Pay council bills, fines and invoices
How to pay any council bill, fine or invoice either online, by phone, mobile or using our app.
- a debit or credit card to pay (1.8% extra charge for credit cards)
- your payment reference number (see help links below)
- to enter the amount you have to pay
Other ways to pay (not for all services)
- Automated telephone service 0870 707 7776 (see below for help).
- Mobile text for housing payments only.
More about payments using mobile phone texts.
- Mobile app to pay your council tax using a smartphone.
How to pay online
1. Start by selecting the 'Pay online' button
You will be taken to our online payments site, run for us by Capita.
2. Choose your service
3. Enter your reference number
See: What is my 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.
4. Your credit or debit card details
If you choose to pay by credit card, an additional charge of 1.8% will be added to your payment except for Penalty Charge Notices.
No extra charge is made for using a debit card.
It will take a few seconds whilst the system gets authorisation for your payment.
If authorisation is refused, transaction will not happen. See why was my payment refused?
Depending upon your bank, please allow up to five working days for your payment to clear.
5. Confirmation of your payment will be displayed
You can take a screen print as proof of the transaction.
If you have entered your e-mail address a confirmation will be sent to you.
What if I experience problems?
If you have problems please first check that your web browser is set to accept cookies and supports 128-bit encryption.
If you have waited for confirmation that your payment has been accepted and you have not received anything and/or you have received an error message, your authorisation may have experienced technical problems.
Please wait five minutes and then try again.
If the problem persists, please contact us at the address on your document, giving 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 then please contact the helpline, shown in your documents, during normal working hours.
What you can pay
Bristol City Council Invoices - which includes:
- Allotment rent
- Catering invoices
- Commercial premises rent
- Hire of halls
- Home care
- Industrial premises rent
- Meals on wheels
- Pitch hire
- Pest control
- Respite care
- School building hire
- Service charges for tenants and leaseholders
Business rates (NNDR)
Early Years Training Courses
Education welfare penalty notices
Housing benefit overpayments
Leaseholders' service charges
Penalty Charge Notices (parking fines and bus lane enforcement)
Planning and Building Regulation Fees
Property licensing Fees
Residents' parking permits
Smoke Free penalty charge notices
Find reference number
|Payment type||Reference number|
|Blue badges||Six character reference number provided. |
Number can be used once only.
|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||Four digit reference number provided. |
Number can be used once only.
|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||Eight digit reference number on the Penalty Charge Notice. |
Starts with ED.
|Housing benefit overpayments||Six 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||Eight 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 section 1.4 of the electronic application.|
|Parking scheme - residents||12 digit application number starting with 'KN' for Kingsdown, 'CM' for Cotham and 'RE' for Redcliffe.|
|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'.|
Is it safe to pay over the Internet?
Yes, it's safe to pay over the Internet on our system.
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.
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 1998 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.
How much do I owe?
Look on your most recent bill or notice to find out the amount you need to pay.
The amount you pay by debit or credit card is entirely your decision, but unless you pay the amount due, your account will not be fully up to date.
When will my payment 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.
Can I have a receipt?
You will receive 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.
How much can I pay?
There is a maximum limit of £5000.
Why was my 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 e-mail confirmation of your payment this will be sent to you from Capita.
Paying By Direct Debit.
If you don't wish to pay your bills using your debit or credit cards, you can always ease your mind by paying by Direct Debit.
Please download the relevant form, fill it in and return it to the relevant department.
For council tax, get a Direct Debit application form on the council tax payments page.
For a Direct Debit form for Bristol City Council Invoices, please contact Account Services on 0117 352 1404.
Automated telephone payments service
Call 0870 707 7776
You can pay a selection of council bills by calling our 24-hour automatic payment service on 0870 707 7776 and follow the instructions using the key pad on your telephone. Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.
Please ensure that you have a valid credit or debit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Switch and Delta cards. An additional fee 1.8% will be added to credit card payments except for Penalty Charge Notices.
If at any time during your phone call, you no longer wish to continue, just replace the receiver. A payment has only taken place if you receive confirmation of the authorisation.
You can pay:
- Council tax
- Business rates
- Penalty Charge Notices
- Housing Rent
- Housing Benefit Overpayments
- Bristol City Council Invoices
You will be asked which service you want to pay.
1. Council Taxes
2. Business Rates
3. Penalty Charge Notices. You will then be asked 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
You will then 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. Please 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. Please 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. Please 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 as detailed 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 Bristol City Council Invoice. Please replace any alpha characters with the * button when keying in your reference.
The system will now 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.
You will be asked how much you wish to pay. Use the * button to separate pounds and pence
You will be asked for your credit or debit card details. If you choose to pay by credit card, an additional charge of 1.8% will be applied to your payment except for Penalty Charge Notices. This reflects the additional charges paid by the council to receive credit card payments. No additional charge is made for using a debit card.
It will take a few seconds whilst the system gets authorisation for your payment. If 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 and 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.
Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company's access charge. Check the access charge with your phone provider. Calls from payphones can cost more.