The Blue Badge Scheme - Common Questions - Part Two
Applying for a badge
Do I meet the eligibility criteria?
Eligibility is considered in terms of being 'eligible without further assessment' or 'eligible subject to further assessment'
Therefore you can get a badge without further assessment if you are more than two years old and fall within one or more of the following:
you receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance;
you receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement;
you are registered blind.
You can also get a badge subject to further assessment if:
you are more than two years of age, drive a motor vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms and are unable or find it difficult to operate all or some types of parking meter;
you are more than two years of age, have a permanent and substantial disability which means you are unable to walk, or which makes walking very difficult;
you are a child less than two years old who, because of a specific medical condition, needs to travel with bulky medical equipment or needs to be close to a vehicle for emergency medical treatment.
Do I need to own a car?
There is no requirement for you to own a vehicle or be able to drive one. The badge is personal to you and can be used in any vehicle in which you are travelling as a passenger, which you have notified your local authority of, if requested.
How do I apply for a badge?
Your local council is responsible for administering the Scheme and issuing badges.. They will send you an application form which you will need to return with 2 recent (passport sized) photographs of yourself. In some areas you can begin your Blue Badge application on the Internet through your local council's website. Some will charge an application fee (maximum of £2).
How do I find contact details for my local council?
The address and telephone number of your local council will be in your local telephone directory or on the website www.direct.gov.uk, under 'find your local council'.
Will I need to be assessed by a doctor?
If you do not meet one of the 'Eligible without further assessment' criteria, such as being in receipt of the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance, your eligibility will need to be assessed by your local authority. The assessment arrangements are for individual authorities to decide but you will be asked to answer a series of questions to help them determine your eligibility. The authority may also ask your permission to seek further information from your doctor or ask you to see an independent health professional, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.
How long are badges issued for?
Most badges are issued for three years only. However, certain exceptions apply and are explained below.
In the case of children under two, the badge will be issued for a maximum period of two years ending on the day immediately following their second birthday.
Where entitlement for a Blue Badge is linked to Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA) and War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement (WPMS) the period of issue should be linked to the period of receipt of that allowance, where that period is less than three years.
Where HRMCDLA or WPMS has been granted for a period longer than three years, the badge can still only be issued for the maximum three year period. The badge should continue to be reviewed on a three yearly cycle.
Why can't badges be issued for life?
Issuing badges for a maximum three year period allows local authorities the opportunity to re-assess badge holders when their badges expire to ensure that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria and are therefore in need of a badge. Although a badge holder may still have the same disability, it is possible that their degree of disability may have improved to such an extent that they no longer meet the eligibility criteria. Where a badge holder has a permanent disability which will not change (e.g. where there has been loss of limbs), the opportunity to renew the badge allows the local authority to ensure that the holder's personal details, such as their address, are unchanged.
I have been refused a badge, can I appeal?
There is no right of appeal against a local authority's decision to refuse a blue badge, but an unsuccessful applicant may ask the authority to reconsider the case if they feel that their mobility problems have become more serious or if they think that all the relevant facts were not taken into consideration at the time of the assessment.
Who can use my badge?
The badge is for your use and benefit only. It must not be displayed unless you are using it directly. Do not allow other people to use your badge to do something for you, such as shopping or collecting something for you, unless you are traveling with them.
It is a criminal offence for you or anyone else to misuse your badge, and it can lead to a £1,000 fine
How should I display my badge and time clock?
The badge should be displayed on the dashboard or facia panel of your vehicle where it can be clearly read through the front windscreen. The front of the badge should face upwards, showing the wheelchair symbol.
The associated time clock only needs to be displayed when you are parking on yellow lines or in a blue badge parking bay that has a time limit. In both cases, you should set the time of arrival on the clock and display it next to your badge on the dashboard or facia panel.
Failure to display your badge and time clock properly could result in a parking ticket.
What parking concessions am I entitled to?
The concessions blue badge holders are entitled to are explained in Section 2 of our explanatory booklet 'The Blue Badge Scheme: rights and responsibilities in England'.
Where can't I park?
A blue badge is not a license to park anywhere. Like other road users, you must obey the rules of the road, as laid out in the Highway Code and should not park where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users. Further details are given in Section 2 of our booklet 'The Blue Badge Scheme: rights and responsibilities in England'
If you fail to abide by these rules you may receive a parking ticket.