Last updated: 1 February 2024

Next review: 1 February 2025

Commercial Carer Update

If you are a carer who works for a private company, from the 1 of November 2022 you will be able to apply for an Essential User Permit. Please note that your company/employer must first set up a corporate account.  More details on how to do this can be found by contacting our team. Email Once a corporate account has been set up, you can apply individually, selecting Corporate Account as the payment method.

Through our 'Try Before You Bike' scheme which is run in partnership with Peddle My Wheels. Commercial carers will be able to hire a bike (including lights, mudguards, a lock, a helmet, and insurance) for free for a trial of 6 months. At the end of your trial, you will have the opportunity to either purchase the bike at a heavily discounted rate or return the bike to Peddle My Wheels at no cost. (the bike can also be returned during the trial period if it is not suitable).

Electric-assist and cargo bikes are also available through the scheme to help with longer journeys or carrying large equipment.

To trial a greener, cheaper and healthier commute visit Peddle My Wheels to view the bikes available, then email to sign up.

Essential user permits are generally provided to people that work in the public sector. Please note that essential user permits can only be used while working, if you also live in the Borough and in a controlled parking zone, you will also have to purchase a residential permit. 

Parking permits are now virtual which means there is no need to display a permit in your vehicle. 

Civil enforcement officers can check which vehicles have a valid permit using the vehicle registration number.


Who can apply?

You can apply if you work for the fire, police or health services and use a vehicle for essential business in the borough.

If you work for LBWF directly, you are not eligible for an Essential Permit. Please access the Intranet where there is further information on how to apply for a Staff Essential Permit.

How much do essential user permits cost?

PeriodEach permit
1 month£165
Engine Capacity / CO2 emission (g/km)Period 1 Year
Up to 100g/km £235
101 – 170g/km or up to 1549cc£520
over 171g/km or 1549cc £870

Changes and refund fees

  • Change of VRM: £10
  • Change of Address: £22.50
  • Refund: £27.50

What evidence do I need to provide?

Proof of employment

  • Letter from employer (on company headed paper) confirming your:
    • employment status
    • vehicle registration, make, model and colour
    • reason for using the vehicle

Proof of insurance

  • Copy of insurance document showing the vehicle is insured for business use

Proof of Identification

Accepted proofs:

  • Driving Licence
  • Passport

Apply and pay for essential user parking permits

Waltham Forest Council retains the right to carry out random checks on permits in order to check the information supplied in the application.

You can apply for a new permit and renew your permit online:

You'll need to:

  • register your account to use the service if you haven’t already
  • have a debit or credit card ready pay for your permit
  • have copies of your documents of proof

Photos of documents of proof will be accepted in the following file formats: DOC, DOCX, PDF, GIF, PNG or JPEG file.

You may not need to upload any documents of proof during your application but you may be asked to supply copies of those documents at a later date.

If you don’t supply documents when asked, your permit may be cancelled and your vehicle will become subject to enforcement action.

Please allow 1 working day to receive a response from the parking control office about your online requests.

By post

To apply or renew by post you’ll need to:

  • fill out an application form
  • send payment and
  • provide documents of proof

Payment should be made by cheque or postal order payable to 'LBWF'. Please do not send cash through the post.

Download the Essential user parking permit application form (PDF file).

To get an application form sent to you by post, contact our permit team by email or call them on 0203 092 0112, option 3 for assistance.

Provide your full name and postal address and your application form will be sent to you the next working day.

In person

You can also drop off permit application forms at the following libraries:

This is a drop off service and your applications will not be checked by a member of library staff. You must include documents of proof and payment with your application form.

If you don't fill in your form fully or include payment it will cause a significant delay to the process of getting your permit.

If you don’t provide telephone and email contact details in your application your application will be disregarded and your permit will not be issued.

Please allow 10 days for your permit to arrive if you apply by post or the library drop off service.

Queries and help with your application

If you need a postal application form, or this permit doesn't meet your needs please contact our permit team by email or call them on 0203 092 0112, option 3 for assistance.

Where you can park

This parking permit entitles the user to park the vehicle displaying a valid permit in:

  • PayByPhone bays
  • Pay and Display bays
  • short stay parking bays (without time limitation)
  • council run Pay and Display car parks (excluding leisure centres) 
  • and in all other permit parking bays while on official duty.

Where you cannot park

Essential user permits are not valid in:

  • emergency service bays
  • market trader bays (MT)
  • catering bays (CAT) or in bays designated for a specific reasons (for example: loading bays) or any bay that has been suspended
  • or on yellow lines.

Only doctors essential user permits are valid in doctors bays.

Things you need to know

Please ensure you renew your permit before it expires. The responsibility for renewals rests with the permit holder.

Please also note that:

  • if fraudulent applications are detected or terms of use are breached this permit will not be valid and the associated vehicle will be subject to enforcement action
  • the information on this form may be used by the council in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and this to may be passed within the council and other bodies in order to help prevent fraud
  • submission of the permit application form is confirmation that you agree to its terms and conditions of use
  • it is the user's responsibility to ensure that the permit is clearly displayed on the vehicle associated with the permit. Any vehicle not displaying a valid permit may be issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)
  • permits can only be issued to vehicles that do not exceed 2.3 metres in height or 5.25 metres in length
  • the permit is only valid on vehicles with a current road fund licence
  • permits will not be issued to applicants with outstanding unchallenged Penalty Charge Notices (PCN’s)
  • the issue of a permit does not guarantee the user a parking space
  • the council has the right to suspend parking bays at any time

Things you'll need to let us know

Please let us know if:

  • you change a vehicle and have an existing valid permit 
  • your permit is lost or stolen

If you change your vehicle and have an existing valid permit, you must surrender that permit, complete a further application form and pay the appropriate fee. You can register a change of vehicle using the online form or alternatively you can register by post by downloading an essential user parking permit application form (PDF) file and sending it with evidence to the Parking Control Office

If your permit is lost or stolen it will be immediately rendered invalid. You will need to report this, complete an application form and pay the appropriate fee for a replacement permit. You will be asked to provide the crime reference number supplied by the police. You can post it by downloading an essential user parking permit application form (PDF) and sending it to the Parking Control Office.


Parking Services

Parking Services
Permit Team
PO Box 74924
E17 0UG

Telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, (closed public holidays) 

Help with completing online forms

For those without computers, you can use a self-service PC in any Waltham Forest Library

Staff there can help you to log in and create a MyAccount.