Having a Blue Badge enables disabled people with severe walking
difficulties park near to their destinations and use reserved
bays in public car parks. It is a national arrangement giving
parking concessions in the UK.
The Scheme also applies to registered blind people and people with severe
upper limb disabilities who regularly drive a vehicle but cannot turn
a steering wheel by hand. Local Authorities issue the Badges and you
can apply online (see below) if you are resident in England or Scotland.
If you live in Wales, you will be able to apply online from April 2012.
Blue Badge Scheme Changes
Blue Badge usage and benefits remain unchanged, but the badge is more
tamperproof. Details of badge-holders will be held nationwide to allow
local authorities to cross match application details and assist parking
enforcement. This will reduce forgery but not solve many other misuses!.
The Blue Badge Scheme is also known as the European
Parking Card as arrangements for it's
use has been made enabling holders to disabled parking concessions
in all countries in the European Economic Community (EEC).
Disabled visitors to the UK cannot get a Blue Badge. For visitors from
countries outside of the EU where no formal arrangements currently exist,
UK parking enforcement officials may be prepared to recognise your disabled
motorists' badges, although that will be entirely at their own discretion.
We suggest that you bring your badge with you and check with the local
police in the areas you intend to visit.
Who can Apply
Adults of any
age and children aged three years and over can get a Blue Badge.
If you have a child under the age
of three with specific medical conditions - The
badge will expire the day after the child’s third birthday.
After this point they will be required to apply for a Blue Badge
in the same fashion as other children over the age of three years
Special rules for children under three years old
If you're a parent of a child who is younger
than three years old, you may also apply for a Blue Badge. Your child
must have a specific medical condition which means that they either:
* must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which is
very difficult to carry around
* or need to be kept near a vehicle at all times to get emergency
treatment for a condition when necessary.
have clients with severe mobility problems and who have difficulty
using public transport can apply to there local authority for a Blue
The information on this page relates to England unless
specified. Details of the scheme are very similar in Wales,
Scotland and Northern Ireland - please
see the relevant government webpages below for regional differences, applying
online and more information. Your local authority can give you information
on the scheme in your area via their website, by phone or visit.
Welsh Assembly government website - Blue
Transport Scotland -
Blue Badge Scheme
nidirect government services - The
Blue Badge parking scheme
Automatic qualification for a Blue Badge
Anyone over two years old automatically qualifies for
a Blue Badge if they:
- are registered blind
- receive a War Pensioner's Mobility supplement
- receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living
- have received a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces
(within tariff levels 1-8) and have been certified as having a permanent and
substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable
difficulty in walking
Other people who may qualify for a Blue Badge
If you do not automatically qualify, you may need to
be assessed by your local authority.
Anyone over two years old may be eligible for a Blue Badge, if they either:
- have a permanent and substantial disability which means they cannot walk,
or makes walking very difficult
- drive a motor vehicle regularly and have a severe disability in both arms,
making it very difficult or impossible to operate parking meters
Do I need to own a car?
There is no requirement for you to own a vehicle or be able to drive
one. The badge is personal to you and can be used in any vehicle in
which you are travelling either as driver or passenger.
How do I apply for a Blue Badge?
Your local council is responsible for administering the Scheme
and issuing badges. They will send you an application form which
you will need to return with 2 recent (passport sized) photographs
What you need for an online application
You will need the following information to complete your application:
- Your National Insurance number or Child Reference Number
- Your driving licence number, if you have one
- A digital or signed photograph
- The number, expiry date and local authority given on your current
badge, if you have one
Photographs should match passport standards - see 'Passport
photos and who can certify them
' for more information. If you
send your photo in digitally, it should be:
- IIn colour
- In .JPG or .GIF format
- No larger than 200 KB
- The same aspect ratio as a passport photo - where the height
is 1.29 times the width
You may also need to send other documents or evidence when
you apply to your local authority. There will be a message about this
on the screen if this is the case, and your local authority's address
will be shown. Your local authority will get in touch if they need
any more information, if they decide that you need a mobility assessment
and to let you know whether your application has been successful.
Blue Badge Scheme - rights and responsibilities in England' to
Will I need to be assessed by a doctor?
If you do not meet one of the 'automatic without further assessment'
criteria, such as being in receipt of the higher rate of the mobility
component of the Disability Living Allowance, your eligibility will
need to be assessed by the issuing authority. The assessment arrangements
are for individual authorities to decide but you will be asked to
answer a series of questions to help them determine your eligibility.
The authority may also ask your permission to seek further information
from your doctor or ask you to see an independent doctor or other
health care professional, such as an occupational therapist, employed
by the authority.
local authorities can still ask GPs to carry out these eligibility
assessments. However, legislation has come into effect, requiring local authorities to use mobility assessments
that are undertaken by professionals who are independent of an applicant's
care and treatment to determine eligibility when it is in doubt.
These assessments will become mandatory. GPs may still be asked by
local authorities to provide factual information about an applicant's
treatment or condition.
I have been refused, can I appeal?
There is no right of appeal against a local authority's decision
to refuse a blue badge, but an unsuccessful applicant may ask the
authority to reconsider the case if they feel that their mobility
problems have become more serious or if they think that all the relevant
facts were not taken into consideration at the time of the assessment.
Information for badge holders
How should I display my badge and time clock?
The badge should be displayed on the dashboard of your vehicle with
the front (the side containing the expiry date, issuing authority
and wheelchair symbol) clearly visible to enforcement officials.
