if they moved the date on purpose)?
    2) Should i include in the appeal, that i was returning the car in Firenze, and it is the agency’s fault?
    3) Should i include that Sixt gave the details to the police back in November 2011 and not in May 2012 as they are stating ( I have the bank transaction charging me 72 euros in Nov from Sixt and also an email from Sixt telling me that the charge is for 2 fines which they have no details of)

    Thanks for all your help, I will send the letter this Wed because my 60 days will soon expire :S

    • Al says

      Hi Jonathan,

      Your message was posted only today (the 27th).
      Rental agencies, always so careful to warn their customers about restricted zones! :-)
      Right! Charged by Sixt in November 2011, conveniently identified only in May 2012!
      Your case seems to confirm the impression I had. The Police/EMO do lie occasionally (frequently?) about the real date of identification.
      (It’s very unlikely that the 72€ charge was for two other fines that you never received).

      1) The Prefect’s underling can do what the hell he wants. He doesn’t even have to give you a reason for rejecting your appeal.
      2) You could, but they won’t give a damn about that.
      3) Again you could but… It is unfortunate that Sixt couldn’t provide you with the details of the fines they received.
      And your appeal is based on >360 days from the day of infraction.
      Read September 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34228).
      But I would send an email to EMO (infoemo-en@nivi.it) asking them in strong terms how come was I charged by Sixt in November 2011 if I was identified only in May 2012.
      I’d like to know what they have to say about that!

      Naturally, I would never ever pay.

      Best,

      Al

  48. Sofia says

    Hi Al,
    Thank you for your help – much appreciated!
    I wrote my appeal letter in Italian (grammatically-bad Italian, but clearly understandable) with an English version, too. It was a nice friendly appeal letter (!) stating that it wasn’t clear that I shouldn’t enter this zone, that when I saw the sign on turning into the ZTL I turned round immediately and left the zone and that it was 373 days after the infraction that I received the fine – I didn’t know then about the laws you mentioned on this site about the 360 days – I just suspected that they’d have some sort of time limit, and I took a punt that it would be a year of receipt (I was almost right!) of the fine. I also said that for such a small and genuine mistake 99 Eur was, in my opinion, way too much. I was hoping they’d reduce it, as they probably would in the Uk, and then I’d have paid it. BUT I didn’t send it registered mail as I didn’t know I had to – just got a receipt of postage.
    The reply this week was from the Prefect, yes. They did not give any reason – just stated that your worship (me) must now pay 186 Eur. That’s it. And that it must be through the bank IBAN blah blah blah…. I got my Italian friend to read it too. There’s no reason given. I have 60 days to appeal.
    Could you please send me the link which references the 360 days law – the thread on the site is now so long that I couldn’t easily find the concrete 360 law that you quote in a lot of other replies.
    I will probably have to drive in Veneto again quite soon – I work there fairly often, although for a British company, so when I go it’s as a tourist in their eyes. Will I be on some kind of ‘black list’? Do you know if they inform other car hire companies of people who have penalties i.e. am I likely to be ‘flagged’ if I’m hiring a car from a different company to the one I was using when I was fined? I have driven there already several times in the 18 months, and also hired a car, and … nothing.
    Would you still advise me to now forget it, or should I write to someone to explain why I don’t intend to pay? Or just ignore any more threatening letters?
    Do you know if the Italian authorities have ever followed through in the Uk and if so, how?
    I’ve also just moved house and am in the process of changing my licence address so any more letters would go to my old address and then they’ll be returned to sender.

    Lastly, I think this issue is distressing for a lot of people and very corrupt from the Italian side – I love their country, but they must not use traps for innocent tourists to attempt to prop up their struggling economy. I was shocked to read about people’s multiple fines in Tuscany. It’s a bad attitude for a beautiful place to have. Who do you suggest I write to to register this, so that hopefully it reaches the public eye and something is done in the future? My MEP? Do you have any tips for doing this? Which department to write to, etc?

    I’d like to say that it was immensely reassuring and helpful to find your site – why do you take the time to do this for people? I’m so glad you do, though, and THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help and advice. I’m just one grateful motorist in a long, long list…..

    Best,
    Sofia

    • Al says

      Hi Sofia,

      Thanks!
      How very nice of Your Worship to write a nice friendly appeal letter!
      I’m not surprised it was rejected.
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).
      Art. 201,1 Codice della Strada – Notificazione delle violazioni.
      (http://www.altalex.com/index.php?idnot=34127#titolo).

      “Will I be on some kind of ‘black list’?…”
      Once the car hire company has provided your details to the police, it’s a matter between you (holder of the rental agreement) and the authorities. The car hire company couldn’t care less if you appeal, pay your fine or not. As for the police informing car hire companies… Never heard of it. :-)

      “Do you know if the Italian authorities have ever followed through in the Uk”
      Not to my knowledge.
      Your fine is invalid (> 360 days). I wouldn’t waste my time writing to anyone.
      People have already complained but Italian municipalities need to generate as much revenue as possible. And not only from tourists.
      At first, I was motivated by the fact that foreign traffic offenders are being blatantly lied to about the 360 day notification time limit, the bad ZTL signposting (this is becoming less and less true, probably) and the multiple ZTL fines for violations just a few minutes apart (although legitimate – see Art. 198,2 Codice della Strada).
      And then… things got a little bit out of hand. :-)

      Al (not Alex Roe – Italy Chronicles publisher)

  49. KeithForster says

    Dear Al,
    Following your excelent response, I have appealed aginst my Rome Fine and have posted the letter ISF Air Letter within the 60 Days.
    My prblem now is that the letter seems to have been stuck in a Milan sorting office for two weeks! See below:

    Your item, posted on 05/03/13 with reference RI498390428GB has arrived in MILAN ITALY and is being processed for delivery.

    Can I just ask, is it the date posted in the UK? or the date Received by Italian Prefect in Rome that counts?

    Has anyone else had experience of long postal delays? Apparently, Italy do not opperate Fully Tracked’ Air sure so this was my only option, other than couriering it. My 60 Days will expire on 24th March!

    Many Thanks.
    Keith

    • Al says

      Keith,

      I believe the tracking on the Royal Mail website stops at the Milan sorting office.
      Does it update when the letter has reached its final destination? I don’t know.
      Unfortunately, the Poste Italiane have just modified their tracking webpage (http://www.poste.it/online/dovequando/home.do) and inserting British tracking reference numbers doesn’t seem to be working anymore.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34973).
      I suppose your letter is “somewhere” in Rome.

      “Can I just ask, is it the date posted in the UK?” Of course! The sending date!
      Because everybody knows that the postal service in Italy sucks!
      “Has anyone else had experience of long postal delays?” In Italy? :D

      Al

  50. Sofia says

    Very familiar story, but your oh-so-useful site has given me hope! :-)
    Facts: I’m British, living in Uk. I received a traffic penalty for driving in ‘zona a traffico limitato’ in Mestre, Veneto.
    Offence occurred 3 Sept 2011. Penalty was sent postmarked 31 Aug 2012 = 362 days! I received it on 7 Sept 2012. Fine was 99 Eur.
    I appealed by letter (my own) to the Prefect of Venice. Sent this 12 Sept 2012. Had another penalty notice yesterday, 19 March 2013 – they have doubled my fine to 186 Eur!
    But, since it was more than 360 days AND the road signage was not clear – I have since been back and checked – you cannot see the ‘limited access’ sign until you turn, otherwise I wouldn’t have done so – can I afford to ignore this? Or should I, in your opinion, write again with reasons why I shouldn’t pay, quoting the 360 days/bad signage? If so, who to?
    I often go to Italy for work and quite often have to rent a car – although I’ll never do so with the same company again cos they were rubbish anyway. So I don’t want to be on their ‘wanted’ list as I’ll need to go there again soon!
    I appreciate this is the millionth time you’ve answered a similar question – massively thankful in advance to have someone who knows what they’re talking about!
    Sofia

    • Al says

      Hi Sofia,

      On what grounds did you appeal?
      Did you write your letter in Italian?
      The penalty notice you received on the 19th of March is the reply from the Prefect, right?
      What reasons were given for rejecting your appeal? Copy the text in Italian.
      You can appeal the Prefect’s decision to the Justice of the Peace within 60 days of receiving the Prefect’s letter.
      But as I’ve already written: “What are we expected to do from abroad? Go through the entire legal process to be vindicated in such a simple matter?”
      Your fine was invalid. It was sent 363 days after the infraction date.
      I would let the whole matter drop! Enough is enough!
      And do return to Italy whenever you wish.
      To be really, really safe, I would avoid driving in the Venezia Province (and even then!).

      Best,

      Al

  51. Norwegian says

    Well, I’ll go stand in line with all the other people here accused of driving in some limited traffic area in Siena. In 2011 I had a nice stay in Italy which included a parking ticket paid via Avis, as in: Avis contacted me informing that the fine would be charged on my credit card. Annoying, but not uncommon with 7 days in a rental car in a foreign country.

    Some time later i received the much discussed emo “notification of notification” for driving in a limited traffic area. My first reaction was: “Didn’t I pay Avis for the fine already?”, Then: “No, this is something else.”, wait: “It came by regular mail, and it wants me to go to an unknown web page and enter my credit card information. Smells fishy.” Needless to say; I thrashed it. Nigerian, now Italian, scam my —!

    Days go by : 2012 I receive a notification from the post office saying there is a letter that needs signing, from Italy. Recognizing the address I ignore it.

    More days go by. 2013 I get a “payment deadline remainder” by regular mail from emo.nivi.it, claiming I where notified the xx-yy-2012, and yada-yada, pay within 60 days or we double.

    This has to be a new low on emo’s part:
    * The notification date above is 483 days after the infraction date, well over the required 360 days, not to mention the 210 days.
    * They have the nerve to cite a date which I know is not valid in court, since I never signed and picked up the notification letter.
    * They have not proved anything, other than stating “the vehicle circulated in limited area.”. At least In Norway it is necessary to provide a picture showing the driver of the car at the time of offense for it to be valid.
    * They really are out of bounds, as in outside of Italian borders, stalking a foreign citizen with no legal agreement with the citizens nation.

    This is apart from the fact that emo.nivi.it looks like a 10 year olds first html school-project, and within 5 minutes shows to be incoherent at best. How could anyone ever willfully enter their credit card information on a dodgy web page like this?! Or! Send money to a random IBAN?

    If I ever find the need to become a criminal I’ll set up an IBAN and start sending petty fines to random people. I bet I’d make, In Dr.Evils voice: “One million dollars!” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l91ISfcuzDw )

    Anyway, Al, If your still reading this: Should I fill out your excellent appeal form, or just let it rest. The 60 day period is not over anytime soon.

    • Al says

      Hi Norwegian,

      I believe the “parking ticket paid via Avis” was in fact the administrative fee (€35 flat rate + VAT) pocketed by Avis for passing your contact details onto the Police.

      As you know, your fine is invalid. It was sent 483 days (> 360) after the infraction date.
      (There is no 210 day notification time limit.)
      The 60 day appeal period is over. You could have appealed within 60 days from the day of receipt of the 2012 (registered mail) official notification.
      The “payment deadline reminder” is an unofficial “threatening” letter aimed at bullying you into paying the original amount within 60 days. You can not appeal.

      So,… just let it rest! :-)

      Best,

      Al

  52. Sebastian Whipple says

    Hi Al,
    Firstly congratulations on a great site and spending so much time helping everyone with this issue, I’m afraid I’ve discovered this site a little late but hope you can still help me. I live in England and we went on a family holiday to Lucca in July 2011. I have received 3 fines of €122.96 for entering a ZTL in Lucca on 16th, 19th and 21st of July 2011. The date of ascertainment was 10th Nov 2011 and the date the official fine was sent by registered mail was 31st of Oct2012 (well over a year after the infraction).
    I just saw recently your comments about the fine having to be recieved 360 from the date of infraction and so I rang EMO and they were insistent that it was from the date of ascertainment. It has now been well over 60 days since we received the official fine and we haven’t paid, is it now too late to send the appeal?
    We have received a Payment Deadline letter for all 3 fines and they have said on the phone they will double the fine after 60 days but when I log on to the emo.nivi website the amount is still the same. Do they actually double the amount?
    Also I couldn’t see any comments on here where people have actually had debt collectors come around, do you know of anyone this has happened to?
    I would love to return to Italy at some point as I love the country but simply cannot afford to pay these fines. If I wait 5 years will they definitely be forgotten?
    Thanks in advance for you’re help.

    • Al says

      Hi Sebastian,

      Yes, it’s too late to send the appeal. It would be declared inadmissible.

      Although EMO keeps on misleading foreign traffic offenders, the official fine (recorded mail) has to be SENT 360 days from the date of infraction.
      Although the amount should already have been doubled, the Payment Deadline (Last Reminder) letter is EMO’s last attempt to get you to pay the original amount (any amount). They would be overjoyed if you paid the “reduced” amount.
      The next step could be a debt collector contacting you, but I’ve never heard of it happening in England. If that happens, just ignore them.
      The statute of limitations (time limit for Italian authorities to collect fines) is 5 years from the date of the offence BUT gets interrupted by any official act relevant to the fine.
      In your case, 31st of October 2012 + 5 years.

      Do not pay these fines, as you know they are invalid.
      Do return to “beautiful” Italy before the 5 years expire, you won’t get arrested at customs.

      Best,

      Al (not Alex Roe – Italy Chronicles publisher)

      • Sebastian Whipple says

        Thanks for the speedy response, just what I wanted to hear. I’ll be sure to post up on here if anything does actually come of my non payment. Thanks

  53. walkerny says

    Had a great visit to Italy, received an ‘infraction’ notice 9 months later (today). No evidence, no photograph. Nothing. No idea what “zone” I was in and should not have been. No policeman stopped me at any time.

    I will simply not pay it and choose France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal…for my next trip. It is a big world, I choose not to deal with THIEVES, and I will send a kind note to the ministry of culture and tourism explaining why Italy is off my list.

    I did not realize Italy was flush with cash and could afford to cause tourists to choose other locations.

  54. Dylan says

    Dear All,

    First of all, what a great thread with lots of interesting information. I’m just trying to digest it all.

    I have a problem and am hoping for some advice from those of you in the know. I received a recorded letter (which I signed for before knowing what it was) from the Italian Police in late October 2012 demanding payment for an alleged speeding offence. The date of the offence shown in the letter was 25th March 2012. However, I was not in Italy on that date but instead was there a month earlier (25th February 2012).
    Immediately I realised the error and presumed that the rental car company had simply passed my details onto the police by mistake instead of the actual person responsible for the car on the date of the offence. I naturally presumed that the police were unlikely to get the date of an offence wrong. I contacted the rental car company and stated that they needed to resolve the problem as it was likely to have been an error on their part and that they should arrange for my name to be cleared from any association with the alleged offence. The rental car company (a global brand) have been dragging their heels on this, and four and a half months later they still haven’t resolved it.
    I did not follow the 60 day appeal process described in the police letter as I naturally felt that this error was not mine to get involved in if it could not possibly be related to me (I put the onus on the rental car company to sort it out). Out of curiosity, I did attempt to log on to the police website named in the letter, to check the photograph of the vehicle taken at the time of the offence. But no password was given in the letter and so I could not access anything.
    I recently sent a formal ultimatum letter to the General Manager of the rental car company demanding resolution to the matter. What I have received instead are two emails from two different employees explaining that they are still looking into the matter and awaiting a response from the General Manager in Italy.
    However, I have just received a second letter from the Italian Police (not recorded post and therefore no signature required) with the same demand but with the date of the offence changed to 25th February 2012 – the date that I WAS in Italy. A covering letter was included apologising for the mistake in the date on the original demand. This covering letter has no letterhead, no date, no signature and no personal salutation – just ‘Dear Sir’.
    My initial thoughts are that there seems to be a strange coincidence in the timing of my formal demand to the rental car company and the arrival of this second letter. I am not convinced by the authenticity of the covering letter (possibly a fake sent by the rental car company?). I also find it disturbing that the police could make a mistake in the date of an offence. I am still unable to view photographic evidence of the offence despite a website address being provided again on the second letter (again without a password included).
    I am not prepared to ignore this matter as I typically travel to Italy at least once a year and don’t wish to experience problems on my next visit (I have already cancelled one vacation at Christmas because this issue was still unresolved!).

    So can anybody advise me on how to play this please? As I see it I have several options:
    (a) I will write to the police directly and ask them to provide photographic evidence of the offence. If there is a photo and it is clearly me in the car, then I know that the police genuinely got the date wrong on the first letter.
    (b) If the rental car company continue to be evasive and I am forced to resolve this alone, then naturally the fact that the police got the date wrong initially should (if it was in the UK) be grounds to dismiss the allegation. The admission of their error in the covering letter with the second demand should be good enough. I then need to appeal the demand.
    (c) However, if I appeal to the Prefect (as suggested in the demand letter) and they do not accept my challenge of the police having made a mistake, then I risk having the £150 fine doubled. I cannot afford that risk.
    (d) If, as suggested early in this thread, I submit a case to a Justice of the Peace then I have a better chance of success, but this is going to cost me far more than the fine itself. Is it really worth it?
    (e) If I pay the fine (although I certainly do not accept any liability for the alleged offence as I still don’t believe it was me), then at least I can continue to travel to Italy without problems, but I’ll be £150 short in the pocket (and very annoyed too).
    (f) I am quite prepared to have this case investigated by a fraud officer, MEP, newspapers, etc, and if it transpires that it is a scam either by the rental car company or the police (or both together!) then hopefully some good will come from it – but that won’t resolve the issue of me being able to get back to Italy anytime soon, unless I make a payment now under duress (but how do I do that with a bank transfer?) and kick up a fuss later.

    Please help.
    Dylan.

    • Al says

      Hi Dylan,

      There was no need to cancel your Christmas vacation.
      You don’t mention who sent you the letters. Was it EMO (Nivi credit), …?

      What probably happened is that:
      - The Police sent the fine (written in Italian) to the rental agency (with the right date: 25th of February),
      - The rental agency passed your contact details onto the Police,
      - The Police then sent you the fine (written in English – with the wrong date: 25th of March),
      - You complained to the car rental company,
      (You could have asked for a copy of the fine (written in Italian) they received.)
      - The car rental company “warned” the Police that you had received a fine with a wrong date of the offence,
      - You finally received from the Police a letter with the right date: 25th of February. Including that apologetic covering letter. Not only do they get the date wrong, but they also forget to provide a password in order to check the photograph. :-)

      I believe that the police genuinely got the date wrong on the first letter and that it was you speeding.
      If you had a password, you’d be able to see a picture of the back of your rental car with the license plate. In Italy, for privacy reasons, photographic evidence identifying the offending driver is prohibited. Such pictures are allowed only if taken by laser speed gun and if the traffic offender is pulled up by the police on the spot.

      After having received the recorded letter, I would have waited 59 days before sending an appeal letter to the Prefect justifying that I was not in Italy on the 25th of March.
      The Police could never have sent you a second recorded letter in time.

