How to pay (or avoid paying) a BVG fine

How to pay (or avoid paying) a BVG fine

Guten Tag, die Fahrkarten bitte. It's the controllers. You had no ticket and you now owe the BVG 60 euros. What do you do?

Guten Tag, die Fahrkarten bitte. It's the controllers. Passengers awkwardly dig their tickets out of their wallet, and the ticket checkers set in motion. You pat your back pocket... no wallet. You glance at the door, but it's too late. You're surrounded. When the controller reaches your seat, you mutter out "ich habe meine Brieftasche vergessen", but life's hard and he doesn't care. At the next stop, you are escorted out of the train, fined and wished einen schönen Tag.

You now owe the BVG 60 euros. What do you do?

Can I avoid the fine?

If you forgot your ticket at home, and that ticket is not transferable (no one else can use it), you can have your fine reduced from €60 to €7.

You must fill this online form within one week of receiving the fine and prove that you had a valid transport ticket in your name at the time. This can also be done at any BVG or Deutsche Bahn Kundenzentrum.

If your ticket is transferable (anyone can use it), you must pay the full fine. Yearly, monthly, daily and single tickets are usually transferable.

Can I ignore the fine?

No! Ignoring a BVG fine means trouble. The fine get more expensive, and you can even be imprisoned for not paying!

Even if you didn't give them your correct address, you will get in trouble. Before I moved to Berlin, I was caught with an unstamped ticket. I ignored the fine, thinking "there's no way they'll ever find me". A few months later, right after my first Anmeldung, I received the fine by mail. It was now €128. Some people received collection letters from the BVG in their home country.

Be a good person, pay your BVG fine, and whatever you do, don't try to kill the controller.

How do I pay the fine?

Pay on the spot

Some scammers impersonate BVG controllers to defraud people riding without tickets. There are even real controllers who pocket the money from those who pay their fines in cash.

If you pay on the spot, don't use cash and ask for a receipt.

Pay at a BVG Kundenzentrum

Bring your fine at one of the BVG and Deutsche Bahn customer service centres, wait in line and pay the fine. Make sure you keep the receipt.

Pay by bank transfer

The easiest way to pay the fine is by bank transfer. You simply make an IBAN transfer to the following recipient:

Recipient: infoscore Forderungsmanagement GmbH, Baden-Baden
IBAN: DE36 6601 0075 0025 4037 55
BIC: PBNKDEFF660
Reference number: BVG-EBE your EBE number here

This information should be on the yellow payment slip that came with the fine. Make sure you get the reference number right. You will find the EBE number on the fine you were given by the controller. It's a 13 digit number labelled EBE-Nr.

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Voilà, the fine is paid. You will not get a receipt from the BVG if you pay by bank transfer, so keep the transfer confirmation from your bank.

What if I live in another country?

If you live in Europe, you can still make a bank transfer. If you don't live in Europe, you can use TransferWise to send money to the BVG.

What if I lost the fine?

If you lost the fine and you don't know how to pay it, you can write to the BVG or visit a BVG Kundenzentrum1.

How do I get legal assistance?

If you need a lawyer to help you sort things out with the BVG, look at our list of English-speaking lawyers in Berlin.

Comments

  • Pd

    I really hate the collector, so ridiculous catching tourist just for money, so unbelievable. OMG I just can't believe that I need to pay this.........&*%E^^E^#!!!!!
    so .....%&()E(E*W*!!!!!

    Is it possible to pay by Western Union?

    Or can a friend in Germany (who has IBAN)pay for me instead?

    Or there are another way to pay?

  • Chunwang Zhao

    In 19/08/2019 I was visiting Berlin . I bought one day tickets 7,70 EUR from airport tickets Machine . I do not know have to stamp it. On the train inspector told me I have to pay 60 EUR for penalty . That is ridiculous. Tickets Machine didn’t notice it. Inspector Was very rude and don’t license any explanation . I don’t understand why they need hold my passport. Inspector can only check my ticket Not my passport . Even they hold my passport asking me to pay the money .they are working on duty. Why they are not wear uniform . Very bad service. Maybe they are Faked . I am Very disappointed and I never go back .

  • Chunwang Zhao

    In 19/08/2019 I was visiting Berlin . I bought one day tickets 7,70 EUR from airport tickets Machine . I do not know have to stamp it. On the train inspector told me I have to pay 60 EUR for penalty . That is ridiculous. Tickets Machine didn’t notice it. Inspector Was very rude and don’t license any explanation . I don’t understand why they need hold my passport. Inspector can only check my ticket Not my passport . Even they hold my passport asking me to pay the money .they are working on duty. Why they are not wear uniform . Very bad service. Maybe they are Faked . I am Very disappointed and I never go back .

