How To Apply For A Blue Badge
What Is The Blue Badge Scheme?
The blue badge scheme, also known as a disabled parking permit, is designed to allow the holder to park as close as possible to their destination. In order to qualify for the blue badge scheme the holder has to meet specific criteria.
The blue badge is allocated to the holder rather than any one particular vehicle – this includes taxis and hire cars. Applicants don’t need to be able to drive to apply for a blue badge.
Who Issues Blue Badges?
Blue badges can only be issued by local authorities (your council). In England and Wales it is also possible to apply for them online at https://www.gov.uk/blue-badge-scheme-information-council
Each blue badge is electronically printed and has its own unique hologram, digital photo and serial number which allows parking attendants to easily check the badge through the windscreen for authenticity.
Where Should Blue Badges Be Displayed?
Blue badge holders should display their badges in a clearly visible location on the dashboard. It is important to ensure the hologram is visible at all times, as this confirms the authenticity of the badge.
Where Can Blue Badge Holders Park?
Holders are able to park for free and with no time limit in most areas of on-street parking with pay and display metres. Blue badge holders can also park on single and double yellow lines for up to 3 hours, except in cases where there are restrictions on loading or unloading.
Parking in private car parks is not always free for blue badge holders, it is important to check prior to parking to prevent a penalty charge.
Who Can Apply For A Blue Badge?
Individuals with a disability or a health condition which affects their mobility, or someone who has a child with a health condition can apply for a blue badge.
Some people are automatically eligible for a blue badge, this includes:
- Individuals entitled to the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- Anybody registered as blind.
- Individuals who have scored 8 points or more on the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- Anybody certified by the armed forces as having a permanent or substantial disability.
- Anybody who has received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (tariffs 1-8).
Those not automatically eligible can still apply, but will usually have to complete an additional part of the application form and may be asked to provide supporting evidence.
Anybody not automatically eligible but with any of the following can still apply:
- Individuals with mobility issues
- Those unable to use their arms (but can drive)
- Anybody applying on behalf of a child over 2 years of age who has difficulty walking
- A child under the age of 3 years with a health condition
Which Supporting Documents Are Required?
- National Insurance Number
- Any previous blue badges
- A driving licence (if you have one)
- In cases of automatic eligibility evidence must be provided (letters etc.)
- Proof of identification
- Proof of address
- A photograph
Do I Have To Pay?
Some local authorities may charge a fee for a blue badge, the maximum charge however is £10.00.
The Application Process
Most applications are processed within 6 to 8 weeks – although times may vary depending on the local authority. If additional information is required, the process may take longer. An expired badge cannot be used, it is therefore important to ensure the application is submitted as early as possible to avoid any delays.
What Happens If My Application Is Refused?
All refusals are issued in writing by the local authority you applied for – the reason for the refusal will be stated on the letter. If you wish to dispute the decision, it is advisable to provide as much detail as possible, stating clearly in writing why the reasons for the refusal are wrong or incorrect, and to include any supporting evidence which may help, such as letters from a GP or physiotherapist, any recent scans or other documents.
For further information see the Citizens Advice website.