Low Emission Zones Scotland

A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is an area which sets an environmental limit on certain city roads, restricting access for the most polluting vehicles to improve air quality. This helps protect public health within cities, making them more attractive places in which to live, work and to visit. Vehicles that do not meet the emission standards set for a LEZ may be subject to a penalty charge notice.

LEZs were introduced across Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow on 31 May 2022.

Local grace periods now apply until enforcement begins.

  • In Glasgow, the LEZ already applies to buses. For other vehicle types, enforcement will start on 1 June 2023 (1 June 2024 for residents within the zone)
  • Dundee will start enforcement on 30 May 2024
  • Aberdeen will start enforcement on 1 June 2024
  • Edinburgh will start enforcement on 1 June 2024.

The geographic extent, scope, timescales for implementation of Scotland’s LEZs were determined by each local authority.

LEZs operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round (including all Public Holidays such as Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are linked to local and national vehicle licencing databases, to monitor all vehicles driving in a LEZ. They will detect vehicles which do not comply with the emission standards.


National Exemptions

There are limited categories of vehicles which are nationally exempt from LEZ requirements:

  • Emergency Services
  • Military Vehicles
  • Vehicles of Historic Interest
  • Showman Vehicles
  • Local Exemptions

And most importantly for our members, 

Vehicles for disabled persons

There are several exemptions which cover vehicles being used for the purposes of disabled persons, as outlined in the following circumstances:

  • A vehicle registered with a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class.
  • A vehicle receiving a reduction in annual rate of vehicle excise duty because the vehicle is being used by a disabled person in receipt of personal independence payment at the standard rate.
  • Blue Badge holders

If the vehicle receives a disabled vehicle/disabled passenger vehicle tax class exemption, you do not need to register it for an exemption. This will be automatically detected by the local authority enforcement systems.

Blue Badge Holders

The Blue Badge holder exemption covers:

    • A vehicle being driven by any person who is in receipt of a blue badge.
    • A passenger in the vehicle who has been issued with a blue badge.
    • A vehicle is being driven with a blue badge which has been issued to an organisation.

    Register for Blue Badge holder exemption

    If you are a Blue Badge holder, and the vehicle you are travelling in does not have disabled vehicle/disabled passenger vehicle tax class, then you will need to register for an exemption in advance of travel.

    Blue Badge holders can register vehicles for either long term or one-day exemptions which will apply to all LEZs in Scotland. Exemptions can be registered for up to seven days in advance of travel and before midnight on the same day of travel.

    Long Term Exemption

    You can register a vehicle for a long term exemption, provided the vehicle is registered to your home address. The long term exemption will remain active for as long as the Blue Badge is valid unless otherwise updated on your account.

    One Day Exemptions

    You can also register for up to two individual one day exemptions per day for any vehicle you are travelling in. One day exemptions can be made up to seven days in advance.

    The exemptions registration process for organisational Blue Badges, as well as an alternative telephone registration service will also be available in due course prior to enforcement beginning.

    Register for your Blue Badge holder exemption here