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How To Use The Blue Badge Scheme

Posted by Mike Phipps on December 10, 2018

All you need to know about the blue badge scheme

Various disabled signs on a pavement

This article was updated on 23/04/2024.

Blue badge parking permits let disabled drivers park closer to the building and also provide more room in the parking space. If you are unable to use public transport but are able to drive, it’s a great way to ensure peace of mind that you will have access to a disabled parking spot, helping you to park more easily.

What is the blue badge scheme?

The blue badge scheme is run by local councils and it enables disabled individuals living with mobility difficulties to park in more accessible parking spaces and restricted areas in the UK. These parking spaces may be wider with more room for wheelchair users, and they are often the closest spaces in car parks to the building. You can use your blue badge in your own vehicle or whilst travelling as a passenger in another vehicle, but note that the blue badge applies to the individual who needs it, not the vehicle. 

The blue badge scheme applies to on-street parking and includes free use of parking meters and pay-and-display bays. Blue badge holders may also be exempt from parking time restrictions and are able to park for up to three hours on single and double yellow lines, as long as they are not causing an obstruction and their blue badge is completely visible. However, blue badge holders cannot park where there is a ban on loading or unloading or other similar restrictions.

Blue badge parking is used throughout the UK, however, guidelines may vary depending on different areas so check before you park! The blue badge scheme also runs in the European Union but each country within the EU will have its own rules so make sure to check again beforehand.

Am I eligible for a blue badge parking permit?

To apply for the blue badge scheme, one or more of the following must apply:

  • You are registered as blind/severely sight impaired.
  • You receive the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.
  • You receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • You receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • You have been awarded a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (tariffs 1 to 8) or tariff level 6 for a mental disorder.
  • You have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which means you struggle to or cannot walk.
  • You receive a government grant towards your own vehicle.
  • You may need to provide evidence of your disability if you fall under the category ‘eligible subject to further assessment’ but this will be at the discretion of the local authority, who will contact you and may schedule a free of charge mobility assessment performed by a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist.

How do I apply for a blue badge permit?

The blue badge application can be found online at:  but if you prefer to apply in writing, you contact your local authority directly and they will issue a form for you to fill out instead.


When you apply, you will need to provide:

  • The details of your current Blue Badge (if you have one).
  • A digital or signed passport-style photo of yourself.
  • Your National Insurance number.
  • Proof of identification, e.g. a passport.
  • Proof of residency, e.g. a letter from your bank.
  • Payment details for the application fee, which depends on where you live.

The application charge differs depending on where you live in the UK. In England, the charge may be a maximum of £10; in Scotland, a fee of up to £20; in Northern Ireland a fee of £2; and in Wales, it is free of charge. Your local authority will be in touch to let you know if your blue badge application is successful. The blue badge lasts up to three years, after which you’ll need to renew it.

How to use the disabled parking permit correctly

You must display the blue badge at all times when parking in a disabled space, which means that the badge must be open and easily read through the windscreen or windows. An ideal place to display your blue badge is on the dashboard, where it’s visible and all the relevant details can be read easily, but if you don’t have a suitable dashboard in your vehicle it’s important to make a conscious effort to place the badge in another noticeable place. When parking in an area which enforces a time limit, make sure to set your parking disc to show when you arrived there.

Important points to remember about the blue badge scheme

  • Misuse of a disabled parking badge is a serious offence, which means the local council have the authority to take the blue badge away and cancel your eligibility. You can also be fined up to £1000.
  • Misuse includes lending your blue badge to someone who is not eligible.
  • If you no longer qualify for the blue disability badge or a badge holder has passed away, the badge must be returned.

Browse our range of stylish blue badge holders

We have a selection of stylish and practical blue badge holders, which are expertly crafted from high-end materials to look good and to keep your blue badge safe and secure. The attractive appearance of the badge holders make them a lovely gift, or just as a way to glam up your blue badge. There are many other car mobility aids that are also designed to make travelling in the car easier, from boosted cushions, grab handles for getting in and out as well as magnifiers for the road or maps.

Useful links and information

Applying for a blue badge doesn’t have to be a struggle. If you or someone you know is applying for or renewing a blue badge or is simply looking for some help, you can visit the websites below or give them a call to make the process more straightforward.


Kate Makin, OT
Kate Makin, Ability Superstore's Occupational Therapist

Kate Makin qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).

As a registered occupational therapist (OT), Kate is a science degree-based, health and social care professional, taking a “whole person” approach to both physical and mental health and wellbeing. This enables individuals, of all ages, to achieve their full potential and lead as independent life as possible.

Click here for Kate’s registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Throughout her career, Kate has worked in many different clinical settings, in both the public and private sector. Kate has been running her own independent occupational therapist business since 2009. She is passionate about disability aids and adaptations, with a specialist interest in postural management and seating.

As Ability Superstore’s resident OT, Kate is on hand to offer professional advice and answer any queries.