FAQS

Frequently asked questions about pollution, the restrictions in the low emissions zone (ZBE) and possible alternatives.

Questions about the ZBE
As of 2020, the most polluting vehicles will not be able to access the low emissions zone within Barcelona's ring roads (ZBE Rondes de Barcelona), which is an area covering 95 km2. These vehicles can use the ring roads (the Ronda de Dalt and Ronda Litoral), which are excluded from the restrictions, but all exits from the ring roads providing direct access to the ZBE will be closed to the most polluting vehicles.

The restrictions are currently limited to motorcycles and cars without a DGT environmental label on days of high pollution levels. The measure will be implemented on a permanent basis by 2020, and to all vehicles without the label (motorcycles, cars, lorries, vans and buses) all year round, from 7 am to 8 pm from Monday to Friday.
  • What is the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona?
    The low emissions zone within Barcelona's ring roads (ZBE Rondes de Barcelona) is an area of more than 95 km2 where traffic of the most polluting vehicles is restricted in order to protect the atmosphere, people's health and the environment.

    This area covers the entire municipality of Barcelona (except the Zona Franca and the neighbourhoods of Vallvidrera, Tibidabo and Les Planes), the municipality of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and part of the municipalities of Cornellà de Llobregat, Esplugues de Llobregat and Sant Adrià de Besòs.
  • Does it include the ring roads?
    No. The Ronda de Dalt and the Ronda Litoral are not subject to traffic restrictions. In other words, all vehicles (including the most polluting vehicles that are not eligible for the DGT environmental label) can use them. What the most polluting vehicles may not do is take an exit and travel through the streets of the city that fall within the ZBE
  • When do the restrictions take effect?
    The ZBE Rondes de Barcelona is in force on a temporary basis between 1 December 2017 and 31 December 2019, and restrictions on traffic are only anticipated on days when an NO2 environmental pollution event is declared.

    The traffic restrictions will be permanent as of 1 January 2020, and the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona will be in force from 7 am to 8 pm from Monday to Friday.
  • Why the ZBE?
    The aim of the ZBE is to reduce environmental pollution, and preserve and improve air quality and public health. It is one of the measures being taken to reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere, and particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10). The launch of the ZBE aims to reduce emissions of NOx and PM10 by up to 31 % and 39 % respectively.
  • Which vehicles are affected by the restrictions?
    As of 1 January 2020, the most polluting vehicles, that is, those which cannot obtain an environmental label issued by the DGT (Zero, Eco, C and B), are not allowed to drive within the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona.

    More specifically, the vehicles affected by this restriction are private cars (M1), and motorcycles and mopeds (L), which do not have the DGT environmental label, that is to say:
    • Cars which run on petrol, manufactured before the EURO3 standard (typically those first registered before 2000) and cars which run on diesel, manufactured before the EURO4 standard (typically those first registered before 2005 or 2006).
    • Motorcycles and mopeds (L), manufactured before the Euro 2 standard (typically those first registered before 2003).
    A one-year grace period has been established for professional vehicles (vans, lorries, coaches and buses), even though they do not have the DGT environmental label. This means that, as of 1 January 2021, the permanent ban on driving in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona will be tightened to also apply to vans (N1), lorries (N2 and N3) and buses (M2 and M3) which do not have the DGT label. You can check whether your vehicle is covered by the grace period here
    • Vans, lorries and buses manufactured before the Euro 4 standard (typically those first registered before 2005 or 2006).
    Vehicles for people with reduced mobility, vehicles used by emergency services (police cars, fire engines, ambulances) and essential services (healthcare vehicles, funeral vehicles) that do not have an environmental label may drive in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona, provided they are included in the Metropolitan Register.

