Travelling as a disabled person has its obstacles but once you have prepared and planned, you can ensure you have a no-fuss time overseas. One of the obstacles many face is with disabled parking permits and whether they will be recognised overseas.
Luckily, we’ve found out all you need to know about parking permits, whether it’s for a friend, family member or yourself.
First thing’s first, make sure you get an international driving permit before you travel overseas:
Reciprocity for disabled citizens
There are international agreements encouraging countries to recognise the Parking Permit of a visiting disabled person. Europe, along with USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea, have agreed to provide people with reduced mobility with a document and to give the same parking facilities to holders of this document coming from another member or associated member country as they do to their own nationals.
Disabled parking in Europe
The EU and EEA have adopted a standardised model Parking Permit, called a Parking Card, and most member states now issue it.
Your right to the parking concessions in Europe depends on the Parking Card/Permit you have. See below for each country’s rules
France has adopted the European Model Parking Card and you can display a permit from another country.
In Paris and in some other cities, you may park without payment at a parking meter and pay-and-display, and exceed the maximum time allowed, but check locally. Elsewhere, you must pay to park and not exceed the paid-for time.
The United Kingdom (UK) has adopted the European Model Parking Card and you can display a permit from another country.
You may park free of charge and without time limit on a road where payment is required, unless signs indicate otherwise. You may park without time limit on a road where parking is free but restricted by time, unless signs indicate otherwise – check the parking signs.
Some car parks allow a vehicle displaying the Parking Card to park free-of-charge – check the car park notices or ask an attendant.
Ireland has adopted the European Model Parking Card and you can display a permit from another country.
Payment concessions in car parks can apply but check the car park notice or ask an attendant.
Print this parking card and place next to your permit when driving in Ireland.
Spain has adopted the European Model Parking Card and you can display a permit from another country.
In most areas, you must pay to park where payment is required and must not exceed the time.
Some car parks allow a Parking Card holder to park free-of-charge– check the parking notices or ask an attendant.
Print this parking card and place next to your permit when driving in Spain
Most US states have a Parking Permit scheme administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
You may use your Parking Permit in most states of the USA.
You may park:
- In a parking space marked with the international wheelchair symbol.
- Next to a blue curb (authorised parking for persons with disabilities)
- Next to a green curb (indicate limited time parking) for as long as you wish
- In an on-street metered parking space at no charge
- In an area that indicates it requires a resident or merchant permit
You may not park:
- In a parking space with a crosshatched marking and the international wheelchair symbol unless the placard holder needs wheelchair access (these spaces are reserved solely for wheelchair and wheelchair lift access)
- Next to red curbs (no stopping, standing, or parking)
- Next to yellow curbs (reserved for commercial vehicles to load and unload passengers or freight)
- Next to white curbs (reserved for loading and unloading passengers or depositing mail in an adjacent mailbox)
Print this parking card and place next to your permit when driving in the US.
New Zealand has a Parking Permit scheme administered by CCS Disability Action and you cannot use your permit from another country.
Your Parking Permit can not be used in New Zealand but you can obtain a short-term permit on arrival for $35NZD here