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Do France’s low-emissions zone rules apply to disabled drivers?

Several French cities require drivers to have a Crit’Air clean air certificate to enter the city centre, but does this apply to people with a disabled parking badge?

We look at the rules around Crit’Air requirements for disabled drivers Pic: GERARD BOTTINO / Shutterstock

Reader question: Do I need to abide by Crit’Air rules if I have a disabled parking badge?

No, people who have a disabled badge can drive through low-emission zones in France even if their cars do not meet the pollution standards. 

However, you do still need to display a Crit’Air sticker, costing €3.11 plus postage. 

There are currently 11 cities in France that have introduced a zone à faibles émissions mobilité (ZFE-m), which the most polluting vehicles, according to the Crit’Air labelling system, are banned from entering. 

The exact specifications differ from city to city. 

The legislation includes an exception for cars displaying a carte mobilité inclusion (CMI) disabled badge, which specifies that it covers stationnement pour les personnes handicapées (parking for disabled people). 

This also applies to drivers with a disabled parking card in one of its previous forms, which were replaced by the CMI in 2017. 

This exception was introduced in recognition of the fact that it can be more difficult for those concerned to use alternative modes of transport. 

Every city with a population of more than 150,000 will be required to introduce a ZFE-m by the end of 2024, bringing the number of zones to 45. 

Currently, any fines involved would be given out by traffic police, but the government also plans to introduce a system of ‘automated checks and sanctions’ by the second half of 2024. 

The Environment Ministry has said drivers with a disabled badge will be able to declare their vehicles so that their exemptions will be recognised by the automated system, allowing them to enter the zones. 

However, a spokesman said only those with a CMI stationnement card would qualify “given the upcoming phasing out of the old cards, and the existence of a large number of fakes of these cards”. 

There will be three ways to register your CMI, the ministry told The Connexion

These are: the online CMI portal at carte-mobilite-inclusion.fr; a mobile app which will be available for Apple or Android phones; and an interactive voice response telephone system. 

Further details will be provided nearer the time

Related articles

A guide to Crit'Air stickers in France 

How do I get a French Crit’Air sticker for foreign classic car?

Car pollution sticker fraud rising in France: avoid getting caught out

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