    The most polluting private cars, motorcycles and mopeds that do not have the DGT environmental label can apply for single-day permits to drive in the ZBE, with a cap of 10 permits per year. The application must be submitted to AMB through the Metropolitan Register of foreign vehicles and other authorised vehicles.
  • How can I find out what DGT environmental label my vehicle needs?
    You can check your vehicle's DGT environmental label on the websites of the Directorate General for Traffic (DGT), Barcelona City Council and AMB. Enter your registration number to find out if the traffic restrictions in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona affect you.
  • • My vehicle meets the criteria for an environmental label, but I don't have the sticker. Where can I get one?
    If you own a vehicle classified as B, C, ECO or Zero, you can obtain the corresponding sticker at post offices (Oficina de Correus) or at an official agent. You can also obtain one at any mechanic who is a member of the official association Gremi de Tallers de Reparació d'Automòbils de Barcelona. For further details you can visit the DGT website or call the citizen attention number 060.
  • Is it mandatory to attach the DGT environmental label to the vehicle? Can I be fined if I don't have it?
    Attaching the label is not mandatory, but it helps local police forces in Barcelona and the other municipalities when they are carrying out manual checks. So having it is advisable.

    Drivers travelling without the DGT label on their vehicle may be stopped by agents inside the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona. In these cases, the agents will check the vehicle's documentation and the license plate, and will check whether it is subject to traffic restrictions. 
  • How are vehicles checked in the ZBE?
    From 1 January 2020 onwards, this will take place automatically using cameras that will check license plates against the appropriate DGT environmental label, and with the Metropolitan register of foreign vehicles and other authorised vehicles.

    The automatic monitoring system, which has over 100 license plate-reading cameras at various points in the metropolitan area, will give the local authorities details of the vehicles identified in their territory, which are therefore subject to penalties.
  • What are the penalties?
    As of 1 January 2020, failure to comply with the regulations stipulated in the municipal ordinances of the municipalities affected by the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona will be subject to fines ranging between 200 and 1,800 euros, depending on whether it is a minor, serious or very serious offence.

    The penalties may be increased by 30 % compared to the minimum amounts for repeat offenders. There will be a three-month period of adaptation to the regulations (January-April).

    NOTICE: As a measure against Covid-19 the effective date of the penalty system due to commence on 1st April 2020 is postponed until one month after the end of the state of alert or  its extension.
  • Are there any exemptions or temporary permits?
    Yes there are. AMB is implementing the Metropolitan Register of foreign vehicles and other authorised vehicles.

    This digital register will centralise the exemptions, and the Regulation that covers it specifically determines 7 categories of permits:
    1. Permits for vehicles dedicated to the transport of persons with reduced mobility (PMR vehicles): for PMR vehicles and collective transport vehicles.
    2. Permits for service vehicles: for vehicles used for the delivery of healthcare services and funeral services, those used for civil protection, and fire engines, police cars and vehicles used by national security forces.
    3. Permits for temporary activities: for all types of vehicles that are used for special services and that require occasional access to the ZBE, such as transport vehicles with special authorisations, special vehicles, and vehicles with local council authorisation to carry out specific activities (e.g. works or occupation of the public thoroughfare). 
    4. Permits for foreign-registered vehicles: for foreign vehicles which meet the technological requirements for access to the ZBE.
    5. Single-day permits: for all types of vehicles that need occasional access to the ZBE.
    6. Grace period for professional vehicles: this applies to category M1 and L vehicles which are used for the execution of professional activities by self-employed workers with low income (applications can be sent from 15 January 2020 via the website, by traditional mail and in-person).
    7. Permits for persons with a medical condition: for vehicles used by persons who have a medical condition that affects their possibilities to use public transport, or that requires them to undergo periodic medical treatments (applications can be submitted via the website from 1 February 2020).
  • Do the restrictions apply to taxis?
    Yes, the restrictions also apply to taxis. Given that, by now, more than 30% of the vehicles is hybrid, electric or gas, the fleet of taxis is very clean, and it is estimated that the restrictions will not affect their activity.

    In the exercise of its competences, AMB will continue to work through the Metropolitan Taxi Institute (IMET) on its firm and serious commitment to improving the taxi fleet with regard to environmental criteria. In the period 2007–2016, the proportion of environmentally efficient vehicles (hybrid or gas) increased from 1% to over 30%. The metropolitan-level commitment to clean mobility includes the proposal to reduce the proportion of diesel-only taxis serving metropolitan cities to less than 50% by 2020, and to less than 33% by 2025. To achieve this, the authorisation of diesel-fuelled taxis has already been discontinued. 
  • What is going to happen with foreign-registered vehicles?
    All vehicles that travel in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona are subject to the same restrictions, regardless of the country of registration.

