Parking permits

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Visitor permits issued by borough and district councils

Up until 31 March 2023, the borough and district councils issued permits on our behalf. If you have any paper visitor permits issued by your borough or district council, they remain valid for use in on street permit parking places, in the relevant permit scheme area, up until the last possible date displayed on them.

How to apply for a parking permit

If you want to apply for a permit in an existing permit parking scheme, we recommend that you first read the frequently asked questions below. When you apply, you will need to provide the necessary proof of your eligibility, depending on the type of permit you want, as described below:

  • Resident permit - evidence that you live at an address within the scheme's catchment area and that you use a vehicle that is kept at the address.
  • Resident visitor permit - evidence that you live at an address within the scheme's catchment area.
  • Childcare permit - evidence that you live at an address within the scheme's catchment area and that you employ someone to provide regular care for your child/children.
  • Carers permit - evidence that you live at an address within the scheme's catchment area and that you are dependent on regular visits from carers.
  • Operational permit - evidence that you provide regular medical assistance in patients' homes within a permit scheme area(s).

Evidence that you live at an address

  • a council tax statement for the current year
  • a signed tenancy agreement
  • a signed solicitor's letter on completion of property purchase
  • a mortgage agreement
  • a utility bill dated within the last 3 months
  • a driving licence

Proof of ownership/use of a vehicle

  • a vehicle registration document (V5C), or
  • an insurance certificate, both of which must show the address and vehicle registration number.

Cost of permits

  • Resident permits cost £84 for the first permit issued to a household, £104 for the second permit issued to the same household and £134 for a third and subsequent permits.
  • Resident visitor permits cost £2 for all day permits (with a limit per household of 150 per year) and £1 for 2 hour permits (with a limit of 250 per year).
  • Childcare permits cost £104.
  • Carers permits and operational permits are issued free of charge.

Change of vehicle for a resident permit

  • Permanent change of vehicle. There is a £15 fee to make a permanent change to the details of a resident permit, for example if you buy a new car. To make a change you would need to go log in to your account and go to the Manage Permits section and follow the instructions, including uploading details of the new vehicle.
  • Temporary change of vehicle. If you have temporary use of a different vehicle, for example a courtesy car while your usual car is in the garage, you can apply to change the registration number on the permit. There is no fee but you will need to supply evidence of the alternative vehicle, such as a signed agreement with the garage. The change of number will remain in place for up to two weeks. To make a change you would need to log in to your account and go to the Manage Permits section and follow the instructions.

Please note that resident, visitor, childcare and carers permits issued by Surrey County Council are only valid for use on street and only in the zone or permit scheme area relevant to the applicant's address. None of the permits issued by Surrey County Council (including operational permits) are valid for use in any district or borough council car parks.

To apply for a permit, please select 'apply for a permit online' below that will take you to our Surrey Permit site. The first time you apply, you will need to create an account. You can also apply for a permit over the phone on 0330 175 5930*, but it is usually quicker to complete the process if you can do it online.

Apply for a permit online

The permit system is administered on our behalf by our contractor, NSL. If you have any queries, you can contact them by phone on 0330 175 5930* or by email to

*The permit helpline 0330 175 5930 is available from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.

Introduction of a new parking permit scheme

We use permit parking schemes to prioritise the available parking space for use by permit holders only. Typically, this would be where residents are finding it hard to park near their homes because there are large numbers of non-residents parking there.

Criteria for introduction of a permit scheme

Generally, the criteria for introduction of a permit scheme are:

  • There must be a need for residents to park on street. If residents have lots of off street parking, there is no point in introducing a permit scheme, as it will simply result in an empty road and may cause problems in other streets through displacement.
  • The majority of residents must be in favour of a permit scheme. We would generally want to have over 70% of residents' responses to a consultation in favour of a scheme. This is however, not an absolute requirement. It may still be appropriate to install a scheme even if less than 70% of residents were in favour, if for example, all the other nearby roads were going to go ahead with a scheme.
  • There must be a significant amount of non-resident parking. There is no point in installing a permit scheme in a location where nearly all of the vehicles currently parking there belong to residents.

How are new schemes introduced?

Depending on the size and complexity of the scheme, it may be developed through our parking review process. Some larger schemes may need external consultants, or could be undertaken in-house but separately from the general parking reviews.

Introducing a new permit scheme is not a quick or simple process. The changes to the road may only be a few new signs and lines, but there is a lot of detailed work that has to be done in the background, such as consultation with residents and stakeholders, and the legal order making procedure.

If you would like us to consider a permit scheme where you live, you can find a parking scheme request template towards the bottom of our parking review process web page. You should print this out and once it has been signed by at least 70% of the households in the road, return it to us.

We receive a lot of requests for permit schemes, but we can only realistically consider taking any of them forward to a consultation stage once we have seen a significant expression of interest. We also have to consider what the impact of a scheme might be on surrounding roads.

Types of scheme signs and markings

There are a couple of different of types of permit signing and marking that we can introduce. Engineers will decide which scheme is most appropriate depending on the road(s) in question.