The associated time clock only
needs to be displayed when you are parking on yellow lines or in a
blue badge parking bay that has a time limit. In both cases, you should
set the time of arrival on the clock and display it next to your badge
on the dashboard.
Failure to display your badge
and time clock properly could result in a parking ticket.
Where can't I park?
A blue badge is not a license to park anywhere.
What about parking in central London?
Some of the Central London boroughs, which feature City of London,
Westminster, Kensington, Chelsea and Camden are regulated differently.
They generally issue a special parking permit, which restrict the mobility
around the capital. You can obtain more information from the Association
of Local Government Transport (New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London,
SW1Y 4TG – Tel. 020 7747 4767).
If you are planning to visit central London and intend to use your
badge, you may wish to check first with the authorities concerned.
What about off-street car parking?
The parking concessions provided under the Blue Badge Scheme only apply
to on-street parking. They do not apply in off-street car parks such
as those at supermarkets. The conditions of use of off-street facilities
are entirely down to the individual car park owner or operator to determine
and these should be clearly displayed at the entrance. You should note
that badge holders are not automatically exempt from charges in these
car parks. If in doubt, ask an attendant.
Am I exempt from charges at toll
Badge holders are exempt from a number of toll crossings across the
concessions for disabled persons' badge holders at road bridges and
Can I use my badge abroad?
The blue badge design is now standard across the European Union and
you are entitled to the local concessions which apply in each Member
State. Please note that these do vary from country to country.
For Reciprocal Parking Arrangements for
Disabled Parking in Europe (EEC) see:
Parking Card for People with Disabilities
For Reciprocal Parking Arrangements for Disabled Parking in Other
Parking Arrangements for Disabled People Outside the EEC
My badge or time clock has been lost/stolen,
who should I contact?
You should contact the authority who issued your badge or time clock
. If your badge has been stolen, you should also contact the police.
They will give you a crime number which should be quoted when contacting
the local authority who will issue a replacement.
My badge is due to expire, what should I do?
Contact you local council who will arrange for an application form
to be sent to you.
I have changed my address, do I need to notify anybody?
No, unless you are moving within the same council area in which case
you should let the issuing authority know your new address for administrative
purposes. If you are moving to another council area, contact your new
council around 6 weeks before your badge is due to expire and they
will send you the appropriate forms
The badge is no longer needed, who should I return it
If for any reason the badge is no longer required, it must be returned to the
Misuse - I think a badge is being misused, what should
Report the matter to your local council. If possible, you should get
as many details as possible from the badge on display (name, serial
number, expiry date, etc). The council will investigate the matter
and take appropriate action if the badge can be shown to be displayed
New measures, which will start to come into force from April 2012 this year,
- giving local authorities on-the-spot power to recover badges that have
been cancelled and misused
- replacing handwritten badges with standard electronic ones which are harder
to alter and forge
Disabled Persons' Parking Bays
Can I have a blue badge bay outside of my home?
Your local council is responsible for the provision of blue badge bays.
They can designate bays on the highway but this may not always be possible
due to local traffic and safety conditions. Requests are considered
on a case-by-case basis and you should contact your local council and
ask for the Highways Department. I believe a Blue Badge parking bay
outside your home can unfortunately be used by any vehicle displaying
a Blue Badge.
Who is responsible for the provisions of blue badge
bays in town centres?
The local council is responsible for the provision of all types of
parking bays within their area. If you have any concerns about the
provision of blue badge bays, you should contact them to discuss the
I see many non-disabled people parking in off-street
bays, such as supermarket car parks, who should I complain to?
The blue badge bays provided in supermarket and other off-street car
parks are not covered by the regulations governing the scheme, which
only apply to on-street bays. These bays are in most cases not legally
enforceable and their use depends to a large extent on the courtesy
and consideration of other drivers. If you see bays being abused by
non-disabled people, we suggest you bring this to the attention of
the appropriate store or car park operator.
Parking Tickets when using a Blue Badge
I have received a parking ticket whilst displaying my badge, can you
The reason you have received a parking ticket will be indicated on
the rear of the ticket itself. If you feel it was wrongly issued and
wish to appeal, you should contact the parking enforcement office (whose
details will also be on the rear of the ticket). If this does not prove
satisfactory, you may also wish to contact the National Parking Adjudication
Service, an independent tribunal where impartial lawyers consider appeals
by motorists and vehicle owners whose vehicles have been issued with
a parking ticket (or have been removed or clamped) by councils in England
Please note that the Department for Transport
has no powers to intervene in disputes over the issue of a parking ticket.
I qualify for exemption from road tax?
The road tax exemption for disabled people is operated by the Driver and Vehicle
Licensing Agency (DVLA). It is entirely independent of the Blue Badge Scheme.
In order to qualify for an exemption, you must:
Road Tax Disc Eligible for Vehicles used by Disabled People
What about the London congestion charge?
If you hold a valid Blue Badge in the European Economic Area, you're
eligible to register for a 100 per cent discount, even if you don't
own a vehicle or drive.
You can register up to two vehicles that you would normally use to
travel within the charging zone. This could be your own vehicle, or
one you travel in.
Fill in and post the registration form below. Once we've sent you an
approval letter, you can drive or be driven in the zone, free. Until
then, you must pay the charge. You have to pay £10 for this discount.
for the 100 per cent discount