    In this regard, before you travel with a foreign vehicle in the ZBE, you must obtain authorisation through AMB's Metropolitan Registry of foreign vehicles and other authorised vehicles.

    For vehicles which have approval status equivalent to the criteria of the DGT's environmental labels, you can obtain a long-term authorisation, which allows them to drive in the ZBE for two years. In the case of the most polluting vehicles, i.e. those for which there is no corresponding DGT environmental label, you need to apply at AMB for an extraordinary single-day (24-hour) permit. You may obtain a maximum of 10 of such permits per year.

    Consequently, this metropolitan scheme applies the same regulations to foreign-registered vehicles as to other vehicles.
  • Are vehicles without an environmental label really more polluting?
    Yes, those vehicles that do not have an environmental label are indeed the most polluting ones. The Directorate-General for Traffic has set up the labelling system in accordance with the National Plan for Air Quality and Protection of the Atmosphere 2013–2016, drawn up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment. The system is based on the emissions regulations — Euro technology — and the type of fuel. 

    There is extensive scientific evidence that demonstrates that vehicles without an environmental label generate higher levels of emissions of local pollutants (PM and NOx). In 2017, Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) and Barcelona City Council carried out a study on the actual number of vehicles that drive in the metropolis every day. This served to calculate the environmental impact on air quality under real traffic conditions. It was determined that vehicles with an environmental label from the DGT produce between 32% and 80% of the NO2 emissions, and between 69% and 94% of the PM emissions that vehicles without a label produce.

    Recently, in November 2019, an article by the independent Spanish consumer organisation OCU asserted that 15% of the cars, those which do not have an environmental label, are responsible for 50% of all emissions.
  • Is diesel the most polluting fuel?
    In the 1990s, the European strategy to reduce greenhouse gases (especially CO₂) decided to foucus on more efficient vehicles that consumed less. This meant that diesel engines became the most widely sold ones by the end of the decade. While it is true that diesel engines emit less CO2 than petrol engines, their discharge of other very harmful components — suspended particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) — is actually higher. According to calculations by the Catalan government, a private car running on petrol and manufactured before the Euro 1 standard (more than 20 years old) emits 58 times more NO2 than a new one. Taking a single diesel vehicle of over 20 years old off the road would be equivalent to taking 35 comparable modern vehicles off the road. 
  • Do I have the right to drive wherever I want?
    The Motor Vehicle Traffic Act gives local authorities the power to implement various kinds of measures, such as traffic restrictions, pedestrian areas, and areas with resident-access only. All of these are fully compatible with the right to mobility or movement of persons.
  • Why does my vehicle have no DGT label if I take it through vehicle emissions checks and MOTs?
    In order to be considered roadworthy, vehicles must first comply with the European Union regulations regarding official approval and registration at all times. Among other technical issues, these regulations establish limits for emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. The compulsory regular MOT inspections check that each vehicle's emissions meet the originally approved limits, or, in other words, they have not changed since the vehicle left the factory, among other issues.

    The pollutant emission limits for new vehicles that are officially approved and registered in the European Union have been significantly reduced in recent years, thanks to improvements in anti-pollution technologies. This means that although they can successfully pass the emissions checks carried out during mandatory regular MOT inspections, older vehicles had emissions limits that were more lax than those that are currently applied to newer vehicles, and they may therefore have potentially higher emissions levels.

    Some very old vehicles, such as those with diesel engines and with license plates prior to 1 January 1980, are exempt from emissions checks.
  • Do the measures restricting the most polluting vehicles discriminate against economically disadvantaged groups?
    Restricting the most polluting vehicles affects people with higher incomes, since they have more vehicles and their lifestyle makes them more dependent on private vehicles. The 2016 survey on mobility on working days shows that households in lower income neighbourhoods have fewer cars (including old ones) and use their cars and motorcycles less often than those in higher income neighbourhoods, who have more cars (including old ones) and use cars and motorcycles to travel more frequently. 
  • Can I drive my vehicle if I have reduced mobility?
    Yes. If you have reduced mobility and cannot obtain an environmental label for a vehicle you own (PRM vehicle), you can apply for authorisation to drive in the ZBE.

