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Features » General

DISABLED PARKING BADGES - PUTTING YOU IN TH KNOW

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By Sally Bengtsson / 2008-02-24 20:27:58

After an inquiry about the validity of disabled parking badges in Spain, we have scoured a few web sites to try and give you some clear and accurate information.

It appears that if you display a disabled badge in Spain, it must be a blue badge. The blue badge is a standardised European Community disabled person's parking permit which provides parking entitlements to badge holders in all complying European countries - a blue badge from one country is valid in another. A person coming to Spain from another EU country can apply in their home country for this universal badge which allows the use of reserved parking.

Disabled spaces in car parks reserved for disabled people are marked with a wheelchair symbol. Do not park if the space is marked with a vehicle registration number, this means the space is reserved for this car only and you risk being towed away if you park here. There are no concessions for disabled drivers on roadside parking. 

Yellow painted kerbs should be avoided at all times as the chances are that some type of parking restriction applies. That is, of course, if the yellow painting has been carried out with the authority of the local Town Hall. No person is permitted to "reserve" his own parking space and even access to a garage or garden is not considered to be a "right" unless the homeowner has paid his contribution to the local authority and paid his annual contribution to his "vado" as it is known. Blue curbs, of course, mean that some form of payment, usually in the form of a ticket purchased from a machine in the street, is due. In most cases, a vehicle parked in a restricted "yellow curb" zone will be towed away by the local grua (tow truck) to the municipal pound!

A number of disabled parking bays are available to those who are authorised to use them. They are recognisable by the yellow painted curb accompanied by the internationally known "disabled" sign. However, not all yellow painted curbs are there for the benefit of the disabled. You must be able to see a disabled sign. 

Until recently, in cosmopolitan tourist towns like Torrevieja, "disabled badges" from all European countries were acceptable. The local police were under orders to accept badges from other countries and the Town Hall would issue badges to those who requested them and met the requirements. However, a new European law now changes the type of badge which is acceptable and certain extra conditions apply to those requesting the facility. The new badge is issued to the person using it and not, as before, to the vehicle. The style of badge is universal throughout all European states and is valid not only in the Valencian community and all Spain, but throughout the whole of Europe. Those entitled to apply for the new badge should be recognised on the municipal padron of the town in which they are habitually resident; they should be over the age of three years and have a recognised condition of disability, which now must also include "reduced mobility" which would prevent them from using public transport. Entitlement is decided at a medical assessment, which is carried out by the regional health authorities.

The disabled badge is personal and not transferable to another person and can only be used when the holder is the actual driver or passenger in the vehicle at the time of use. It must be displayed prominently in the front windscreen of the vehicle so that it is clearly legible from the outside and its terms of use can be temporarily changed by local police in different towns or randomly at the police officer's discretion. Breaches of use of the badge could result in its suspension and removal of the vehicle. The parking bays which display the internationally recognised "disabled" sign may be used by badge holders and these bays may not be used by any other vehicles, those which are not engaged in the transporting of a disabled person.

Disabled persons wishing to apply for the new badge should make first make application to the Town Hall of the municipality in which they are registered (empadronado). They should request, usually from the Social Services department, a Solicitud de Reconocimiento de la Condición de la Minusvalida (an application form for the disability) to be recognised by the regional authorities. Once completed and submitted, the applicant will receive an appointment to attend a medical examination at their nearest Centro de Diagnostico y Orientación (centre for diagnosis). In the case of residents who live within the province of Alicante, the examination centre is situated in Calle Teatro, No. 37, Alicante. Those badges which have been issued here in Spain by the local authority will continue to remain acceptable up to the date they expire, after this time, renewal should be made in accordance with the new regulations.




Comments

Keith 07-11-2014 / 08:41

We took my disabled brother-in-law to Ikea in Jerez, parked in the disabled space, and displayed his blue badge (the new one). When we went to put our purchases in the car, we thought it had been stolen, but were informed that it had been towed away.

Since my brother-in-law has limited mobility, it was extremely difficult to arrange to recover the car. We had to pay 92 euros to the company who removed the car, who said that the badge wasn't applicable in Andalusia. They weren't prepared to argue the matter, and said that we should take any complaint to our local police in Chiclana, which we are about to do.

What annoys me most is that there was plenty of disabled parking available - it wasn't as if we were taking a space from someone who was 'legitimate' under some local law. We shall now avoid parking in disabled spaces, even with the badge, for fear of this happening again.

fransua alaia 18-08-2013 / 18:57

fransua alaia
i had my car removed in span ibiza preciselly showing my blu badge but parcked in an appropriate area by what the police said and this is not my doubt if they where right or not as the only 2 bay where taken by 2 vehicle not autorised to be parked there anyway my question is :
can a police officer after i question them why they towed away my car as me to show my disability in public????
i really wish to know more because personally i didn t like at all to be treated as a lier or some sort of scummers from who should be help to the citizez rather then abuse their power
reagards

fransua alaia

Mrs S Brickley 24-05-2013 / 14:29

I am to understand that UK Blue Badge Holders cannot use it with a hired car, even if one parks in disabled spaces ie car parks etc.

Roy Woodfield 04-12-2012 / 21:28

I have a valid 'Blue Badge' issued by the UK, I am on holiday here and have hired a Spanish rental car, I was pulled up by a traffic warden in La Herradura on Costa Sol and issued with a parking fine when parked on a blue line and was told that although I had a valid 'Blue badge' it could not be used in conjunction with a non UK car. Surely my badge is valid in all EEC countries, or is this another way for boosting local funds !!

Maru 05-08-2012 / 22:19

Are blue badge holders exempt from toll charges in Spain..

chris 26-07-2012 / 09:11


Marseille police have towed away my partner's car with my blue badge inside. They say they are checking the validity of the card. They have not asked for the keys of the car so they could look at the picture side of the card and check it is really mine. They are behaving like morons, basically.

Meanwhile, I am stranded.

What are my rights in this situation?

chris sarich 01-07-2011 / 17:47

I have an american disability placket can I use it in Spain?

Jackie Arnott 15-10-2010 / 22:12

I read your artical on the new disabled parking badges. Does this also apply to people who have never had one of these badges.
Before leaving the UK, 5 years ago I was diagnosed by my UK doctor that I have Roumatoid Arthritious in both legs. Although I have never seen a doctor about this problem since being in Spain. I'am now finding it difficult to walk therefore, my husband pushes me arround in a wheelchair if we are out for a long time, and if I'am in the garden I have to use a stick.

My question being can I go to my local Town Hall to register my disabilty.

Thank you Mrs J Arnott

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