      In late October 2012 you were officially notified of an offence which you couldn’t have committed, but you didn’t appeal.
      The second (mid-March) letter should also have been sent recorded delivery. You’re not officially notified of the offence you did commit on the 25th of February.
      I would disregard all your options.
      Either you appeal to the Prefect on the basis of that second letter only, which was sent over 360 days after the date of the offence, or you just ignore the whole matter.

      I would just forget about it. “Both” fines are invalid.
      Ignore any unofficial last reminder letter you may receive and any future possible contact from a debt collection agency.
      Read February 5, 2011 at 10:55 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30020).
      And you won’t experience any problems when you travel to Italy.

      Best,

      Al
      P.S./ To pay and kick up a fuss later? They tremble at the idea of what could happen. :D

      • Dylan says

        Hello Al,

        Thanks for your reply. Both of the letters I received have come directly from the Police as said previously. The second one (with the amended date of the offence and not sent by registered post) was received over 360 days after the alleged (amended) date of offence – however, according to details given towards the top of this thread, the 360 day rule can also begin from the date that the driver was identified. From the information provided by the car rental company, my identification was made in April 2012, therefore this letter IS within the 360 period. But, with the letter not having been sent registered I could, as you suggest, ignore it.
        Unfortunately, whilst researching the issue of travelling to Italy with outstanding fines from that country on my record, several sources have stated the likelihood that this would be flagged at border control and I would be forced to pay. This in fact occurred to my father-in-law some years ago who was denied leaving the country until his speeding fine was met! I have no intention whatsoever of putting myself and my family through such an experience and having vacations spoilt by taking any risk through failing to pay up. But on principle I should not have to pay an incorrect allegation if I felt at that time that I was not in the wrong – hence the cancellation of my Christmas vacation after the car rental company failed to act before my departure. This sentiment still applies if indeed the Police had made an error on their notice – their mistake, their loss.
        Requesting other proof (such as a photo of the incident) seems pointless if it won’t even identify me in the vehicle. It seems that this system is designed purely to entrap people into paying these fines as the alternatives have risks of being far more costly (unless you are prepared to avoid Italy for the next several years – which I am not).
        I was beginning to come round to the idea of just paying the fine to avoid problems on my next vacation, particularly to avoid a far greater fine later if this one was ignored. But having read the February 5th 2011 post you provided the link to (thank you), I may now reconsider, although I will have to prepare my case should I get stopped and questioned at border control.
        Still more options to look at….

        Dylan.

        • Al says

          Dylan,

          “360 day rule can also begin from the date that the driver was identified”
          No! The concept of “subsequent identification” applies only to Italian residents!
          For foreigners it is 360 days full stop!
          At the time of your Christmas vacation, the 60 day appeal period was still running…

          Al

  55. keithforster says

    Dear Al,
    Thank you so much for the advise re my Fine. I’ve done what you suggested and Registered my appeal.
    I’ll let you know if I ever hear anything again!
    Great site and thanks for the response.
    Kindest Regards,
    Keith.

  56. Mike says

    Hi Al & All
    I received a post marked letter dated 1-09-13 for a violation committed in Siena for a Limited Traffic Area without Authorization. (The letter was not signed for and some sort of yellow Card in Italian- I guess registered). The date of the offense was 10-12-11 while driving a rental car from Eurocar and date of ascertainment was 1-19-12. The Siena Municipale has turned this over to Nivi Credit and the fine is 132.25 Euro. If not paid in 60 days or 3-09-13 the fine will increase to 208.25 euro + fees and interest cost excluded. I have not responded and don’t think that I will (or should I?). The receipt of this letter is 434
    days after the offense. So is Nivi going to hand it over to Cedar Fiancial here in the US to try and collect, where I am sure I will be harassed and threatened to no end. And will the Rental Car Company try and charge my credit card which I cancelled some time ago?
    It also says in the letter that I can pay the fine by credit card through http://www.emo.nivi.it Do I have any leg to stand on and what happens if I don’t pay. I have no plans on returning to Italy anytime soon.
    Mike

  57. Alex says

    Hi Everyone
    I am from Canada and I was driving my car which I picked up from factory in Germany around Europe in July 2012 and now in Feb 2013 I got a ticket from Pisa for circulating in restricted area. I have no plan to go to Italy ever again. Can they send collection agencies to my door? Thanks

  58. Nick says

    Al

    Well, I sent the appeal and also emailed EMO to inform them of the appeal. Today I received an email from them:

    Dear Mr Scott,

    in order to keep your dossiers updated, please be so kind to send us via email a copy of the registered mail sent to the Prefect of Lucca.

    We will also inform the Police, accordingly.
    Thank you for your cooperation.

    The appeal was sent on 7th Feb by Royal Mail International Signed For. The tracking as of today is showing:

    Your item, posted on 07/02/13 with reference RU100334562GB has arrived in MILAN ITALY and is being processed for delivery.

    It’s been showing this since the 11th and I’m wondering if this will ever be delivered.

    Do you think I should reply to EMO with all the copies and also the tracking number for the letter?

    Thanks again for this invaluable site.

    Nick

    • Al says

      Nick,

      The tracking on the Poste Italiane website shows:
      Spedizione RU100334562GB con data 07/02/2013:
      Accettato dal centro postale di MILANO CSI WINDOWS in data 09-FEB-2013
      Consegnato allo sportello del centro postale di LU PIAGGIA CDM in data 15-FEB-2013
      Accepted by the Milan mail centre…
      Delivered to the counter of the mail centre in via Di Piaggia, Lucca…
      http://www.poste.it/online/dovequando/start.do?subaction=raccomandata

      “Thank you for your cooperation”!!!
      Seeing that I’m not particularly fond of the EMO, I would reply something like, “Well, given that up to now, you have demonstrated such excellent coordination with the Italian Police and the Italian Prefectures, may I be so bold as to suggest that you ask the Prefecture of Lucca for the registered letter. Fondest regards…”
      But that’s only me! At times, I can be very uncooperative.
      However, if you wish to reply, send them only the appeal letter. No need to send the fines, everything is mentioned in the letter.

      Al

      • Nick says

        Al

        I also feel somewhat uncooperative ii this case. I’m sure that if I reply with a copy of the appeal letter they will say that that the fine is valid because it is within the 360 days from identification which is what they always seem to maintain. Of course, the appeal isn’t up to them but I wonder if they have any influence. On the other hand being bolshy might not help either. I’m thinking of just replying with the tracking number enquiring why on earth this hasn’t been delivered yet since it’s been sitting at the post office since the 15th.

        Nick

      • Nick says

        Al

        Sent an email to EMO saying I was concerned that the letter hasn’t been delivered with a copy of the tracking result from the posteitaliane website. This is their reply:

        we would like to give you the answer and know the reason why the letter is still at Lucca post office. Unfortunately we cannot.

        However, although we do understand that you sent the appeal, we still need the copy of the registered mail in order to update your dossier and inform the Police, accordingly.

        So maybe it’s worthwhile sending them a copy

        Nick

        • Al says

          Nick,

          And to think that postal reliability is Italy’s strong suit! ;-)

          If you wish, you could try filling out the (Information request/Complaint) online form (with a copy of the tracking result) on the Poste Italiane website.
          http://www.poste.it/online/richiestainfo/home.do
          Ask for an answer via email only. You can add that you’ve tried calling the mail centre in Lucca, but nobody ever answers. (I’ve tried!!!)

          “So maybe it’s worthwhile sending them a copy”
          I don’t know. An appeal must be sent via registered mail.
          Will the Lucca police send the appeal to the Prefecture?
          Will the Prefect rule on an appeal forwarded by email?
          I wouldn’t give the EMO the satisfaction of sending them a copy, but that’s me.

          Or you are fed up with all this EMO crap, and you could decide to let the whole matter drop!

          Al

          • Nick says

            Thanks, Al, I hadn’t seen this. The strange thing is on the downloaded “esito” it still only shows it as having been delivered to the Lucca post office. I never did send an email copy of the appeal to EMO, btw

            Nick

          • Nick says

            All

            Well, more than 360 days have passed and no reply to my appeal so I assume that it has tacitly been accepted. No further communication from EMO either. Should be the end of the matter.

            Nick

          • Nick says

            Al

            I never received a reply to my appeal and and the 360 days for the decision to be sent expired on the 10th Feb. I gather that is a tacit acceptance of the appeal. I haven’t had any further communications at all so no doubled fine and no further emails from EMO. This does mean, though, that I don’t have written proof and would not be able to present anything to a car rental company for example. Do you think I should email EMO asking them to confirm that the fines have been cancelled or is it better to just let sleeping dogs lie?

            Nick

  59. John says

    Hi, thanks everyone for the time you put in keeping this thread going for so long.

    I thought I’d share my experience on this matter, and hopefully get some of your input. Last week I received a registered letter with a speeding ticket from Italy, which matches my stay in Florence last summer (beginning of August). Apparently I was doing about 10 km/h over the 50km/h speed limit. Since I’m well within the 360 days notification period, and as far as I can tell I don’t have any grounds for an appeal (I guess I could slow down the process by asking for more information, check google maps for the speed camera signs etc.), I was just about to pay the 180 euros and get this done with.

    Unfortunately, I just received three more registered letters (this time I wasn’t at home, so I only got he notice). At this point, I’m not sure if I want to part with at least 500 euros (I’m guessing the new tickets will probably be at least 80-100 euros each) so I decided to do nothing for now and research more on the possible consequences. Based on my current situation I have a couple of questions, some of them I found in the thread and just want to confirm:

    - Should I sign and pick up the new letters, or should I just let the post office mail them back and also do the same for new letters?
    - From what I’ve found on this page they can’t charge my credit card, since I already payed SIXT the fee to give my info to the local police. So the rental car company should be out of the picture?
    - I live in Canada, is anyone aware or had any experience with a debt collection agency affiliated with Italy that could come after me here?
    - I travel to Europe (EU) every few years or so, assuming that I don’t go back to Italy, will I have any problems entering or renting a car in any of the other EU countries? How many years before Italy will drop the case or I can travel back without any negative consequences?
    - Not sure if this can be helpful at all, but I noticed that my first name on the official notice is misspelled (last name is ok). Can this help at all in the future, since it doesn’t match my official documents?

    It’s unfortunate that Italy has to resort to these sort of tactics. I drove in countless other European countries and never had these sort of issues. I don’t agree with speeding or breaking the law, but just from reading this page this situation is ridiculous and out of control and I don’t think feeding a broken system is the way to go.

    • Al says

      Hi John,

      - Although you’ve signed for the first letter, I would let the post office mail them back.
      It will not make any difference. You’ll probably receive a “Last Reminder” letter (sent via normal post) and then you might be contacted by a Canadian debt collection agency.
      - I imagine you’ve read February 11, 2013 at 10:03 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34915).
      There is no absolute guarantee, but they should be out of the picture.
      - Read February 5, 2011 at 10:55 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30020)
      Read February 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30162).
      http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/95205/fine-in-florence.html
      - No. The 5-year statute of limitations from the date of the offence is interrupted by any official act relevant to the fine. In your case, February 2013 + 5 years.
      - Minor mistake, especially considering that “all other details are correct” and that you’ve signed for the registered notification, thus admitting implicitly that you were the person it was addressed to.

      Best,

      Al

      • John says

        Thanks for the reply. This sort of answers are a bit concerning:
        http://www.justanswer.com/canada-law/5yo9v-hello-contacted-crs-collection-recovery-systems.html

        Al, so picking up and signing for the new letters won’t make a difference? I was contemplating if I should just pay for the first one, and “ignore” not sign for the rest. If it doesn’t make a difference, I might as well just pick them up and decide what to do at that point.

        Are there any cases that you know of where the collection agency (in a foreign country, in this case Canada) lawfully collected the debt and/or negatively affected a credit rating? I’d be curious to see how many people ran into these sort of issues and how they handled it.

        Thanks again for your input.

        • Kemiker says

          Hi John
          There are several issues with the Italians trying to enforce fines across borders. It should be noted that even in Europe they are unable to use the court system to enforce fines because their methods are not recognised outside Italy. There is a recognised pan-European legal mechanism for enforcing fines but it doesn’t suit the Italians to use it (it wouldn’t generate any revenue). This is why the EMO resorts to debt collection agencies that try to bully the money out of people. If it was legitimate they would use the courts. As far as I am aware the court system in any country generally require two conditions to be fulfilled before enforcing a cross border fine:
          a) it most also be an offence in the country of enforcement
          b) a court in the issuing country must have issued a judgement

          Again as far as I am aware all countries require that you have had the opportunity to contest the charges in a court of law. Since the courts are not part of the equation in the Italian cases I think it unlikely that a court in any other country would entertain these ridiculous fines. If CRS contact you tell them that they are attempting to collect contested traffic fines on behalf of the Italian police, if they have bought a “debt” then they have been duped. The Italian police are surely grateful for their kind donation! They are almost certainly not licenced to collect traffic fines on behalf of the Italian police and since you have never been convicted of any offence or had the opportunity to contest the charge in a court, it is improbable that a Canadian court would give them the time of day. Add to that the fact that so many of these fines turn out to be unfounded, CRS would be stupid to even consider taking it to court.
          So in short, I wouldn’t worry- the legal basis is extremely weak.

          Best
          Kemiker

        • Giovanni says

          I have received a couple of these notices as well. Lucky for me only 2. One from Sienna and one from Rome. I am Canadian and I will visit Italy again but probably not for several years. I will share my strategy rather than offer advice. I have looked at the unregistered notices and refused delivery of the registered notices. It is totally within your rights to do so. Somewhere above it states that after 5 years the fines become unenforceable so if you stay off these municipalities radar for that amount of time you should be OK. If ever a Canadian collection agency attempts to collect on these I will keep an eye on my credit score and ensure that there is nothing registered against it. If it turns out that it would be in my best interests to settle, I will make an offer somewhere around 30 cents on the dollar. A company might be happy to take it than spend more and more trying to collect and maybe get nothing. After 5 years though (2016) I would consider these to be gone and forgotten.

  60. Martin says

    Hi, first of all thanks for this blog and the very friendly people here helping!

    I got 3 violations of entering Zona limitado on my honeymoon back in october 2011. Then I got the notice of payment early 2012 and now 19th februari 2013, 3 letters are waiting at the postoffice for me to sign from italy. The amount is ridicoulus!

    From my understanding reading this blog(my english is not the best), the 360 days has passed, can I appeal and state that the 360 days has passed?

    Also, can I demand getting reply in swedish?

    Thank you for clarifying, I tried to read this blog the best i could:)

    • Kemiker says

      Hi Martin
      You can go to the post office and ask what the recorded delivery mail is together with which language it is written in. You have the right to refuse it if it is not written in Swedish (it will be in English) as is the case for all judicial and extra-judicial documentation issued within the EU. The issuing authority must provide a translation on request and before the case can proceed. This does not change the 360 day limit though so it can’t be used as a stalling tactic. You can read all about it here http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32007R1393:sv:HTML The annex contains the official refusal documentation. Anything you want must be provided in your national language – however, you can expect to have to pay the translation costs if you are convicted – but this is unlikely since none of these cases go to court. I doubt you will hear anything more from them if you use official documentation to demand a Swedish translation. It has to be inderstandable too so a Google translate version would not be acceptable.

      Best
      Kemiker

      • Al says

        Martin,

        When I wrote “no Swedish”, I was referring to the Prefect’s reply (if he ever does reply) to your letter of appeal.
        I’ve presumed, perhaps wrongly, that the notices of payment and the three official fines are written in Swedish.
        Swedish is one of the languages on EMO’s website.

        Al

        • says

          Al and Kemiker, thanks for your reply!

          I filled in the appeal template but am a little confused:

          1. On the backside of the fine it says “…the notification of the present act must be sent within 360 days from the ascertainment date.” It is less than 360 days within the ascertainment date, but far over the infraction date. So if I am correct, I should point out in the appeal that it is the infraction date that counts, even if they sent me a non-registrant notification only 5 month after the infraction?

          2. Is the address I will post to:
          Al Prefetto di Sassari, Prefettura di Sassari Ufficio Ricorsi per Violazioni al Codice della Strada Piazza d’Italia 31 07100 Sassari ?

          It says in the notification that it must be sent to: SASSARI, PIAZZA ITALIA – 07100 – SASSARI (SS)
          alternatively directly to the Justice of the peace of ALGHERO, VIA IV NOVEMBRE, 4 – 07021 – ALGHERO (SS)

          Or should I send to both?

          Thank you so much for your time for answering!

          • Al says

            Martin,

            1. The “Notice of payment before notification” (“friendly” notification) sent via normal mail has no legal value! The 360 day rule applies only to the Official/Registered Notice.
            It’s the infraction date that counts! That’s exactly what you’re pointing out in the appeal letter!
            - Copy/paste the appeal letter included in September 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm comment.
            - Download Decision 198/1996 as a pdf document from: http://www.cortecostituzionale.it/actionPronuncia.do
            (“Anno: 1996, Numero/i: 198”, click on “Ricerca”)
            (Click on the adobe reader logo – top right of the page)
            - Enclose Decision 198/1996” of the Italian Constitutional Court (with the relevant passages highlighted) and copies of the three official fines.
            - Write on the appeal letter: “Allega: fotocopie dei verbali notificati, sentenza Corte Costituzionale 10-17 giugno 1996, n. 198.”
            - Send that email to the EMO (Nivi Credit) to inform them that you’ve appealed with the Prefect of Sassari.

            2. The address is fine! ONLY to the Prefect!

            If the Prefect of Sassari rejects your appeal, do not pay! Your fines are invalid!

            Al

          • Martin says

            Dear Al,

            I would need some advice again, today I received 3 PAYMENT DEADLINE REMINDERS of the fines I already appealed to in february. I did as suggested and sent the appeals in registered letters well within time.

            Did they just ignore my appeal? do you have any suggestions what I should do with these 3 Deadline reminders?

            thanks again

          • Al says

            Hi Martin,

            As I suggested in a previous post, you could have sent one letter of appeal for the three fines.
            There’s no coordination between the EMO and the Italian Prefectures.
            Did you write an email to the EMO (Nivi Credit) to inform them that you’ve appealed with the Prefect of Sassari?

            Al

          • Martin says

            Hello Al,

            Yes I sent one letter back in february of the three fines and also one email to EMO at the same time to inform them that I did. (this was well within time)

            However today I received three Notice Of Payment of the fines but no answer for my appeals.
            EMO just keeps asking for a copy of the appeals that I sent to Prefetto di Sassari, however I keep telling them to contact Prefetto di Sassari for a copy.

            I understand they have no coordination at all between them other than collecting the fines, so can I just ignore those Notice Of Payment or should I continue and email EMO the copy of the appeals?

            Any suggestion is appreciated, thank you so much for your time!

          • Martin says

            Sorry a correction, the latest letters I have now received is PAYMENT DEADLINE REMINDERS, not Notice Of Payment.

          • Al says

            Martin,

            I would ignore the “payment deadline reminders”.
            The outcome will be the same anyway. You will never pay these invalid fines.
            It’s not your job to provide them with a copy of the appeal letter.
            They should be as efficient at coordinating with the Police and the Prefecture for appeals as they are at sending fines!

