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So I was given a ticket for riding a bike (Vélib) in a one way street which i wasn't aware it was by that time. However, I left France after a month of that incident and haven't received the well expected fine letter. I have called the precinct to ask for what to do and they simply said i should wait for the letter to arrive to my address. The thing is, I'm back to France as a student and I want to pay up my fine. Is there a way to find out where and how to do that? I'm a bit lost.

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    How long ago did the incident occur? Where is the fine being sent to? The french beaurocracy can move extremely slowly, even when trying to get money from you. – CMaster Jan 7 '16 at 10:02
  • it has been a while. Since august 2014 to be precise. I left France and returned in October 2015. But I no longer have access to my previous apartment or to the owner to ask if I received mail meanwhile, it is kinda hopeless. – Yondaime008 Jan 7 '16 at 10:14
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    I would recommend to wait. Fines tend to increase over the first months if you do not pay them, but after a year I do not think it changes. I think just identifying you will take a while for the administration, it might represent more effort to pay the fine than not. – Vince Jan 7 '16 at 10:23
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I am sharing with you a link to the official website that contains some contact numbers : Contact details for electronic tickets handling.

You can call the number and explain the situation. Hopefully, someone will take it into consideration and provide guidance. You might not be successful upfront so if you don't get a satisfactory answer during your first call, don't hesitate to call a second time. Some agents aren't necessary very fluent in English and they might have troubles to help you in this situation.

Usually, the fine is sent within few days. It doesn't take more than few weeks to receive it. If you haven't received it after a month or so, it is a sign that there has been an issue with delivery. The risk in this situation is to receive another fine with an extra amount on top of it. You could then always claim that you hadn't received the first one but it will be really hard to prove. So it is always better to not wait too long before checking with the administration. This will also show them that you are taking care of the situation and this is usually being seen as a positive sign that could help avoiding further problems.

Don't bet on the fact that the administration will just forget about you because it is impossible for them to find you. While it could happen, they tend to try to find more and more people. And when they find people after years, it could cost a lot... So make reasonable efforts to try to find a solution and don't hesitate to write letters, this way, you will have a proof of your goodwill if something wrong happens later.

  • This is true, they tend to make more and more efforts to find people, but there are also only bilateral agreements with some (mostly European) countries. I do not know if this cooperation only concerns license updates or also fines, but the cooperation with other countries is limited and therefore the search too. – Vince Jan 12 '16 at 8:33
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    You are absolutely right @vince ! The cooperation has extended to fines during the last few years but not a lot of countries are cooperating right now. It is mostly European countries geographically close to France. Having said that, if you come back to France and have some interactions with the administration, this can come back at any time... – Olielo Jan 12 '16 at 9:18

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