Disclaimer: the author of this website is not a lawyer and this site does not constitute legal advice.  
16.  I got a letter from RMS.  What do I do now?
Question: I received a letter from the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services department advising me that my personal details have been provided to Australian National Car Parks (ANCP) or Care Park under cover of a court order.  The letter advises me that I can contact NSW Fair Trading Office.  What do I do now?  Do I contact the Office of Fair Trading and, if so, what do I say to them?
Answer:  This is a new event (the RMS letters) that has only come to light on 22nd May 2012.    See ANCP example and see Care Park example letters.
What has happened, is your car has been photographed in a private car park (Australian National Car Parks or Care Park), by an employee of the parking company, and the company thinks you owe them money for not buying a ticket or overstaying the time limit.  See this link for how the private parking fines work.  Now whoever was driving your car would have come back to it and found a fine stuck to the windscreen with instructions on how to pay it.  However, they didn't pay the fine withing the time limits, and the company has applied to the courts for a court order that required the NSW RTA (now called RMS) to handover your name and address to them.  
However, unless you admit you were driving the car that day, or unless the parking company can prove you were driving the car that day, they cannot enforce payment of the fine.  See this page

The letter from RMS says to call the Office of Fair Trading. However, the office of Fair Trading cannot take action until you have received some communication from the car park company, or until you have tried to contact the car park company. 
A lot of people ask if they need to seek advise from a solicitor or lawyer.  You would have to make your own decision about that, but at the very least, you should read thru the options that are explained on this page and on this website (navigate this website using the links on the top left hand corner).
This topic has been in the Sydney Telegraph (where I am quoted) and this page of my website has been linked to from the Telegraph blog.

You have two options:

1) Wait until you receive a letter from the parking company, and then follow the directions on the page for FAQ05 

2) Go on the offensive and write to the car park company now.  You would write something like the example I have here:
Dear Sir / Madam,

The NSW RMS have informed me that you have obtained my name and address from them under a court order. 
Please provide me the following within 7 days:

1. A copy of the court order.
2. Proof that the debt is owed by me, and not someone else.
3. Pursuant to the Privacy Act, a copy of all personal information that you hold on me.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Citizen
The address for Care Park is:

Care Park Pty Ltd
P O Box 191
and the address for Australian National Car Parks is:

PO Box 81
Annandale NSW 2038

If you do not hear from the car park company in 30 days, then write a letter of complaint to the Australian Privacy Commissioner, using their complaint form http://www.privacy.gov.au/complaints/how/complaint-form
Tick the "Yes" box that you have written to the respondent.  In the box under "Your complaint" write "I have written to the company asking for all private details that they hold on me.  I have not received a response in 30 days. Please write to them and demand they respond to me with the details they hold on me?    Attach the letter from RMS and a copy of your letter to the car park company in which you wrote asking for your private details.  Note the action of writing to the privacy commissioner won't in itself get your fine withdrawn, but it will speed up the process of getting ANCP to deal with your case, and you get a more speedy resolution to your situation.

Preliminary discovery applications
The applications to the courts are called applications for preliminary discovery and you can read more about them here.
How long before I hear from them?
People often ask me how long it takes to receive the ANCP or Care Park letter in the mail after getting the RMS letter?  It usually takes around 4 to 8 weeks minimum, but it can take months longer depending on how busy the car park company is.
Want to phone these companies?
This is easier said than done, but nevertheless possible. 
See this page for instructions to contact Australian National Car Parks.
See this page for instructions to contact Care Park.
The RMS website
Disclaimer: the author of this website is not a lawyer and this site does not constitute legal advice.
Subpages (2): FAQ16_A FAQ16_B
Johnny Smithson,
May 22, 2012, 5:25 AM
Johnny Smithson,
May 22, 2012, 5:25 AM