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
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.


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 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.


  • Nat

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  • 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...


    • Reply to Tom S

  • 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.


    • Reply to David

  • 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.


    • Reply to Fred

    • Karen Arguelles

      Hi Fred,
      I was in Berlin two weeks ago and got a citation on the S9, were you able to pay your fine?


      • Reply to Karen Arguelles

  • 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)?


    • Reply to Shasha

  • 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?


    • Reply to Michael

  • 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.?


    • Reply to Ed

  • 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.


    • Reply to Giuli

    • Alejandro

      Hi, I have the exact same situation: also from Argentina, got a ticket last year on holiday, and am now planning on moving to Berlin for work. However, I did get the ticket in the mail at home, but also I lost it. Do you know how to get in touch with the Berlin subway company to learn how much do I owe them and how to pay?


      • Reply to Alejandro

  • 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.


    • Reply to Eleonora

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      That is very strange, but not unbelievable.

      I got caught without a ticket 3 times, and I paid the fine every time. This got me a letter from the police, but they dropped the case when they saw I had a monthly ticket every time, and that I paid my fine every time.

      The surprising part is that they didn't know I had paid the fine 2 out of those 3 times! As I said, your case doesn't surprise me at all.

      If I were you, I would collect all the proof I could and send it to the Inkasso (debt collectors) as proof. At this point the BVG is not involved anymore because they sold the debt to an external company. Could yours have been sold to a different company than the one listed above?


      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

    • Simon Rowland

      The same thing has just happened to me, I sent them a wire as soon as I got back and assumed it was cleared until I just got a letter from a collection agency. Just curious whether you've gotten this sorted out and how?


      • Reply to Simon Rowland

  • 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!


    • Reply to Lauren

  • 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?


    • Reply to Jason Treeble

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      They usually write down the document number (passport number in that case), so they can certainly use it to find you. I would recommend you to simply pay the fine.


      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • 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.


    • Reply to Josh

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      Hi Josh,

      You must pay the full fine. Otherwise, everyone who gets caught would say they forgot their ticket.


      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

      • Sinead

        This is incorrect. Once you have submitted an email in response to a fine, the new due date for the fine starts once you receive your reply. I messed up and bought the wrong ticket when I was here in the summer (before I officially moved here). I wrote a long and pleaded email in (probably quite terrible) German and then received no reply. As I was leaving for two weeks I was worried that they might try and contact me at my language school (whose address I had given) so I went to see them at the Ostbahnhof. The guy found my details and told me I didn’t need to do anything until I heard back from them. The initial fine/email happened in July and I still haven’t heard anything so I guess they took pity on me and my crappy German!

        If you haven’t had a reply to your email DO NOT PAY THE FINE.


        • Reply to Sinead

        • Roslyn

          Don't be so sure, Sinead. I had a similar situation where I wrote to explain my situation. I heard nothing for 6 1/2 months and then the full force of the 'law' came into play. In light of the circumstances I had outlined they reduced the fine to 30 Euros but when I didn't pay that within the required time (I was not in Berlin to collect my mail) it went to the debt collectors and I am now up for 87 Euros. This mob doesn't do pity. The good old days where a person's (legitimate) circumstances were taken into account are long since over. Don't spend the money you had set aside for the fine just yet.


          • Reply to Roslyn

  • 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


    • Reply to Arjun Raja

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      Hi Arjun,

      Someone had the same problem on reddit, and some people had the solution:


      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • 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.


    • Reply to Yogesh

  • 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?


    • Reply to Cameron Alex

  • 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.


    • Reply to Adam

  • 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


    • Reply to Josh Jenkins

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