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How to pay

Before you make a payment, you'll need:

  • your payment reference number
  • the amount you need to pay
  • your bank account and sort code details if paying by direct debit
  • a debit or credit card for all other methods

Ways to pay

You can pay your council bill, fine or invoice:

What you can pay

You can pay the following bill and invoices:

  • Adult social care services, such as Homecare and respite care
  • Allotment rent
  • Catering invoices
  • Commercial premises rent
  • Hire of halls
  • Industrial premises rent
  • Meals on wheels
  • Pitch hire
  • Pest control
  • School building hire
  • Service charges for tenants and leaseholders
  • Blue badges
  • Business rates (NNDR)
  • Council tax
  • Early years training courses
  • Education welfare penalty notices
  • Highway licences
  • Housing benefit overpayments
  • Housing rent
  • Leaseholders' service charges
  • Penalty Charge Notices (parking fines and bus lane enforcement)
  • Planning and building regulation fees
  • Property licensing fees
  • Residents' parking permits paper applications only
  • Smoke free penalty charge notices
  • Translation and interpreting services

Environmental fines

Pay  an environmental fine
Environmental fines include fines for litter, graffiti, fly-posting and fly-tipping 

Find the reference number to pay

You may need a reference number to make a payment.

Where to find the reference
Payment typeReference number
Blue badges 6 character reference number will be provided. Number can only be used once.
Business rates (NNDR) 11 or 13 digit account number on your bill or reminder. Starts with a 5 and is usually all numbers.
Controlled parking zone, residents parking permits 4 digit reference number will be provided. Number can only be used once.
Council tax 11 digit account number. Starts with a 1 or 2 and is usually all numbers.
Early Years Training Courses Your Booking Reference Number is the unique reference number which will have been emailed to you with the confirmation of the courses booked.
Education welfare penalty notices 8 digit reference number on the Penalty Charge Notice. Starts with ED.
Housing benefit overpayments 6 digit invoice number as detailed on your invoice. This is not the claim reference.
Invoices from the council 10 digit invoice number on your invoice.
Housing rent payments 8 digit PIN (personal identification number) or 14 digit account number on your yellow housing payment swipe card. Number is below the tenant's name on the swipe card.
Property licensing fees 12 digit Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) from page 1 of the electronic application.
Parking scheme - residents 12 digit application number starting with 'KN' for Kingsdown, 'CM' for Cotham and 'RE' for Redcliffe. Payment for paper applications only.
Penalty charge notices 10 digit reference number. Starts with either "BS" or "OB".
Planning and building regulation fees Where a reference number has been provided by the city council, this will be in the following format, for example 12/01234 or 12/51234, otherwise enter 'NEW' for New Applications.
Smoke Free penalty charge notices Found on the top right hand corner of the Penalty Charge Notice, starts with '231'.
Pay by Direct Debit

You can pay Bristol City Council invoices by Direct Debit.

You will need your customer reference number. These start with a 6 and are 7 digits long.

Pay by Direct Debit

We have specific forms for some services. 

Set up a Direct Debit to pay your:

If you'd like to change your Direct Debit, you'll need to fill in a new Direct Debit form.

If you have any questions, you may find the answer in our more help section.

Pay online

 Pay online

If you have any questions, you may find the answer in our more help section.

Pay by phone

You can pay some council bills by phone. Call our 24-hour payment service on 0117 903 6402. Follow the instructions using the key pad on your phone.

Find out more about call charges on GOV.UK

You'll need a valid credit or debit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Switch and Delta cards.

If at any time during your phone call, you no longer wish to continue, just hang up. A payment has only taken place if you receive confirmation of the authorisation.

Instructions

Step 1

You will be asked which service you want to pay.

  1. Council taxes
  2. Business rates
  3. Penalty Charge Notices. You will be asked to select 1 for Penalty Charge Notices beginning with BS, or select 2 for Penalty Charge Notices beginning with OB
  4. Housing rent
  5. Housing Benefit overpayments
  6. Bristol City Council invoices

Step 2

You will be asked to enter your reference number.

