This service applies to on-street parking and includes free use of parking meters and pay-and-display bays. Blue badge holders may also be exempt from parking time restrictions and are able to park for up to three hours on single and double yellow lines so long as they are not causing an obstruction and the disabled badge is visibly on show. Disability badge holders cannot park where there is a ban on loading or unloading or other restrictions. Blue badge parking is used throughout the UK, however guidelines may vary depending on different areas or countries, if in doubt always check beforehand. The blue badge scheme also runs in the European Union (EU), each country within the EU will have its own rules; again this should be checked beforehand.
Who is eligible?
Many people including yourself may be wondering what the blue badge eligibility is and may be curious as to how to get a blue badge. To be ‘eligible without further assessment’, one or more of the following will have to apply to you:
- You are registered as blind/severely sight impaired
- You receive the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- You receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- You receive the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and you scored at least 8 points in relation to the ‘moving around’ activity in the PIP assessment, or least 12 points in the mobility activity for planning and following journeys
- You have been awarded a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8). You have also been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which means you can’t walk or find walking very difficult
- You have been awarded a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces Compensation scheme at tariff level 6 for a mental disorder
- You receive a government grant towards your own vehicle.
Sometimes you may need to provide evidence of your disability if you fall under the category ‘eligible subject to further assessment’ but this will be at the discretion of the local authority. The local authority will contact you and may schedule a free of charge mobility assessment; this is usually performed by a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist.
How to apply for a blue badge?
Applying for a blue badge is exceptionally quick and easy; the blue badge application can be found online. However, if you prefer to apply in writing you can do so by contacting your local authority directly, they will issue a form that needs to be filled out. You will need to provide certain information when applying for or renewing your blue badge, the pieces of information you will need to give is listed below:
- The details of your current Blue Badge (if you have one)
- A digital or signed photo
- Your National Insurance number
- Proof of identification
- Proof of residency
Blue badge applications are processed by local authorities or if you live in Northern Ireland by the Blue Badge Unit. Everyone should be made aware that there may be an application charge. If you reside in England, you may be charged a statutory maximum fee of £10; in Scotland, a fee of up to £20; in Northern Ireland a fee of £2; and in Wales it is free of charge. If your blue badge application is successful your local authority will be in touch to let you know. The disability badge lasts up to three years.
Using your blue badge
It is particularly important that as a blue badge holder you must display the badge at all times when making use of the parking available to you. The blue disability badge must be open and on display in a suitable place, such as the dashboard, so that the relevant details are able to be read from outside of the vehicle through the windscreen. Some vehicles may not have a dashboard but you must make a conscious effort to place the badge in a noticeable place. If the area of where you are parking has a time limit you will need to make sure to set your parking time disc to show the quarter-hour period of when you arrived. Anyone who fails to produce a blue badge when asked, by any of the following; police officer, warden or parking attendant will be causing an offence! So make sure you always display correctly and have your blue badge to show if required.
Misuse of a disabled parking badge is a serious offence. If blue badges or blue badge parking are misused by yourself or an individual, the local council have the authority to take the blue badge away and cancel your eligibility. If you or an individual is found to be abusing the system you can also be fined up to £1000. If you no longer qualify for the blue disability badge or a badge holder dies the badge must be returned.
In our daily living aids section you will find a huge variety of different Blue Badge Holders, all of unique styles and patterns. Some designs are sophisticated and classy while others are fun, bright and playful, all designed to suit different personalities and all at a low cost.
If you or a family member is eligible for a blue disability parking badge, you can apply, renew or talk to someone for more information by using the websites and helpline below.