    Prior to driving in the ZBE, the owner of the vehicle has to register it with AMB's Metropolitan Register of Foreign Vehicles and other Authorised Vehicles. Three requirements must be met:
    1. you have a level of disability of 33% or more
    2. you meet the criteria for having reduced mobility
    3. you are the owner of the vehicle 
  • As of 2020, can I drive in the ZBE with a historic vehicle?
    No. Vehicles that are considered historic are subject to the same restrictions as other vehicles. To drive in the ZBE, you can request a special single-day (24-hour) permit from AMB's Metropolitan Register of Foreign Vehicles and other Authorised Vehicles. You may obtain a maximum of 10 of such permits per year.

    Vehicle owners may apply for single-day permits for one vehicle only.
  • What alternatives does the Administration offer me, if I have a vehicle without an environmental label?
    The T-verda is a public transport pass that enables you to travel free of charge, for a period of three years, on all ATM transport services, in exchange for scrapping a vehicle that is considered to be highly polluting. This public transport pass can be used in all six zones of the integrated metropolitan public transport area. The T-verda pass is managed by AMB-Informació for the 36 municipalities that make up the metropolitan area, and by the Catalan government for all the other municipalities in the six-zone area.

    You can benefit from this scheme if you deregister and scrap a polluting vehicle and do not acquire a new vehicle during the three-year period the T-verda pass is valid. To be granted the pass, you must prove that you are of legal age, that you are registered as living in the area covered by the services of ATM Barcelona, and that you were the owner of a polluting vehicle for which the vehicle tax was payable in any of the municipalities in the metropolitan area. The pass must be renewed annually. As a pass holder, you may transfer the use of the pass, one time only, to another member of your family unit. The pass is issued and renewed free of charge at the customer attention centres established by AMB for the residents of the 36 metropolitan municipalities, or at the Association of Municipalities with Urban Transport (AMTU) for the rest of the area covered by ATM services.

    This scheme applies to vehicles that have been scrapped up to 6 months before you apply for the T-verda. The vehicles covered by the scheme are:
    • Private cars, diesel; typically those first registered before 2006
    • Private cars, petrol or gas; typically those first registered before 2000
    • Motorbikes; typically those first registered before 1 July 2004
    • Mopeds; typically those first registered before 17 June 2002
    More information and the application procedure
  • What about professional vehicles that do not have the DGT environmental label?
    The regulatory bylaws of the ZBE establish a one-year grace period for professional vehicles that do not have the environmental label of the DGT and are used for the transport of passengers (with more than 8 seats, in addition to the driver) or for the transport of goods. These are vehicle categories N1, N2 and N3 (vans and lorries) and M2 and M3 (buses and coaches).

    You can check here to see whether a vehicle is granted the grace period. If your vehicle is covered, you do not need to register it until the end of 2020.
  • What can I do if, for my journeys, my only option is to use the private vehicle?
    If the only option you have is to travel in a private vehicle, you may consider the possibility of sharing the least polluting car available with other people travelling the same route: you will be reducing polluting emissions and your journey will be more pleasant and economical. There are also companies that offer ecological vehicles for sharing schemes or to rent. Combine this option with public transport whenever you can: there are plenty of car parks available next to public transport stops.

    The public transport network of the city of Barcelona and the metropolitan area is constantly being improved to meet the needs of the population. You can consult the public transport travel options on the municipal website Com s'hi va, on the AMB website On vols anar? or on the platform Mou-te managed by the Catalan Government.
  • What incentives are available for less polluting mobility?
    The public administrations offer several options to stimulate a more sustainable mobility, with subsidies for the purchase of low emission vehicles, support for fleets of vehicles and rebates on taxes, tolls and other fees related to mobility.
  • What can I do to reduce pollution?
    Whenever you can, travel on foot, by bicycle or by non-motorised transport: not only because of the health benefits that it provides, but also because of the benefits for the city as a whole, since it means there will be one less vehicle causing air pollution, noise and traffic jams.

    If you're walking or cycling at rush hour, look for alternative routes with less traffic: this will reduce your journey time, and the air you breathe will be cleaner.

