Reader Question: Does France’s disability badge always allow you to park in any space marked in blue?
In France, the different cards aimed to offer assistance to people with disabilities were grouped together in a carte mobilité inclusion (CMI) in 2017.
However, this card exists in three different forms, and each one brings with it different benefits.
Firstly, there is the carte mobilité inclusion invalidité, which gives you priority access to seats in transports, waiting rooms and other public spaces. It also enables you to obtain discounts on some trains and planes, and income tax reductions.
The second card is the CMI priorité, which gives you priority access to seating like the mention invalidité card, but also allows you to go to the front of queues. However, it does not come with the tax benefits.
The final card is the CMI stationnement, which enables you to park for free in disabled and any other space. The period over which your car can remain in the space is often unlimited, but can sometimes be limited by local authorities, although it can never be less than 12 hours.
It should be noted that disabled people are often still required to pay for parking in private car parks.
The CMI stationnement is a credit card-sized badge which can be left on your dashboard.
Therefore, not all disability badges enable you to park for free: you must have a CMI stationnement to benefit from this right. However, it is possible to apply for more than one type of badge.
How do I apply for a badge?
To apply for a CMI stationnement, you should fill in this form and attach a medical certificate from your doctor, a copy of your ID, proof of address and anything else that the authorities ask to see.
The form is processed by your local Maison départementale des personnes handicapées.
You must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for a badge. For example, if you are applying for the stationnement card, your ability to walk must have been severely and indefinitely reduced.
The CMI is valid in all EU countries.