  • Permit parking areas. These are schemes where there are no road markings, only signs which say "Permit holders only past this point", at the entry points to the area.
  • Permit parking bays with signs. These are just like normal parking bays, but the signs will say "Permit holders only". Some bays may be 'dual use', for example "Permit holders or 2 hours no return within 2 hours". This means if you have a permit you can park for an unlimited amount of time, but if you don't, you can still park for up to two hours for free.

Frequently asked questions

How does a resident parking permit scheme work?

Permit parking is intended to help residents and their guests find somewhere to park during the days and times that the scheme is in operation. During those times only vehicles with a valid resident permit or a valid visitor permit are allowed to park in the permit areas / permit parking bays. This makes it more likely that permit holders will be able to find somewhere to park, although it cannot guarantee a space.

When do restrictions apply?

This varies from scheme to scheme, depending on the particular circumstances and the problems that the scheme is designed to solve. For example, during the working day, the restrictions could apply Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 6pm.

Who is eligible for a resident permit?

Again, it may vary from scheme to scheme but in general, it is usually people who live at an address within the scheme area and whose car is registered at that address.

How many permits can I have?

For new permit schemes, the number of permits available to residents is decided during the consultation process. The maximum number of resident permits that can be issued to a household is usually calculated by the number of vehicles registered to the members of the household minus the number of off street parking spaces for the property, so, for example, if there were 3 registered vehicles and 1 off street parking space it would mean that the members of the household could apply for up to 2 resident permits.

There are sometimes additional restrictions on the number of permits allowed, for example if the amount of on-street space is severely limited.

For information about how many permits each household can have in our existing permit schemes, please see our parking permits allocation, terms and conditions page.

Residents who have adequate off street parking and cannot have residents' permits are still be able to apply for visitor permits.

How much do permits cost?

Resident permits are valid for a year and currently cost £84 for the first permit issued to a household, £104 for the second, and £134 for each subsequent permit.

Why is there a charge for permits?

This is to cover the administration and enforcement costs of the scheme. It is recognised good practice to charge for permits, because otherwise these costs are paid for by the general tax payer, who may not drive, and who receives no benefit from the scheme.

Can any type of vehicle have a permit?

Generally, passenger vehicles, motorcycles and goods vehicles less than 5 tonnes are eligible.

What do I do about visitors, workmen and deliveries?

Each household can apply for up to 150 all day visitor permits per year. These permits cost £2 each and entitle one vehicle to park in the permit areas or bays for one whole day. They can only be used once. We often receive requests to issue a 'general' or 'transferable' visitor permit; however, we do not do this as it would put the scheme at risk of being misused.

Each household can also apply for up to 250 2-hour visitors' permits per year. These cost £1 each and entitle one vehicle to park in the permit areas or bays for up to two hours and can also only be used once.

Any vehicle can park in the permit areas / bays to make deliveries, or load and unload, but only for as long as necessary and no longer than a maximum of 20 minutes.

How do I apply for and use visitor permits if I don't have access to the internet?

If you are unable to access the internet to apply for and activate your visitor permits then please call us on 0330 175 5930 to discuss the options we can make available for you.

What do I do about carers?

Any resident who is housebound and needs regular visits from carers can apply for a carers' permit, which their carers can use to park while making their visits. Carers' permits can only be used in the resident permit parking bays. They are issued free of charge and are valid for a year.

What about blue badge holders?

Blue badge holders can park in the permit areas / bays for as long as they need provided their blue badge is displayed. They can also park on yellow lines - providing they are not causing an obstruction - for up to three hours, where they will also need to show their clock card.

What about new developments in existing permit schemes?

Residents of new developments are not automatically eligible to apply for permits in existing schemes, regardless of the address. Eligibility would need to be considered in the next parking review in the area.

How much does it cost to replace a permit?

If you lose your existing permit or change your vehicle you will need to pay an administration fee of £15 to replace your permit.

What if I can't find a parking space?

We do all we can to try and ensure that the scheme has enough spaces to give all permit holders a reasonable chance of finding a space. We introduce these schemes to restrict parking by non-residents which means that there should be more space available for the residents.

However, there is no way within the regulations to assign specific parking spaces on the highway to specific individuals; therefore, there is no way any highway authority could ever guarantee the availability of a parking space. If you could not find a space you would need to find an alternative legal parking space elsewhere, for example in a public car park or a non-restricted area.

What do I do if I get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?

Our civil enforcement officers (CEOs) carry out enforcement of parking controls and restrictions across the highway network. Like all motorists, residents need to park legally. If you receive a PCN you would need to follow the instructions on the back of it You can also find more information about PCNs on our parking fines page.

Who does what?

Surrey County Council, as the highway authority, is responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of the parking controls, parking strategy and policy.

Up until 31 March 2023, the district and borough councils managed enforcement of parking schemes and administration of PCNs and permits on our behalf, but these functions are now carried out by us, working with our contractor NSL.

You can apply for a permit (where there is an existing permit scheme) online or over the phone on 0330 175 5930.

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