Blue Badges and car parking

Overview

The Blue Badge scheme is for drivers or passengers with severe mobility problems. The scheme provides a range of on-street parking concessions enabling Blue Badge holders to park closer to where they need to go. The scheme does not apply to off-street car parking, for example in privately operated car parks at supermarkets.

The scheme operates throughout the UK and is managed by local authorities who deal with applications and issue badges. You must apply for a Blue Badge to the Scottish local authority in which you are resident.

Eligibility

Automatic eligibility

You are automatically eligible for a blue badge if you are over two years old and meet one of the following criteria:

  • you are blind or registered blind
  • 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 received at least 8 points in the ‘moving around’ activity in the PIP assessment
  • you receive the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment and received at least 12 points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ in the PIP assessment
  • you have been awarded a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces Compensation scheme. You have also been certified as having a permanent or substantial disability which means you can’t walk or find walking difficult.

If you are applying under any of these criteria you will automatically qualify for a Blue Badge, provided you have the appropriate documentation, such as your most recent DLA / PIP award letter, proof of your identity and proof that you are a resident in the local authority in which you are applying.

Other Eligibility Criteria

If none of the automatic eligible criteria apply to you, you may still be eligible. This may apply to you if you are more than two years old and you meet one of the following:

  • you have a permanent or substantial disability which means you can’t walk or are virtually unable to walk
  • you are unable to walk or virtually unable to walk because of a temporary but substantial disability which is likely to last for a period of at least 12 months but less than 3 years
  • you have severe upper limb disabilities
  • you are applying on behalf of a child under three with a medical condition that requires them to be close to a vehicle for emergency medical treatment or transporting bulky medical equipment.

If you are eligible under one of the above criteria, your local authority will look at the evidence of your disability to decide whether you can have a Blue Badge and may ask you to have an independent mobility assessment, usually carried out by an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist who has not previously treated you. GPs are no longer allowed to carry out these assessments. You will not be charged for the assessment.

Mental Health Conditions

People who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic because of a mental condition may be eligible for a Blue Badge.

If you want to apply for a Blue Badge on behalf of someone with a mental condition the applicant must:

  • have a diagnosed mental disorder (a legal term we have to use that means a mental illness, a personality disorder or a learning disability)
  • lack awareness of danger from traffic, meaning something is likely to risk the applicant’s safety or the safety of other people during journeys

You will need to show that other strategies to control the risk do not work.

If you want to apply for a Blue Badge under this criteria there is a different application process. Contact your local council for the full eligibility criteria and details of how to apply.

Visit the mygov.scot Blue Badge section for further information.

Applying for or renewing a Blue Badge

The quickest and easiest way to apply or renew is on-line. You will be asked a few questions to see if you may be eligible before applying.

Applying for a Blue Badge

Once you have applied, your form will be sent to your local authority for a decision. You can apply for a blue badge online You can also apply for a badge by contacting your local authority directly. Find your local authority blue badge contact by calling our helpline on 0300 323 9961. You will also be asked for the following documentation:

  • National Insurance number or NHS Number
  • Driving Licence number
  • a passport photo
  • details of your current badge, if you have one.

Your local authority will get in touch if they need any more information, if they decide that you need a mobility assessment and to let you know whether your application has been successful.

If your application is successful, your local authority may charge you a fee to cover the cost of the blue badge, of up to £20.

Renewing your Blue Badge

The badge lasts for a period of between 12 months and three years. You should re-apply a few weeks before it runs out. The Blue Badge Improvement Service will send you a letter to remind you. If you provide your mobile telephone number or an email address when you apply, reminders can be sent to your email or mobile phone. Do not use the badge if it has expired or you may be fined.

If your application is unsuccessful

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.

Parking concessions

When using parking concessions you must display the badge on the dashboard or fascia panel, where it can be clearly read through the front windscreen. Incorrect display of the badge may result in a parking fine.

The badge and its concessions are for the badge holder’s use only. It is a criminal offence for you or anyone else to misuse the badge, and doing so could lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge.

Blue badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for as long as they need to, unless there is a ban on loading and unloading. Badge holders can also park at parking meters on the street and at pay and display machines for free as long as they want to and in disabled parking bays.

If you park where there is a ban on loading and unloading during the prohibited times, or in other restricted areas, such as a local permit holder bay and you don’t have a permit, you can still get a parking ticket. Always check signs to see what the rules are when parking.

If you do receive a parking ticket you can appeal in the usual way. Badge holders who have misunderstood the regulations should be treated sympathetically.

Regional parking variations

While the scheme operates throughout the UK, there are variations in its application. In Scotland, there is no time restriction on parking for Blue Badge holders, unless local restrictions apply. In England and Wales you will need a parking clock which must be displayed when you are parking on yellow lines or in a Blue Badge parking bay that has a time limit.

Badge holders living in Scotland should now be given a parking clock when they receive their Blue Badge. If not, contact your local authority. The Blue Badge scheme does not apply in four central London boroughs, who offer their own parking concessions.

Parking abroad

Your Blue Badge is recognised throughout the European Union (EU). Concessions provided in other EU countries may not be the same as in the UK.

Further information and resources

Blue Badge Initial Enquiry Support Service

Telephone (Scotland): 0344 100 1001
Email: bluebadge@northgateps.com

Blue Badge Scotland

Transport Scotland / Blue Badge Improvement Service

 

Information last updated on 5 June 2020. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.

If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.

Mobility, Travel & Transport:Frequently Asked Questions

Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:

How will PIP affect my ability to use the Motability Scheme?

Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?

Can I use my Blue Badge in Europe?

How do I get a concessionary bus pass?

How can I get a disabled parking space outside my house?

I would like to apply for a blue parking badge, where do I start?

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