Blue Badge Scheme
A Blue Badge - also known as a disabled parking badge - provides a range of parking and motoring concessions for people with severe mobility problems. It is designed to promote mobility and inclusion for the most severely disabled individuals and enables badge holders to park close to where they need to go.The scheme operates throughout the UK, and is administered in Northern Ireland by Roads Service
Who is entitled to a Blue Badge
To make it clearer who is entitled to a badge, the government has changed the process for assessing who should get a Blue Badge in line with the wider reform of disability benefits.
Some people automatically qualify for a badge without further assessment. Applicants must meet one of the following categories:
- Registered blind
- Receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance except where the award is for a period of less than 12 months
- 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. Find out more about PIP on the GOV.UK website
- Receive a war pensioner's mobility supplement
- Have received a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme (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
If you meet one of these criteria you will need to complete the relevant section of the Blue Badge Individual Application form.
There are other people who may qualify for a badge. An assessment will be required to confirm if you qualify. Applicants must meet one of the following categories:
- Drives a vehicle regularly, have a severe congenital disability in both arms, and are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty in operating, all or some types of parking meter
- Is a child under the age of three suffering a medical condition requiring bulky medical equipment or immediate access to a vehicle for treatment
- Is unable to walk or has considerable difficulty walking due to a permanent and substantial disability
If you meet one of these criteria you complete the relevant section of the Blue Badge Individual Application form and an assessment will be done to see if you qualify.
How to apply for a Blue Badge
To apply for a Blue Badge, you can either:
- Apply online at GOV.UK
- Download the relevant application form from your local authority - Blue Badge individual application form or Blue Badge organisations application form, (PDF documents)
- Visit your local customer service centre – the customer services team can issue forms, give advice and assess applications
Scotland and Northern Ireland
If your application is turned down
If your council decides you’re not eligible, they should tell you why.
You can ask them to reconsider your case if you don’t think all the important information you provided was taken into account.
You can also re-apply if your mobility problems become more serious.
Finding places to park
What you need to know - Available in England and Wales only
You can also find out where you can park in the Blue Badge scheme rights and responsibilities leaflet.
If you're a Blue Badge holder, find out if your council provides parking spaces for you and where you can park
The concessions apply to on-street parking and include free use of parking meters and pay-and-display bays.
Badge holders may also be exempt from limits on parking times imposed on others and can park for up to three hours on single and double yellow lines so long as they are not causing an obstruction (except where there is a ban on loading or unloading or other restrictions).
While the scheme operates throughout the UK, there are small variations in its application in Northern Ireland.
Concessions for Blue Badge Holders
If you are a blue badge holder, you may be exempt from paying certain tolls and charges in the UK, see the details below.
As a disabled badge holder you do not have to pay London congestion charge, find out more here.
Blue Badge scheme extended to include hidden disabilities
People living with disabilities such as a mental health condition and autism, will be eligible next year for a Blue Badge parking permit.
From 2019, people with ‘hidden disabilities’, less obvious illness and disabilities, will have the right to a parking permit, allowing them to park in places not available to others.
The current rules for Blue Badges do not necessarily exclude people with non-physical disabilities, according to the Department for Transport. But while the criteria have been open to interpretation by local authorities, these new rules will provide more clarity across the country.
In December 2017, Scotland’s Blue Badge scheme was permanently extended to include carers and relatives of those with conditions like Down’s Syndrome, dementia and autism.
Report a lost or stolen badge
Use this service to tell your local council if your Blue Badge has been lost or stolen. https://www.gov.uk/report-lost-stolen-blue-badge
You’ll need to give a crime reference number if the badge was stolen. Your council will check your application before they send you a replacement badge.
Before you start
You’ll need your National Insurance number to use this service.
A replacement badge usually costs £10.
UK Blue Badge Holders are exempt from Toll charges. On arrival at a manned Toll booth, you will need to hand your UK Blue Badge Permit to the Toll Collector. The Toll Collector will check the validity of the Badge and check that the Badge Holder is in the vehicle. They will also record the Badge details.