            Al

          • Martin says

            Hello again!

            Today I have just recieved an answer for my appeal, and ofcourse the fines are “well-founded” according to them. I didnt expect anything else.

            So, there is nothing more to do for me now if I am correct? either pay or not pay?

            Thanks again for all your help!

          • Al says

            Martin,

            Well, you could appeal the Prefect’s decision to the Justice of the Peace …
            But enough is enough!
            As I wrote in my February 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm reply… :-)

            Al

  61. Keith says

    Hello,
    I wonder if you can advise me?
    In Oct 2011, I hired a car from Rome and drove to Norsia for a wedding.
    On Jan 25th this year 2013 I’ve received a letter, which was signed for by a neighbour, from ‘Corpo di Polizia Roma Capitale’ for a Violation of Highway code and fine of €113.11 for ‘driving in a transport reserved lane’

    As this letter is 1year and 3 months After the date of infraction, am I entitled to appeal it with the 360 day rule?
    If so, are you able to point me in the right direction of a standard letter that I can download to send to them with the appropriate wording? I do not speak Italian!
    Can I do this via email? or do I have to Register a letter to them? My 60 days to appeal would run out in March.
    Thanking you in advance for any advise!
    Kindest Regards,
    Keith

  62. Alex says

    Thanks Al, exactly my thoughts….

    However I travel to Italy (Rome/Milan) every month for work and hope they don’t arrest me at the airport on arrival for non payment of this fine. I have seen this being mentioned as one of the posts on this site (though poster wasn’t arrested after all) and some others as well. Have you or any other forum members heard about Italian police arresting people for not paying a fine for driving in bus lane ?

    thanks
    Alex

    • Al says

      Alex,

      No! As you know, they try and collect fines through the EMO and, eventually, debt collection agencies established in the offender’s country of residence.
      You won’t be arrested at the airport for not paying a traffic fine.

      Al

      • Alex says

        Al,

        Thanks for the reassurance… I now sit back twiddling my thumbs waiting to see what EMO tries next… I am not going to respond to them…

        Thanks for putting up this informative site/comments.. much helpful
        Alex

  63. Florentin says

    Hi all,
    Thanks everybody for the time spent on this blog
    I was in vacation with my family in Florence to visit my sister in August 2012. We are from US and rent a car SIXT in Florence for 5 days…I drove only 2 days in Florence and the rest were outside Italy..French Rivira.. and now I received a letter stating that Violation of the Highway code report….I was circulating on the lane reserved for public transportation….Something funny though is that all the time I drove there it was following my brother in law`s car because I don`t know Florence and had no GPS..that`s 100% sure. I received the letter on February 2013 after 6 moths….The instructions on how to pay online leads me to the EMO website with a username and password….normally I would pay it but after I read the tread I have serious doubts because looks like a scam and also what if I will receive another 2-3 letters after…out of nowhere….
    Can you please give me an idea, suggestion…I could ask my sister or brother in law to go there and drop the letter or…I really don`t know…I paid with my VISA which is like my checking account…do you suggest to replace it..Is possible that I could get charge if I don`t pay the fine…One more thing…I moved from the address that they actually have on file for me but I still got the mail forwarded to my new address…should I cancel my mail forward service??

    I red as much as I could of the comments above….looks like scam to me and is not about 104.02Euro..

    Thanks for your help

    • Al says

      Hi Florentin,

      EMO is a collection agency officially mandated by a large number of Italian municipalities to notify fines to foreigners.

      In Italy car rental companies can/will not usually pay the fines on their customer’s behalf unless the car rental agreement allows them explicitly to do so.
      Sixt rental agreement states that the Customer undertakes to pay Sixt Italy by credit card:
      - A sum equal to the amount fined to the Client and/or to Sixt Italy for the breach of rules of the Road Code or any toll fees in connection with the use of the vehicle by the Client. He also authorizes Sixt Italy to charge his credit card for any fines notified after the closing of the rental agreement concerning the rental period…
      (http://www.sixt.it/en/customer_service/condizioni_contratto.php)

      But you have received the fine in the States which would mean that they have chosen, as they usually do, to pursue the holder of the rental agreement. They have not requested the payment from Sixt and I find it unlikely that they will.
      Sixt has provided your personal data to the police, they should be out of the picture by now.
      Cancel your VISA? Sixt can charge your old CC (expired or cancelled), that card was valid the day you signed the rental contract and your credit card company will accept to pay any claims from Sixt relating to that period.

      Read February 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm comment and following comments.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30124)

      Best,

      Al

  64. Alex says

    Hi Al/Alex/Kemiker, I got 2 fines recently for driving in the bus lane while in Florence 5 months ago. Upon recalling the dates, I am quite sure that I was sick that day and stayed indoors so couldn’t understand how I could have got the fines. Then speaking to my ex, I figured that she went out driving without telling me (told me she’s off site seeing) on the day and she wasn’t a listed driver on my rental agreement. She now lives in Australia and happy to testify that she drove the car without my knowledge that day.

    How would it work in this case, would she get into trouble as she wasn’t a listed driver and drove without my knowledge, would they send her the fine letter in Oz or would I still be liable as I am in UK and was the hiring person with my credit card details

    Appreciate any advice as of course I don’t want to pay for the fines which I did not commit

    • Al says

      Hi Alex,

      Art 196,1 of the Italian Highway Code (Solidarity principle) states that as owner of your (private) vehicle, or as holder of the rental agreement of the vehicle, you are considered to be jointly liable with the author of the traffic violation for the payment of the fine.

      Best,

      Al
      P.S./ Would I pay for an ex who has fled down under………..? ;-)
      Read October 8, 2011 at 12:29 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-31902).

      • Alex says

        Damn… Guess I’ll have to pay for this fine though would take them through the pain of providing with photo evidence, make and model of camera, camera calibration stats etc etc as mentioned above all in english… Lets see how long I can pull this

        The notification I have received is from municipal police of Florence via normal post so I assume this is the authorised fine letter not the “notification of fine – the notice of payment before official notification”. Although the payments are to be made to Nivi credit. Should I wait for registered post notification before I reply or not ?

        thanks for your help

          • Alex says

            Al,

            Are you saying that there would be another letter coming my way as and “Official Notification” ? So what I have received is not considered an official notification and just a report

            bit confused here
            Alex

          • Alex says

            BTW: the letter is marked “Violation of Highway code Report” at the top. So this isnt a formal official notice ?

            Alex

          • Al says

            Alex,

            I was misled by the fact that you wrote that you had received these fines via normal post.
            These official notifications were sent via registered mail but your postman just left them without getting a signature.
            At the top left of the letter you should see the word “recommandè”. A yellow “Poste Italiane” slip is probably still attached to the back of the envelope.
            The official notification is the only one which states that you can appeal to the Prefect or the Justice of the Peace within 60 days.
            Read February 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm comment and following comments.
            (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30012).

            Al

          • Alex says

            Hi Al,

            Yes the letter does have the word “recommandè” on top and came with a yellow “Poste Italiane” slip attached to the back of envelope but the letter was left in the letterbox so officially I haven’t signed for any notifications as yet.

            Should I wait for a registered one still as another few months I’d be past 360 days timeline ?

            thanks
            Alex

          • Al says

            Alex,

            Even though you haven’t been formally notified (no proof of receipt), Emo will keep on pursuing you. They’ll send you a “Last Reminder” letter via normal post (requesting the same amount) and will eventually “entrust” your file to a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.
            Just ignore any unofficial last reminder letter you may receive and any future possible contact from a debt collection agency.

            Al

  65. Claude says

    Hey there,

    I hope this post finds all you good people well.

    I just received a letter of ‘Violation of the highway code’ on the 23/01/2013. It came by registered mail and we had to sign for it. The letter is saying that on the 26/11/2011 ‘The vehicle drove along road for public transport’ in ‘Valeggio Sul Mincio’ and they are requesting that I pay Eur121. Following the many sections I read above it seems that this goes beyond the 360days from the date of the violation that they say I made which means this infraction should be annulled. Would anyone be so kind to suggest to me how best to go about it. Is there maybe a letter template I should send? I am from Malta which is an EU member.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Claude

  66. Dhen says

    Hi there.

    I’ve just received a bunch of fines from our holiday last July – or rather I’ve received notification from Europacar that they are charging me €193 for admin charges relating to 4 violations. I assume they are for entering a restricted traffic zone.

    What is really annoying me is that three of the 4 violations are all from within a 20 minute period, and even more annoying two are within a minute of each other! 10:35 and 10:36, the third being at 10:52. That is one costly wrong turn we took.

    This is from Comune di Pistoia. Any advice on how to appeal the three and get them reduced to a single violation – who to contact , and if that were to succeed would we have any hope of having Europacar drop two of the charges, if the local authorities were to strike them out?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Al says

      Hi Dhen,

      Excerpt from Art. 198,2 of the Italian Highway Code: “For limited traffic zones, the offender […] is subjected to the fine for each single violation.”
      Only the Justice of the Peace could eventually reduce the free fines to a single violation but I fear such an appeal would have little chance of success.
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).
      Read Kemiker’s comment just above yours.

      Best,

      Al

  67. Bob says

    Hi all, very interesting reading, my situation is that we went on holiday to Italy from 31st July to the 7th August 2012, hired a car from Holiday Autos (used Hertz Advantage Italy), we were as careful as possible, didn’t drive into Rome, only the Airport.

    After a rally great holiday the first thing we saw was a 30euro charge appear on the credit card statement on 27th Nov 2012, no notification from Advantage, so we contacted Holiday Autos (HA), Advantage never responded to HA so they refunded us that 30euros. We then got the next CC statement and there is another 30euro charge dated the 14th Dec. We contacted HA again and this time they have come back saying that…
    “I truly regret that you were subjected to further expenses which has caused you anxiety.

    However, after I have processed the refund of 30 Euros due to the lack of response from Advantage, our partner has managed to finally provide us with the explanation of the local expenses.

    Therefore as per Advantage, one of the conditions of the rental is that if Advantage as the owner of the vehicle is asked by the local police to provide additional information with regards to some fine received, they may charge you an administration charge for doing so.

    Furthermore, since Advantage was contacted by the local Authorities, with regards to the above mentioned infractions, two files were opened in order to transmit the necessary documents to issue the fines.
    For this reason Advantage, as agreed in the contract, has charged you with two administrative fees of Euros 30.00 each to process the files.

    Let me inform you that due to security reasons, Advantage does not have the record of the traffic violations, that will be send directly to your home address from the local authorities.
    Theses documents will provide the detailed description of the final amount to be paid, the reasoning, and also the method of payment.
    What is more, fines can be issued up to 365 days.

    I am afraid that neither Holiday Autos nor the car rental company can investigate this with the authorities on your behalf due to the data protection act.
    Nevertheless I trust that I was able to clarify your concerns.”

    So we are now in limbo waiting for the ‘violation’ paperwork, but I m just annoyed that the rental company Advantage can take finds without explaining why.

    • Kemiker says

      Hi Bob

      You should contact your credit card issuer immediately and have those charges reversed with reference to the fact that the allegtions against you are unfounded and yet to be proven. Furthermore the Italian municipalities are known to be cheating foreigners out of money with the help of rental car companies. The police take a EUR15 admin charge, the rental companies have taken 30 each and the EMO will take another 80! Your admin fees will amount to more than the fine.
      As for Advantage denying being in possession of of the violation records – bullshit – they must have them. They are sent to the car’s registered owner, which begs the question of why they provided your details without any proof of an offence having taken place? It will be a while before you get anything from the EMO by which time it will be too late to get your money refunded. You ought to write to HA and tell them that all charges made to your credit card are being reversed until such time as, a) you are provided with the documents from the police which made Advantage provide them with your details, and b) the case against you is proven. It’s easier this way than having to do what I am doing now see: http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34802
      I wish I had reversed the charges to my credit card in 2011!

      Best
      Kemiker

      • Bob says

        Hi Kemiker, thanks for the advice, we contacted the credit card company and got the charges reversed, also cancelled the card. The CC company were really good actually, the person dealing with us also said they had heard of the problems with Italy and hire car companies taking payments without you being notified or the motoring offenses not being verified.

        So now we wait for the notices to be delivered, so I can only hope they come too late. We still don’t know what the offenses are or when as HA are playing dumb by saying they have no information nor can they supply any due to data protection act, quite what they mean I have no idea as it is supposed to be a fine by us?

        Anyway not going to push for info, just let Italians take their time and hope it’s too late to pay.

        • bs says

          We had almost the exact circumstances in Spoleto. Got 6 “administration fees” charged to our cc by Hertz for total of about $300. Said we had signed contract stating we agreed to charges if we got traffic tickets, etc. Called CC company to have charges reversed & they said we couldn’t do it because of what we signed in the contract. OY!!! Are now awaiting fines from police. Still have no idea what we did wrong, & no one wants to help: Hertz or CC company. All this will end up costing more than the entire trip to Italy. Never again!

  68. Al says

    Tony,

    “I’m just looking for the letter that I need to send to Firenze (what I need to say).”

    Once again, READ:
    - April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am (an appeal template is included) comment. (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584)
    - November 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm comment.
    (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34504).

    Send the appeal letter (registered with proof of receipt) to:
    Al Prefetto di Firenze
    Prefettura di Firenze
    Ufficio Ricorsi per Violazioni al Codice della Strada (Appeals office for violations of the Highway Code)
    Via Antonio Giacomini 8
    50132 Firenze

    Al

  69. Tony says

    Al, great comments/blog!

    Here are the facts in my case: Rented a car from Hertz Nov 2011. Received a notice of some “verbale fine” about 3 months later. Then a registered letter dated December 2012 (more than a year after the stated infraction). I was going 63 km in a 50 km zone. Fine is 185.02 Euros.

    I tried to use the site to get a picture, but when I put in the license of the car, it never came up.

    should I just pay and be done with it, or is in fact the 360 day rule apply here? (over 380 days passed from date of supposed infraction) and if I don’t pay, do I send in a letter with a citation of the law? and if so, what is the actual code in the law (the most recent that applies to me) about the 360 days limit?

    many thanks for your help
    tony

    • Al says

      Hi Tony,

      The fine is invalid, the official notice (registered letter dated December 2012) was sent over 360 days after the date of the violation (November 2011).
      I’d most definitely send the appeal letter to the Prefect.

      Read closely :
      - April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am (an appeal template is included) comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584)
      - November 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34504).

      Best,

      Al

    • Kemiker says

      Hi Tony
      You didn’t mention which municipality it was. Rome municipality’s website contains the correct interpretation of the 360 day rule which is worth referring to. Likewise the prefect of Florence is known to have accepted several appeals made on this basis. Might as well get the whole lot in the appeal first time round since not all prefects interpret the rules in the same way.
      If your credit card was charged by Hertz for the admin fees you can write to them and demand the money is refunded – you have been charged on the assumption the police would get a conviction which they now won’t. I have issued Hertz with a demand for the return of my money + 15% in index linked interest + equivalent charges of my own after having won all of my appeals. They have a few days left in which to pay the money into my bank account or face a lawsuit. Hertz in Denmark have now also taken an interest in the case having previously insisted the charges were perfectly legitimate.

      Best
      Kemiker

      • Tony says

        Kemiker, thank you for the response. The location was Firenze. The credit card was only charged for the “search” fee which was something like 35 euros as I recall (the fee was deducted from the credit card about 30 days after the supposed infraction). I’m not too worried about this amount. I’m just looking for the letter that I need to send to Firenze (what I need to say). The date of the infraction was something like 21 Nov 2011. The date of the registered letter was 13 Dec 2012 (clearly over 360 days), and I received it 26 Dec.

        Your help is appreciated.
        thanks
        tony

  70. Grace says

    Hi al & Alex.. Thanks for the site and the sample of appeal later.. My case is as below (rented car in florence) and would appreciate any comments

    Date of offense: 28oct 2011
    “On 18nov 2011 the officer verbali, sanzioni and notifiche established that on 28/10/2011… Circulated on a lane reserved for other vehicles as indicated by traffic signs… Responsible party identified on 13/01/2012. The legal term starts from this date (art 201.c.1 c.d.s and art 386 Reg C.d.s) the violation was not immediately notified due to ……….. We hereby confirm that on 13/12/2012 this report was notified and forwarded to the office in charge of the notification ”

    This is send by registered mail (date on envelop is 13/12/2012 and receive like 2 weeks later), did not receive any unofficial notice prior to this. The appeal did not state that it must be in Italian.. Jus wondering can if the appeal letter to the Prefect can be send in English..

    Also.. Where can I find the (fine)/infraction number ? See a few number on the letter but not sure which is the one that I should quote. what format can I find it in?

    Should the date I write be the date they send out the notification or the date I received their notification?

    Sample of my appeal letter.. Please let me know any modifications required. Thanks!

    —————–

    Al Prefetto di …Firenze.

    Raccomandata A.R.

    Oggetto: ricorso contro multa notificata oltre 360 giorni dal fatto.

    la sottoscritta (my name), residente in…(my address), titolare del contratto di noleggio della vettura targa …(car plate no)………..,

    premesso che in data …26/12/2012……., ha ricevuto il verbale di accertamento di violazione al codice della strada n. ……???……, fa notare che la notifica dello stesso è avvenuta oltre 360 giorni dal fatto, estinguendo quindi l’obbligo di pagamento.

    Come stabilito dall’art. 201, comma 1 del Codice della strada, nel caso di residenti all’estero, il verbale deve essere notificato entro 360 giorni dall’accertamento, calcolati inequivocabilmente dalla data dell’infrazione.

    Per quanto sopra

    Chiede che il provvedimento venga annullato.

    Allega: fotocopia del verbale notificato.

    Date…………… Signature
    ——–

    • Al says

      Hi Grace,

      Send the appeal letter (registered with proof of receipt) to:
      Al Prefetto di Firenze
      Prefettura di Firenze
      Ufficio Ricorsi per Violazioni al Codice della Strada (Appeals office for violations of the Highway Code)
      Via Antonio Giacomini 8
      50132 Firenze

      The appeal letter must be sent in Italian.
      “La sottoscritta…”
      The date you received the notification.
      Fine number is usually “xxxxxxxx/11” (for 2011, the year the offence was committed).

      Read November 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34504).

      Best,

      Al

  71. Liam says

    Hi Al

    Many thanks for your reply, re my query on 6 November.

    Is there an official way to challenge this. As it happened over 3 years ago the problem I have is that I can’t remember any deails of the roads we travelled on, any documentation we may have had is long gone.

    Many thanks once again.

    Liam.

    • Al says

      Liam,

      Missed toll payment
      http://www.autostrade.it/en/il-pedaggio/mancato-pagamento.html?initPosAra=4_4
      Autostrade per l’Italia stations are under video surveillance system. In case of missed toll payment, missing toll ticket, misuse of infrastructures at the toll gates, car plates are automatically recorded to engage civil, administrative and/or legal procedures whenever necessary…

      I imagine the letter from Nivi Credit points you to a website where you can see a picture of the back of the car and the license plate.
      If not, the only “way to challenge this” would be to contact Nivi Credit and ask for some photographic evidence.
      But I would have better things to do with my time. J:-)

      Nivi Credit may pass the details of your “debt” onto a debt collection agency established in your country of residence but they have no powers of enforcement.
      Read February 5, 2011 at 10:55 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30020)

      Al

      • Liam says

        Hi Al

        Thankyou once again for your reply 17 November 2012. Your comments and links have proved to be extremely useful.

