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How do we pay a traffic ticket from Germany

How do we pay a traffic ticket from Germany

Old Nov 20th, 2009, 12:06 AM
  #21  
 
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Since you mention Bayrische Landesbank Muenchen doesn't that confim it is Germany? Bayrisch = Bavarian. If you want to pay it you would need to pay via bank draft or direct transfer, which is what the bank numbers are for. Where I live the banks don't do direct transfer for such a small amount, and charge a hefty fee for a paper draft, which has to be sent to a street address. All very inconvenient and possibly will cost you more in fees than the cost of the fine (or fee, whatever it is). You could investigate the transfer option in your country and see if it is even possible. Useful vocab: BLZ (Bankleitzahl), which is the bank number, and Konto / Kontonummer / Kontonr., which is the account number. Good luck with whatever you decide. I have never had to pay a fine but regularly buy books from Germany and have sometimes had to do a bank draft, and just had to swallow the extra expense.

Lavandula
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 12:11 AM
  #22  
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Never mind German terms and any atempt at their correct translation. What it comes down to is:

Exceeding the speed limit by 18 km/h you have committed a (minor) misdemeanor (Ordnungswidrigkeit) according to sect. 3 para. 1,3 (presumably no. 1) StVO in connection with sect. 24 StVG. As opposed to a criminal offence (Straftat), such midemeanor triggers the payment of a penalty (EUR 35.00 according to the current catalogue on penalties (Bussgeldkatalog) with respect to speed violations of 50 km/h + 16 km/h - + 20 km/h within city limits) but will not show on any records.

The authorities now claim that penalty from you. They have no means to enforce it against you. You don't have to pay.

If you insist on paying, go to your bank, tell them you want to effect an international money transfer, give them the name of the Bank (Bayerische Landesbank), have them find out the SWIFT Code (or provide them with it: BYLADEMMXXX), state the account no. (German: "Konto Nr."; it will be indicated on the letter) and let them figure out the IBAN Code (it will start with DE+2digits+70050000+the account no.). Then instruct them to make that payment and cringe over the most likely extortionate fee (in proportion ot the penalty) they will charge you.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 09:37 AM
  #23  
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Thanks to all for the great replies!

I am going to forget about it. It seems like waaaay too much work to send the payment.

Again thanks,
Lydia
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 10:00 AM
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We had a smilar experience after returning from Spain. The US rental car company, can't remember which one but think it was National, could not help us with information on how to pay and told us to call the Spanish tourism office in NYC! I did and they translated it, said we really weren't going very fast on the autopista in that region, and couldn't figure out where we should send the money.The address given was a government department in Madrid, no street address. We ended up ignoring it because of lack of guidance from the traffic ticket and the car rental agency...have been back many times with no problems.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 12:47 AM
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In Germany, such a speeding ticket a is only vaild if the driver is on the photo and can clearly be identified.
So next time, don't look into that flashlight .

The Austrian cameras still don't make a photo of the driver. If it were a parking fine, the owner would be responsable, however.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 04:46 PM
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How does the (legal?) situation over a Spanish ticket compare with the German one?
Why does one need an address to make a money transfer?
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Old Dec 15th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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I recently received a similar notice from AVIS in regard to a traffic violation while on travel in the Bonn area. (It included a 12 euro fee for turning my info over the authorities, BTW.) Now I have a letter from the Rhein-sieg-kreis Der Landrat with a real bad photo and details of my rental car doing 72kph in a 50 kph zone. (Long story about how that happened...) The letter doesn't specifically ask for a fine, but asks for information on the back (Ausserung sum Sachverhalt) was I driving the car? if not, who was?, etc. Any advice?
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Old Dec 15th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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The fine would be 80€, if you wanted to pay. You don't need to give any "Äusserung zum Sachverhalt". If you can't be identified on the photo, you could write that you didn't drive the car. If you're living in the US and you do nothing, nothing bad will happen anyway. If you were German, you would get one penalty point. That could be far worse than a fine.
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Old Dec 15th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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They have to find out, who was driving. You don't need to help them. The only person that can force to to make a statement is the judge. And it won't go that far since it's only a 80€ fine.
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Old Dec 15th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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I still owe $100 on a speeding ticket in New England somewhere. from 21 years ago.

can i forget about that?
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Old Dec 15th, 2009, 04:21 PM
  #31  
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"The letter doesn't specifically ask for a fine, but asks for information on the back (Ausserung sum Sachverhalt) was I driving the car? if not, who was?, etc. Any advice?"