    Use public transport rather than a private car whenever you can, or share a less polluting car with other users that travel along the same route as you.
  • Have improvements to the public transport system been planned?
    The implementation of the ZBE does indeed go hand in hand with a redoubling of efforts to improve public transport. The following are the most prominent of the set of initiatives:

    Metropolitan fare integration: the new metropolitan fare came into force on 1 January 2019. All journeys starting and ending in any of the 36 metropolitan municipalities can be made with a single-zone ticket. This measure, spearheaded by AMB, was approved on 24 October 2019 by the consortium of administrations within the ATM.

    Metropolitan T-verda pass: from 2 October 2017, you can apply for the T-verda pass, the new metropolitan transport card that rewards and positively discriminates citizens of the 36 metropolitan municipalities who permanently exchange a highly polluting private car for public transport. This new environmental fare system is led and managed, in the metropolitan area, by AMB, through its AMB Informació service. It gives you the right to use the public transport network of the ATM integrated fare system without time restrictions in all of its zones (i.e. all the integrated public transport services within the 6 fare zones). Entitlement to the pass is directly linked to the deregistration and scrapping of a polluting private vehicle while no new vehicle is purchased. The transport pass is valid for a maximum period of three years and will be renewed every year.

    Park & Ride (intermodal connections) With the aim of facilitating the use of public transport and increasing the number of parking spots around stations to enhance users' options for multimodal travel, AMB has set up the Car Park Interchange project, known as Park & Ride). The project intends to offer a functional, practical and technological solution to the deployment of the European Park & Ride concept in Barcelona's metropolitan area. The P+R service works in a similar way to the blue zones, green zones, and other areas for regulated parking: it offers parking spaces that are set aside exclusively for users of the P+R service, and have the corresponding signposting; it functions with a smartphone application (AMB P+R) for travellers to manage the service, and a machine which travellers must use to have their tickets checked and prove that they have used public transport. At present, the project has been implemented in three municipalities.

    Metropolitan Bus: AMB has launched several new, high-performance bus lines under the names AMB Exprés and AMB Metrobús. They serve to complement the new bus network (NXB) which coordinates the lines and operates from a metropolitan perspective. At present, 20 of the 27 foreseen lines are operational. This initiative is related to an ambitious plan for the renewal of the bus fleet.

    Structural reinforcement of public transport: in addition to the new metropolitan lines, it is worth mentioning the progressive reinforcement of the transport offer on the metro network, thanks to the purchase of new trains and measures to increase frequency. Operators FGC, TRAM and RENFE are also carrying out action programmes to increase the offer of transport in the metropolitan area.

    Click here for complementary information. 
  • Which other cities have a ZBE/LEZ?
    More than two hundred cities across Europe have now established low emissions zones in their urban centres, where access to more heavily polluting vehicles is restricted. Heavily populated areas in Europe, such as Brussels, London, Paris, Milan or Rotterdam, have high volumes of traffic and as a result, have very high levels of air pollution.

    Some examples:
    • Brussels: 161 km2 (19 municipalities), since 2019.
    • London:  "Low Emision Zone" 1.580 km2, des de 2017. Ultra Low Emision Zone: 21 km2, since 2019.
    • Madrid: "Madrid Central" 4.7 km2, since 2019.

Up
Questions about air pollution
Air pollution affects the health of citizens of the Barcelona metropolis. Air pollution kills more than 500,000 people per year in Europe. 
  • Does air pollution affect public health?
    Yes, air pollution has a significant impact on the health of all the metropolitan area's citizens. While our air quality is slowly improving, air pollution remains the greatest threat to environmental health in the metropolitan area. According to the latest report from the European Environment Agency (EEA, 2018), atmospheric pollution is directly responsible for more than 500,000 premature deaths in Europe every year.
  • How good is the air in the metropolitan area?
    The levels of pollution in the metropolitan area exceed the maximum pollution thresholds for NO2 and PM10 established by the EU and the World Health Organization, and this is a major threat to public health.
  • What effects does pollution have on people's health?
    According to the European Environment Agency and the World Health Organization, pollution affects health in terms of: effects on the central nervous system (PM), asthma and reduced pulmonary function (PM), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PM), effects on the reproductive system (PM), effects on the liver, spleen and blood (NO2), lung cancer (NO2 and BaP) and cardiovascular effects (PM, SO3 and O3), among others. 
  • What do the scientists say?
    High levels of air pollution thresholds have direct effects on people's health, which the scientific community has estimated at over 3,000 premature deaths per year in the metropolitan area. In fact, the most recent report on the state of health in Barcelona was presented last November, and it stated that lung cancer is now the premier cause of premature death among women. It also said that 70 % of the population was exposed to levels of NO2 higher than those recommended by WHO and the EU.