For council tax, this will be the 11 or 13 digit account number on your bill/reminder. This reference starts with a 1 or 2 and is usually all numeric. Replace any alpha characters with the * button when keying in your reference.

For business rates, (NNDR) this will be the 11 or 13 digit account number on your bill/reminder. This reference starts with a 5 and is usually all numeric. Replace any alpha characters with the * button when keying in your reference.

For Penalty Charge Notices, this will be the 10 digit notice number on your Penalty Charge Notice. This reference starts with either BS or OB followed by 8 numbers. Replace any alpha characters with the * button when keying in your reference.

For housing rent, this will be the 8 digit PIN (personal identification number) or 14 digit account number on your yellow Housing Payment swipe card. This number appears immediately below the tenant's name on the swipe card.

For Housing Benefit overpayments, this will be the 6 digit invoice number on your invoice and not the claim reference.

For Bristol City Council invoices, this will be the 10 digit invoice number at the top right hand side of your invoice. Replace any alpha characters with the * button when keying in your reference.

The system will take a few seconds to validate your reference. If your reference is not recognised you will not be allowed to proceed with your payment. If you think you may have entered the reference incorrectly, you will be given the option to re-enter it.

Step 3

You will be asked how much you wish to pay. Use the * button to separate pounds and pence

Step 4

You will be asked for your credit or debit card details.

It will take a few seconds for the system to get authorisation for your payment. If the authorisation is refused, no transaction will take place. Cards are not refused by Bristol City Council, they are refused by your bank. There are many reasons why this may happen, so we suggest you contact your bank directly.

If successful, you will be advised that authorisation has been successful. Depending upon your bank, please allow up to five working days for your payment to clear.

Call charges

Calls are charged at the local rate. You can check the charge with your phone provider. Calls from payphones can cost more.

  1. Start by selecting the 'Pay online' button
  2. You will be taken to our online payments site, run for us by Capita
  3. Choose your service
  4. Enter your payment reference number
    • Enter your reference number, any other information requested, and the amount you want to pay. If your reference is not recognised you will not be allowed to carry on with your payment. If you think you may have entered the reference incorrectly, please re-enter it.
  5. Enter your credit or debit card details
  6. Confirmation of your payment will be displayed
    • You can take a screen print as proof of the transaction
    • If you have entered your email address a confirmation will be sent to you
Security

It is safe to pay over the Internet

Data you enter is sent securely encrypted to the payment website. No one will have access to any of the information we send to you or you send to us. Your credit or debit card details will be sent directly to the secure payment system and do not go through any Bristol City Council system.

Data protection

It is our policy to protect your privacy and to do all we can to make your online payments to the council secure.

The data that you give during the online payment will only be used to record and process your payment. We will follow the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018 and make sure that the data is used for no other reason and not given to any third party apart, from our agent Capita plc.

More help

How much you owe

Look on your most recent bill or notice to find out the amount you need to pay.
The amount you pay is your decision, but unless you pay the amount due, your account will not be fully up to date.

When your payment will be processed

Once your payment has been approved your credit or debit card will be debited.
All payments paid up to 4.15pm will usually be processed on the same day. Payments after 4.15pm will usually be processed the next working day.

Your account with the council will usually be updated on the day after the day your payment was processed.

Getting a receipt

You will get a confirmation of your payment on your screen after you make the payment. You can print this out as confirmation.
If you give an email address your payment confirmation will be sent to you.

Maximum amount you can pay

There is a maximum limit of £5000.

Card refused

Cards are refused by your bank, not by the council.

There are many reasons why your card may have been refused and you should contact your bank directly to find out why.

Who provides this service

The secure server where your payment authorisation is processed for the council by Capita plc, a recognised specialist in providing this type of service. If you ask for email confirmation of your payment this will be sent to you from Capita.

If successful, you will be advised that authorisation has been successful. Depending upon your bank, please allow up to five working days for your payment to clear.

Contact us about a problem

If you are having problems paying online, email us using the address on your bill or invoice document. Please include your customer reference number and the date and time of your problem.

Do not send your card details by standard email.

If you do not have access to email, call the helpline, shown in your documents, during normal working hours.