  • Kevin

    what really happens if you don't pay? I live in Argentina and, as the machines did not accept my money, I did not pay, it is not fair to be harmed by the machine. Are there any German laws that can act against foreigners if I never pay? that mark expires?

  • Janice O'Janice

    I have recently visited Berlin as a tourist.
    I purchased a 9 euro all day pass ticket before I got on the S Bahn, I went to validate the ticket but the machine didnt punch properly.
    I didnt think anything of it as I thought I was doing the right thing by buying the ticket.
    As a tourist I didnt have full knowledge of how the system works.
    If I was disloyal and decided to not pay for the ticket properly I wouldnt of genuinely handed it over to the inspectors when they came round, I wouldve got off at the next stop.
    But I gave it to the inspectors and they said as it wasnt validated I was getting a fine.
    In other cities I have travelled to in Germany, for example Hamburg, the ticket has the date on it when you purchased it, why doesnt Berlin do this?
    The inspectors are very heartless and insensitive when it comes to non native people and do not have any consideration of how awkward it is for a tourist to have a 60 euro fine hanging over them while they are travelling in a new city.
    It put a dampener on my experience in Berlin, I would now hestitate to return to the city.

  • Nicola

    Me and my husband both got slapped with a fine each for having the wrong tickets, tried to dispute but reading these comments it will be to no avail. I’ve managed to pay one fine but now it won’t let me pay the second, saying the account number is not recognised or unavailable. Not exactly the easiest system going is it!! Can someone tell me why this has happened and what will be done to rectify?

  • Artur

    I was travelling from London to Indonesia via Singapore. So I flew to Berlin to meet my friends. Landed at Shonefeld airport and had to get to Spandau. There was a ticket machine in the underground passage and I tried my best but couldn't find English menu so I chose ticket that its price would reflect an all day ticket in my opinion (7.70 euro, in London it'd be enough for a day travelcard). Ticketing machine spat out two slips of paper and one of them was a €2.20 if i remember well and the other made no sense to me whatsoever. I accepted that I got ripped off but holding a €2.20 ticket in my hand I was sure it'd cover one journey (makes sense right?). Got pulled out of the train as my ticket was a child ticket (dunno how). I showed him my card statement with the name and place of transaction that clearly stated it was a train station and I payed to the transport/train company equivalent of a day ticket. He picked up my accent (born in Poland and proud to be Polish, 11 years in UK, country of fog and mist and I love it). I produced my ticket, showed what I paid and said that I couldn't understand the menu and there was nobody around (staff). I said that i'll buy correct ticket if he'll show me which one it is so i could continue my journey but he'd have none of it so doesn't matter what comes through the post. Those Germans can kiss my white polish ass and they'll get absolutely fuck all from me cause there is no way I'm paying them anything. They can come and get it :)

  • Burcu

    Hi,
    I also got a fine on S bahn and I told them that I was gonna pay with transfer so he gave me the bill. Now I'm trying transferwise but it keeps saying that this recipient cannot accept payments. Is there any other app that I can use.How else can I send the money can someone help? Because I have two weeks and if I dont pay in two weeks I will be fined more.

  • Andy K

    On the way to the Tegal Airport yesterday, myself and my pregnant girlfriend went to get the 128 bus from Osloer but it was on strike for the day!! So we were advised to go 2 stops to Leopoldplatz on the train to try for a bus from there.... as soon as we got down to the platform, our train was there and we jumped on and looked to buy a ticket onboard (like we have done with the trams all holiday). When the guy approached me with his machine round his neck, I tried to buy a ticket - but he informed me I was going to be fined instead. My girlfriend was tired and 3 of them surrounded us and intimidated her whilst speaking very broken English. Will they be lenient because she's pregnant, or not at all? We were gutted. We got the 3 day trip for £80 each, then on the way home we are fined £60 each for a 3 minute train ride :(

  • James

    I have a very similar experience which resulted in a 60 euro fine each for my wife and I. I paid the 120 euro fine via a single foreign payment from my back when I got back (which cost a further £25) but have now received a letter stating they haven’t received my payment! I think that’s what it infers - I don’t speak German. I now need to write to them to prove my payment was made.... Aaaargh. Bloody out of order ticket machines!

  • Julia

    I’ve been trying for 3 days to use TransferWise to make this payment but I keep getting an error message that they “cannot currently accept payments to this recipient”. I contacted them by email and they say they won’t send funds to this IBAN account.
    Anyone have other payment methods??

  • Leonard

    Hi does anyone know if it's possible to get an extension on the payment? I was fined a few days ago but cannot afford the 60€ within the 2 weeks I am meant to pay it, I have every intention to pay it's just too much for me right now.