    The evidence linking health and pollution has increased exponentially in recent years. In more specific terms, studies relate air pollution to various pathologies:
    • A study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) says that expanding bicycle lane networks in cities could provide considerable benefits for health and the economy. More specifically, expanding bike lanes in European cities could prevent up to 10,000 premature deaths. In Barcelona, 248 premature deaths would be prevented every year if all the city's streets had a cycling infrastructure: Study on the expansion of bicycle lanes
    • According to a study by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), the Hospital del Mar and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), high levels of pollution increase the risk of an atherothrombotic stroke by 20%: Conclusions of the study
    • Experts in the field of cardiovascular diseases at the Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus and the CIBER Campus (CIBERCV) carried out a study that shows that on the days when air pollution levels are at their highest in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, there are more heart attacks: Pollution and heart attacks
    • The Lancet Commission on pollution and health reported that pollution caused 23,987 deaths in Spain in 2015, which means 1 death out of every 17: Full article
    • A large-scale epidemiological study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and the American Cancer Society links some air pollutants with mortality due to kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer. The research tracked more than 600,000 adults for 22 years (from 1982 to 2004) and related mortality due to 29 types of cancer with residential exposure to three environmental pollutants: PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3): Cancer and air pollution
    • The most recent study by ISGlobal in Barcelona shows that an increase in PM10 of 5 μg/m3 in air breathed leads to the loss of almost one year of life (Environment International, 2016): Relationship between life expectancy and pollution
    • The BREATHE Project found a negative effect on the development of children experiencing pollution in schools, and higher rates of hyperactivity and attention deficit among adolescents (Environment International, 2016): BREATHE project
    • Air pollution is the cause of several cerebrovascular pathologies such as strokes and cardiovascular accidents (WHO), degenerative diseases (Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2015) and various mental health problems (JAMA Psychiatry, January 2013).
    • There is plenty of evidence for its effects on the respiratory system, including lung cancer (WHO), pneumonia (WHO), various pulmonary disorders (Thorax, 2009, 64) and chronic lung obstructions (WHO).
    • Various studies have been carried out on the impact on the reproductive system (CREAL-ISGlobal) and on coronary heart conditions (Circulation, 2010; WHO). 
  • Don't industries, ships and planes pollute more?
    Industries, ships and planes also generate pollution. However, in terms of public health, and with regard to the quality of the air that we citizens breathe, it should be pointed out that in the most densely developed urban areas, 80% of the pollution is produced by surface transport. 

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Questions about permits
The Metropolitan register of foreign vehicles and other vehicles authorised to travel in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona.
  • What is the ZBE Register of Authorisations?
    The ZBE Register of Authorisations (Metropolitan Register of Foreign Vehicles and other Authorised Vehicles) is a service for the processing of permits for vehicles to drive within the restricted area of ZBE Rondes de Barcelona, according to the regulations in force.

    If you own a vehicle that does not have an environmental label, or if you own a foreign-registered vehicle, the service enables you to obtain information about, apply for and manage — mainly through digital means — the different types of permits to drive in the restricted area.
  • What kinds of permits are there?
    At present, the regulations cover five kinds of permits: 
    1. Persons with reduced mobility: long-term authorisation for vehicles used for the transport of persons with reduced mobility; this applies to both private vehicles and those used for collective transport.   
    2. Emergency services and essential services: long-term authorisation for vehicles providing health care services, funeral services, fire engines, and vehicles used by the police, civil protection agencies and national security forces. 
    3. Permits for temporary activities: vehicles used for special activities that are carried out with temporary municipal permission.
    4. Foreign-registered vehicles: long-term authorisation for foreign vehicles that meet the requirements for driving in the ZBE.
    5. Single-day permits: occasional permits for all types of vehicles that cannot obtain other permits. These are limited to a maximum of 10 per year.
  • Can I drive in the ZBE occasionally with my polluting vehicle?
    If you own a vehicle that is affected by the restrictions, you can apply for a single-day permit which allows you to drive in the ZBE Rondes on the day of your choice. You can request up to 10 of these permits per year.
  • How can I apply for the single-day permits?
    You need to request inclusion in the ZBE Register only once. To do this, the owner of the vehicle must submit an application form to the Metropolitan Register.

