Blue Badge: How to get a UK disabled parking permit | Sunrise Medical (2023)


In the UK, a parking permit fordisabled drivers or passengers is referred to as a Blue Badge. The permits are valid for three years and are usually issued to those who have a registered disability which affects their mobility. If you are registered as blind, you will also automatically qualify for the Blue Badge scheme. The parking permitmay be used to park in disabled spaces in the UK and in all countries within the European Union and the European Economic Area.

Blue Badge: How to get a UK disabled parking permit | Sunrise Medical (1)

How to apply for a Blue Badge

If you are based in England or Wales, you should apply for a Blue Badge on the GOV.UKwebsite or in person via your local council (you may be charged an extra fee for this). Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own websites. The application fee depends on the country in which you are living. Aside from the routes mentioned above, there is no way to legally obtain a disabled parking permit. Any other websites or companies offering this possibility may be fraudulent, so please do not use them.

You will need to provide the following to apply for or renew your Blue Badge permit:

  1. The details of your current Blue Badge (if you have one)
  2. A digital or signed photo
  3. Your National Insurance or NHS number
  4. Proof of identification
  5. Proof of UK residency

Eligibility criteria

The specific criteria used to assess eligibility are as follows. If any of the below apply, you must provide evidence in the application form, along with proof of your identity and residency. You will not, however, have to visit your local authority in person to attend a mobility assessment. You are eligible if:

  1. You have either a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) or a BD8 form, signed by a consultant ophthalmologist, stating that you are severely sight impaired (blind) and wish to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind) with your local authority.
  2. You receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance.
  3. You receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as you meet a 'Moving Around' descriptor for the Mobility Component because you either cannot stand or can stand but walk no more than 50 metres. This is a score of 8 points or more.
  4. You receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement.
  5. You receive a tariff within 1-8 (inclusive) of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and have been assessed as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.

Blue Badge: How to get a UK disabled parking permit | Sunrise Medical (2)

Further criteria

In the following instances, you may be eligible, but will first have to attend a mobility assessment.

  1. You are over the age of two and have a permanent and substantial disability which means that you are unable to walk
  2. You are over the age of two and have a permanent and substantial disability which means that you have very considerable difficulty in walking
  3. You drive a vehicle regularly, and have a severe disability in both arms that means you are unable to operate all or some types of parking meter
  4. You are under the age of three and have a medical condition that means you must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment
  5. You are under the age of three and have a medical condition that means you must always be kept near a vehicle in case you need emergency medical treatment

Once you have applied online, you can track and amend your application if necessary. If your application is unsuccessful, your local council should inform you of the reasons why. You can appeal if you feel the wrong decision has been made, or if your mobility worsens.

Blue Badge: How to get a UK disabled parking permit | Sunrise Medical (3)

Displaying your permit

There is only one type of permit available, and it is very important that you display the Blue Badge face up on your windscreen. The expiry date must not be obscured. Some rightful permit holders have been given parking tickets because the date on their Blue Badge was partially covered.

Some car parks have a maximum time limit for their disabled bays and hand out disabled parking disks when you enter. These require you to adjust the disc until it shows your time of arrival. If you do receive a parking disc, it is very important that you make sure it does not cover your Blue Badge when you place it on your windscreen.

Using your Blue Badge

A Blue Badge allows a driver to park in disabled bays around the UK, but it is linked to the holder, not the vehicle. This means that Blue Badge holders may use it in a hire car as well as their own vehicle. If a person in possession of a Blue Badge is travelling as a passenger, or is being picked up by someone, the driver of that vehicle may park in a disabled bay.

In addition to this, a Blue Badge normally allows you to park for free on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines. In private car parks, however, such as at hospitals or shopping centres, you will usually have to pay even if you have a valid Blue Badge.

A further benefit is that you may park on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours. In some cases, there may be a ‘no loading’ sign displayed. Some councils allow Blue Badge holders to park in spite of the ‘no loading’ instruction and some do not. It is worth checking the website of your local council to find out their policy.

Disabled parking bays

Although disabled parking bays do not all look the same, they tend to have some features in common. There will normally be a white sign nearby with two blue squares on it: one with a white parking ‘P’ symbol inside and the other with a white standardised image of a wheelchair user. Disabled bays are almost always wider than normal parking spaces to make it easier for the Blue Badge Holder to get in and out of their vehicle.