        Kind regards

        Liam.

  72. Kelvy says

    Hi, can anyone help with this one?

    I have been caught in this speeding scam thing too and am unsure what to do next. Alex in the above talks about the the different types of appeal but I’m still not sure what to do.

    I have been sent a Violation of the Highway Code which goes back to (they say) 28.7.11 and the date of ascertainment is 14.11.11, is this within the correct time limit as the recent notice I recieved was dated 31.10.12, it also had an orange label type thing on the back which may be some Italian equivilant of registered post that needed a signature but I have not signed for it. Does that make it inadmissable, can they still pursue me even though they do not have a signature?

    My other question is who do I apply to to get details of the camera, road signs etc? Would that be the Prefect or the local Police station as I can’t see an address on the letter for that?

    I’d be greatful of any help or clarifucation.

    • Al says

      Hi Kelvy,

      Why a scam ? You probably did exceed the speed limit.
      The yellow slip is the Italian equivalent of registered post.

      Where did you commit the speeding violation?
      Who sent you this official notification? EMO (Nivi Credit)?
      Which Prefect & Justice of the Peace are mentioned?
      Your fine (dated 31.10.12), sent over 360 days after the date of the traffic violation, is invalid.
      You can try and check the position of the speed camera and relevant signposting on Google Streetview.

      Read :
      - April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584)
      - February 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm comment and the two comments below.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30012)

      Best,

      Al

      • Kelvyn says

        Hi Al,

        Many thanks for your reply – what a forum! I’m overwhelmed by the amount of information, thank you.

        I’ve scanned a copy of the violation letter for you to look at if you don’t mind. I’ve removed any identification and hope it answers your questions.

        At the time notified I am not even sure if I was driving as there were 2 of us on the rental agrrement but it was my credit card that was used.

        I have done as suggested and gone up and down the stretch of road on Street View as identified in the letter and can see no speed limit signs anywhere only one for the round about as you approach Borgo A Mozzano and no signs on leaving the same area.

        As mentioned before the letter arrived in my letter box and no signature was given by me or anyone else. It arrived with no other letters so I can’t be sure whether it was delivered to me or a neighbour who then put it in my mail box. Either way it’s not signed for so does that mean they can still pursue me or should I make an appeal to the Prefect and if so on what grounds.

        Many thanks for all your help,

        Kelvyn

        Date 2012-10-31 Prot. N°
        ViOLATiON OF-THE-HIGHWAY CODE
        (Legislation dated 30th April 1992, No. 285) Report
        It was not possible to contest the following violation immediately, in compliance with Art. 201 c. 1-bis letter “e” of Italian Legislative Decree 30/04/92 No. 285 (New Highway Code), inasmuch as it was observed using a measurement device that allows to establish the violation only at a later time, after the vehicle in question is already at some distance from the place in question and can therefore not be stopped. The instrument is used in conformity with the specific ratification in a stretch of road listed in the special Decree of the Prefect of LUCCA, – 55100 – LUCCA (LU), promulgated pursuant to Art. 4 subsection 2 of the Decree no. 121 of 20/06/02, converted into Law no. 168 of 01/08/02. Therefore, pursuant to art. 196 and 201 of the same Code, the driver of the vehicle, as indicated by the competent authorities, must be considered guilty of the infraction until proven otherwise.
        infraction number 177V/XXXX
        date of infraction 2011 -07-28
        time of infraction 12:32:00
        date of ascertainment 2011-11-14
        (date as of the statute of limitation starts running)
        vehicle make and type LANCIA
        Vehicle number plate EX6XXXX
        article violated / paragraph ART. 142 C 8
        EXCEEDED THE SPEED LIMIT BY MORE THAN 10 KM/H BUT LESS THAN 40 KM/H
        Speed limit 50.00 Measured speed 70.00 Speed excess 20.00
        (In order to apply the sanction the registered speed is reduced by 5% with a minimum of 5 Km/h if lower than 100 Km/h)
        place of infringement VIA I°MAGG1OBORGO A MOZZANO
        driver of the vehicle
        place of birth
        date of birth
        place of residence
        address (including street number)
        Car renting company HERTZ ITALIANA SPA
        (renter’s data were provided according to the art. 196 of the Highway Code)

        Back Page:

        IMPORTANT
        Pursuant to art. 202 of the Italian Highway Code, the violation in question can be redeemed through the payment of the reduced sum indicated below, within 60 days from the notification date
        Euro 205.96
        The above sum includes costs (notification and proceedings).
        The payment can be made:
        By credit card:
        connecting to http://www.emo.nivi.it
        using the following codes: Username
        Password 4CXXX4682
        The payment transaction is handled directly by the bank.
        By bank transfer:
        Bank
        Account N”: Beneficiary: Bank codes:
        BANCA SELLA , VIALE REDI 59/61 – 50144 FIRENZE
        052869612300
        NIVI CREDIT S.R.L. DIV. EUROPEAN MUNICIPALITY OUTSOURCING
        IBAN = IT 74 00326802802 052869612300 SWIFT/BIC = SEL BIT 2BXXX
        indicating the compulsory reference number
        In the event of non payment, after 60 days from receiving this notification, you will be liable for the payment of euros 364.96 fees and interest costs excluded.
        Notification Terms and Statute of Limitations. As stated by art. 201 of the Italian Highway Code, the notification of the present act must be sent within 360 days from the ascertainment date. According to sentences n. 477/02 and 28/04 of the Constitutional Court, the ttelivery of the act to the postal service in charge of the notification, within the 360 day deadline, interrupts the statute of limitations. The notification of the act is considered accomplished when the act is received by the recipient. From that date, the recipient has 60 days to pay or lodge an appeal.
        If the payment has not been made, you may appeal to the Prefect or to the Justice of Peace. Your appeal must be written in Italian and must be mailed within 60 days after the receipt of the notification, otherwise it will be declared inadmissible.The appeal has to be submitted to the Prefect of LUCCA, – 55100 -LUCCA (LU) , or presented to the aforementioned “Municipal Police Station”. If the Prefect holds the appeal to be unfounded, he will issue a demand for payment of a sum of at least double that indicated in this report. As an alternative solution, you may also appeal directly to the Justice of the Peace of BORGO A MOZZANO, VIA ROMA – 55023 – BORGO A MOZZANO (LU) , within the same 60 day period, in compliance with art. 204 bis of the Italian Highway Code. Your appeal must be filed to the Office of the Judge, upon penalty of inadmissibility, before the end of the aforementioned period.The Justice of Peace will convene an appearance hearing in court. If no appeal is presented to the Prefect, no appeal is made to the Justice of the Peace and no payment is made within the above periods, this document shall constitute the document of execution for the enforced collection of a sum equal to half the maximum sanction applied and for the cost of the proceedings.
        Report issuing officers
        Police Agent/Officer 15
        COREGLIA ANTELMINELLI FRAZ. CHIVIZZANO, 2012-10-31
        (place and date of compilation)
        The Officer in Charge F.TO COMANDANTE FABIO BIAGIONI
        For further information, please call between 09:00-13:00 14:00-16:00 the number +39 055 3440390 or write to infoemo-en@nivi.it , and our staff will provide assistance in English/French/German/Spanish. In order to access all information concerning your dossier, you can also connect to the website http://www.emo.nivi.it, http://www.emo.nivi.it using the aforementioned personal codes.
        IMPORTANT: The Municipality has delegated Nivi Credit S.r.l. Div. European Municipality Outsourcing, Via O. da Pordenone 14-20 50127 Firenze – Italy, to carry out all the operations related to this case with contract PROCURA SPECIALE.

        • Al says

          Kelvyn,

          I could only find the “Controllo elettronico della velocita” (electronic speed control) signs.
          It seems the police hide near to the AGIP petrol station.

          Even though you haven’t been formally notified (no proof of receipt), Emo will keep on pursuing you. They’ll send you a “Last Reminder” letter (requesting the same amount) and will eventually “entrust” your file to a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.
          Just ignore any unofficial last reminder letter you may receive and any future possible contact from a debt collection agency.

          Or, if you wish, you can appeal to the Prefect (within 60 days) on the grounds that your fine was sent over 360 days after the date of the traffic violation.
          Copy/paste the appeal template (April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment) and send your registered letter of appeal with proof of receipt to:
          Al Prefetto di Lucca
          Prefettura di Lucca
          Piazza Napoleone, 32
          55100 Lucca

          Enclose with the letter, not only a readable copy of the formal notification, but also Decision 198/1996” of the Italian Constitutional Court with the relevant passages highlighted.
          Page 3: “Come si nota dal raffronto [...] siano stati identificati successivamente.”
          Page 4: “si consentirebbe una protrazione [...] ai residenti all’estero;”
          Write: “Allega: fotocopia del verbale notificato, sentenza Corte Costituzionale 10-17 giugno 1996, n. 198.”
          Download Decision 198/1996 as a pdf document from: http://www.cortecostituzionale.it/actionPronuncia.do
          (“Anno: 1996, Numero/i: 198”, click on “Ricerca”)
          (Click on the adobe reader logo – top right of the page)

          I would also send an email to EMO (Nivi Credit – infoemo-en@nivi.it) to inform them that you’ve appealed against (fine)/infraction number “177V/XXXX” with the Prefect of Lucca.

          Should a misguided civil servant deny the appeal, I would, obviously, never pay the “euros 364.96 fees and interest costs excluded”.

          Al

          • Kelvyn says

            Wow, this all seems so complex!

            What would you advise is the best option – to ignore or appeal

            Is what you are saying that because they didn’t get a signature on their last letter they can’t pursue me successfully?

            In your experience do you feel that if I appealed it might work in my favour?

            Many thanks,

            Kelvyn

  73. Liam says

    Hi Al

    Congratulations on a fantastic website.

    At the begining of April this year I received a letter from NIVI Credit acting on behalf of the Italian Motorway Company, Autostrade Per L’Italia Spa. They allege the non-payment of a motorway toll ( Art. 176 Italian Highway Code) on the 13 April 2009. Needless to say I could not remember anything about such an incident given that it apparently happened 3 years ago.
    I decided to ignore the letter and wait for the registered reminder.
    Last month a second letter arrived, it was not registered and was a copy of the original dated for October.
    As the fine was not from the police, and I have not received a registered reminder, do the time scales you have detailed on your site still apply with regard to the 360 days etc as I feel 3 years is pushing it.

    Many thanks

    Liam.

    • Al says

      Hi Liam,

      The non-payment of a motorway toll does not correspond to a “fine”.
      The toll to be paid is calculated according to the law (art. 176,16 – Italian Highway Code) from the most distant entry station. Plus fees and expenses.
      The statute of limitations is generally considered to be ten years, taking into account that the toll is the amount due for a service.

      Best,

      Al

  74. Gio says

    Hi Guys,
    I rented a car in Rome from LOCAUTO in February and I got charged for 9 tickets (about 50 euros each) on my credit cards. I called my bank and they took care of everything and returned the money to my account. However, a couple of days ago I got a NOTICE OF PAYMENT letter for “Circulating in a limited traffic area without authorization” from the city of ORVIETO. I read that someone above just emailed EMO and got their tickets cancelled. I also hear people saying not to do anything about it and just send the next notice back to sender, or wait and appeal. Does the appeal cost money? Also, what happens if they reject the appeal?

    Thanks for your help!!

    • Al says

      Hi Gio,

      You can email EMO and (hopefully) get your tickets cancelled only if you have grounds for an “informal” appeal. Read the information at the top of this page.
      I have not been able to understand if hotel guests are allowed into the Orvieto ZTL area for the duration of their stay or only for the loading and unloading of baggage.
      http://www.comune.orvieto.tr.it/ZTL/brochure_zeta_v1.pdf

      The €50 charge is the Locauto admin fee for providing your details to the police.
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).

      Best,

      Al

      • Gio says

        Can they re-charge you for a ticket that was already appealed though? I noticed that the letter they sent me with the ticket is on the the 9 tickets that were charged on my credit card. However, my bank asked for proof of the infraction and because they were not able to give it to them, they dropped the charges. Now that I closed my account, they sent me the letter with the same ticket that got dismissed. Can they do that?

      • Gio says

        Hi Al,

        Ok, I just got what you were saying. So, LOCAUTO charged me €50 charge for giving out my information 9 times, which means I got 9 tickets and they just started to come in the mail?? I don’t even understand how I got 9 tickets in less than 4 days. I emailed EMO but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. Also, I moved so when my official notification comes, it’s either going to go back to sender or get thrown away. Do you have any advice for me at this point?

        Thank you!
        -Gio

        • Al says

          Gio,

          Locauto charged you 9 times €50 for giving out your information 9 times.
          Yes, the Orvieto ticket is the first of 9 tickets to come in the mail.
          You probably committed 9 separate ZTL violations in Orvieto, Rome, …
          I wouldn’t have emailed EMO.

          If you have moved, the unsigned receipts for the registered mail should return to sender, marked “nobody by that name at this address”.
          Just “lay low”, and disregard any future possible contact from a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.
          Read February 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm comment and following comments.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30124)

          Al

  75. Bob from New Jersey says

    Thanks for you site and information!
    Here is my experience. I received 2 tickets, 10 months after my trip; one for restricted zone and one for driving in a bus lane (similar to Mr. O), but mine was in Rome. I was able to get the restricted zone ticket cancelled but I paid the fine for the bus lane. I sent the following email to infoemo-en@nivi.it

    Regarding: GXXX/FYxxxx and GXXX/FYXXXX

    I wonder if these traffic fines can be cancelled due to these mitigating circumstances:

    1. I only used the rental car in Rome to go to the hotel, drop my bags, and return the car to the rental station.
    2. My hotel, the Hotel Anglo Americano – Via delle Quattro Fontane, 12 – 00184 Roma, Italy, is within the blocks of these fines. (see PDF of hotel address and receipt of hotel booked, arriving on xx October 2011, the day of the ticket.
    3. On the day of my arrival, the street Via delle Quattro Fontane was closed off by police due to protests in Rome that day, forcing me onto unplanned streets near the hotel. (see PDF of news article about protests that day in Rome, causing street closures).

    I received back:
    Dear Mr X,

    following your message please be informed that we have already forwarded the document regarding your hotel accommodation to the Police of Rome asking to cancel fine GXXX/FYxxxx as the infraction was perpetrated for entering the Limited Traffic Area to reach your hotel. We will get back to you as soon as there will be further news.
    However please be informed that infraction GXXX/FYXXXX can not be cancelled as was issued for driving along a lane reserved only and exclusively to public transportation (buses, taxis), emergency vehicles and the Police. The restriction is indicated with International vertical no-entry signs and the controlling of access to these lanes is carried out either by cameras or by police officers. Private vehicles, with the exception of vehicles carrying disabled people, are not allowed to use this kind of lane. Therefore, even if you were reaching your hotel at the moment of the violation, Municipal Police of Rome cannot reconsider the fine.

    And then:

    Dear Mr X,
    We would like to confirm you that Municipal Police of Rome have cancelled fine number GXXX/FYXXX and the payment for number GXXX/FYXXXX was received and registered. Your position is now settled and closed. You are therefore exonerated from any further obligations relating to the payment of these fines.

  76. Oscar says

    Hi Al,

    First of all, thanks for being there, and also for answering our questions about unfair fining.

    My case is recent (photo at Florence on 8th February’12 and letter on 6th October, 240 days later, certified mail, I signed the letter). One of the fines for ZTL and the other for public transport lane. I think about appealling to the prefect:

    - ZTL fine to be removed as I have been lodged in a hotel inside ZTL 6th to 8th feb; I have the hotel voucher, and bill.
    - In the other hand the long unexplainable delay (240 days): In fact 8 months later it is difficult for me to remember 8th February (and to have a suitable defense) and even I am not sure whether I was driving at that moment or not (I give my car keys to the hotel staff who went to the parking and brought the rented car to the hotel entrance).

    But I think the prefect is not going to consider any of these points, so I don’t know which is worse (appealing increasing fine, or ignoring all this thing).

    These are my first and my second fines in my life, I was never fined before and I suspect there is something strange and frustrating with its occurrence (a fine 7 min after the other one), and on account of those reasons I may decide not to pay them, in that case I can expect:

    - Not to enter Italy in 5 years with car, otherwise, if police identifies me driving, they can make me pay or abandon my car (inmobilized by police).
    - Never enter Italy with car again (I really cannot manage such a nuisance as fines are, in Italy I prefer to use trains, but in this case I was enforced by business to use rent a car, if I am wrong and I cannot see those signals, I prefer not to get in further problems anymore).
    - The address where the mail was received, may receive further disagreable mails, but they cannot force me to pay, only noise.
    - I can find problems (even without car) if I am arrested by another thing (However it is unlikely).

    But all of these is not sure, is it? What do you think about?

    Best Regards

    Mr O

  77. Luke says

    Hi Alex,

    I just got a fine that sent out to me on the 330th day since the infringement. It was for “driving in a limited traffic area without authorization.” I cant remember at all where or how I got this fine. I have a feeling that I paid this already but emailing them they said that I didn’t. Whats the best option for this and can I not pay it and leave it if I am not travelling back to Italy anytime soon? (Do they scrap the fine)

  78. Nick says

    Hi Al

    I second (and third and fourth etc) everybody’s praise for this website.

    Today I received three “Notice of payment” letters from Nivi Credit although the letter is headed “Polizia Municipale Comune di Lucca”. They are in English and state the date of infractions as 2011-09 1, 2, and 6. The letter is dated 1st October so this is already outside the 360 day limit. However, they also state “date of ascertainment” as 22nd and 28th December 2011 and 4th January 2012 so they are basing this on the identification date and not the offence date. At this point what should I do? Should I reply saying that they are out of time and quote the relevant article or wait for the real fine to arrive and then appeal on the basis that it is out of time? BTW this letter heads it as “NOTICE OF PAYMENT Contravention of the Italian Highway Code” without the words “Notice of payment before notification”

    Nick

    • Al says

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for the praise. And for reading at least part of this endless page.

      The title of the notice was probably changed in an attempt to be more intimidating? :-)
      As you know, the official notification is sent via registered mail and is the only one which mentions that you can appeal to the Prefect or the Justice of the Peace within 60 days.
      The “real” fines will probably be sent around mid-December.

      Writing to EMO (Nivi Credit) would be a waste of time!
      Wait for the official fines and send the appeal letter to:
      Al Prefetto di Lucca
      Prefettura di Lucca
      Piazza Napoleone, 32
      55100 Lucca

      Read closely September 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34228).
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).

