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.

IMG_0721.jpeg#asset:280:contentFullwidth

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

  • 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

    Reply

    • Reply to Denis

  • 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.

    Reply

    • Reply to Isabella de Nardi

  • 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?

    Reply

    • Reply to Simon

  • 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?

    Reply

    • Reply to Robert Mcdonald

    • Isabella de Nardi

      The exact same thing happened to me and i have no idea what to do!

      Reply

      • Reply to Isabella de Nardi

  • 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

    Reply

    • Reply to Ami

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      That won't be a problem, Ami. TransferWise has lower fees, but in the end, the result is the same: the fine was paid.

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • 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

    Reply

    • Reply to F Berlin

  • 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

    Reply

    • Reply to Victoria

    • Jeremy

      Use TransferWise.

      Reply

      • Reply to Jeremy

  • 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...

    Reply

    • Reply to Nat

  • 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

    • 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

    • Reply to David

    • Isabella de Nardi

      The exact same happened to me. What did you end up doing?

      Reply

      • Reply to Isabella de Nardi

  • 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

    • 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

      • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

      • 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

    • 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

      • 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

      • 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

    • 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

    • 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

      • 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

    • 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

      • 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

        • 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

          • 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

    • Reply to Arjun Raja

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      Hi Arjun,

      Someone had the same problem on reddit, and some people had the solution: https://www.reddit.com/r/berlin/comments/9qnu3k/lost_the_bvg_penalty_fine_slip_what_to_do/

      Reply

      • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • Reply to Josh Jenkins

  • Leave a comment