    Once your application has been accepted, you can activate the single-day permits from the user area on the registration website. A single-day permit can be activated up until 11.59p.m. on the day before. Exceptionally, single-day permits can be requested in person at the metropolitan Citizen Attention Office (OAC).
  • How can I apply for authorisation to drive a vehicle for a person with reduced mobility (PRM vehicle)?
    The following groups may obtain a PRM vehicle authorisation:
    • Vehicle for persons with reduced mobility.Three requirements must be met:
    1. you have a level of disability of 33% or more
    2. you meet the criteria for having reduced mobility
    3. you are the owner of the vehicle
    The system allows you to make one application only, regardless of whether you own more than one vehicle.
    • Collective transport for persons with reduced mobility: vehicles that have been adapted for the transport of people with reduced mobility. These must be registered with the classification by vehicle usage criteria corresponding to the transport of people with reduced mobility (Use code 01 in the technical data sheet of the vehicle).
    You need to request inclusion in the ZBE Register only once. To do this, the owner of the vehicle must submit an application form to the Metropolitan Register. 
  • How can I apply for an authorisation for vehicles that provide essential services?
    You can apply for authorisation to drive in the ZBE Rondes with vehicles used to provide health care services and funeral services, and with fire engines, and vehicles used by the police, civil protection agencies and national security forces. This authorisation applies on every day of its duration.

    The application for registration must be submitted by the legal representative of the competent public authority for each of the services, or the vehicles must be registered at the DGT with the classification by vehicle usage or service criteria coincident with the services described above.

    You need to request inclusion in the ZBE Register only once. To do this, the owner of the vehicle must submit an application form to the Metropolitan Register.
  • How can I apply for a permit for a foreign-registered vehicle?
    Vehicles that are registered in any country other than Spain are not classified according to the criteria for the environmental label issued by the Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT). Therefore, all these vehicles need to be registered before they can drive in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona.

    You can apply for a long-term permit (valid for two years) for a car you own, if you can prove that it meets the equivalent technological standards:
    • Motorbikes and mopeds and other light vehicles in Category L, that have been classified as 'Euro 2' or higher (typically those first registered after 2003).
    • Private cars (M1) classified as 'electric', or 'petrol Euro 3' (typically those first registered after 2000) or higher, or as 'diesel Euro 4' or higher (typically those first registered after 2005).
    • Lorries (N2, N3), buses and coaches (M2, M3): 'electric', 'diesel Euro 4' or higher (typically those first registered after 2005).
    By way of exception, up to 1 January 2021, commercial vehicles, buses and coaches are granted a permit, even when they do not meet environmental standards.

    When the Register is operational, you will need to provide documentation showing the owner of the vehicle, the number plate, the vehicle type category, the type of fuel and the Euro emissions category. If you do not have the official documentation that states the Euro category, you will have to prove the vehicle meets equivalent standards for NOx and particulate matter emissions with accreditation documents issued by the car manufacturer.

    If your vehicle does not meet the environmental requirements for driving in the ZBE Rondes, you can still apply for single-day permits (for uo to 10 days a year).
  • What happens if I need to use a vehicle in an emergency situation?
    Exceptionally, in case of a medical emergency, you can apply for a permit afterwards, within a period of three days, including the day you accessed the ZBE. The vehicle may be fined, but you can appeal against the fine if you can provide proof of the medical emergency along with the confirmation of the granting of the daily permit.
  • Are any fees charged for the authorisations?
    The fiscal bylaw of AMB considers two kinds of authorisations, based on cost: authorisations that are free of charge and authorisations with a specific cost.

    The authorisations that are free of charge include those for vehicles for persons with reduced mobility (PRM vehicles), vehicles used to provide services (healthcare services, funeral services, fire engines, and vehicles used by the police, civil protection agencies and national security forces). Temporary authorisations for special activities or vehicles are also free of charge. While none of these vehicles are required to pay a fee, they do need to be included in the Metropolitan Register ZBE Rondes de Barcelona, to avoid being fined.

