If you have started experiencing (or have been experiencing) challenges with your health and mobility, it’s time to get yourself a blue badge.
This badge is recognised in all European countries including the UK and it will enable you to access services and goods by parking close to your stop. So how easy is it to get a blue badge?
Who is eligible to get a blue badge?
You can automatically get a blue badge if you meet the following criteria:
- You have acquired the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance.
- Registered blind or sight severely impaired.
- Received a War Pension Mobility Supplement
- Received a round figure payment under the Armed Forces and certified as having a permanent and substantial disability to walk.
- Received a Personal Independence Payment, scored 8 or more points and are in the ‘moving around’ part of the mobility component.
If you don’t meet all of the above criteria, there are certain instances that can still make you eligible to get a blue badge such as:
- Having a severe disability in both arms causing an inability to operate on-street parking machinery.
- More than two years old and have a permanent and life-long disability that makes walking difficult for you.
- You cannot walk a long distance without experiencing immense difficulties.
- Excessive pain and shortness of breath brought about by all efforts to walk.
- Having a child that requires driving with bulky medical equipment such as ventilators, feeding pumps, oxygen tanks etc.
This badge cannot be lent to someone else but you can allow a friend or relative to use your badge if you are with them in the car or they are picking or dropping you off.
The badge must be returned to the council if you no longer require to use it.
What you need to have during the application process
- Your National Insurance Number. If you are applying for your child you must provide their reference number.
- Identification documents such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, Driving Licence or ID.
- If you are renewing your badge, you will provide the number, expiry date and local council.
- Proof of address; for instance a Council Tax bill or a utility bill from the last 3 months.
- A signed photograph of the applicant.
- A decision letter from the Department of Work and Pensions confirming your eligibility for the badge.
Always send copies of your documents and not originals during your application in case of loss.
You can make this application through online or make a hard copy application through your local council.
What to do when your application is denied
You should contact your council if your application has not been responded to in 6-8 weeks.
If you fail to qualify for a blue badge, please get in touch with your council and find out why you are not eligible.
Moreover, you can ask them to reconsider your application especially if you feel the information you provided was not carefully analysed.
You can also reapply if your mobility has become more severe.
Where can you use the blue badge?
The blue badge projects accords you the privilege to park in the following areas for free:
- On single or double yellow lines for a maximum of 3 hours unless there is a ‘no loading’ sign.
- Disabled parking bays whether you are using your own car or a taxi.
- On streets with a parking meter with pay and display equipment for an unlimited time.
However, even with a blue badge, there are some places you cannot use it such as private roads, certain areas in central London, off-street car parks and road systems in various airports.
How to show the blue badge
- Ensure it is upright and visible on the windscreen.
- Ensure that it has not expired.
In case you get a parking ticket even though you have the blue badge or you mistakenly displayed it improperly, you can appeal here.