Virtual permit FAQs

The way Gravesham 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 an 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. The virtual permits are better for the environment and will help the Council to achieve our carbon neutral objectives.

Below we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand more about the new system.

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

Yes, everyone who applies for a virtual permit must open an online 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. You can open your online parking permit account.

What virtual permits can I purchase?

All the below parking permits for use across the borough have now moved to virtual permits and can be purchased online via the parking permit account.


  • All Permit Parking Areas (PPA’s) including visitor permit
  • All Resident parking permits including daily visitor scratch cards

Car Park permits

  • All monthly, quarterly and annual car park season ticket permits
  • Town Centre Workers (TCW) Scheme permits
  • Lord Street Temporary car park permits (renewals only)

How much do permits cost?

There is no change in the costs of virtual permits and the current fees will continue. To view the fees associated with your properties permit, please find your permit zone.

When can I start to use my virtual permit?

For car park season permits (excluding Lord Street and our Town Centre Workers scheme) the new system will allow people to apply for a season ticket permit 24/7. Once applied and paid for the virtual season ticket permit will be available for use instantly. You will no longer need to wait for a paper permit to arrive in the post for to display in your vehicle.

Resident permits, PPA permits (including visitor and daily visitor permits), Town Centre Worker permits and Lord Street renewal permits will need to be approved. You should receive notification of this approval within two working days from the application. Once approved, you will be directed to make payment and once payment has been made, permits can be used instantly.

If your permit has expired or awaiting approval, you will need to find alternative parking arrangements, up to the point you receive confirmation of a valid permit. Permit renewals are not instant and we advise to do them in plenty of time before expiry.

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

We cannot issue temporary permits. Motorists are expected to obey the parking regulations that apply. Until you have confirmation that your permit is available to use, you must park in accordance with the restrictions or risk receiving a Penalty Charge Notice (parking fine).

How many vehicles can I have on one permit?

This depends on the permit type. The online application system will provide information during the application process on how many registration numbers are permitted on the virtual permit.

Can I apply for a virtual permit at The Civic Centre or by a paper application?

The Civic Centre staff will no longer accept paper applications and you will no longer be able to post a paper application the Parking Services Department. You can only apply and pay online through the parking permit account.

Who do I contact if I am having difficulty applying online or need more information?

Please contact us by telephone 01474 337000or email

Will I have anything to display in my vehicle?

No, the new system will know that your vehicle has a valid permit. The Civil Enforcement Officers will scan your vehicle registration which will show them whether there is a valid permit. If you currently hold a paper permit, you will need to continue displaying this as normal until its expiry – when you renew, you will be applying under the virtual permit system.

Do I need to change my current paper permit now?

No. Paper permits should continue to be displayed and residents will only need to register on the new virtual parking permit system when their paper permit expires.

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

You can cancel the virtual permit on the online account. We will process the cancellation and any refunds will be processed (refunds are not available on all permit types so please refer to our terms and conditions for any refunds due).

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. There will no longer be an administration charge for replacement permits.

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. Once your request has been processed, you will be able to start using your permit.

Can I renew my permit?

Yes, a renewal reminder will be sent to your email address before your permit is due to expire, timeframes will depend on the type of permit you hold.

Do I need to upload my proof of address documents?

Yes, you will still be required to upload your proof of address documents, even if you have done so previously on the old system. For all resident, PPA (including visitor permits) and town centre worker permits proof of eligibility will have to be provided for each application and renewal.

What documents are required?

The documentation required remains the same as the previous system. Documentation required varies depending on the permit type – our website details what is required for each permit type.

I live in a residents parking zone (Zones A-H), can I buy the daily visitor scratchcards online?

Yes. You will be able to buy daily visitor permits 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.

How many visitor parking vouchers can I buy?

Vouchers are sold in 'batches' of 5. You can purchase a maximum of 25 vouchers (5 batches) at a time. Each voucher is valid for 24 months (two years) from the date of purchase. A resident may purchase a maximum of XX visitor vouchers each year.

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 batch of vouchers, you will need to complete your application and make payment. Once we have accepted the application and payment the vouchers will be available to use. Vouchers cannot be backdated.

Can I transfer a visitor 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. However, paper visitor permits cannot be used after their expiry dates and refunds will not be given on unused permits.

How will Civil Enforcement Officers know who has a parking permit and who hasn’t?

Civil Enforcement Officers will use a handheld device with recognition software to link permit holders to the number plate of their car.

How will Civil Enforcement Officers know if someone is a genuine visitor and using a virtual visitor scratch card or someone parking in a resident parking area without a permit?

Residents can purchase batches of virtual daily scratch cards on their online account. Residents will then use their online account to assign a visitor permit to a vehicle for use on the desired day. Our Civil Enforcement Officers will then use a handheld device to confirm that the visiting vehicle is covered by a valid parking session.

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.


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