Urgent Telephone 4pm - 8.30am : 01233 331111

E-permits- Frequently Asked Questions

What are virtual permits?+

The way Ashford Borough Council’s parking permit system operates has changed.  We are moving away from paper permits to virtual permits.

  • We are no longer issuing paper permits. Instead, we hold a electronic record of a permit on the council’s system.
  • A virtual permit is linked to a vehicle registration number. Our civil enforcement officers will be able to see if a vehicle has a valid permit using their handheld electronic devices.
  • This change makes the application and renewal process faster and more efficient, customers can apply for a permit 24/7.
  • You are no longer required to wait for a paper permit to arrive in the post.
  • Once we accept an application, the virtual permit is generally instantly issued.

Where are the residents parking zones?+

Many of the roads close to Ashford town centre and near the William Harvey Hospital are controlled by restricting the amount of time a motorist may park.  There are six controlled parking zones. You may be eligible to apply for a permit to park for longer if you live in a road in one of the residents parking zone.

Can I apply for a virtual residents parking permit?+

Yes, if your home or your business* is located in one of our Residents Parking Permit Zones, provided your home or business appeared on the Register of Electors or Business Rates list when the zone was made.  *Business permits are only available in zones D, E and F.  

Please be aware – Properties newly built or converted from one use to another after the creation of a zone will not be entitled to a permit. 

For a list of the streets in each zone, please view the Terms and Conditions below.

Resident permits - https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/parking/residential-parking-permits/

Season Tickets - https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/parking/season-tickets/

Business Permits - https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/parking/ business-permits/

Partner Permits - https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/parking/ partner-permits/

ABC staff permits - https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/parking/ abc-staff-&-civic-centre-site-permits/

Do I need to open an account to apply for a virtual permit?+

Yes, everyone who applies for a virtual permit must open an on line account first. You will need a valid email address to do this.  Your account is linked to your email address.  Therefore, your email address can only be used to open one account.

How do I open an account?+

Setting up an account is quick and simple:

Step 1:  Have your details ready you will need your email address and postcode.  Go to https://permits.paysmarti.co.uk/acct/ashfordbc/.  You will be asked to choose and confirm a password. 

Step 2.  Choose your account type.  If you want to apply for a:

 

  • Residents parking permit – choose Resident
  • Season permit – choose Non-resident
  • Business permit – choose Business
  • Partner – choose Partner/Tenant
  • SERCO Staff – choose Serco
  • Freedom Staff – choose Freedom

 

Step 3. Confirm your email address and choose your password

Step 4. Enter your details and find your address using your postcode

Step 5. You will receive an email asking you to activate your new account.

Can I apply for an e-permit at the council offices?+

If you have an email address but you don’t have access to a computer at home, we have public access computer terminals in our reception area at the council offices but you must book an appointment with the Customer Services team.  Alternatively, there are public access computers available at Ashford Gateway in Church Road.  If you do not have an email address please contact Customer Services on 01233 331111.  

How much does a permit cost?+

Please click on a link to see our current prices:

Do I need to provide any proof?+

For a season ticket – No

For a residents and business parking permits - Yes

  1. Proof you have lived or intend to live in your home for a minimum of 6 months and:
  2. Proof that you own or lease a car or small van

For a number of years we have not asked residents and businesses to provide evidence when renewing an on-street permit.  As a new system is being introduced, we will be carrying out checks to ensure permits are issued correctly.  Consequently, all applicants will be required to upload proof documents when applying for a permit.

Evidence that we will accept:

For your home:

  • Council tax bill
  • Utility bill (less than 3 months old – not for a mobile phone)
  • Bank statement (less than 3 months old)
  • Mortgage documents (less than 3 months old)
  • Purchase confirmation of completion (with vacant possession) letter from your solicitor
  • Tenancy Agreement

For your vehicle:

  • V5C full document - we cannot accept a new owner slip as proof of vehicle ownership
  • Certificate of Motor Insurance – provided you are the named policyholder
  • Lease agreement/purchase document in your name
  • Company headed letter – confirming you are the main authorised driver of the vehicle

For your business:

  • Proof of business rates
  • Utility bill addressed to the business (less than 3 months old – not for a mobile phone)
  • Company headed paper

Do I need to upload my proof documents?+

Yes, applicants are required to upload your proof of address and proof of vehicle ownership when you apply for or re-new a permit. 

Can I have two vehicles on my permit?+

Yes, you can.  The system will allow you to swap the vehicle you are using via your online account.  Please note only one vehicle will be live on an e-permit at any one time.  To change from one vehicle to another, you must log into your account and change the “live” vehicle.  You will need to provide evidence of ownership for both vehicles.

