We recently had an email from a lady after she had read our newsletter and she confirmed that we could use our conversation to help others regarding disabled badges in Spain.
This is what she asked:
I read Amanda’s blog regarding the rules of driving in Spain. I wonder if someone could explain parking and the use of the disabled blue badge holder.
When we stayed at a hotel in Spain we were given a small ticket to use for parking and were told this was better to use than the British issued blue badge we had. Also, in England, I have a disability benefit which allows me to be car tax exempt, and as such, I can park for free. However, when in my husband’s car, which isn’t tax-free, I may have to pay for parking.
Some areas here allow free parking with a disabled badge, some require payment, even with a disabled badge, if the vehicle is not tax exempt. I will lose that benefit living in Spain but wonder what their disabled rulings are for parking?
I responded to her that I am not an expert on this subject but would do my best to help. Firstly, The CAB Spain has written a good blog on this: https://www.citizensadvice.org.es/faq/disabled-parking-badge-do-i-need-to-pay-for-parking/
In Spain, it depends where you are staying with regard to these rules. They said:
“Visitors to Spain using the Blue Badge from other EU Countries: You may use your badge in all European Union and EEA countries. Please consider that the rules may vary so ask in each country you plan to visit. You may find this information at the tourist offices. Ask for examples of the notices for Blue Badge parking.
Note: The European blue badge from other countries is only valid when travelling. Once residing in a country different to where your card was issued, you should apply in your country of residence”
So visiting, that is why the hotel was helpful and gave the lady a badge rather than her having to investigate the rules of different towns.
The CAB also confirm that in Spain it depends on where you park. In general, in parking places reserved for disabled, you are exempt.
In other areas (blue zones e.g.) each town has its own rules. There are not many places you have to pay anyway here in Spain for parking. Not even at most hospitals such as Torrevieja Hospital. In the Orihuela Costa, there are very few parking places that you need to pay for.
The CAB provides a list of the rules of the Spanish towns in Spanish on a link. I translated the Alicante section (below). They say it is best to inquire at town halls of towns you frequently visit, so as not be caught out by a fine if you need or wish to park outside of reserved parking spots.
The conditions of use that apply to disabled parking badges of those are the municipality where the car is parked, not those of the place where the disabled person resides.
When someone moves here (and I hope we can help them with many things!), then they need to apply for a Spanish disabled parking badge.
How to get a Badge
In the Alicante region, resident people whose degree of disability is 33% or more have to go through a process with the Social Security to get a badge in this region, say, in Orihuela Costa or La Zenia. To become registered social services will ask someone to fill in an application form and will then apply for a disability assessment. This is usually done at the INSS provincial centre. It can take a few months to get an appointment and then more to get the disability certificate. When someone has this certificate (assuming that they have the required “mobility points), they then send off for the parking badge which is issued fairly quickly.
The INSS will need medical records indicating the problems (in Spanish) or a new medical report from a Spanish doctor. People can take any supporting documents (old entitlements etc., always translated into Spanish), NIE, Residencia and Padron as well.
It seems you can then park in the reserved spaces or double the time in the general spaces for limited time periods in the Alicante region. But these things change and it would be best to check when you are moving out with the local town hall information desk.
There are a lot of issues when considering long-term living in another country and we can help with many of them, from the legalities of buying a property to the translation of various documents, help with paperwork, and to pay taxes.
Please contact us if you have any queries or need assistance. We will help with translations, Padron, residencias, … email@example.com