    The authorisations for which a fee is payable are subdivided into two categories which may complement each other and take into account cases of persons with low income.
    • Single-day permits, up to a maximum of ten permits per year, for those vehicles that cannot obtain an environmental label from the DGT. A fee of €2.00 is payable for each single-day permit to drive in the ZBE Rondes de BCN. However, discounts have been established for persons who live in the ZBE Rondes de BCN and have low incomes. If you own a polluting vehicle (L, M1 or N1 without the DGT environmental label) that is registered in the area of ZBE Rondes de BCN and you can prove that your personal income is lower than 2 times the current IPREM index (the official Spanish reference index for income), the discount is €1.00. Single-day permits are free of charge if your income is lower than 1.1 times the current IPREM index.
    • Permits for foreign-registered vehicles. Since these vehicles are not covered by the DGT environmental labelling system, a one-off administration fee of €5.00 is payable for a verification procedure. This serves to determine whether a vehicle complies with the same requirements that apply to vehicles registered in Spain, and therefore would obtain the DGT environmental label. If the vehicle does comply with the requirements, you are allowed to drive in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona. If it does not comply, you will need to make a separate application for single-day permits for which a fee is payable of €2.00 per permit. You may apply for up to 10 single-day permits per year.
    Since, in the case of foreign-registered vehicles, it is not possible to check the vehicle data online, compliance with the requirements has to be checked manually. This means that a one-off administration fee of €5.00 is payable in order to include a foreign vehicle in the Register. In addition, the fee for single-day permits is €2.00, which is the same as the fee for all other vehicles.
  • How can I apply for a permit if I have an authorisation on medical grounds?
    If you have a condition that affects your possibilities to use public transport or that requires you to undergo periodic medical treatments, and you need to drive in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona, you can apply for inclusion of a vehicle in the Register of Authorisations. You can submit the application from 15 January 2020 by filling out the form on the website, by traditional post office mail, in-person at the Metropolitan citizen attention office, or at several local citizen attention offices (see the list of offices here).

    You will need to present a medical report stating that you meet the health requirements (see model report in the form) along with the application. Once compliance with the requirements has been verified, you will be notified of the decision (accepted, denied, or returned as incomplete) within a period of 15 days.
  • How can I apply for a permit for a vehicle that provides special services?
    You only have to apply for inclusion in the Register once. Applications can be submitted from 1 February 2020 through the corresponding form on the website. If you authorise us to verify your details at other public administrations, and no issues are found, you will not need to provide any additional documentation. Once compliance with the requirements has been verified, you will be notified of the decision (accepted, denied, or returned as incomplete) within a period of 15 days.
  • As a self-employed worker, how can I apply for a professional vehicle to be covered by the grace period?
    If you are a self-employed worker and use a category M1 or L vehicle to carry out your professional activity, and you provide proof that your personal income is lower than 1.1 times the current IPREM index (the official Spanish reference index for income), you can apply for your vehicle to be covered by the grace period, and therefore not be subject to the restrictions in the ZBE Rondes de Barcelona until 1 January 2021.
     
    You only have to apply for inclusion in the Register once. Applications can be submitted from 15 January 2020 through the corresponding form on the website, by traditional post office mail or in person. If you authorise us to verify your details at other public administrations, and no issues are found, you will not need to provide any additional documentation. Once compliance with the requirements has been verified, you will be notified of the decision (accepted, denied, or returned as incomplete) within a period of 15 days.
  • How can I digitally sign an application for inclusion in the Register?
    To complete an application submitted through the from on the website, you will need to sign it with a digital id. The accepted certificates are:
    • For natural persons - idCAT Mòbil, idCAT, Cl@ve PIN, Cl@ve permanente, DNI electrónico and electronic certificates such as that issued by the FNMT (Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre);
    • For legal persons - electronic certificates such as that issued by the FNMT (Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre).
    One of the accepted forms of digital identification is idCAT Mòbil, which you can obtain straightforwardly with your DNI and the id card issued by the national health service (targeta sanitària) online at: https://www.idcat.cat/idcat/ciutada/menu.do  
  • Can I change or cancel a single-day permit I have applied for?
    Yes, you can. You will need to access the user area on the website with your number and password to change any data you have entered, to add information, and to apply for and sign new permits.

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