How Can I Challenge A Wood Buffalo PCN?

This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Wood Buffalo PCN?”  Your PCN challenge should either convince the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo that the contravention never occurred or that it occurred as a result of unforeseen mitigating circumstances which affected your driving abilities. The blog explains how you can use your online PCN challenge to attach better evidence to support your formal representation.

How Can I Challenge A Wood Buffalo PCN?

You can challenge a Wood Buffalo PCN by filling out the formal representation form on the website or by writing a formal representation letter on the reverse of your Notice to Owner and sending it in to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s postal address.

Your Wood Buffalo PCN can be challenged by creating a strongly worded appeal that focuses on how you are sure that the traffic violation never happened. This appeal will contain reasons illustrated by a series of events witnessed by you at the traffic violation scene. You can prove the events by using a video clip that was recorded by you (or someone travelling with you) from inside your vehicle.

For parking PCNs you will simply need to show that your vehicle was parked correctly or for the correct duration of time in the right kind of parking space. For bus-lane and moving traffic or other road PCNs you will require more complex kinds of evidence materials. These can be better filmed videos made by a professional camera from inside your vehicle to capture each instant of your moving vehicle’s actions.

In many cases, PCNs are not enforceable and you may be able to win your case and avoid having to pay your fine.

You could begin the process by speaking to an online solicitor for as little as £5. 

What is a Penalty Charge Notice?

A Penalty Charge Notice is a monetary penalty issued to drivers or motorists for committing certain traffic contraventions including violating Parking, Bus Lane and Moving Traffic restrictions.

A penalty charge notice can be handed to you by a Civil Enforcement Officer or dispatched to your residential address by post. CCTV cameras and Civil Enforcement Officers observe traffic contraventions before a violation is detected and the vehicle is charged with a PCN.

What is the procedure for appealing against a Wood Buffalo PCN?

You can submit a formal representation to your Wood Buffalo PCN by writing a letter addressed to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo or by filling in the online formal representation form on the Government of Alberta’s official website.

You need to brainstorm reasons for challenging a Wood Buffalo PCN from the day of the incident and list them down in word processing software or on paper. It is essential to have some authentic evidence to attach with your PCN appeal in the form of video footage of the traffic violation, medical certificates explaining your mitigating circumstances, or pay and display tickets. 

The evidence must be matched with the grounds for your appeal before describing the incident from your point of view. Your rough formal representation can be edited for clarity multiple times before it is ready to attach to your online appeal to the Government of Alberta.

 You need to visit the Government of Alberta website to submit a formal representation to your Wood Buffalo PCN. You have to open this webpage to enter your PCN number (Bylaw notice #), and your email address.

You need to select “I agree to the terms and conditions” before clicking on “Next”. 

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to the Municipality of Wood Buffalo and for explaining your point of view of the events which took place at the traffic violation scene.  If you made a video clip of your traffic contravention, you should save snapshots from it by using a video player or video editing software. 

Most video players such as VLC player allow you to slow down your video frame by frame and thus take ( a collection of) snapshots to attach with your Wood Buffalo PCN challenge. The text of your appeal must state the relevant contravention code on your PCN and explain how you attempted to avoid the error (supported by photos or video footage).

Once you have proofread your appeal to eliminate any reasons for your challenge which might convey a disregard for traffic contravention codes enforced in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation.

Another way to send in your Wood Buffalo PCN challenge is by mail. You can write a formal representation to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo on the reverse of your “Notice to Owner” document. This handwritten appeal should be composed gradually by incorporating all the available evidence material to support the grounds for your challenge and should be able to convince the council of your mitigating circumstances (or other acceptable reasons).

You should view evidence relating to your Wood Buffalo PCN online before writing down your appeal so that you end up focusing on refuting the contents of the CCTV video or photographs or your traffic violation. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo,

9909 Franklin Avenue,

Fort McMurray,Alberta,


T9H 2K4

How Can I Pay My Wood Buffalo PCN?

You can pay your Wood Buffalo PCN by logging into the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo website and opening the PCN payments webpage. On this page you need to simply select the bylaw ticket in payment type, Roads and Transportation in the bylaw ticket type and enter your bylaw ticket number, full name to check the amount you owe.

You need to enter this amount in the next field, followed by your email address, telephone number and mailing address (mentioned on your credit/debit card statement). Once you have entered all these details, you can click on “Payment” to pay your Wood Buffalo PCN.

What will happen if I don’t pay my Wood Buffalo PCN within the 30-day limit?

You should not ignore traffic contraventions or the Penalty Charge Notices resulting from them or cultivate a careless attitude towards driving in the Wood Buffalo Municipality. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in the Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality.

If you neither pay your Wood Buffalo PCN within 30 days nor decide to appeal against it, a late fee will be added, which increases your PCN fine by 50%, which means you will be paying $26.58 now. If you still don’t pay the amount, then by the 40th day you will be issued a Notice of Default. It will show the total amount due which includes the initial parking violation penalty, address search fee and late fee.

This Notice will also contain a request for payment by a certain due date. At day 60, a Plate Denial Enforcement Fee will be added to the unpaid parking amount. The amount is now payable to the Wood Buffalo Municipality. Beyond this the Crown (also known as the federal and provincial governments of Canada) can use some other extreme measures at its disposal to recover this amount from your possession.

These measures include telling the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about your debt, Wage Garnishment (your employer is asked to send the government a portion of your wages until your debt is fully paid), bank garnishment (the government takes the money you owe it from your bank accounts) or getting a lien against property that you own.

The Crown might also choose to take away things of value that you own like jewellery or vehicles. Other than this confiscation of property you might also see some registry services suspended such as driver’s licence registry and vehicle registration facilities.


This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Wood Buffalo PCN?” The focus of your Wood Buffalo PCN challenge will differ from proving that you had properly attached a pay and display ticket to your vehicle or parked it correctly within its designated parking space (for a Parking PCN) to demonstrating your mitigating circumstances for breaching a bus lane during its operational hours (for a Bus Lane PCN). You should know (be able to recall) how you had actually responded at the scene of the traffic violation to successfully dispute the evidence provided by the prosecution.