What is a Blue Badge?
With a Blue Badge, you have certain on-street parking concessions and some parking restrictions may not apply to you. You can have a Blue Badge if you’re a driver or a passenger. It usually lasts up to three years. You can use your Blue Badge with any car, including taxis.
Concessions usually include:
- free parking in disabled parking bays
- free parking at parking meters and in 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 must display the clock that comes with the badge where there are time limits).
You can't use your Blue Badge everywhere. Your local council can tell you where you can park.
Who can get one?
You’ll qualify for 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 don't automatically qualify, you may still be able to get a Blue Badge. For example, if you:
- can’t walk at all, or you can’t walk without help from someone else or using mobility aids
- have a terminal illness, which means you can’t walk or find walking very difficult, and you have a DS1500 form
- have a severe disability in both arms and drive regularly, but you can’t operate parking machines
- are always a significant risk to yourself or other people when you’re near vehicles, in traffic or car parks
- often become extremely anxious or fearful of public or open spaces
- have any score other than 10 points under descriptor E in the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity of PIP.
For more examples, visit Gov.uk.
The Blue Badge scheme is run by your local council. If you’re not automatically eligible, you’ll have to provide extra information. This will depend on what you put on the application form, but might include details of any medication you take, treatments you receive and letters from health professionals. The council may assess you 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 or the badge has expired, you must return it to the council.
How to apply
You can apply for a Blue Badge online 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 identity, such as a birth or adoption certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, passport or ID card, driving licence
- proof of your address, for example, a recent Council Tax bill, a utility bill from the last three months, driving licence or a recent government letter
- 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 apply online, make sure you have the information to hand before you start. 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 an 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 look at their decision again if you think they haven’t considered some important information about you. 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. Places like hospital and supermarket car parks or private roads – at airports for example – will have their own rules.
You may not have to pay 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.