      Best,

      Al

      • Nick says

        Thanks Al

        I think it’s interesting that they use the word “ascertainment” which I suppose is because the act uses “accertamento” although this now has been shown to be the time of the offence. Another way for them to confuse the motorist. My only concern is is that the appeal can still be rejected and then the fines would double. I’m a regular visitor to Italy (lived in Milan from ’85-’93) and would hate this hanging over me but don’t feel like paying fines that are not valid.

        I went to the link http://www.cortecostituzionale.it/actionPronuncia.do to download the pdf but the pdf download isn’t working. Clicked on the printable version of the page and saved as pdf (nice touch in chrome) I shall definitely appeal.

        Nick

        • Al says

          Nick,

          The pdf download works fine when I click on the adobe reader logo (top right of the page) with IE or Firefox.
          Should a misguided civil servant deny the appeal, I would, obviously, never pay and return to Italy without any qualms.

          Al

          • Nick says

            Al

            Your estimate of the real fine arrival was bang on as I received the first one in the post yesterday. It was just pushed through the letterbox and is, therefore, unsigned so they are not going to get a receipt. I haven’t opened it yet. However, if they do not get a receipt how does that affect the validity of the fine? After all, at this point they cannot prove I received it. I apologise if that’s been answered elsewhere but if it has I missed it. Interestingly, the return receipt is only in Italian and French. I assume the normal procedure is for the postman to get the signature and retain the return receipt. Now, there is a further problem. If I were to proceed anyway and make an appeal it would be impossible to comply with one of the conditions, namely that a return receipt is required. Royal Mail in the UK no longer offer this service. They have an “international signed for” service but there is no return receipt. I wouldn’t be surprised if any appeal was thrown out if did not comply precisely with all the requirements. What are your thoughts on this?

            Thanks so much for your help
            Nick

          • Nick says

            Al

            Just saw this in a reply “If you “remain silent”, EMO won’t bother to send you another official (recorded) fine. You’ll receive an unofficial “last reminder” letter”. If the fine has not been signed for could the response be, for example, “reminder for what? I haven’t received anything” or would that not carry any weight?

          • Nick says

            Oh, and one other thing. Is the 60 days for appeal also based on when the appeal is sent or when they need to receive it?

          • Al says

            Nick,

            Two options:

            1 – “I don’t give a damn” option.
            You will not have signed for the three official fines, you will not be formally notified and the EMO won’t be able to provide any return receipt.
            You’ll dutifully ignore any contact attempts (last reminder letter) from the EMO or from a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.

            2 – “Proactive” option. (Even though you haven’t been formally notified)
            Once you’ve received the other two official fines (within the end of the month), you write one letter of appeal for the three fines to the Prefect of Lucca.
            Even if you won’t get a copy of the signature taken on delivery, send it “International signed for”.
            The 60 days for appeal is based on when the appeal is sent. You “received” the first fine on the 10th of December. + 60 days = the 8th of February.
            (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34228).
            Send that email to the EMO.
            Whether the Prefect accepts, denies or never answers the appeal, the end result is the same.
            You will never pay these invalid fines.

            Al

          • Nick says

            Al,

            I now have a few days left in which to send my appeal if I take the proactive option although I think that the date is a somewhat loose as they have no record of when I received the notification. I am still undecided on which line to take, however. I would normally take the proactive option as that is my way but in this case I’m also curious to test the “I didn’t receive them” approach. If I do go down that route wouldn’t I be better off replying to a last reminder letter by email stating that I have not received any fines and getting that on record?

            Nick

          • Nick says

            Al

            Well, I sent the appeals off today. I’ll let you all know what happens, in about a year by the look of things. BTW the addres for the Prefect of Lucca, which is printed on the fine in the section on appeals is Piazza Napoleone 5.

            It’s hardly surprising that the post office here doesn’t get the avviso signed – it’s in Italian and French!

            I’ve made a pdf of the Sentenza 1996 with the relevant paragraphs highlighted. If you feel this could be useful for others I could post this for download from my ftp.

            Thanks again for all the help here.

            Nick

  79. Stephen says

    Gentlemen,

    Firstly what a fantastic website, thanks so much for such a bank of useful and helpful information.

    My problem may be a bit of a curveball for you…I am an actor and for the first five months of this year I was touring Italy with a show. We had a rental car for the duration of the tour and three of us were designated drivers. Stupidly, I volunteered to register with the rental company as the lead driver. So all fines and penalty points are charged to me, even if I wasn’t driving, which in this case I was not.

    Today I have had two fines through my door for violating the Florence ZTL for ‘circulating without authorisation’. The date of the infraction is the 24th March and the times are just sixteen minutes apart at 8:13 am and 8:29 am. At the time we were trying to find the location of the school we were performing in. We had registered our car reg number with the hotel for the previous night and I think we informed the school although I am not sure.

    The letter came in both English and Italian, so I cannot claim the language barrier to stall them, and they are courtesy of the ‘Nivi Credit SRL – divisione EMO’, which I presume to be the debt collection agency you mention above. The ‘responsible party was identified on 14/05′ and the legal term started from that date too. I must pay within 60 days of receipt of the fine.

    I am at a loss of what to do…We followed all the company procedures and did everything that was asked of us. It seems highly unfair to have to pay these fines.

    I would greatly appreciate your advice.
    Many Thanks,
    Stephen

    • Al says

      Hi Stephen,

      I suppose you received the unofficial “Notice of payment before notification” sent by regular mail.
      The official notice, sent via registered mail, is headed “Notification of Violation of the Highway Code” and is the only one which mentions that you can appeal to the Prefect or the Justice of the Peace within 60 days.
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).
      The official fines will probably be sent in time (before the 20th of March 2013).
      Read May 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30749).

      The hotel should have informed you that the ZTL policy in Florence is the following:
      Tourists in cars who need to travel within the ZTL to reach their accommodation facilities or a garage can obtain a temporary access permit. In order to obtain this permit, communicate your licence plate number to your accommodation facility (or garage); they will forward it to the appropriate office.
      A temporary permit is issued for a maximum of 2 hours (for baggage transport purposes) only on arrival and departure dates. For the remainder of one’s stay clients must park their car either outside the ZTL or in a commercial/hotel’s private garage inside the ZTL.
      http://en.comune.fi.it/mobility/driving.html

      Read October 8, 2011 at 12:29 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-31902).

      Let’s hope you won’t get any more fines for ZTL violations (in Florence or elsewhere). ;-)

      Best,

      Al

      • Stephen says

        Hi Al,

        Thanks for your last message.

        I am actually confused as to which document this is; whether it is the unofficial “Notice of payment before notification” or the “Notification of Violation of the Highway Code”.

        I will tell why I am confused in the hope you can help me.

        The title of the letter in bold is quote “Violation of the Highway Code report”. This sounds like the official document but it does NOT have the word ‘Notification’ in the title.

        It is does not mention I may appeal to the Justice of the Peace or the Prefect.

        There is a Royal Mail stamp on the envelope saying ‘Signature Required’. I did not sign for this, it was just posted through my door.

        So, basic question, what document have I got?
        I have about 19 days left in which to pay if this is the Officlal Notification. Im confused because it could be either of them…

          • Stephen says

            Cheers Al,

            So i have taken from that if I ignore it, I won’t need to pay. They have no proof I received the fines. Is this correct? Will this stop me entering the country?

            One last question please, if we do decide to pay, how do inform the authorities that I was not driving? it was another of the company and i do not want this on my record.

          • Al says

            Stephen,

            You’re welcome back to Italy.
            A ZTL violation is a civil offence.
            You won’t have a criminal record for this. :-)

            Al

  80. Kemiker says

    Dear All
    Following confirmation of my successful appeal in August (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34057) I’m pleased to inform you that my second appeal must also be deemed to have been accepted. This one was based purely on the 360 day argument and ECHR breaches. Although I haven’t got it in writing, the deadline for issuing a response passed last week. I had a third violation which I assume was dropped since I never heard anything more. Had I just given in and paid up 2 years ago when I first got these damn fines, I would now be 600 euros poorer than I am today. As it is I’m now in a position to demand the admin fees back from the rental company. I gave them the chance to repay the fees until a conviction was obtained in each case, or accept that I would index link them to a specified stock. Well they didn’t so I did and the stock has risen 10% in the meantime. I am now demanding the money returned + 10% + admin charges of my own for a total of about 300 euros. If they don’t pay I have an excellent case to put before the small claims courts – and I will if necessary :-)

    I owe Al and Alex a great debt of gratitude for this blog to which I have become a fairly irregular contributor over the past 2 years, so thanks guys :-). I hope the reduction of activity on this blog is a sign that the authorities are beginning to take note of all the complaintscoming in as a result of the efforts made here, and have re-examined their interpretation of the 360 day rule when people appeal.

    I’m going to Italy next week on business and I’m seriously thinking about taking the written confirmation of my first appeal with me to wave at every policeman I see. Keep fighting!

    Best
    Kemiker

  81. LYNN DAVIS says

    Hi Alex
    Just returned from Italy. Stayed i the mountains near Tuscany and didn’t travel far. Just got letter saying something i don’t understand and asking for us to pay a fine of 172 euros. The odd thing is it says the offence took place in Commune di Affi near Verona. we were 309 kilometres away. on the day in question we were in San Gimignano in the evening and at the villa at the time statedont he documents. What can we do? ANY ADVICE GRATEFULLY RECEIVED. Lynn

    • Al says

      Hi Lynn,

      Probably a fine for speeding on the A22 motorway?

      From what little information you posted, I’d say just ignore it.
      Was the letter written in Italian? Who sent it? By registered mail?

      Best,

      Al

  82. Kemiker says

    Hi Al
    It is indeed disappointing that the decision does not contain a bit more detail. However, since the rebuttal from the police is “accessible” I had thought that perhaps I would ask for a copy :-)
    That way we can see what was said.
    There is also a discrepancy between the decision “lack of sufficient evidence to confirm the finding of a (traffic) violation” and the charge sheet “the driver of the vehicle, ……, must be considered guilty of the infraction until proven otherwise.” The decision does not indicate that I proved my innocence, it says that I was not proven guilty which reinforces my assertion that the presumption of guilt is illegal according to ECHR. I made this point to the Italian ambassador some time ago and the police chief in Florence said that it did not apply. Clearly it does!
    The fact of the matter is that they are not prepared to admit to serious failings in the system. There was a photograph of the rear number plate of the car that I was driving which according to the police/EMO is sufficient to prove anybody guilty of an offence. In the vast majority of cases, this is evidence enough to get a conviction. This is why it is so unreasonable to put up a forest of speed cameras in a region with such poor signposting, send out fines a long time after the alleged offence and demand communicaction in Italian. Most people, and especially foreigners, have no chance of being able to prove their innocence.
    In my case I was able to present crushing evidence. I went past a speed camera at 72 kmh in an area where the signposts indicated that the limit was 90. The police claimed it was a 50 limit. Only because we were staying in the area, and a few days later drove down the same road in the opposite direction, was I able to foresee a potential problem when I noticed that the speed limit was signed as 50 kmh in the southbound lane. So I turned around and took a photo to prove that there was nothing to indicate a speed limit of less than 90 kmh – it was a picture of the end of city limits sign with the camera in the distance. This coupled with a picture sequence from Google streetview made my case airtight. I had expected to be sent pictures of a 50 kmh sign by the police refuting my claim which thankfully did not happen in this case.
    When I wrote to the ambassador and complained about the poor signposting and the fact the sign posts and road layouts could easily be changed during the time that elapses betweenthe alleged offence and the issuance of the fine, the police chief sent photos of hugely improved signposting In that instance it was the signposting in Via Senese on the southern approach to Florence where many contributors to this blog have been caught out. At the time, the signs were not visible until just before I drove past them, by the time the fine arrived the signposts had been moved, brightened up and multiplied leaving me with no chance of being able to appeal on those grounds.

    Anyway this is only the first victory, there’s two more to go so the battle goes on.

    Best
    Kemiker

    • funkyfat says

      Hi Kemiker, I tried to read across the blog, as it is very huge. But I figured out, that we share the same problem: Via Senese. EMO now send me a picture of the general situation at that fork. The sign looks quiet new: white, reflecting, sober and maybe better positioned as before. Can you tell me if your appeal was successful? And when, what do you think they changed the sign? If they did not change it before June 2011 I will appeal.
      Thanks f.f.

      • Kemiker says

        Hi FF
        The signposts were changed I believe in July/August 2011, but I’m not 100% sure. When I checked the signposting on Google after getting the first notice in May 2011 the old signs were still in place but when I got down to writing my appeal in September, they had been changed. The no entry sign on the traffic light at the fork is new and the bus lane sign has been brought forward to the corner of the building on the right. Previously this sign was on the same post as all the electronic stuff that’s hanging over the road, ie beyond the point of no return. It was also in 3 parts, the top sign was a no vehicular access sign, the middle one had pictograms on it which I am not familiar with but which detail exceptions to the entry restriction, including times, and the bottom one had times of day and days of the week written on it, again a list of exceptions. It was not possible to properly read the sign from the traffic light, especially not if like me, you are behind a van. As soon as you go through the traffic light you are gauranteed to get a fine because there is no possibility to stop and turn around. That’s why so many contributors to this blog have been caught there and why I complained to the Italian ambassador that it was a tourist trap and unreasonable – as with so much of the region’s signpost/enforcement camera combinations. I haven’t appealed that fine on the basis of the signposting although I should have done. You could try asking Google for the old imagery of the area together with the date at which the new imagery was captured and make your appeal on that basis.

        Good luck
        Kemiker

  83. Kemiker says

    Dear All

    I am delighted to inform you all that this morning I received one of the rarest documents in existence. The Prefect of Florence accepted my appeal against my speeding fine :-) but it seems this was due to lack of evidence rather than the other complaints I included like the time limits.
    The letter reads as follows – Al would you please offer a translation. I have one from you know where but I don’t dare post it :-)
    Visto il verbale n.XX del 26/6/2010 elevato dal Comando Polizia Municipale di Figline Valdarno:
    atteso che l’obliazione non è intervenuta,
    visto il ricorso presentato dal sig kemiker nato a il e residente a Danimarca avverso il verbale di accertamento con le motivazioni esposte al riguardo;
    lette le controdeduzioni dell’organo accertatore i cui atti sono accessibili;
    ritenuto di accogliere il ricorso pe la seguente motivazione: insussistenza di elementi sufficienti per confermare l’accertamento della violazione
    vista l’ordinanza prot. n. del 31/1/2012 con quale il prefetto di firenze assegna la temporanea reggenza dell’ area III alla Dott.ssa Livia Benelli vice prefetto;
    Visto altresi il provvedimento nr. 2443/2011/30.6 Gab. del 26/10/2011 con il quale sono stati conferiti gli incarichi per la sostituzione del dirigente in caso di sua assenza
    Ordina
    il ricorso di cui sopra è accolto per i motivi indicati in premessa
    Il Comando Polizia Municipale di Figline Valdarno è incaricato di comuincare quanto deciso all’interessato

    My grounds for appeal were:
    incorrect/missing/illegible signposting of the speed limit
    illegal placement of a speed camera
    incorrect language of the charge sheet from the EMO (ECHR)
    illegal statement in the charge sheet from the EMO (ECHR)
    expired time limit

    I backed the appeal up with a lot of photographic evidence some of which I got from Google streetview. So if you get a speeding ticket make sure you check the location of the camera and the signposting! A lot of the signposting is crap and certainly not good enough for a region that is stuffed full of enforcement cameras. If you have been caught on the speed camera on the way out of San Giovani Valdarno going north towards Figline Valdarno – GET IN TOUCH, I have the evidence you need for a successful appeal.

    Best
    Kemiker

    • Al says

      Hi Kemiker,

      That’s a first! Well done! A successful appeal to an Italian Prefecture! :D
      As you say, “one of the rarest documents in existence”, if not the only one received by a foreign resident.

      Those cowards declined to rule on any of the grounds presented.
      Instead, they chose to hide behind a generic reason: “lack of evidence”!
      Did they misplace the photograph? :-)

      Here’s my best attempt at translating the text you so kindly :-) provided, Kemiker:

      Having regard to fine No XX dated 26/6/2010 issued by Comando Polizia Municipale of Figline Valdarno:
      since the payment has not been made,
      having regard to the appeal lodged by Mr Kemiker born in … on … and resident in Denmark against the fine with the reasons given therein;
      having read the rebuttal arguments presented by the ascertaining body/police, whose proceedings are accessible;
      deemed that the appeal be upheld for the following reason: lack of sufficient evidence to confirm the finding of a (traffic) violation;
      having regard to ordinance reference number … dated 31/1/2012 with which the Prefect of Florence confers temporary regency of Area III (Implementation of Administrative Penalty System) to Mrs Livia Benelli, deputy prefect;
      having also regard to order No 2443/2011/30.6 Gab. dated 26/10/2011 which assigns the tasks for the replacement of the manager in the event of his absence;
      Orders that
      The above appeal is upheld for the reasons indicated in the introduction.
      Comando Polizia Municipale of Figline Valdarno is charged with communicating the decision to the interested party.

      Best,

      Al

  84. Steve says

    Hello:

    Just received 2 tickets from EMO via Florence & Rome police and both are outside the 360 day limit. I went to the web-site and it has a picture of the rental car I was driving. Florence was running a red light within the city and a extra fine for it being between 10pm-5am. ( I was just going to my hotel.) Rome was driving in Limited access area. I have been in e-mail talks with EMO, they tried to bully me on the 360 limit for offenders living abroad. Finally, they said I could appeal to Perfect or Justice of the Peace in each area. I explained to them that EMO should tell Florence & Rome that these infractions are outside the 360 day limit. I told them it is not my job to appeal, it was there job not to submit the letter to me in the first place. I am waiting on a response.

    Steve

  85. Ash says

    Hello all,

    I have received a fine about driving in a limited traffic area in Venice. I have also received other zonal fines from Florence and Verona but not 100% what they were as I just threw them away. I’ve chosen to go down the route of ignoring them and pretending they were never received by me. Does anyone know if these fines will ever catch up on me if i am to return to Italy in the future? (I was in in Italy during 8/11)

    Best,
    Ash

  86. Jose Vira says

    Thanks AI for your prompt answer. If I get any more news I’ll let you guys know.
    I just find out Italy is a bit like Portugal on steroids; same defects, much larger scale. What a shame.
    And mark my words – they will also default, no doubt.
    I see exactly the same kind of fenomena that lead my country to default.
    Jose

  87. Jose Vira says

    I have a specific question: I’ve got in a ZTL in Rome with a rented car on the 6th of July (just to get wife and bags fro the hotel). Only today I’m fully aware of this ZTL problem. I contacted the Hotel today (July 12) asking them if I still can give them the licence plate number and they say it’s too late… Is this true? What can I still do?
    Many thanks
    Jose

  88. Dessie says

    Hi to all from here in sunny Ireland,
    Just came across the blog again. I was in Italy in summer of 2007. Got 2 fines in the post in 2008. One for Pisa €113 and 1 for Aeezzo €107.20. Got the fines in summer of 2008. Sent a letter off to IL Guidice Di Pace with essentially a load of bull**ite and stated that as far as I was concerned the matter was closed. Got a last reminder letter on 29/8/08 and ignored it. Nothing since! By the way I always cancel my credit card immediately after a holiday for security reasons!!
    Heading off to Northern Italy next week for a 10 day drive around the Lakes. Will probably get a train in to Venice but will drive into Verona and Mantua. Will be wise for the signs this time and will report back if any news on how we get on. Love Italy but hate the “honey traps”. Not much you can do if in a line of traffic into a city centre. My advice is not to lose any sleep over these minor issues that a good long winding letter would sort out. Play them at their own game.
    Dessie

  89. David says

    Dear Al

    Thank you for your reply (21st June 6.11pm). The notice I’ve received doesn’t seem to have come from EMO; it seems to be direct from the local police. It’s headed Comune di Pistoia, has a standard signature at the bottom for ‘L’Ispettore di PM’ and a mention at the end of the text of ‘Gli agenti: 227.SCARTABELLI SERGIO’. The text includes the sentence: ‘This formal notice, its serving and everything connected with it are governed by the international conventions’. This being so, am I likely to receive a registered mail version, and does the 60 days for payment at the basic rate run from receiving this communication or from receiving (if ever) a notice by registered mail?