  • Maria

    Hi! I was fined 60 euros and I just made the payment through my N26 account, using the EBE number provided in the fine itself. Is that all I have to do? I downloaded the transfer confirmation, but will I ever get some sort of proof of payment from BVG?

  • Denis

    Hi guys i got a fine nearly 2months ago but now i dont live in berlin and i have no idea how to pay the fine if anyone could help id appreciate it

  • Isabella de Nardi

    I went to Berlin in July with my partner and we both attempted to purchase 2 train tickets. The only machine at the station would not receive any of our euros or travel cards. This happened to another person aswell and it was made well aware that the ticket machine was out of order after multiple attempts. We were fined 60 euro for not having a ticket and the transit officer that fined us helped us buy train tickets at the next station. He stated that if we took our tickets and fine to the BVG centre, wait in line to tell our story our 60 euro fine will be reduced to 7 euro. We followed instructions however at the BVG centre the man we spoke to refused to listen to us, did not speak any english and did not let us pay the fine on the spot. We were given unclear german instructions with no guidance as to how to pay the fine once we get back to Australia as we were leaving the next day. Now I have received a new fine that has increased to 100 euros which is completely unfair as the machine was out of order and we both purchased a train ticket at the following station.

  • Simon

    Hi, thanks a lot for all those informations. I got a ticket 18 days ago and I'm just paying it today. They seem very strict about payments being done within 14 days. Do you know if they still accept payments a couple of days late or if I'm already in trouble and have to wait for letters before paying late fees?

  • Robert Mcdonald

    Hey guys, I have been caught by the BVG yesterday to no fault of my own, I tried and tried repeatedly to pay with the machine (I have time and dated video footage of my messages money being rejected over and over again. Maybe 10-15 minutes later,I get caught, and the guys didn't want to hear my claim. I was pressured for time, and because the machine wouldn't accept my legal tender, I am being fined more. What do I do?

  • Ami

    hi all,

    just paid my fine via international bank transfer but that was before i saw this post advising to use transfer wise. will this be an issue do you think? my bank acc is Australian which also poses a problem as my bank statement shows that I've paid it a day later (due to the time difference compared to Germany) and I've paid it exactly 14 days from the date i was issued my fine. any guidance on either of these issues would be greatly appreciated! cheers

  • F Berlin

    i live in wedding district. i always buy a ticket when i'm heading to work. first u-bahn station i go to pay for ticket with cash.. guess what? machine doesn't accept cash (it's broken). it only takes card or coins. get to the next station, same thing. machine is broken, only takes card or cash. so, then i go to the next station after that... that machine is also broken. 3 stations, and 3 machines that don't even take cash. can't ask the small shops in the u-bahn cause they get mad (asked a dude if he could change 5 euros! and he gave me a little attitude). at this point, i'm going to be late because i keep jumping out at stations trying to find a ticket machine that takes freaking cash!! so instead i just go to work without a ticket. got caught. now i gotta pay 60 cause the machines i tried to use didn't take cash. get to the ubahn station where my work is... 6 machines in a row with all working cash slots.. LOOL. when it comes to districts that aren't so popular with tourists.. you gotta run around and find the machine that takes cash, but when you are in a tourists area.. ofc, every machine takes cash. honestly, f you bvg

  • Victoria

    Anyone have updates on their fines? Exactly how did you pay from the US? Wire transfers are crazy pricy!? Has to be better way. Any update or any info greatly appreciated

  • Nat

    Last month I forgot to bring a monthly ticket and got a penalty ticket. BVG staff asked me to show address "in Berlin" persistently, so I showed them an address of my airbnb host unwillingly. I really didn't want to do that.
    After that I wrote an excuse to them and then entered my home address (faraway from Germany) in contact form. I wish they will send something to the latter address if they don't accept my excuse...

  • Tom S

    Just got fined 60 for not having a ticket stamped. I bought a single on the platform in Berlin Frankfurte Allee to Schonefeld Airport, i honestly tried 3 stamping machines, none worked. Jumped on S9 to catch my flight, controller boarded just before the airport and wanted the fine despite me explaining. Had to withdraw cash from ATM to pay. I totally get it they are doing their job, but can I appeal - if DB check CCTV they will see me running around 3 stamping machines. Or perhaps nothing will come of my appeal...

  • David

    Hi, thanks for this guide. I visited Berlin last month for a meeting, and as I was heading into the metro, I bought a ticket on my phone. I recieved a message that the payment had gone through, and thinking all was fine, got onto a train. The controller who checked my phone pointed out that the ticket in the BVG app was red - not valid - and very aggressively forced me off the train, making me late for my meeting. Apparently the ticket needed to do download before I boarded, and - unlike in Copenhagen, where I live - there is no signal on the train. He refused to go to the surface with me, where it could have downloaded, and instead wrote me a fine, but said that if I wrote to BVG, they would reduce the fine. I did that, sending them my ticket and the receipt of purchase they mailed me. Now they have written back that they can see no reason to reduce the fine. It feels very unjust, as I actually did buy a ticket and it was an honest mistake. Do I just pay up? The yellow heart on their logo at the bottom of the letter makes me sick.

