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 may be exempt from other parking restrictions. You can use your Blue Badge with any car, including taxis. Concessions 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).

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’ part of the assessment
  • are registered blind or severely sight impaired
  • get 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 still be able to get a Blue Badge, for example if you have a disability that affects your walking or a severe disability in both arms and considerable difficulty using a parking meter. The application process may be more complicated and you will need to undergo further assessments. Contact your local Citizens Advice for help to apply.

You may be able to get a Blue Badge if the person you drive has dementia, for example if their judgment or perception is affected or if they can't be left alone while you park or move a car. In this case, the decision to award a Blue Badge may be discretionary so it’s a good idea to get help to make the application. A person with dementia may be turned down because the standard mobility test focuses on inability to walk or considerable difficulty in walking. Contact the Alzheimer’s Society for more information and advice on how to apply.

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 confirming your eligibility (if you have one).

If you make a paper application, send copies of any documents, not the originals.

You should hear back within six to eight weeks but it depends on your council. Ask them how long it’s likely to take.

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 mobility problems become 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 hospitals and supermarkets 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.

Next steps

You can find the contact details of your local council at gov.uk/find-local-council

You can read more about the Blue Badge scheme at gov.uk/government/blue-badge-rights-responsibilities.PDF

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