    Regarding the photograph, it seems from what you say that a photo showing, effectively, just the car number plate and nothing else, is an uncontestable proof of an offence – unless you can prove you weren’t there. As the car I was in was Italian registered and I was there, that’s probably that. But what is the safeguard against the local police just sending somebody out to take snaps of foreign number plates at random, anytime the coffers need filling?

    Thanks again.

    David

    • Al says

      David,

      To my knowledge, the comune di Pistoia had delegated EMO (Nivi Credit) to notify fines to foreigners.
      It doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, though. The notice you’ve received makes absolutely no reference to EMO and refers you to the Pistoia police website.

      The 60 days for payment (or appeal) run from the day you receive the official notification. The latter must be sent by registered mail and mention that you can appeal to the Prefect of Pistoia or the Justice of the Peace within 60 days.

      I would surmise that you’ve received the official fine (“this formal notice”), especially if the appeal authorities are mentioned.
      But oddly by posta prioritaria and not by registered mail!? No yellow Poste Italiane receipt still attached to the back of the envelope, right?

      Therefore, I would simply ignore it.
      Regarding your last question, I wouldn’t put anything past the Italians. :-)

      Al

  90. Marek says

    Hi Alex, hi Al,
    I am from Poland. I live here, I always was and I am and I will be Polish :). Anyway – EU citizen now.
    I have just got “Notification of payment”, dated 28th May 2012.
    The Notification has the “date of infraction”: 30th April 2011.
    There is also: “date of ascertainment”: 30th April 2011.
    I understand that I can legally avoid paying (over 360 days between … etc.).

    Is it the ground for “informal appeal”?
    What would you recommend to do now? To write to Nivi/EMO or to wait for the final “Notification of violation”? I understand that writing to Polizia Municipale Comune Follo (original authority of my fine) is senseless?
    You write: “To cut a long story short, foreign drivers who have received fine notifications beyond the 360 period can write and request that the fine, or fines, be annulled”.
    Is this fact a sufficient reason both for prefect and for a Justice of the Peace?

    {
    BTW: I got “Notification of payment” (and not “(…) before official notification”). I understand this is the same kind of document since at the end of its 2nd page there is: “The present notice is not a Notification of violation and therefore it permits the recipient to make the due payment in amicable circumstances”.
    }

    Regards
    Marek

  91. harry stein says

    i got one of those notifications of a moving infraction.
    what if i dont pay?
    can i get arresred if i go back to italy?

    • Al says

      Hi Harry,

      No. But you might receive “threatening” letters from a debt collection agency established in your country of residence. :-)
      Best,

      Al

  92. David says

    Received an ‘Infringements of the Italian Highway Code’ notice today from Comune di Pistoia. Sent by Posta Prioritaire, just over 8 months after the event, it is for ‘driving in a lane reserved for other vehicles’ and refers me to a photograph on a Polizia Munizipale website. I’ve looked at this, and it is completely black apart from the number plate and two of the car lights. The location, time and date are recorded, and I’m able to remember that I was at that place at that time, in the car and that it was after sunset. But there is no context in the photograph to show exactly where or how I committed the infringement. Would this be a viable basis for appealing? And does it matter that the notice was not sent by registered post. Thanks for helping.

  93. Martin says

    Dear friends,
    I recieved today 3 fines from italy were I ENTERED ILLEGALLY RESTRICTED TRAFFIC AREA
    I tried to understand your great advises here .

    The 3 papers I got says NOTICE OF PAYMENT, can I appeal to this ?
    I got them 228 days after the claimed violation, can the really do this?

    If I am correct, I should appeal in my own language, which is swedish, and demand they explain in swedish?

    thanks for your help

  94. Jon says

    Quick question. If you have obtained multiple limited zone infractions (3) within two different towns which you are accountable for, is it possible to negotiate a lower charge on the combined fees? Or is this more international translating hassle than it’s worth?

    Many thanks.

  95. Matthew says

    Thanks for the extraordinarily helpful information you provide of this site, Al. Without it I probably would have buckled and just paid the fines!

  96. Matthew says

    Awhile back, I wrote on this site about two fines I received notice about. I wrote back to the pertinent email address on the paperwork and explained that I simply used my car in Rome to go to the hotel, drop my bags, and return the car to the rental station. I attached a copy of my hotel reservation information.

    Today, after several months, I received the following email:

    Dear Mr X,
    We would like to confirm you that Municipal Police of Rome have cancelled fine numbers XXXX/XXXXXX and XXXX/XXXXXX. Your position is now settled and closed. You are therefore exonerated from any further obligations relating to the payment of these fines. Thank you for your collaboration.

    I’m hoping that that’s truly the end of it all. I guess the only money that I’m out is whatever the ridiculous fee was the rental agency charged for passing along my information!

    • Gio says

      Hi Matthew,

      I, too, just received a NOTICE OF PAYMENT, and I was wondering if you waited until you got the actual official notice or if you emailed EMO as soon as you got your first notice? I’ve been reading the comments and most of them say to wait to appeal until you get your second notice but it sounds like you got your tickets cancelled by just emailing EMO?

    • Kemiker says

      Gemerman

      I’m sure Al will fill you in later, but what was the date on the envelope? The letter may have a “convenience date” on it meaning that they made it up to fit within the legal time limits. If the envelope is stamped this year then you know they are making it up and you should just scan it and email it to them with some suitably derogatory comments indicating that they are way too late, and that you do not appreciate them falsifying documents for the purposes of extracting money from you. The amount is wrong too, the fine should be about $160 for that offence.

      Best
      Kemiker

      • Gemerman says

        Hi Kemiker,

        Thanks for getting back to me.
        Actually, I received the letter in 2010, I believe it was July, but to be honest, I was dumb enough and threw the envelope out.
        So, it looks like they were within that 360 day period, but as mentioned before, nothing was signed and nothing was attached to the envelope to be signed.

        Now, what really interests me is, what would the Italian police do, if they stopped me in Italy:

        A) Arrest me and keep me locked up indefinitely until I’m able to pay the fine?

        B) Confiscate the rental car?

        C) Deport me on the spot?

        It’s really too bad. Italy is such a beautiful country and I wish they’d treat their tourists a little nicer. Especially now, since their economic situation is dire and they need us tourists.

        Cheers,
        Gemerman

          • Gemerman says

            Al & Kemiker,
            Thank you so much for your advice.
            It’s been nearly 3 years since my last trip to Italy, so, I think I’ll risk it.
            I love the country and the people and have no idea when I’ll be able to return there in the future.
            Wish me “Good Luck”!
            Gemerman

  97. Gemerman says

    Hi,
    Okay, so here is my problem.
    I was in Italy, Riomaggiori in Aug. 2009. I received an unofficial letter in English stating the following:

    Nr. of Form: *********(I’m leaving those out on purpose)

    Date & Time of Offence: 08-08-2009 17:08.00

    Brand of Vehicle:********(I’m leaving those out on purpose)

    License Number: *********(I’m leaving those out on purpose)

    Nature of Offence: Art.142/8: The person was driving the vehicle indicated at a speed of 73 Kph, exceeding more tahn 10 Kph the fixed speed limit of 50 Kph, but not more than 40 Kph, for that road stretch of for that vehicle category.

    Points reduction: 5

    Equipment: Velomatic 512 ROE 3 matr. 1479/1438 Ormolog. MM.LL.PP Prot.2961 del 27/11/1989

    Place of offence: SP 370 km 14+200

    Name of Owner / Leasee of vehicle: ********(I’m leaving this out on purpose)

    And then my address in the country where I’m residing.

    This came by regular mail. There was nothing to sign and I never received any other mail from:

    Comune di Riomaggiore
    Polizia Municipale
    Via Del Santuario, 123a
    19017 Riomaggiori (SP)
    Republica Italiana
    Tel.*******
    E-Mail: ********

    I contacted them via e-mail explaining my situation, that I wouldn’t be able to pay. My holiday was paid for and I have had a stroke since the incident and hadn’t and still am “not working” and wouldn’t have the funds of $436. (plus up to $60 in bank fees)

    After a while I received an e-mail saying I could pay in instalments, which would cost me even more, since I would have to pay the bank fees various times.

    No, hypothetically, if I would to return to Italy and I was stopped by a police officer, what would they actually do?

    Will they arrest me indefinitely? Take the rental car? Deport me???

    Thanks for your help,
    Gemerman

  98. Muriel says

    Hi,
    We rented a car in Roma, Italy on May 4th, 2011.
    I received a first letter from Hertz on July 6th 2011 with 36€ for “verbale fine on line”. And I just received yesterday a new one dated March 14th, 2012 with 36.30€ for “no transit area riservata”.
    Both infractions are dated from May 4th, 2011 at the same time: 11:35.

    I understood that those 36€ were administrative fees but I don’t understand why I have 2 of them for the same infraction.
    What should I do?

    • Al says

      Hi Muriel,

      Hertz Rental Terms
      It is the customer’s responsibility to pay any fines, road tolls, … Hertz will provide customer data to relevant local authorities and will recover the costs through a reasonable administration fee of EUR 36.30 (including tax) per parking or traffic fine.

      If you were charged twice for the same infraction (same date & time), I would call the credit card company and have this latest charge of €36.30 reversed.
      I would also contact Hertz in Italy.
      Hertz Italiana SpA
      Via del Casale Cavallari 204
      00156 Roma
      (0039) (02) 69430019 (tel)
      (0039) (02) 69430020 (fax),
      customer-relations-it@hertz.com

      In a few weeks/months you should receive from the EMO the unofficial “Notice of payment” (regular mail) followed by a “Violation of the Highway Code Notice” (registered mail).
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am (an appeal template is included) comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).

      Best,

      Al

      • Muriel says

        Thanks you Al for your quick answer. I will contact them.
        As for the infraction notice itself, isn’t it too late for them to send it to me since the date is May 4th 2011, which is more than 360 days from now?

  99. Juan says

    Hey Al,
    I am a U.S. military member stationed in Northern Italy. I don’t know if this would make me a resident of italy ( i have a codice fiscale and live in an italian house). I recieved seven seperate fines in registered mail today for a seven ZTL violation on november 10-11 2011 for 88 euro a piece for a grand total of 616 euro! Does the 150 day thing apply to me or would it be the 360 day? Also I am a Jr and it only has my first and last name on the letter. Could I possibly get away with trying to say that is not me? Should i try the killing time “trick” by going back and forth with them over mail asking for a english translation? Should I ask for solid proof (ie pictures) or ask if their camera were in working order that day? What would you suggest?

    • Al says

      Hi Juan,

      I guess you were driving a rental car at the time of the ZTL violations, right?
      And you gave your Italian address when you signed the rental contract.
      Since August 13th 2010, the amount of time traffic fines have to be sent out to Italian residents has been reduced from 150 days to 90.

      In such a case (Italian resident, rental with Italian plates):
      –> The police must send the fine within 90 days (from the date of the traffic violation) to the rental agency,
      –> The rental agency then must send your details within 60 days (required by law) to the police,
      –> Once the police have (identified you) received your details, they have another 90 days to send you the fine.
      Do the fines mention when the police have received your details? When were these fines sent?

      “Jr”.
      It will be considered as a minor error, especially considering that “all other details are correct” and that you’ve signed for the registered letters, thus admitting implicitly that you were the person they were addressed to.
      “English translation”.
      For an Italian resident? :-)
      Pictures? Camera in working order?
      Don’t the fines point you to a website where you can see pictures of the back of the car with the license plate?
      Remember that you have 60 days from date of receipt to pay the amount requested or to lodge an appeal.

      If you wish to send me a scan of the fine(s), you can ask Alex Roe (Italy Chronicles publisher) for my email via this site’s contact system.

      Best,

      Al

  100. Ron says

    Alex, Al and All,
    I received a Notice of Payment initial letter from NIVI alleging “driving in a limited traffic area without authorization” and alleging to impose a fine on the car that I had hired. This was in Parma.
    Date of Infraction: 2011-09-07
    Date of Ascertainment: 2011-11-07
    Date of Notice of Payment: 2012-04-30
    Asking for payment within 20 days of receipt for 120.29 EUROS to emo/nivi.
    The credit card used with the car rental agency is not valid and was replaced shortly after the trip to Italy. It appears that the car rental agency provided my information in 60 days.

    In the above Sections in this situation of receiving a “NOTICE OF PAYMENT” the initial communication it seems my options are:

    ” Pay the fine or fines at the time of the notification. No further action will be taken – but you are not obliged to pay.
    Wait until the actual fines arrive – usually a letter you have to sign for. The Official Notification must be sent by registered/ recorded deliver mail.
    Write to the agency which sent the notification in an attempt to carry out a form of ‘informal’ appeal. While the agency is not bound to do anything, and cannot cancel the fines, it can contact the municipality in which the infraction took place and bring further information, such as extenuating circumstances, to the municipality’s attention. This might cause the fine or fines to be cancelled or reduced.”

    The NOTICE OF PAYMENT is well within the time limit, that is about 250 days in if we accept that the authorities have 360 days from date of infraction. OR 420 days if they take the position that they can tack on an additional 60 days if the Date of Ascertainment is the operative date ( I know it is well argued that this is not the case for non Italy residents.)

    I live in Canada and am not sure of:

    1. Up to what date under the Notice of Payment could I send the payment asked for in it to Emo/Nivi and have the matter resolved? There is no postal date on the envelop. Only the date the Notice was prepared (April 30, 2012). How long can I wait to think about this and see if any other Notices come in before paying if I decide to go that route?

    2. If I wait for a Notification of Violation to come by Registered Mail (I understand that it may or may not come in a form where I am asked to sign for it) will this Notification be for the same amount “owing” as in the Notice of Payment document? Do I have 60 days from date of receipt of the Notification of Violation to pay the amount to Emo/Nivi? I understand I have 60 days from receipt to lodge an appeal but can I just pay the originally asked for amount within 60 days from receipt and count on the matter being resolved definitively?

    As a practical matter, given that neither the credit card company, nor the authorities have a valid credit card for me, and, that I am a citizen of and resident in Canada and not planning on returning to Italy soon what is a good approach?

    Cheers
    Ron

    • Al says

      Hi Ron,

      Thanks for reading (at least part of) this really long page before posting.

      1 – I believe it’s a wise, prudent decision on your part to wait and see if any other notices of payment arrive in the next few weeks.
      How long? The Notice of payment is a “courtesy letter”. As long as you pay, they’ll be grateful! Even after 40, 60, … days.
      There’s no way to predict when they’ll send the official Notification.

      2 – But it’ll probably be sent before the 360 day time limit will be up in early September.
      The official notification is roughly 6 euros (cost of a registered letter to Canada) higher than the unofficial notice of payment. You have 60 days from date of receipt to pay the amount requested or to lodge an appeal.
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).
      If you don’t pay or don’t appeal within 60 days, the amount is roughly doubled.

      The authorities or the rental agency won’t charge the fine to your credit card.
      Read September 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-29100).
      Read also February 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm comment and following comments.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30124).

      Best,

      Al

      • TJ says

        I’m in the same boat with ‘driving in a limited traffic area without authorization’ in Parma. 2 of them 11 minutes apart on:

        Infraction Date: 2011-06-24
        date of ascertainment: 2011-09-29
        notice of payment: 2011-12-05

        i emailed infoemo-en@nivi.it in August 2012 trying to get them to say in writing that the 360 days had passed since the infraction and the matter was closed but got this response:

        “According to the Italian Traffic Code the police have 360 days after the date of the violation or identification of the owner of the vehicle within which to notify fines to foreigners. In the event of rented car, the 360 days start as from the date of identification of the holder of the rental agreement at the time of the violation, or from the date of receipt of the personal data sent by the car rental company to the police which was on 29 September 2011.

        Therefore the notification will be dated and sent within 360 days from 29th September 2011.

        Municipal Police of Parma confirm the fines, your position is still outstanding.”

        It’s now September 27th, 2012 and the mailman knocked on our door yesterday trying to ‘deliver’ something. I’m guessing it was the official registered notices. I was at work and my wife didn’t answer the door. I put a hold on our mail from today September 27th until October 1st (as if i was going on vacation) yesterday evening. No mail today, no knock on the door.

        Any thoughts on will the mailman keep trying to deliver it next week on October 1st? should i keep ignoring the door? or sign for it October 1st since October 1st is more than 360 days from the notice of ascertainment?

        • Al says

          Hi TJ,

          It was pretty gutsy (and naïve) on your part to try and reason with the EMO! :-)

          Once again, for notification purposes, the relevant date is the fine sending date.
          According to EMO’s misrepresentation of the law, your fines are legitimate because they will have been SENT less than 360 days after the date of ascertainment.

          You could ask your mailman to send the official registered notices back to Italy with an “unable to deliver” sticker on the envelope.
          Read May 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm comment.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30749).

          Or you accept the registered letter and lodge an appeal to the Prefect.
          Send your registered letter of appeal with proof of receipt to:
          Al Prefetto di Parma
          Prefettura di Parma
          Strada Repubblica, 39
          43121 Parma
          Do not forget to enclose a readable copy of the Official Notices.

          Read closely September 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm comment.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-34228).
          Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).

          Whatever you do, do not ever pay for these invalid fines!

