Urgent Telephone 4pm - 8.30am : 01233 331111

Distributing Free Literature

To distribute printed matter means handing it out or making it available to members of the public. This includes placing it on, or attaching it to, vehicles (this is not allowed in the controlled area). However, it does not include putting it inside a building or letterbox. Please note there are a few exemptionsOur Ashford Map [pdf] 810KB and Tenterden Map [pdf] 653KB show the areas in the Ashford and Tenterden town centres where the restrictions are in place.

Apply for a permit


The maximum penalty for distributing free literature without a permit is £2,500. As an alternative to prosecution a fixed penalty notice of £75 may be issued.


A permit for the distribution of free printed matter is NOT required when made:

  • On by or on behalf of a charity (where the printed matter relates to the charity and is for charitable purposes).
  • For political purposes.
  • For the purposes of a religion or belief.

Privacy notice

Contact us

For further information please email the Licensing Team.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ Can I give out leaflets in the town centre?

Yes, but unless you fall into one of the exemptions you must apply for a permit.

+ How do I apply for a permit?

Complete an application for a permit to distribute free printed matter, pay the appropriate fee detailed on the application form by card at the same time as completing the application.

+ What are the exemptions?

Charities, political or religious groups are exempt. If you fall under these groups then you don't need to fill out a form.

+ How much does it cost?

From 01 April 2024 the fees are £37.50 for a week permit, £69.00 for a month permit and £125.00 for a year permit.

+ Can leaflets be left on cars?

No, this is not permitted.
Page 1 of 5