By-laws and Enforcement

Administrative Penalty Notice

Administrative Penalty Systems (APS) are an emerging approach to dealing with minor by-law infractions in a manner that is fair, effective and efficient. This approach has been adopted by numerous municipalities, the province, and the federal government, and is designed to streamline the enforcement process and increase compliance with City of Hamilton by-laws. 

The Administrative Penalty System of enforcement transfers by-law disputes from the courtroom to the municipality through the use of Screening and Hearings Officers who are able to modify, cancel, or affirm penalties. This approach aids in reducing congestion in the courts as well as providing a more local and accessible dispute resolution system. The phasing in of the new APS began in 2017.

How is the APS more effective?

  • Citizens can:
    • Resolve by-law infraction matters in a more convenient and citizen-friendly environment
    • Request an extension of time in which to request a review by a Screening or Hearing Officer
    • Request an extension of time to pay a fine from a Screening or Hearing Officer
  • The City is more capable of dealing with minor by-law infractions in a timely manner
  • Reduces congestion in provincial courts & better use of court time and other resources for more serious matters such as Highway Traffic Act offences.

The APS system currently applies to by-law infractions related to:

  • Business Licensing By-law
  • Municipal By-laws
  • Animal Ownership By-law
  • Wild Life

How to pay the Administrative Penalty System (APS) Notice

There are 3 ways to pay your APS Notice:


Pay your APS notice online
Payment must be processed within 15 days of receiving the penalty notice. You will need to pay a $1.10 non-refundable fee for each transaction.

Late fees will apply if payment is received after 15 days. An additional late fee will apply after 30 days.  

In person

Pay your APS notice in person with cash, cheque, debit or credit card at:

Drop boxes are available for after hours payments - please do not leave cash.

By mail

Pay your APS notice by mail:
Administrative Penalty Office
c/o Glanbrook Municipal Service Centre
4280 Binbrook Road
Glanbrook, ON L0R 1C0

Make your cheque payable to the City of Hamilton. Do not post-date your cheque.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A Penalty Notice is the same as a "ticket" except that it requires payment of a penalty instead of a fine.

The Penalty Notice is issued to an individual or corporation when they have committed a by-law infraction.

Example of an Administrative Penalty Notice

A ticket may be issued in any of these ways:

  • In person
  • Through registered or regular mail to the individual's last known address
  • By facsimile (fax) to the individual's last known facsimile transmission number
  • By email to the individual's last known email address
  • On vehicle

No. Penalty Notices issued under APS do not cost more than traditional fines. However, in certain cases, additional administrative fees may be applied to the original penalty amount. For instance, additional administrative fees are applied to late payments, or for failure to attend a scheduled review. 

Dispute the Penalty Notice 

Within 15 days of receiving the notice, any person who wishes to dispute an APS Notice must:

  • Summit screening request by email to [email protected],  include penalty number and your contact information (phone and email); Or call 905-546-2782, Option 6 to provide penalty number and contact information.

A Screening Officer may affirm, cancel or reduce the penalty or provide additional time for payment

Request a hearing

If you are unsatisfied with the outcome after the Screening Officer review, you may request that the matter be adjudicated by a Hearing Officer. The Screening Officer will schedule a hearing date for you.

Failure to attend the scheduled hearing will result in additional fees being added to the penalty amount as per the User Fees and Charges By-law as approved by Council and the matter is closed.

Note:  A penalty that goes unpaid constitutes a debt owed to the City of Hamilton by the person and may be collected as municipal taxes.

Contact us

For general inquiries, contact:
Administrative Penalty Office
Phone: 905-546-2782  ext. 6
Email: [email protected]