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.
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.
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.
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
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?
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter. Eligibility to use the Motability Scheme is based on receiving one of the following benefits.
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
For existing Scheme customers, their eligibility to remain on the Motability Scheme will depend on the outcome of their assessment for PIP. If you are awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you should not experience any disruption to your lease as you move from one benefit to the other.
NOT awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
If you are not awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you will not be eligible to use the Motability Scheme. Being forced to leave the Scheme will be a difficult transition for you and your family.
The Motability Scheme has put in place a one-off package of transitional support to those customers who can no longer use the Scheme as a result of their initial DLA to PIP reassessment. This transitional package will include guidance on your mobility options and next steps, financial support if eligible, advice on buying a second hand car, information on insurance, maintenance and other mobility solutions, as well as the purchase price of your vehicle. You will be able to keep the car for eight weeks after the DLA payments stop.
In addition, if you first joined the Scheme before the end of 2013 you will have the option to keep the car for 26 weeks after the last DLA payment. If you choose to keep the car for this extended period your transitional support payment will be reduced.
For further details of the transitional support process please visit the Motability website. Their website has a useful section with more detailed information on the transitional support package. You can also phone the Motability Scheme helpline on 0300 456 4566.
Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?
You might be eligible for a reduction or exemption on vehicle tax if you are disabled and meet the eligibility criteria. The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or nominated driver’s name and must only be used for the disabled person’s personal needs.
You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get the:
- higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.
For more information contact our helpline on 0300 323 9962.
Can I use my Blue Badge in Europe?
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 operates throughout the UK and is managed by local authorities who deal with applications and issue badge. The Blue Badge is recognised across Europe, so you benefit from the same parking rights as anyone else with a disability in whichever country you’re in.
Parking concessions for holders of a disabled parking card differ from country to country, so it’s important to check the rules in the country you’re visiting
For further information check out the worldwide guide to parking abroad by The International Automobile Federation.
How do I get a concessionary bus pass?
Concessionary travel gives free or discounted trips on public transport to eligible disabled people and older people living in Scotland. This information guide outlines the main travel concessions available, eligibility and how to apply. Concessions apply to buses, trains, ferries and some coach services.
Contact your Local Authority or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to apply for your National Entitlement Card. Find your local concessionary contact at the Transport Scotland Website.
You will need:
- a recent completed application form
- a recent photograph
- proof of age or disability
- proof of your current address
For further information see our Travel concessions for disabled people information guide or contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
How can I get a disabled parking space outside my house?
To get a disabled parking space outside of your house, you should contact your local council to apply for a disabled parking space. They will conduct an assessment which may incur a cost.
To apply, you must meet the following conditions:
- have a valid and current blue badge
- either be the driver of the vehicle or be assisted by a carer who is the driver, provided that the carer lives at the address stated
- the vehicle must be kept at the address stated in the application form
- there is normally difficulty in obtaining a parking space on the public road.
Bear in mind that the space can be used by anyone with a disabled parking blue badge and cannot be reserved for the sole use of the applicant.
For further information or help searching for your local council’s contact number then please contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
For more information on getting a blue badge, check out our Blue Badges Information Guide.
I would like to apply for a blue parking badge, where do I start?
The quickest and easiest way to apply for a blue badge is on-line. You will be asked a few questions to see if you may be eligible before applying.
The second option is to make an application through your local council. Many local authorities have applications available to down load online. If you do not have access to the internet then you can phone your local authority and request a paper copy be sent out.
Mobility, Travel & Transport:Search for Local Organisations
Our quick search tool can connect you to over 3000 service providers, suppliers and organisations supporting people across Scotland. To find support near you, simply enter your search term and select your local authority.