          Best,

          Al

  101. Lynda says

    I was in Venice, Italy in Sept 2012 and lost my toll road ticket. When we came to the automated payment machine, I didn’t have the 80 euro in cash, and I didn’t get my credit card into the machine in the allotted amount of time to pay the 80 euro fine. So I knew I would have a fee to pay for loosing the toll ticket. I talked to the rental car (thrifty thru Auto Europa) and told them all about it telling them I wanted to pay the fine to make sure I didn’t get billed further. They told me I would be contacted and they would send out a bill in about 60-90 days once it came to the rental car agency. Knowing so many people have had problems in Italy with fines, when I got home from my honeymoon I started emailing and calling all the companies trying to find out how I could pay this debt. NO ONE would help me, and I kept getting placed on hold, or told not to worry about it they would contact me prior to charging me any fines. Well a couple months ago I got charged on my credit card 60 euros or so, so I thought ok, there it is, they have settled it and got my ticket. But I never received notice from the rental car agency. Then yesterday I got my credit card statement and I had a $2408.08 (dollar) charge on it from Auto Europa!!! Are you kidding me!! I tried for months to get this taken care of and was told multiple times that I would get a bill. I’m so angry and I have no idea how to fix this! I call the Italian rental car agency and they have no clue how to help me, and this is obviously the means by which the Italian government rips off tourist while in their country. What can I do, who can I call and how can I get this ridiculous charge taken care of??? Any help PLEASE!! Desperate in Arizona! Lynda

    • Kemiker says

      Hi Linda

      These fines are completely out of control! Call your credit card company and have the charge reversed. It is fraudulent without any doubt. The rental company is not entitled to pay any fine on your behalf. The tolling company needs to contact you personally to arrange payment of the toll and any surcharge. The cost cannot already have run up to $2400. Email the rental company and detail your case as above then inform them that they have made a fraudulent charge to your credit card which you have reversed. Ask for a full explanation including pointing out which clause of the rental contract authorises them to pay fines on your behalf. Contact the tolling company and ask for a detailed breakdown of the charges and demand to know why you have not been contacted before a fraudulent charge was made to your credit card. You will need everything in writing. You should not be paying more than the toll plus max EUR 150 surcharge.

      Best
      Kemiker

      • Al says

        Hi Lynda,

        General rental conditions Auto Europa Italy.
        - Fines, highway tolls and parking tickets payment:
        All fines issued further to a violation of the Street Code and/or missing tolls and/or parking tickets issued during the rental period will be notified to the customer.
        Moreover, client will be charged on his credit card for a supplement of € 50,00 plus VAT as handling fee per fine and/or missing toll and/or parking ticket.

        The €60 (€50 + VAT) charge is the admin fee for providing your details to the motorway company/debt collection agency.
        Rental companies do not charge you for the payment of fines, unpaid toll tickets.

        Also FYI :
        http://www.autovie.it/cms/data/pages/000172.aspx
        Client without a ticket
        Should a Client be unable to return the entry ticket due to loss or failure to collect the ticket on entry, the toll payable is calculated according to the law (art. 176/16 Highway Code) from the most distant entry station. However, if the Client has proof indicating the actual entry station, he/she is entitled to pay the corresponding toll.
        http://www.autovie.it/cms/data/pages/files/000172_resource2_orig.pdf
        http://www.autovie.it/cms/data/pages/files/000172_resource5_orig.pdf

        Best,

        Al

  102. sally says

    Ok I have read some of this but would appreciate some clarification on a fine I recieved. This is my story – I hired a car from europcar in aug 2009 on my way back to the airport in Rome, I entered the motorway and missed the toll booths (not sure how but obviously couldnt do a u turn to go back through) so carried on. When I got to Rome I obviously didnt have the relevent ticket to put in the machine so pressed the button for help, spoke to someone and they lifted the barrier for me to pass.
    I recieved my credit card statement and noticed a payment to europcar that i wasnt expecting so called them to find out what it was for. I was told that the £85.25 was to pay for a traffic violation fine so I accepted this and carried on with my life. Then in March 2012 I get a letter from Nivi Credit demanding 62.86 euros off me for a fine for non payment of motorway toll?! I wrote back and told them I had paid it and sent a copy of my credit card statement to prove it. Now in April I have another letter from Nivi Credit saying that the payment of £85.25 that europcar took was not to pay my fine but for “admin fees for electronic notification of traffic violation” Can someone tell me what I should do as I’m not sure what to believe.
    Thanks x

    • Al says

      Hi Sally,

      Have you read April 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm comment and following comments?
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-33427).

      The payment to Europcar could well have been “only” the admin fee for providing your details to the motorway company/debt collection agency.
      But the amount of £85.25 (roughly €100) is really high for an admin fee!
      Maybe you could call Europcar and ask for clarification on the question?

      Best,

      Al

  103. J says

    Same story here- received a letter from EMO about a supposed “driving in limited traffic area” which was submitted to police 7 months after the supposed violation, and did not receive the letter until 18 months after that date, and 3 months after they said they mailed it. I did not receive a ticket while in Italy, and did not drive on any road marked “limited area.”

    I have written two emails to the EMO company, and perhaps I will try to phone the phone number I saw in earlier posts here. (Is that still a valid number?)

    Honestly, the treatment I received while in Italy was fairly horrible. I don’t recommend visiting there and I definitely suggest NOT renting a car if you do go. They will take every advantage of you that they can. I mean it was so, so bad.

    Thanks for posting this- hopefully something will be done about it all.

    -J

  104. Kemiker says

    Hi Scott

    How are you managing to post so far up the blog? There are a number of reasons why EC 861/2007 will not be used by the Italians. While it is for civil and commercial matters according to Article 2, §1 it may not be used for administrative matters. I have it in writing from the chief of police in Florence that these are adminstrative fines for which reason the rights confered by ECHR do not apply (he’s wrong on that one because those rights are in the EC Charter and specifically enshrined in all legislation related to cross-border enforcement). In some countries motoring offences are considered to be criminal offences so these countries would be unlikely to accept claims for motoring offences using this legislation.
    Other inconveniences are:

    this has to go to court which would expose the lies around the Constitutional Court’s decision 196.
    it is a written procedure and the defendant is not obliged to hire a lawyer, which means that it is cheap and far more likely to go to court than under the present system.
    A security may not be demanded in advance
    The Justice of the Peace is thus removed from the usual procedure since he requires both a security and that the defendant has legal representation.
    The time limits involved are very tight (the court needs to issue a judgement within 30 days) which will not suit the Italian system at all. With Florence issuing more than 600 tickets a day, the court system would go from seizure to meltdown (the prefect’s office has already gone into meltdown because of the number of appeals it receives).
    Foreign courts would complain about the volume of enforcement notices coming from Italy causing an unacceptable adminstrative burden on their own legal systems.
    The defendant must be served with a translation into a language he understands by the court. The EMO act only for the police, not the courts.
    Article 16 deals with the award of costs “the court or tribunal shall not award costs to the successful party to the extent that they were unnecessarily incurred or are disproportionate to the claim.” Since know that the costs applied by the EMO are disproportionate (more than EUR80 for a EUR135 fine) they would suffer a reduced revenue.
    This legislation could be used to sue Italian rental companies to get the admin fees refunded when people make successful appeals :-). That would be fun.

    As to point 2 of your post, you have contested the fine so it doesn’t apply.

    Regarding Framework decision 214/2005 if you’re a UK resident then any claim from Italy would be rejected because the UK only accepts its use in criminal matters. The countries using this legislation are doing so almost exclusively for road traffic offences http://eurocrim.jura.uni-tuebingen.de/cms/en/doc/1448.pdf
    Scroll down towards the bottom to read the UKs comments.

    If you need any help drafting a letter to the embassies you can get my email from Alex.

    Best
    Kemiker

  105. Kemiker says

    To Scott M

    Your comment appears way up the blog. If you have been sent a summons in Italian this is not acceptable. You should sent it back and demand it in English – that’s the law. Read my comment http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-32814 and follow the links and instructions in that post to get it in the right language. In this way you are on the right side of the law. You do not have to act on any judicial or extra-judicial documents that are in a language you do not understand.

    Best
    Kemiker

  106. Simon says

    Hi Alex, Al and all.

    First of all, massive Kudos on a truly excellent and dedicated blog. Legends, both.

    I got my first Violation report this week, for a violation dated 24.07.2011. I can only guess that I was in the wrong (who truly knows!). However, the Driver details are all messed up (my incorrect wifes name but she wasn’t driving, her incorrect birthday) and so on.

    It is entirely possible that there are more reports to come. (Having read most of the above, it’s unlikely that they’re only gonna try to sting me once !).

    Also, as a point of interest, we were following the SatNav instructions provided by our hire car !

    My intention is to ignore the report and carry on regardless. Can you give me any idea on the worst that could happen ?

    Many regards,

    Si

    • Al says

      Hi Simon,

      Your wife signed the rental contract.
      Art 196,1 of the Italian Highway Code (Solidarity principle) states that as owner of your (private) vehicle, or as holder of the rental agreement of the vehicle, you are considered to be jointly liable with the author of the traffic violation for the payment of the fine.

      I guess you got the unofficial “Notice of payment before notification” sent by regular mail.
      When you receive the official “Violation of the Highway Code Notice” via registered mail, why don’t you ask your postman to send it back with an “unable to deliver – nobody by that name at this address” sticker on it. :-)
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).

      The worst that could happen? You may receive “threatening” letters from a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.
      Read February 5, 2011 at 10:55 am comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30020).

      Best,

      Al

  107. Julie says

    Hi Al and Kemiker
    Thanks for your comments and expinations, most welcome in putting my mind to rest.
    You are right, it didnt occur to me to interpret the phrase ‘Administrative fees for electronic notification of traffic violations’ as meaning that I had only paid for the pleasure of having my details passed on!
    I wrongly construed it to mean that the admin fee was the fine itself.
    The traffic / autostrada authorities have never been in touch directly and as this first letter was about 15 months after the event and the following one that came last week was just under a year later the whole business it has run out of time anyway.
    Thanks for your hep
    best
    Julie

  108. Julie says

    My problem dates from October 2009 when I collected a hire car (eurocar) at Milan airport. We got a bit lost on leaving the airport and pulled into a motorway stop to ask where we were. At some point after leaving we came to a toll barrier which we had trouble understanding but got through and I now dont remember any details at all. A long time later (maybe a year) I received a letter in italian which I didnt understand but appeared to be from the hire firm whose name was placed in bold type and asking for about 60 euros. I dismissed it as a scam, as we didnt go into any towns and I drove well within the limit. Yesterday, almost two and half years later I received a letter in english from a debt collection firm asking for 1318 euros of outstanding debt for a motorway toll. I never got a registered letter, have not been sent photographic evidence, although the dates tally and I was confused by the toll information, and would like to avoid paying this huge sum. I have been to Italy since but not as a driver, maybe I wont till 5 years elapse.

    • Kemiker says

      Hi Julie

      It isn’t unheard of to be chased by the firms that operate the payment systems on the autostrada but I have never heard of a successful prosecution of anyone who has failed to pay a toll. Cases brought against motorists in Denmark have been swiftly dismissed. A 60 euro fine for the offence would seem reasonable because it is proportionate to the objective of posing a deterrent to non-payment of the toll. That’s where the credibility stops! How has 60 euros become 1318 euros in the space of 18 months? Utterly ridiculous. If it ever went to court the prosecution would have to demonstrate exactly how the costs had escalated and prove that you had received all relevant correspondance which explained to you, in a language that you understand, the consequences of failing to pay at each juncture. Turning 60 euros into 1318 euros would require a lot of steps/warning letters. I would just forget about it. If they ever contact you again ask for all the relevant information (copies of all warning letters sent together with signed receipts for the registered mail, photographic evidence, etc.). Inform them also that in accordance with UK law, traffic offences must be notified with 2 weeks of the offence, so any prosecution will not succeed – in any case legal precedent is on your side.
      Could you please name the collection agency concerned? Also make sure to keep all your documentation, I might want to ask you for it at some stage. We already know what the EMO are up to along with foreign debt collection agencies and we need to know if other organisations are involved so that we can sue the lot of them!

      Best
      Kemiker

      • Julie says

        Thanks Kemiker
        The letter that arrived the other day really threw me, added to that after an initial search through various documents I couldnt find the original letter.
        Since then I have had a chance to search again and have found all documents and contrary to what I thought I remembered there was an english translation on the letter which was a ‘fattura’ / invoice not a claim. It states that the payment was made.
        The letter was indeed from Europcar and they had used their access to my bank details and taken the payment from me. I had efficiently stored the letter away with the bank statement which shows this transaction, and forgotten all about it till this week.
        This evidence puts me in the clear as far as payment is concerned, however it suggests either that through human error (or something else) the fine was not passed on to the appropriate traffic authorities by Europcar or that the autostrada are themselves disorganised and dont know when fines have been payed.
        Either way this makes Nivi Credit s.r.i. of via Pordonone, Firenze look opportunistic at the best.
        I do not intend to enter into correspondence with them as I do not have any case to answer but it serves as a warning to others.
        thanks again
        Julie

        • Al says

          Hi Julie,

          Are you absolutely sure that the invoice from Europcar was for payment of the toll and not an “admin fee” for providing your contact details to the motorway company/debt collection agency?
          Anyway, as you wrote, I would ignore any contact attempts from EMO (Nivi Credit) or from a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.
          And I would return to Italy whenever I wished.

          Best,

          Al

  109. Matthew says

    I just received two Notice of Payment letters about violations of “Driving in a limited traffic area without authorization.” Each has a fine of 102.09 euros.

    The alleged infraction occurred on February 2, 2011. The date these notice of payment letters were sent is February 27, 2012.

    I already spoke to someone at the rental agency, who was friendly and helpful but who advised I just pay the fines.

    I can’t even find the streets where the violations allegedly took place — for all I know it was where my hotel was located.

    Because the Notice of Payment letters were mailed after the 360 day window closed, I’m leaning toward not paying. Good idea?

    • Matthew says

      To add a little more detail — the date of ascertainment is listed as “2011-08-02″ which I originally interpreted to mean February 8, 2011. However, now I notice that the date on the top of the letter is “2012-02-27″ so I guess the format is Year-Month-Day throughout?

      I am pretty certain that these fines were “earned” on my way to my hotel, which I checked on the same day these violations took place. I did not drive the car at any other time except to return it to the rental agency at Roma Termini (God help me if I get more violation notices for the trip from the hotel to train station!!).

      I called the hotel, and an agent there said that I could attach a copy of my reservation to the ticket appeal, although he said it “probably wouldn’t work.”

      To be honest — this experience and a few others has soured me on Italy a bit, and I probably won’t be going back anytime soon!

  110. Russell says

    EMO didn’t take long to reply to my email pointing out the City of Romes interpretation of the date of ascertainment is wrong. Its this a bluff? EMO telling the Municipal Police of Rome that they have got the law wrong! Can’t even claim that it was lost in the transalation, as the statement is in Italian. Someone who understands Italian might want to give us a translation of the links to Italian Ministry of Transport and Automobile Club d’Italia.

    ———————————————
    Dear Mr Russell ,
    please be aware that Municipal Police of Rome have already been informed that this sentence written on their official website is wrong.
    As provided by the Italian Ministry of Transport website (http://www.mit.gov.it/mit/site.php?p=normativa&o=vd&id=1&id_dett=204) and by the Automobile Club d’Italia
    (http://www.aci.it/sezione-istituzionale/al-servizio-del-cittadino/codice-della-strada/titolo-vi-degli-illeciti-previsti-dal-presente-codice-e-delle-relative-sanzioni/art-201-notificazione-delle-violazioni.html)
    “per i residenti all’estero la notifica deve essere effettuata entro trecentosessanta giorni dall’accertamento.”
    It means that Municipal Police is legally able to send a fine abroad within 360 days from the ascertainment date. In your case, from the day that the car rental company have sent your details to the Municipal Police. Your car rental company have provided your personal details on the 21st of February 2011, therefore Municipal Police’s communication dated 15th of February 2012 was sent just within the aforementioned deadline.
    ———————————————-

    • Kemiker says

      Hi Russell

      I’ll avail myself of the opportunity to chip in here. While you’ve got a rapport going with the EMO could you do me a favour and cut&paste this into an email back to them.

      It is not within the remit of the EMO to interpret the law. They represent the police in the municipality of Rome and if the police say it is 360 days from the date of the violation then that is what they must adhere to.
      The constitutional court was absolutely clear in its decision 198/1996 that there are 2 legal provisions, one for Italian residents and one for foreign residents. These are described clearly at the end of section 2 and in section 3 of the decision. Section 5 describes why 150 days is the maximum tolerable limit for notification when balancing the needs of the recipient to be able to prepare a defence (by still having some recollection of the circumstances) and the time required for administrators to get the offender’s name and address, and also mentions that modern technology has helped to speed up this process (note the limit has now been reduced to 90 days). Section 6 notes that it has been normal practice for the time limit to start from the date at which the authorities begin to look into the matter noting that this meant it could extend beyond the “ample but rigid” time limit allowed to notify foreigners (by inference this again means that the limit runs from the date of the offence for foreigners, not from when the police decide to look into it. And of course they cannot identify a foreigner before they begin to look into the case!!! So there can be absolutely no doubt that the time limit cannot first begin to run from the date of identification). Notwithstanding, section 6 goes on to describe this practice as illegitimate and specifies that the time limit for Italians begins on the day when the authorities are able to identify the offender by virtue of the fact that their vehicle is registered at the licencing authority, ie the date of the offence! If a foreigner rents a car they are identifiable from the date of the offence by virtue of the fact that the rental company has a contract with their name and address on it. For foreigners driving their own cars, exactly the same applies to them as to Italians, they are identifiable through the national licencing authority concerned, it’s only a question of when the police ask for the information. For Italians the limit is 150 days [now 90] from the date of the offence with the possibility of an undefined extention for subsequent identification if, for instance, the vehicle had been re-registered to someone else in the interim period (which is what the case was centred around).
      Given the above, in the case of foreign residents the notification time limit can only be 360 days from the date at which it has been ascertained that an offence has been committed. Identification of foreign drivers in foreign cars will always be subsequent to the date of the offence because they cannot be identified through the Italian driver and vehicle licencing agency, however, they remain identifiable from the date of the offence as long as the vehicle is registered with the relevant licencing agency. This is why an extended notification time peiod is allowed. It gives time for the police to identify the driver through the foreign licencing agency in question. This provides the objective basis for discriminating between drivers of different nationalities and keeps Italian law in compliance with human rights legislation. As mentioned above, foreign drivers of Italian registered rental cars are identifiable from the date of the offence by virtue of the rental contract. For this reason the time limits should be equal for foreign and Italian renters of cars on Italian plates. There is no case for objective discrimination here so applying a 360 day time limit for foreigners is illegal and inconsistent which the constitutional court’s definition of “identifiable”.
      By claiming that they have as long as they like to identify a foreign driver and then a further 360 days to issue a notification, the objectivity disapperars and the differing treatment becomes discriminatory on the basis of nationality which is illegal under iternational law. This is irrespective of whether the vehicle is registered abroad or in Italy. Remember also that the court considered 150 days from the date of the offence to be the maximum tolerable, so 360 days must really be pushing it and anything longer than that just cannot be allowable.
      All European law requires that cross border enforcement is conducted by “competent authorities”. Given that the municipal police forces and the EMO struggle to understand their own legislation and have absolutely no idea what is required under international law, they can not be described as “competent” for the purposes of cross border enforcement and should be ignored.

      See what they say to that!
      Best
      Kemiker

      • Al says

        Russell,

        It is now I who admire your persistence in “confronting EMO about this blatant attempt at persisting with old habits”. :-)

        The links provided simply refer to Article 201,1 (Violations Notification) of the Italian Highway Code which states unequivocally that the 360 day notification time limit (for foreign residents) runs from the date of the traffic violation.
        Why? Because, as you very well wrote: “whenever the word ascertainment was mentioned in the legislation it was in association with the traffic incident”.

