In Denmark, getting a ticket fine on one of the many public transportation services can be done real easily - on purpose or by accident. Most people are honest enough to do the right thing and buy a ticket. The problem arises when you either buy the wrong ticket or the ticket machine is not working. Some people, especially tourists, are not always sure that they need tickets or where to get them. Some think they can purchase them on the train or metro and when they realize that they can not do it, they are fined by usually very unfriendly and unhelpful personnel.
I was recently on a bus, where I needed to punch my card, the machine clipped it once, but on the second clip it would not work. Even the chauffeur could not get his card to work - the machine was damaged due to moisture. If a ticket checker had got on, I would have been fined, even though the machine was at fault. Luckily for me, I was not stopped or checked on the bus. When I got the train station, I tried to buy a ticket - guess what all the ticket machines were out of order! Fortunately, I found a clip machine for my klippekort - but I knew where to look and go. Many people may not and there is little consideration from those who issue the fines.
Best advice is to learn as much about the system as possible before using public transportation. Understanding the various zones is paramount in getting the right ticket. But if you are on this page, I have to assume that it is too late and you already have a ticket fine in hand and want to know what to do.
See important update below for some good news for those who have gotten fines.
First, I can only recommend that you pay your fine. Trying to fight a fine seems to be sort of fruitless. If you really think that you have been wronged, you can write and complain. Once they receive your letter or complaint, you will be not liable for any late fees. The review process normally takes 3-4 weeks, but can easily be longer. Make sure your complaint is done within 14 days of the ticket fine being issued or you can be liable for late fees of 100kr.
If your ticket was on a DSB train or bus, you should write to:
or you can go online and fill the form out online. The form is located under "kundeservice" or you can use this link.
If the fine was on the Metro, you will need to go their online site to fill out a form. Click on site in English, go to customer service, click on arrow and follow the instructions until you get to the form.
If your ticket fine was for travel outside of Copenhagen, like in Århus, you need to contact the local bus service there, which is Midttrafik. Go online and you will find their website and look for "bøde" which is the Danish word for fine. Most of the transportation companies have websites with the ticket fine information posted on them.
There is also a board of appeals, where your complaint may also be viewed. It is called the ABTM (Appeals for Bus Train Metro) or Ankenævnet for Bus, Tog og Metro. If you submit your complaint to them it will cost you 160kr and that only guarantees that your complaint will be viewed. You may still have to pay your fine. You can visit ABTM here.
If you have to pay your fine, the payment information is on the fine or else you will have received a girokort, which you can use online to pay your fine. You enter the girokort number, which is the payment number. You also want to put your kontrolafgift number in the comments section, so that you are credited correctly with paying your fine.
If you have lost your slip with the payment information, you need to contact DSB via their website. Explain that you lost your girokort/ticket slip and need a new one. Use the contact customer service link.
If you need to pay your ticket fine from a non-Danish bank, you can use the following account. You need to transfer the amount in Danish kroner to Nordea Iban number: DK34 2000 3482 887 987 SWIFT code NDEADKKK + control tax number must be provided.
Remember there may be additional international banking and tax fees applied. Check with your bank if in doubt to those fees.
Also there are no longer any possible reductions in fines due to your financial circumstances. If you are unable to pay the amount in full, you can arrange a payment schedule but beware that is an additional charge for this service. (OF COURSE).
The information is the same as above, but you are paying to a different company so do not use the payment information above. Use the following information:
Nordea Iban number: DK4320000758225143 SWIFT code NDEADKKK + control tax number must be provided. There Danish banking info is Reg: 2191 Acct: 0758 225143
Does the traffic companies share their information with the police or airport control?
As far as I know they do not, yet they do share it with the SKAT (tax office). If you are a Danish citizen or taxpayer they let the tax authorities know after sending 3 late notices for 100kr each. They will try to make you pay that through your taxes or deduct from paycheck.
If you forget to renew your monthly pass can you get away with a fine?
If you pass has expired (within 24 hours) it is possible to get away with a lesser fine. You need to renew your pass immediately and include the day of your fine. Submit that to DSB within 14 days and pay a fee of only 125kr.
I forgot my monthly pass at home, can I challenge my fine?
If you have a monthly pass which covers the travel you were fined on, you can submit that and sometimes you can be excused. If it happens more than 2 times in 1 year, it will not be excused.
I got a letter in the mail about a fine I did not get. Is someone using my name? What can I do?
Sometimes people will use other people's name and address when getting a fine to avoid having to pay for it themselves. If this occurs, you need to contact the company and explain the situation. You can fill out a form legally declaring that you were not the person who got the fine. If the company has no proof of your identity, you will not be liable for the fine. Of course, it is your word against theirs. Hopefully, you can prove you were at work or somewhere else at the time.
I live outside of Denmark and never planning on coming back. What will happen if I do not pay my fine?
I can not honestly answer this question, since I do not know what happens. I seriously doubt that anyone will come after you for a 750kr fine or that the police or customs officials would even care. But if you ever come back to Denmark and get stopped again, you will be liable for the earlier ticket and late penalties.
I live outside Denmark and the fees to pay from my bank are almost as much as the fine. Is there any other way to pay for the fine and avoid these fees?
My only suggestion, which I know another reader used, is to get a friend in Denmark to pay the ticket fine for you and than transfer the money to them via paypal or a similar online payment system. That way the fees are much less. Paypal fees are about 3%?
I recently talked with two different police officers from different cities and they told me something quite interesting about fines that one receives on public transportation in Denmark. First if you are a resident of Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Germany, it is best to pay your fine if you are fault. If you want to dispute the fine that is also a good avenue to pursue.
As for people/tourists who live outside of Denmark, the authorities DO NOT pursue you legally. They have too many other things to worry about and according to them, the transportation companies do not have the resources to go after you either. Basically after a year and a half, the records are deleted and there is no database showing that you have failed to pay a fine, which also includes traffic fines like speeding or safety violations.
That said, I am NOT advocating that you do not pay your ticket fine, but you can at least breathe a bit lighter knowing that you are not being pursued or will be stopped at the airport or customs when entering Denmark if you have an unpaid public transporation fine.
Of course if you do return to Denmark and have another incident within 18 months, you will be fined for the new violation and the previous one. So be forewarned. Hope that helps many of you who have written and enquired about your fines.
Below is list of some of the other transportation related pages on FYI Denmark, so you choose which mode you wish to learn more about.
Bicycling in Denmark
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