  • Fred

    Hi , I got my ticket from the ticket machine I have no idea why two tickets came out I was going from friedrichstraße station to schönefeld but the train stopped to ostkreuz station , someone came up to me and told me to transfer to S9 to schonefeld airport . The inspector told me I got the wrong ticket and asked for my passport , when I asked the airport help desk they told me to email them to complaint , she fined me €60.0 and gave me a penalty ticket . I’m back to London and don’t know how to pay and should I pay ? They only have my passport details but not my address.

  • Shasha

    What are the chances of getting a German National visa after being fined by a ticket collector in Berlin for not validating the day pass (which we don't know we have to)?

  • Michael

    I received a fine which I paid on the spot, and got a receipt for. The ID I gave (drivers licence) had an old address on. Will I still receive any sort of letter in the post even though I’ve paid?

  • Ed

    Hi- I got a ticket last night for getting the wrong kind of ticket. I am leaving the country tomorrow. The guy that took down my info I gave an old driver's license from the US. He has my name (super common) but wrong birthday, wrong address too. What's the likelihood they can track me down back in the states.?

  • Giuli

    Hello! I was on holidays in Berlin more than 4 years ago and i got a fine for not stamping my ticket. Stupid of me, i never paid. Also, they never sent the bill to my adress in Argentina. Now im planning to move to berlin and i read they might send it once i get my Anmeldung! Any info about it?? I'm scared of getting a ridiculous amount because of interests but it's been so long that im not sure what happens. Even my passport number has changed ever since.

  • Eleonora

    This feels like a scam. I sent a wire as soon as I came back from the states. Over a year and a half later, I'm getting constant notices from a collection agency, all in German. I visited their website and submitted evidence of my wire as well as a plea to communicate in English, and am still being harassed for overdue payment, of course without any acknowledgement of my complaint or payment confirmation. This is beyond absurd and is starting to feel pretty exploitative. If there is a way to resolve this amicably and in English, please do let me know.

  • Lauren

    I was issued a ticket and went onto the BVG website the same day to handle it. I was unable to process the payment on the website (it did not give me the option) but they emailed me to say I would receive the notification via post mail. It is now a month later and I just received post notice. My ticket is now 97 euros. It says 37 euros is for US issued attorney fees??? Does anyone know about this? I did everything I was supposed to do! Help!

  • Jason Treeble

    I just got a fine on the U bahn, but had no ID on me except a photo of my passport. The passport photo was blurry and so they got my last name and my birthday wrong on the ticket. The only correct thing was my first name. Is there any way they can still fine me or even a way I can pay the ticket when that vital information is wrong?

  • Josh

    Hello everyone, I received a 60 euro fine because I didn't have my monthy ticket on me at the time because I left it at home (with my wallet). It is the paper ticket I bought from the ticket machine. I went to the BVG office to show them that I had a ticket for that month but he said no. you have to pay the 60 euros because the ticket is not in my name specifically... Don't know if anyone had experience with this? what do I do? I wrote them an E-mail immediately afterwards with a picture of my ticket but haven't heard back from them yet and the fine is due tomorrow.

  • Arjun Raja

    I lost my receipt for the fine and the instructions to pay online, is there any way to retrieve it ? I am in USA and not travelling in europe anymore

  • Yogesh

    I lost my S-bahn ticketless travelling challan of 60Euros. what to do now, how do I pay my fine. I dont have a oicture of it either. please help if anyone have a idea.

  • Cameron Alex

    I received a Berlin metro fine and have forgotten all about it, I can't find the letter to retrieve the reference number, is there anyway I can go about retrieving them?

  • Adam

    Last week we got on a bus and asked for 2 tickets to Schoenefeld Airport. The bus driver gave us 2 tickets. Later we hopped onto a train and the controller asked us for our tickets. It turns out that the bus driver screwed up and gave me one ABC ticket and another AB ticket. My wife got the fine. The controller said "don't worry, bus drivers make mistakes all of the time, just submit your case online within a week and show the scan of the tickets".

    We've been chatting with the fine people at db-fahrpreisnacherhebun and they keep telling us that it was our fault for not double checking the tickets. Is there any recourse for this? Tomorrow marks 1 week from the ticket being issued.

  • Josh Jenkins

    Hi, i received a fine for the train but have misplaced my ticket. I want to pay but don't know how to go about it. Can you email relevant information for a bank transfer.

    Thank You