        They’re lying through their teeth!
        And I’m willing to bet that they never said anything to the Municipal Police of Rome.

        If you wish, you could reply by sending them Decision 198/1996 of the Italian Constitutional Court and kindly asking them for their “interpretation” of the following passages on pages 3 & 4.
        Read March 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm comment.
        (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-33214)

        Al

  111. Al says

    Hi Russel,

    Thanks for the appreciative comment and for reading this page thoroughly before posting.
    The legislation is “ambiguous” only for people in bad faith.

    Should you contact EMO and confront them…? Been there, done that. :-)
    I’d say only if you wish to waste your time and money.
    But, as I’ve already written, you could/should send an email (infoemo-en@nivi.it) to let them know that you have appealed against (fine)/infraction number… with the Prefect of Rome.
    It should prevent you from receiving a “last reminder” letter from EMO or possibly “threatening” letters from a debt collection agency established in your country of residence.

    Best,

    Al (who never jumps to conclusions) :D

    • Russell says

      Surely EMO is on very thin ice (at least in Rome), persisting with the misleading FAQ on their website:

      Q17 According the Italian Traffic Code the police have 360 days after the date of the violation or identification of the owner of the vehicle within which to notify fines to foreigners. In the event of rented vehicles, the 360 days start as from the date of identification of the holder of the rental agreement at the time of the violation, or from the date of receipt of the personal data sent by the car rental company.

      When http://www.comune.roma.it/wps/portal/pcr?contentId=NEW145409&jp_pagecode=newsview.wp&ahew=contentId:jp_pagecode
      clearly states:

      Per i residenti all’estero o per i veicoli immatricolati all’estero il verbale verrà notificato entro 360 giorni dal giorno della violazione.
      = For residents abroad or for foreign registered vehicles the report will be notified within 360 days from the date of the violation.

      There is a link at the bottom of the article “Invia questo articolo” (Send this article)

      If readers click on this, and email to infoemo-en@nivi.it with a copy and paste of EMO’s Q17 FAQ as above they can’t ignore the facts and claim they uphold the “Convention of Strasbourg” as claimed on their about us page (http://www.emo.nivi.it/Chi_Siamo.aspx).

      It will only be by exposure and public humiliation that EMO will clean up their act.
      If they are forced to acknowledge the correct interpretation of a national law then this will have to apply in other municipalities.

      An email to 060606portale@comune.roma.it (in italian) pointing out EMOs inconsistent FAQ might end up on someones desk who realises the implications.

      Russell

  112. Russell says

    To Al,Alex and Kemiker

    Its interesting to have followed these comments and seen how you guys sensed how the authorities have bent the rules to harass tourists into paying up.

    I have admire Als persistence in insisting that the date of ascertainment is the date of traffic violation. I must admit I thought the wording was a bit soft and thought Al might have been jumping to conclusions. But the pieces all added up. The extreme period of 360 days was obviously generous compared to the shorter period of 90days for locals suggested that there was already an allowance for identification. A consumer group picked up on the same view. Whenever the word ascertainment was mentioned in the legislation it was in association with the traffic incident. It is surprising that the legislation was allowed to be so ambiguous. In my non legal experience legislation in Australia often has a glossary or addendum defining the key words.

    Anyway I am a ZTL offender. Fantastic family holiday in Rome and Umbria July 2010. After a week in Rome hired a car to drive to Umbria. Picked up the car near the main railway station and had to drive back to the hotel to pick up the luggage before our tour to the Italian countryside. On way back to hotel ended up in some back streets thanks to the GPS and that was when the damage was done. Incurred x2 106 Euro fines 4 mins apart on 2nd July 2010.

    Received unofficial notice from EMO about a year ago but took no notice of them. Official registered notices received and signed for 15th Feb 2012. Haven’t been able to find any unexplained costs on my credit card from hertz (still looking).

    Then saw Al’s Newsflash that the municipality of Rome now interprets the law as it should and the date of ascertainment is the date of traffic violation. Cant make out from the official announcement from http://www.comune.roma.it when this announcement was released but Al noticed it. – Dec 2011.

    Yet I have two official documents -dated 15-02-2012 and signed by the officer in charge from the Corpo di Polizia, ROMA CAPITALE demanding payment.
    Issuing authority – Municipal police of Rome
    Date of infraction – 02-07-2010
    Date of ascertainment (date as of the statute of limitation starts running) 21-02-2011

    The scam continues despite the fact that the Municipal of Rome is supposed to recognise the 360 day limitation is from the date of the infraction. Why do they persist? This reinforces Als comments about this being revenue driven and scaring foreigners into paying.

    I am in the 60 day appeal period and have sent the template appeal letter to the prefect of Rome – registered with proof of delivery. (cost $16).

    Should I also contact/email/phone EMO and confront them about this blatant attempt at persisting with old habits and ask what is going on?

  113. Al says

    Dear Gaby,

    Find yourself another friend who “understands” Italian!

    The word “ascertainment” – mentioned 5 times in Art. 201,1, 14 times in all in Art. 201,1 to 5bis – ALWAYS refers to the ascertainment of the traffic violation (by means of a traffic camera, speed radar, …on the day it was committed!).
    The concept of “subsequent identification” applies only to Italian residents!!!

    Art. 201,1 distinguishes between:
    - Italian residents who have to be notified within 90 days (150 days for violations committed before August 13th 2010) from the date of the traffic violation OR AS SOON as they can be identified.
    - Foreign residents who have to be notified within 360 days from the date of the traffic violation.

    Read February 5, 2011 at 9:33 am comment.
    (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30019)
    Read October 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm comment.
    (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-31899)

    Read Decision 198/1996 of the Italian Constitutional Court.
    http://ricorsimulte.weebly.com/uploads/4/7/2/5/472555/sentenza_corte_costituzionale_10-17062006_nr.198.pdf
    Page 3: “Come si nota dal raffronto [...] siano stati identificati successivamente.”
    Page 4: “si consentirebbe una protrazione [...] ai residenti all’estero;”
    Excerpt: “WHILE for residents abroad the legislator sets an absolutely insuperable notifying time limit, although determining it in an ample manner (more than twice the one for Italian citizens), for the latter (Italian citizens) ON THE CONTRARY the 150 day time limit starts from the moment the actual offender or the other individuals liable are subsequently identified.”

    The copy per e-mail is not an official notification. You haven’t been formally notified.
    As I’ve already written, I would stop wasting my time with the EMO.

    Al

    • Gaby P. Opper says

      Dear Al,

      Thanks again for the maximum detailed explanation.
      If I follow your advise I don’t do anything. But how can I reach that EMO cancels the issue?
      I live in a European country (Hungary) and would like to return to Italy again and again. I want to avoid that if I somehow meet policemen there they take me to the police station and keep me there till I pay the double amount (or even more) of the original fine.

      Regards
      Gaby

      • Al says

        Gaby,

        The EMO, the Florentine police or Prefecture won’t cancel your fine.
        They’re rapacious scumbags with a total disregard for the law when they try to rip off foreign tourists with invalid fines.
        As for being arrested, your name would need to be on a national traffic offender register.
        Come back to Italy whenever you wish!

        Al

  114. Marie Donlevie says

    Hi Al, I did write to niti emo and told them about the 360 days from infraction. However, they wrote back to tell me that when it is a rental car, they have 360 days from the date they identify who the renter was. I haven’t received anything other than their regular mail notice – didn’t have to sign anything to receive it, just arrived in my mailbox.
    I wrote to the rental car agency to find out when they were contacted, but I’m sure since it was so long ago – almost 2 years – I haven’t heard anything.

    Should I wait for the official notification and then fight it? And….are they right about the rental car issue?

    Thanks again.

    • Al says

      Hi Marie,

      The unofficial notice (“Notice of payment before notification”) is sent via regular mail.
      The official notice, sent via registered mail, is headed “Notification of Violation of the Highway Code” and is the only one which mentions that you can appeal to the Prefect or the Justice of the Peace within 60 days.

      What date of “ascertainment” (identification) does your notice mention?
      Article 201,1 (Violations Notification) states very clearly that the 360 day notification time limit runs from the date of the infraction but the EMO conveniently misreads it as being 360 days from the date of your “identification”.
      The concept of “subsequent identification” applies only to Italian residents!!!
      Scroll down through some of the comments.

      If you have received the unofficial notice, you should certainly wait for the official notification and appeal! I would never ever pay!

      Al

  115. Mike says

    Does anyone have an update on Cedar Financial efforts? Have there been any negative effects of their collection attempts such as lowered credit score? Please post all you can to see if these guys are just a bunch of nimrods or if they have any teeth at all. Thank you.

    I was contacted today about a ticket from 2008. They claim a certified letter was signed for by my ex wife in 2010 but I never heard of it. My feeling is to ignore them but I do worry about my credit.

      • Mike says

        I find it interesting that there no accounts of anyone getting hit with any negative consequences of non-payment. It seems that the collections are just a bunch of smoke without fire. Also I understand from you blog that:

        1) The Florence issued ticket is issued by the City of Florence and the City Police. Not the state of Italy or State Italian Police.

        2) The officials have 365 days to notify you in the US which they fail if you avoid signing for the certified mail.

        3) All traffic violations in Italy are invalid after five years anyway.

        4) Cedar Financial purchased the debt from the EMO and is simply trying to collect as anything over certain amount is profit to them. It seems they have no enforceable power to hurt your credit or affect you in any negative way other than harassment.

        Am I right in all this?

        Mike

        • Al says

          Mike,

          1) Over 300 Italian municipalities (including Florence) have outsourced the collection of fines to EMO (European Municipality Outsourcing – a division of Nivi Credit Ltd ).

          2) 360 (not 365) days from the date of the traffic violation to SEND the official fine by certified mail.
          Read February 5, 2011 at 9:09 am comment.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30018)

          3) The 5-year statute of limitations from the date of the offence is interrupted by any official act relevant to the fine.
          Hence usually 5 years from the day they send the official fine by certified mail.

          4) Right!
          Cedar Financial and Nivi Credit are members of the TCM Group (“unique global alliance of debt collection agencies”). ;-)

          Al (not Alex Roe – Italy Chronicles publisher)

  116. Marie Donlevie says

    Hello, I received a notice of traffic violation this month – February 2012 – for a violation that took place on April 2, 2010. Almost two years ago. I had already paid for a different violation that took place at the same time, that I was notified of in July 2011. I had no idea there was a 360 day notification law. After reading your column, I did email Nivi Credit and tell them about not hearing from them withing that time limit, we will see what they say. My question is – do they have the right to collect these fines here in the US? And, how can I find that out? I know it has been discussed in your column before, but I couldn’t find an answer to that. Thank you…your information is priceless!

  117. Franco Rubino says

    Let me start off by saying how I (we) readers greatly appreciate your input and advise. I am yet another victim of this injustice. I am a Canadian who visited Italy (Rome) and was charged with ART. 7 C. 9/c. 14 – “driving in a limited traffic area without authorization” The date of infraction was 2010-08-09 (Aug 08) and I received registered mail “Violoation of the Highway Code Report” and 2012-01-11 (Jan 11). This clearly exceeds the 360 day rule! Further, the address on this official by the Corpo di Polizia Roma Capitale notice was incorrect. When reviewing my address with the car rental company (document stamped January 20, 2011), I clearly provided them with my correct address. In any event this registered letter was picked up by me at the local postal office. Can you advise me on how to proceed? I have not recieved any communication of this incident prior to January 2012 and according to the letter 60 day appearl window is closing – Thanks and keep well

    • Al says

      Hi Franco,

      For notification purposes (360 day rule), the relevant date is the fine sending date.
      Check the time stamp on the envelope, the date on the official notification.

      I would send the appeal letter (registered with proof of receipt) to the Prefect.
      Read April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am (an appeal template is included) comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).

      Al Prefetto di Roma
      Prefettura di Roma
      via IV Novembre 119/A
      00187 Roma

      “Il sottoscritto___” for a man, “La sottoscritta___” for a woman.
      In Italy the date format is (dd/mm/yyyy).
      Write “Al Prefetto di Roma… + full address …” also on the appeal letter.

      I would also enclose with the letter, not only a readable copy of the official notification but also Decision 198/1996” of the Italian Constitutional Court with the relevant passages highlighted.
      http://ricorsimulte.weebly.com/uploads/4/7/2/5/472555/sentenza_corte_costituzionale_10-17062006_nr.198.pdf
      Page 3: “Come si nota dal raffronto [...] siano stati identificati successivamente.”
      Page 4: “si consentirebbe una protrazione [...] ai residenti all’estero;”

      Write: “Allega: fotocopia del verbale notificato, sentenza Corte Costituzionale 10-17 giugno 1996, n. 198.”

      You have until March 11 (Jan 11 + 60 days) to send the appeal letter.

      Best,

      Al

      • Franco Rubino says

        Al, thanks I have checked the relevand date and time stamp on the envelope and it was January 11, 2012. The date of the infraction was 2010-08-09 (Aug) and the date of ascertainment was 2011-01-20. They appear to try and trick visitors by clearly posting that the “Date of Ascertainment” is the baseline for the stuatue of limitartion starts running – when the actual start date is the “Date of Infraction” – according to my calculation the total days equals 519. Also a problem that I experienced was that they sent the notice to the wrong address, even when it was clearly noted on the rental agency agreement with TradeFleet. I guess I am lucky that our postal system located me, otherwise I would not be able of this notice and hence loose the opportunity to formally appeal.

        As a clarification your address for the appeal differs; on the actual form, it states to use the following address:

        Al Prefetto di Roma
        U.O. Contravvenzioni
        Del Comune di Roma
        Via Ostiense
        131/L
        00154, Roma (RM), Italia

        Your amazing you even calculated my end date for appeal. On a side note, I understand that you live in Milano, I trust your an ACM supporter!!! We were robbed by the officials against Juve — I hope your not an Inter supporter. In the end what do you think my chances are in winning the appeal?

        • Al says

          Hi Franco,

          I’m Al.
          Alex Roe is Italy Chronicles publisher and he does live in Milan.
          I’ve been answering the comments on this specific page of Alex’s blog since April 2010.
          I started signing my comments “Al” realizing too late that people would confuse me with Alex.

          They’ve been deliberately misleading foreign traffic offenders for a few years now!
          Regarding the address, read September 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm comment.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-28991)

          Who gives a damn whether you win the appeal or not?!?
          You’ll never pay! Right? :-)
          Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a little reassurance :-) , read also December 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm and December 6, 2011 at 12:15 am comments.
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-32279).
          (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-32296).
          And, keep in mind that you might never get a reply from the Prefect.

          I would also send an email to the EMO (Nivi Credit – infoemo-en@nivi.it) to inform them that you’ve appealed against (fine)/infraction number … with the Prefect of Rome.
          It should prevent you from receiving any “last reminder” letter from the EMO.
          There seems to be no coordination between the EMO and the Italian Prefectures!

          Al

  118. John says

    Following a fabulous holiday in Tuscany July 2011, and a daytrip to Florence, we are now the lucky recipients of apparently not one, but two Highway Code Violations from Polizini Municipale, Comune di Firenze.

    Both alleged offences took place the same day (20th July 2011). We have already been charged twice! by our credit-card company (for providing our contact details to the authorities) at E36.30 each time). Now we are being charged E76+25.80 for ‘Circulating in a limited traffic area without authorisation…Prot/Acess 111325077′ and another E76+25.80 for ‘Circulating in a lane reserved for means of public transportation only…Prot/Acess No. 111327618′.

    We never saw any signs restricting access….and imagine the signs were either not present , confusing or obscured by vehicles etc.. The amount of the fines for such a trivial ‘offence’ seems extortionate and excessive, it adds up to well over £200…We are unconvinced that we committed the offences and would like proof, so intend to ask for a date and time stamped photograph!

    Has anyone tried this and received photographs? We will see what happens.

    We live in the UK and are seriously considering not visiting Italy…and certainly not Florence any time soon!

    Regards

    John

    • Al says

      Hi John,

      Via EMO’s web site (http://www.emo.nivi.it/) you can consult your file (photographic evidence, fine information, …). Username & password are on the letter you received.

      In Italy, for privacy reasons, photographic evidence identifying the offending driver is prohibited. Such pictures are allowed only if taken by laser speed gun and if the traffic offender is pulled up by the police on the spot. Photographs are never attached to the fines. They can be viewed on-line or at the police station.

      Read the information at the top of this page and April 29, 2010 at 2:32 am comment. (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-27584).

      Best,

      Al (not Alex)

  119. John Hodgson says

    Alex and Al

    First a word of appreciation for this very useful forum. Its helpful information and level-headed advice are exemplary.

    My main reason for posting is to recount my experience (so far) of appealing to the Prefect; and ask for suggestions for my next step.

    I fell foul of the Florence ZTR on 17 April 2009 in a hire car. I received my ‘Notice of Payment Before Notification’ in June 2010 (it is dated 28 May – already past 360 days), and my formal violation notice is dated 15 July 2010. I then used the pro-forma letter provided by Al to appeal the fine on the grounds that the allowed 360 days had elapsed. This was posted on 7 August 2010 and followed by a long silence (as you suggested it would be!).

    However, I have today received a letter (in English) from the Florence police covering a legal ruling (in Italian) from the Prefect rejecting my appeal, and asking for payment of an increased fine (total now 192 euros).

    So far as I can make out the Prefect’s reason for rejection is very vague: “le circostanze esposte non contengono elementi tali da invalidare l’accertamento”, which Babelfish renders as “the exposed circumstances do not contain such elements to invalidate l’ assessment”.

    l am in two minds how to proceed. I suspect the mature choice is to cut my losses and pay up, but I am also affronted by the (apparent) bland contradiction of a clear cut case. It adds insult to injury that the Prefect’s own response to the appeal has ignored the time limits on this process!

    Today’s letter says I have 60 days from the notification date (10 Feb according to postmark) to appeal to the Florence Justice of the Peace. Should I go down this route? Could I do so in English and without legal representation?

    Any thoughts from yourselves or other posters would be welcome.

    Thanks and best wishes

    John

    • Al says

      Hi John,

      The mature choice is to send them packing!!!

      1) As you know, your formal violation notice was sent well over 360 days after the date of the traffic violation.
      2) Furthermore, as you wrote, the Prefect didn’t issue the payment injunction within the 210 day time limit or didn’t notify it within 150 days after its adoption.
      Read May 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm comment.
      (http://italychronicles.com/speeding-fines-in-italy/#comment-30786)
      3) If you’re right – and that’s the only “explanation” they give – then, they do not go into the merit of the issue itself. Which is “understandable”, seeing that they’re dead wrong about the 360 day notification time limit.
      But a Prefect can decide to reject your appeal, ignoring completely your arguments. This does not constitute sufficient cause for invalidating the fine when you appeal against his decision before the Justice of the Peace.
      Why? Because you can still present these same arguments to the Justice of the Peace!
      That’s Italian “Justice” for you!