Disabled “blue badge” situation in Tenerife

It is often the subject of some debate and so today it seems opportune to post because Santa Cruz Policía Local are reporting that they “caught a woman red handed” the other day parking in a disabled bay with a card which did not belong to her, but to her husband, who died five years ago. They further say that they had been keeping an eye on her Mercedes for a few months to compile a dossier of “offences” – the investigation appears to have been initiated by a denuncia made against her by someone offended at an able-bodied person’s use of disabled spaces.

In Spain, disabled badges are issued to the person, and only the disabled person him/herself is supposed to use it. In the particular case being reported by Santa Cruz police, the badge has been confiscated and annulled, and a file sent to the issuing department in the Canarian Government. In addition, the local police issued a fine: the exact amount is unknown but police sources say it can be up to €200. Police further say that this is the sixth such offence in Santa Cruz alone that they have dealt with so far this year.

Anyone who needs to apply for a badge here needs to be prepared, I’m afraid, for a bit of a wait. There’s no fast track system, but a multi-stage, multi-location application. The first step is to be formally registered with the police as a resident because only residents may be granted the badges. An applicant then needs to apply to a local ayuntamiento which will ask for a medical report from the GP. Then the applicant will be called for an assessment appointment with the Canarian Government in Santa Cruz, but there is a very long waiting list for this. After the assessment, a “level of disability” notice is issued, and then the applicant returns to the town hall to apply for the badge, the type of which is given depending on the level of disability granted. In terms of length of process, it’s at least a year, probably nearer two.


  1. A couple of years ago my disabled wife was booked in Gran Canaria for parking in a disabled parking space despite displaying the new EU blue badge. A trip to the local police station did not resolve the situation but our holiday rep sorted it out and the notice was cancelled. i would recommend that in addition to displaying your blue badge that you also display beside it THIS notice in Spanish. This information was provided to me by David Martin MEP via my local Councillor.

  2. I cannot find her on facebook do you have her email address please with her concent of course?

  3. Author

    you might be quicker trying to contact Andrea directly on facebook …

  4. When visiting Tenerife, can I take my disabled badge with me and use it there?

  5. Hello Janet

    My husband has a blue parking badge issued in the UK as he’s unable to walk more than a few metres. Can he use it in Tenerife?

    1. Author

      Yes, he can. These are now European badges and are valid equally in Spain as in the UK. Just bear in mind that in Spain it’s not a “park anywhere” badge like it is in the UK. He will be restricted to disabled parking spaces, not roadside or where parking is banned for road users without badges.

  6. I had a knee replacement about four months ago . . wish I had thought of applying for a temporary badge! something to remember after the op, when you are parking, is to be sure there will be room for you to open the door wide to get back in! It’s not easy to bend the knee enough to get into a small opening! Hope your op goes well!

  7. I need a knee replacement surgery, and am on a waiting list, so I do struggle at times. When I lived in Los Cristianos the Ayuntamiento issued me with a Disabled Parking Badge for the Arona area only, and for six months, after six months I applied again, and it was renewed. This process only took about 2 weeks, I went through the medical assessment as mentioned before, but it was such a relief, as I only needed it locally anyway.
    We have now moved to live in the Adeje area, where they do not issue local temporary permits, so went through the process again, and was told it would probably take a year for the assessment. I can’t understand how different councils have different rules and systems. Adeje is a better area to live, nothing else to compain about.

  8. I was diagnosed with MS a year and a half ago. I submitted my blue badge application in Adeje last June but am still waiting to hear!

  9. Further to Andrea’s comment – not ALL car parks offer free parking to disabled drivers displaying a blue badge. At least not in my area (Derbyshire), including the main hospital and Derby City car parks.

  10. Hi Janet may I just tell you that the use of a blue badge for disabled people in the U.K. is almost the same as here. It is issued to the disabled person for their use only and may only be used and displayed by the person, who must be present at the time of use.
    The main difference between U.K. and Spain is that in the U.K. disabled people are allowed free parking in car parks where payment is asked and that a disabled Driver may park for a maximum of 3 hours on double yellow line, providing they are not causing an obstruction.
    best wishes

    1. Author

      Thank you, Andrea! I’ve edited the UK bit out of it now because not everyone reads comments and it’s not really relevant to the basic info as far as Spain is concerned anyway.

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