Will my permit be valid straight away?+

Season tickets and other car park permits will be valid straight away.  Residents and business on street permits applications will be reviewed but this will not “hold up” the process and your permit should be available to use from your chosen start date.

Permits cannot be backdated. 

Where can I use a season ticket to park my vehicle?+

The Ashford Town Centre Season ticket can be used in any of the following car parks:

  • Edinburgh Road Multi-storey,
  • Elwick Road,
  • Victoria Road,
  • Dover Place,
  • Station Road, Ashford,
  • Flour Mills or;
  • Henwood car park
  • Flour Mills Season ticket – Flour Mills car park
  • Henwood Season ticket – Henwood car park
  • Victoria Road Season ticket – Victoria Road car park
  • Bridewell Lane Season ticket – Bridewell Lane car park and the rear to Tenterden Leisure Centre car park

Where can I use my Residents permit?+

You may use your residents parking permit to park in the marked on street parking bays within your zone.  To see the streets where you are allowed to park please go to the Resident Parking Permit page and check the T&Cs and click on the link for your zone.

Will I have anything to display in my vehicle?+

No, the new system will know that your vehicle has a permit.  Our Civil Enforcement Officers will scan your vehicle registration, which will show them whether there is a valid permit.

Where do I park my car while I am waiting for my permit?+

We cannot issue a temporary permit to a new applicant.  Motorists are expected to obey the parking rules that apply.  Until you have, confirmation that your permit is available for you to use, you must park in accordance with the restrictions displayed on the street or in our car parks.

What happens if I change my vehicle?+

You can transfer your permit to your new vehicle using your on-line account.  You will need to log in and change the vehicle details.  If you have a residents or business on street permit you will need to upload your evidence for your new vehicle. You will normally be able to use your permit to park your new vehicle straight away.

What should I do if I have a courtesy vehicle?+

If your vehicle is in for repair and you are given the use of a courtesy car. You can transfer your permit to your courtesy vehicle using your on-line account.  If you have a residents or business on street permit you will need to upload your evidence for your courtesy vehicle. You will normally be able to use your permit to park the vehicle straight away.

Can I renew my permit?+

Yes, a renewal reminder will be sent to your email address up to 21 days before your permit is due to expire.

I no longer need my permit, what should I do?+

Tell us using your account.  We will process your cancellation and we can issue a refund.  For residents permits the refund will be equivalent to the value of any remaining unused months.  For season tickets, the refund will be equivalent to the value of any unused days less an administration fee of £11.

I have a paper permit, what do I need to do?+

You should continue to use your existing permit or season ticket until it is time to either: renew your permit or change your vehicle or you move home.  When it is time to renew your permit or change your vehicle you will need to go online to open an account and then follow the instructions to apply for a new permit or season ticket.

How will I know if vehicles in my road have a valid permit or voucher?+

You will not, but patrolling Civil Enforcement Officers will be able to view all valid parking permits and vouchers on their enforcement devices.

I live in a controlled residents parking zone, can I buy parking vouchers for visitors?+

Yes.  You will be able to buy vouchers through your online account.  When you have a visitor, you can log into your account and start a parking session using one of your vouchers.  Please note: the vouchers are only valid for the year of purchase.

How much do visitor parking vouchers cost?+

A visitor parking voucher costs £1 to park for 1 day. 

How many visitor parking vouchers can I buy?+

Vouchers are sold in “books” of 10.  A resident may purchase a maximum of twelve  books (120 vouchers) a year.

Who can use a visitor parking voucher?+

Your visitors may use a voucher to park their vehicle whilst visiting your home, in zones D, E and F a visitor permit can be used to visit a business.  Residents may not use a visitor parking voucher to park their own vehicle.  Businesses may not use a visitor parking permit to park their own vehicle or vehicles driven by their employees. 

Will my visitor be able to use the voucher straight away?+

Yes, provided you have already purchased a book of vouchers.  If you need to buy a book of vouchers, you will need to complete your application and make payment.  Once we have accepted payment the vouchers will be available to use.  Vouchers cannot be backdated.

Where can my visitor park?+

Your visitor can only park in the zone where you live, unless you live in zone A.  Visitors parking vouchers purchased by residents living in zone A can be used to park in zone A and zone B.

Can I transfer a voucher to another vehicle?+

No, once a voucher has been authorised for use in a vehicle it cannot be changed.

I still have some paper visitor parking permits; can I use them?+

Yes, unused paper visitor parking permits can still be used.

Can I buy visitor parking vouchers if I don’t have access to the internet?+

Yes, but you will need to contact Customer Services on 01233 331111.