What is a Blue Badge?
A Blue Badge gives you certain on-street parking concessions. If you’re a Blue Badge holder travelling either as a driver or passenger, you can park for free in disabled parking bays and you may be exempt from other parking restrictions. You can use your Blue Badge with any car, including taxis. Concessions usually include:
- free parking at parking meters and Pay and Display bays
- parking on some single or double yellow lines for up to three hours unless there is a ‘no loading’ restriction (you have to display the clock that comes with the badge where time limits apply).
You can't use your Blue Badge everywhere. Check where you can park on Gov.uk.
Who can get one?
You’ll be able to get a Blue Badge automatically if you:
- get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and scored 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ activity (check your decision letter if you’re not sure)
- get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and scored 10 points for Descriptor E under the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity (check your decision letter)
- are registered blind (severely sight impaired)
- get a War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme and have a permanent and substantial disability that affects your walking.
If you’re not automatically eligible you may be able to get a Blue Badge in certain circumstances. For example, if:
- you can’t walk at all, or you can’t walk without help from someone else or using mobility aids
- you have a terminal illness, which means you can’t walk or find walking very difficult and have a DS1500 form
- you have a severe disability in both arms which means you have considerable difficulty operating parking meters
- you are always a significant risk to yourself or other people when you’re near vehicles, in traffic or car parks
- you often become extremely anxious or fearful of public or open spaces.
For more examples, visit Gov.uk.
If you’re not receiving one of the benefits listed above, you’ll have to provide extra information, depending on what you put on the application form. This might include details of any medication you take, treatments you receive and letters from health professionals. The council may carry out further assessments to decide if you’re eligible. They may ask you how your condition affects your walking or how it affects journeys between your vehicle and where you want to go.
The badge and its concessions are for your use only. Someone else can use it if they are picking you up or dropping you off, but you can’t lend it to someone to go and do shopping for you, for example.
If you no longer need the badge, you must return it to the council.
How to apply
You can apply for a Blue Badge online at gov.uk/apply-blue-badge or contact your local council for a paper version of the form.
Don’t apply for a Blue Badge from anywhere else. If another organisation is offering a Blue Badge, it’s probably a scam.
When you apply for or renew a Blue Badge, you will need:
- the details of your current Blue Badge (if you have one)
- a digital or signed photo
- your National Insurance number
- proof of identification, such as a birth or marriage certificate, passport, ID card or driving licence
- proof of your address, for example a Council Tax bill or a utility bill from the last three months
- the decision letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirming your eligibility (if you have one). You can ask the DWP for a replacement if you’ve lost this
- a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) (if relevant).
If you make a paper application, send copies of any documents, not the originals.
It can take up to three months to process your application, depending on your council and whether you need further assessment. Ask them how long it’s likely to take.
If you have a terminal illness, your application may be fast-tracked.
If you’re turned down
Your council should tell you why you’re not eligible. You can ask them to reconsider their decision if you think they haven’t taken into account some important information. You can also reapply if your disability or health condition becomes more serious.
If you need help to appeal, contact your local Citizens Advice.
Where you can use a Blue Badge
Parking rules differ from place to place. You should contact the local council to find out where you can use your Blue Badge and what the restrictions are. The Blue Badge is designed for on-street parking only and places like hospital and supermarket car parks or private roads will have their own rules.
You may be exempt from paying tolls at certain river crossings, bridges and tunnels but check before you travel. You can find more information on Gov UK.
In London, you don’t have to pay the Congestion Charge if you are a Blue Badge holder but you must register with Transport for London for the 100% discount first.
You can use a Blue Badge throughout Europe to get the same concessions that are available to local citizens. There are no arrangements with countries outside the EU so you’ll have to find out about local concessions before you go.