Pay council bills, fines and permits online

Pay online You need a debit or credit card, reference number and the amount. See help links below.
We take Visa, Delta, Mastercard and Switch. There is no fee for using a debit card. Credit card payments add an additional charge of 1.8% (except for Penalty Charge Notices).

Other ways to pay (not for all services)

By phone our automated telephone service

By text housing payments by mobile text. More about payments using mobile phone texts.

Mobile app how to pay your council tax using a smartphone app.

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


Blue badges
Business rates (NNDR)
Council tax
Early Years Training Courses
Education welfare penalty notices
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
Smoke Free penalty charge notices

Find reference number

Payment typeReference 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.
HMO 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.

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 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.

More help

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 922 3835.

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