Blue Badge: How to get a UK disabled parking permit | Sunrise Medical (4)

The standardised image of a wheelchair user is usually painted in the middle of disabled bays. The bays themselves are generally painted in a different colour to regular parking spaces. The lines used to mark them out are often painted yellow (and sometimes blue), and many of them also have diagonal lines which cross one another. Sometimes, these lines are painted using non-slip paint.

Badge Holders may also request that their local council paint a disabled bay outside their home. In such cases, the council often paints broken white lines to mark out the bay along with the word ‘DISABLED’. In private car parks, meanwhile, the disabled spaces tend to be located nearer to the entrance of the destination building. The colour they are painted varies.

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What medical conditions qualify for a Blue Badge UK? ›

People who may get a Blue Badge

You may be eligible for a badge if one or more of the following applies: you cannot walk at all. you cannot walk without help from someone else or using mobility aids. you find walking very difficult due to pain, breathlessness or the time it takes.

What medical evidence do I need for a Blue Badge? ›

Your valid driving licence (this can also be used as your proof of identity and proof of address). A medical summary from your doctor or specialist that shows your name and address, and confirms your conditions. A repeat prescription that shows your name and address, and confirms the medication you are taking.

How do I get a disabled parking permit in UK? ›

You can apply for or renew your Blue Badge online on GOV.UK. Some councils also let you apply on a paper form - contact your local council to check. You have to apply through your local council - your doctor can't help you get a Blue Badge.

Does arthritis qualify for Blue Badge? ›

You may be eligible for a blue badge, meaning you can park closer to where you need to go. If you claim benefits like Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, or you have difficulty getting around because of your arthritis, then this will support your application.

What medical conditions qualify for a Blue Badge near Cambridge? ›

To qualify for a Blue Badge, you must have an enduring and substantial disability.
Automatic criteria
  • Are severely sight impaired (registered blind)
  • Receive the War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement.
  • Receive a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme (within tariff levels 1-8).

What counts as medical proof? ›

Medical evidence can give the DWP a better idea of how your condition affects your ability to work. It's easy to miss this on the form itself.
If your condition is diagnosed
  • a print-out of the medication you're on.
  • x-ray results.
  • scans.
  • a hospital discharge sheet.
  • an occupational therapist's care plan.

What counts as medical evidence? ›

Medical evidence can encompass a variety of information, for example: • Prescriptions. Care plans. Information from professionals such as a GP, hospital doctor, specialist nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker, support worker or counsellor.

What questions are asked for a Blue Badge? ›

We will ask you about walking journeys you undertake, whether you use any walking aids and any pain and/or breathlessness you experience whilst walking.

What conditions automatically qualify you for disability UK? ›

The definition is set out in section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. It says you're disabled if: you have a physical or mental impairment. your impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to do normal day-to-day activities.

Are UK disabled badges valid in USA? ›

U.K disabled Badges ARE valid in the U.S. To say that you have to purchase a U.S. disabled permit is a con. 316.1958 Out-of-state vehicles bearing identification of issuance to persons who have disabilities.

How long does it take to get a Blue Badge UK? ›

The Blue Badge scheme helps you park nearer to your destination if you have a disability. It can take up to 12 weeks to process a Blue Badge application when we have the required documents.

What exemptions do Blue Badge holders get? ›

If you hold a valid Blue Badge, you can apply for exemption from the congestion charge in London by paying a £10 administration fee. You can register up to two vehicles that you would normally use to travel within the charging zone. This could be your own vehicle, or one you travel in.

What is the maximum walking distance for a Blue Badge? ›

What is The Maximum Walking Distance For a Blue Badge? To qualify for a blue badge you have to have very considerable difficulties walking and is awarded to people who cannot walk more than 50 meters safely. This equates to 8 or more points on the 'moving around' activity on your PIP assessment.

Can I get a Blue Badge if I have incontinence? ›

This means that people with non-physical conditions such as such as asthma, autism, psychological/behavioural problems, Crohn's disease/incontinent conditions, Myalgia Encephalomyelitis (ME) etc. may now qualify for a blue badge.


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