Parking and Blue Badgesign indicating disabled parking space

The blue badge scheme allows drivers or passengers with disabilities, who have severe mobility problems to park close to a destination so that they can access goods, services and facilities more easily.

For more information please read our Blue Badge Factsheet

What is a Blue Badge?

A blue badge is a nationally recognised badge that drivers or passengers with disabilities, who have severe mobility problems, can display in their vehicle to allow them to park close to a destination so that they can access goods, services and facilities more easily.

It gives you free parking, (however there may be time limits), in places such as on-street disabled bays, at parking meters and at pay and display machines. You can also park on yellow lines for up to three hours unless there is a ban on loading or unloading in force. The badge is automatically valid on the street but does not automatically apply to off-street car parks, such as those at supermarkets and hospitals, or privately owned roads, such as those at airports.

The scheme is administered by your Local Authority and all badge applications must be made through them.

Who can get a blue badge?

You are automatically eligible for a badge if you:

  • Get the Higher Rate of the Mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) OR
  •  Live in England and have been awarded 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ activity of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or the ‘moving around’ activity of the Mobility component of the DLA OR
  • Live in Scotland or Wales and have been awarded 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ activity or 12 points in the ‘planning and following journeys activity’ of the personal independence payment (PIP) OR
  • are registered blind (severely sight impaired).

If you're not automatically eligible

You can still get a badge if:

  •  you have long term problems walking or going to places - including problems caused by stress, anxiety or other mental health issues
  • you have severe problems using both your arms

Your local authority will use how much your permanent disability affects your ability to walk to decide whether you are eligible for a badge. They may ask you to undergo a mobility assessment with a medical professional, such as physiotherapist or an occupational therapist, to help them decide.

Are you a driver with severe disabilities in your arms?

You may be eligible for a badge if you drive regularly, have a severe disability in both arms, and are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty operating all, or some types of, parking meter.

To qualify you will need to show that you meet all of the following:

  • That you drive a vehicle regularly
  • That you have a severe disability in both arms
  • That you are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty operating all, or some types of, on-street parking machines.

Most drivers with disabilities in both arms drive a vehicle with adapted steering, and only those with the most severe disabilities in both their arms are eligible for a badge under this rule. It does not apply to people who have difficulty carrying parcels or shopping; or to people who travel solely as a passenger.

The Trust can also help your application by providing you with a letter of support, particularly if you have severe disabilities with both arms. Please call our Health & Wellbeing team on 01480 474074 or email [email protected] if you would like a letter.

How do I get a blue badge?

Get in touch with your Local Authority

Find your local authority details on the website for enquiries or information about the administration of the Blue Badge scheme, and to request an application form.

If you call them, just ask for the section that deals with blue badges and they will make sure you get everything you need.

Apply online via Government websites

Apply online for a blue badge in England

If you live in Wales apply for a blue badge here
Further information for Wales can be found on the Welsh Government website here

If you live in Scotland apply for a blue badge here

If you live in Northern Ireland apply for a blue badge here

What do I need to apply for or renew my Blue Badge?

One passport-sized and passport standard photo, clearly showing your full face, taken within the month before the date of your application

You’ll also need a photo or scan of your:

  • proof of identity (such as a birth certificate, passport or driving licence)
  • proof of address (such as a Council Tax bill or government letter)
  • proof of benefits (if you get any)

You’ll also need to know:

  • your National Insurance number (if you have one)
  • the details of your current Blue Badge (if you’re reapplying)

Always inform your badge provider of any changes required to your data - such as your name, address or circumstances.

How long does my blue badge last?

You blue badge will last for three years at which time you can apply to have this renewed. You should apply to renew you blue badge at least one month before the expiry date.

How much will it cost?

  • England - up to £10
  • Scotland - up to £20
  • Wales - free
  • Northern Ireland - £10

How can I find parking for blue badge holders?

To help pre-plan you can use the parking for blue badges website and find a car park in advance. It allows you to narrow down your search to find exactly the right requirements. You can also find out how many blue badge spaces there are within the car park.

There is also a Blue Badge Parking app available to download.

Using your Blue Badge for parking while abroad

Your UK Blue Badge is recognised in some EU countries and may be accepted in other countries across the world. However, you may also be required to download and print a local parking card to be displayed with your UK Blue Badge behind the car windscreen.

Recognition of foreign issued parking cards is always at the discretion of the administering authority in the host country. You should always check locally before parking to avoid fines.

To check the guidance for EU countries visit the website page Using a Blue Badge in the EU and European Economic Area.

You can also visit the FIA Guide for the Disabled Traveller to check advice on using your UK Blue Badge in the EU and across the world.

Where can I get further information?

You can get further information from the following:

Initial Enquiry Support Service:

Email enquiries: [email protected]

Telephone enquiries:

England - 0844 463 0213

Scotland - 0844 463 0214

Wales - 0844 463 0215

Northern Ireland - 0300 200 7818

Useful Information

Applying for or renewing your Blue Badge

Find out whether you can get a blue badge

Rules on how to use your badge, such as where you can use it, try this link – it’s useful for both new users and those needing a refresher

Other supportive organisations

Disabled Motoring

Visit the Disabled Motoring UK website

This Disabled Motoring link is excellent for further information and pdf downloads of guides to using your badge in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Disability Rights UK

Help and information from Disability Rights UK on the blue badge scheme

Support from the Health & Wellbeing team

To discuss any problems you have in applying for or renewing your Blue Badge call 01480 474074 or email us.

The Thalidomide Trust may be able to offer a standard letter of support to individuals who should be entitled to a badge and whose application has been refused by their Local Council. However we can only support those who rightfully qualify.