Disabled Tax Exempt vehicles are eligible for an exempt crossing, without a Blue Badge Holder present, provided the person is in receipt of UK Higher Rate Disability Living Allowance or the vehicle is used for the carriage of disabled persons, which is exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty and reflected in the vehicle’s Taxation Class.
In Advance: The Mobility Exemption Pass allows free passage of the nominated vehicle on the M6 Toll only. If you think you may be eligible for a Mobility Exemption Pass, you must apply to Midland Expressway Limited as no other evidence of disability (e.g. Blue Badge) can be accepted. To qualify for exemption, you must be on the higher rate disability living allowance and be road tax exempt.
To speak to someone about the mobility exemption pass with the M6 toll please call: 03306 600790
The Dartford Crossing
You can no longer pay for the Dartford Crossing at the barriers. Instead, you need to pay for each crossing you make in advance or by midnight the following day. It is still free to use the crossing between 10pm and 6am. This is to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow. The Dart Charge scheme includes new payment arrangements, which were introduced on 30 November 2014.
You may not have to pay the charge if you don’t pay vehicle tax because you’re disabled.
You’ll still have to pay if:
- You have a Blue Badge but aren’t exempt from paying vehicle tax.
- You travel in a vehicle that isn’t exempt.
You don’t need to do anything to get the exemption. Your vehicle details will be checked with DVLA when crossings are made in your vehicle.
More information on how to get vehicle tax exemption
You can also contact the Dart Charge team on: 0300 300 0120
The Humber Bridge
In Advance: The Humber Bridge Board provides toll exemption for people in receipt of the higher rate of mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance and who have a tax-exempt vehicle, i.e. a Motability car. The disabled person does not have to be the driver.
People must apply in advance by completing an application form with a copy of their tax exemption certificate and a copy of the vehicles tax disc or vehicle registration document. Once their application has been approved they are sent 20 vouchers, one being handed in for each journey made. The disabled person MUST be in the vehicle when an exemption voucher is used.
There is no limit on the number of tickets a person can have and further supplies are sent when the applicant submits a re-application form, sent out with each batch of tickets.
Your papers should be sent to:
The Humber Bridge Board
If you have any queries please contact the Humber Bridge administration office on (01482) 647161.
Using your Blue Badge abroad
The Blue Badge is recognised in all European countries and allows you to make use of the same parking concessions as the country’s own citizens with disability.
Parking concessions for holders of a disabled parking card differ from country to country, so it’s important to check local rules. For instance, although there are no current arrangements in place, during a recent visit to Australia, I found that most states recognised the Blue Badge Scheme. However, in Victoria and New South Wales, I found out that I needed a Category 1 permit to enable the badge to be used as per all the other states.
It was easy enough to obtain, I just went along to the local council offices, in this case Knox City Council in Melbourne, and they issued it within half an hour and you can arrange this before you go by contacting the relevant embassy. Further details can be found here.
The Blue Badge Company
The Blue Badge Company make attractive wallets that protect, store and display parking permit. Made in the UK, their extensive range of designs offers plenty of choice. Their easy to use, display wallets make an excellent gift.
As keen advocates of British made products, they boast the fact that they run their own workrooms, and all their wallets are manufactured in Bristol UK, by a skilled team. Through their ‘piecework at home’ initiative, they provide jobs and training for those with limited work options, like people who have domestic responsibilities or disabilities.
All of their wallets come with a free timer clock and are specially designed to fit the new permit. The exclusive ‘Hologram Safe’ feature complies with Department of Transport guidelines, which advise not to cover the hologram on the badge.
The Blue Badge Company wallets guarantee permits are displayed legally, protected from damage and are easily removed.
They also provide information, news and advice to, not only for disabled drivers, but the wider community via our website, social media and newsletters. Recently they have also added a Useful Links page to their website (http://www.bluebadgecompany.co.uk/links).
Place an order firstname.lastname@example.org
Speak to someone Phone Number: 0117 923 2594
Blue Badge Company, No.1 St Andrews Rd, BRISTOL, BS6 5EH