Exactly the same as in the OP's case: Do not do anything.
You most likely cannot avoid the EUR 12.00 admin charge by Avis. BUT: you do not have to give any information to German authorities. You do not have to justify the 22 kph by which you exceeded the speed limit (I applaud you, looks like you are a very prudent driver). German authorities would have to prove to you that you are the one liable for the fine. And even if they could, there's no way they could enforce it if you are in the US. So: if you're in the US, ignore the letter.
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Old Jan 8th, 2010, 05:28 AM
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Thanks to Logos999, hsv for your quick replies. Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I live in the Washington, DC area and was slammed with a blizzard two days after posting here. In case you are wondering, the ticket/photo occurred at 6:30am on my way to the airport. Sally-Sat-Nav in the rental car had just completed directing me to a BOAT RAMP to cross the Rhein. Needless to say, my rental car was not amphibious... I was frustrated and trying to navigate via checking the sat-nav map by zooming out to look for my own route (pulling over to do so, of course). Next time I will get a good-ole paper map. Thanks again!
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Old Jan 8th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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Wadester, I have a great deal of experience with navis referring me to boat ramps for crossing the Rhein and Mosel rivers. They are usually ferry crossings that would indeed allow you to get your car across, but frankly I've always found that driving to the next bridge is easier! Indeed, it is always best to travel with a navi AND a good old-fashioned map when in Europe.

I am late to this thread but I wanted to add a couple thoughts on the topic of European traffic tickets:

As far as I know, personal checks (as we know them in the USA) do not exist in Germany. Everything is done by bank transfer. That makes it very difficult to make non-credit card payments to Germany from the US. You have to follow the ridiculous steps to do an international bank transfer as identified by hsv above. My experiences trying to do this through American banks have been less than successful. I have had to go through multiple phone trees trying to find someone who understands the process and all the numbers required (BLZ, SWIFT code, etc.) I agree with all the others who advised the OP to just forget the whole thing and pay the admin fee if one is ever charged to you by the rental company.

We received a parking ticket on our first day in England. We were in a German car, and a kind fellow saw us looking at our ticket in frustration (our tour of Salisbury cathedral took longer than expected and we were late returning to our pre-paid parking spot), noted that our car was German, and told us to ignore the ticket. Sure enough, the authorities never tracked us down, even though we were living in Germany at the time.

My advice in these situations is usually (though not always) to play the dumb tourist!
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Old Jan 8th, 2010, 11:45 PM
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>As far as I know, personal checks
No need to worry, many people just don't use them very often, since a bank transfer is easier. There will be a fee for cashing a non € denominated check between 10€ to 15€, which is nasty. Ten years ago, the fee was 3DM (1.50€)

I used to pay my taxes with a check for years.
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Old Jan 8th, 2010, 11:59 PM
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this thread should remind everyone just how archaic and disconnected the international banking systems are. we are in a global economy and we have an individual who WANTS to pay, a government that WANTS to get paid and the banking system makes this a complete nightmare. the fining authority could make it easier by offering alternative forms of payment for foriegners but clearly this is not worth it to them....it's the banking system that should enable seamless payments....one should expect this in 2010.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 12:46 AM
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Personal cheques do exist in Germany. I have them but don't use them frequently. Meaning I haven't used them for two years or so. I wouldn't know what for.
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Old Jan 13th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Ingo, logos, thanks for clearing that up - I should have said that checks are no longer in common use in Germany. Of course I had to learn the hard way what the bank transfers were all about. No one gave me a short course in European banking when I arrived, so I thought those bank transfer slips were like checks. The first time I had to pay a bill, I sent the form to the company instead of taking it to the bank. Doh!

walkinaround, I agree completely. I can't tell you how many banking horror stories I encountered during our moves to and from Germany. It was like the banks were still living in the dark ages, before such marvelous inventions like the Internet.
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Old Jan 13th, 2010, 02:32 PM
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I owed money to a person in Europe for going through some family records. I didn't want to spend $35 for a bank wire or transfer so I simply figured out the exchange rate and added a bit to it and wrote out a personal check. It went through just fine. No problem.

Perhaps Avis will pay the fine and charge your credit card. I would wait until you hear from the government again. Or email the US embassy in Austria and ask what to do.
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Old Jan 13th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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"Or email the US embassy in Austria and ask what to do."

Brilliant suggestion!!! Let's get the Austrians involved in a German speeding ticket that is unenforceable in the US! Always a delight to annoy the authorities!

And I don't know what all the international bank transfer whinging is about. One can either send a cheque or one goes to a bank, indicates the ISIN and SWIFT Codes of the payee's account and bank, instructs payment and that's it. Could not be less complicated.
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Old Jan 14th, 2010, 04:43 AM
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>I didn't want to spend $35 for a bank wire or transfer so I simply figured out the exchange rate and added a bit to it and wrote out a personal check. It went through just fine.

And the person you wrote the check to had to eat a similar fee for getting the bank to accept that strange foreign paper.

As in most cases, "unusual" means in this case "costs extra".
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