How to apply for a Blue Badge
If you or your passenger has severe mobility problems, the Blue Badge scheme lets you park nearer your destination than you might otherwise be able to.
What is a blue badge?
A Blue Badge can give you exemption from some parking restrictions and access to designated parking spaces.
The badge is for your use only. If someone else is picking you up or dropping you off they will be able to use it, 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.
Who can get a blue badge?
You should automatically qualify for a Blue Badge if one or more of these criteria apply to you:
- you get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
- you claim Personal Independence Payment because you can’t walk further than 50 metres
- you receive a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- you’re a registered blind person
- you have received a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme (within tariff levels 1-8). You must also have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking
- you have a permanent and substantial disability which means you are unable to walk or have very considerable difficulty in walking (you will need to show that this criterion applies to you and you may have to be assessed by a medical professional such as physiotherapist or occupational therapist).
If you don’t automatically qualify you may still be able to get a Blue Badge if:
- you have problems walking – including problems caused by hidden disabilities such as dementia or mental health problems
- you have a severe disability in both arms which means you have considerable difficulty operating parking meters
- you often become extremely anxious or fearful of public or open spaces.
- you have a terminal illness, which means you can’t walk or find walking very difficult. You might need a DS1500 form – contact your local council to check.
For more examples, visit the government website.
How do I get a blue badge?
You can apply for or renew your Blue Badge online at GOV.UK. Some councils also let you apply on a paper form - contact your local council to check.
Before you apply, make sure you have:
- a recent digital passport photo
- proof of identity
- proof of address
- proof of any benefits you’re receiving
- your National Insurance number or child reference number if you’re applying for a child
- the number, expiry date and local council on your current blue badge, if you are reapplying.
Depending what you put on the application form, you may need to provide additional information. You might have to give further information on any medication you take, treatments you receive and letters from health professionals.
The council may ask to carry out further assessments to decide if you’re eligible.
Be careful when applying
Only your local council or GOV.UK can issue you a genuine Blue Badge. Don't use any other ways to apply and if you think you've been scammed you should report it.
How long does a blue badge application take?
It can take up to three months to process your application, depending on your council and whether you need further assessment. It’s best to ask them how long it’s likely to take when you apply.
What should I do if my application is refused?
If your application is refused, your local council should tell you why. If you don’t think all the important information was considered, you can ask them to reconsider your case.
If your mobility problems become more serious, you can reapply.
Where can I park with a blue badge?
Blue Badge holders are exempt from certain parking restrictions, including being allowed to park:
- free of charge at on-street parking meters and in Pay and Display bays
- on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours, except where there is a ban on loading or unloading.
Some local councils put additional restrictions on Blue Badge holders. You should check with the local council in the area you’re travelling to find out what their rules are. The scheme does not apply in certain boroughs in London, which offer their own parking concessions.
To find Blue Badge parking bays across the UK, check the GOV UK website.