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Who Qualifies for a Blue Parking Badge?

Do you have a disability or health condition? If so, you may qualify for a Blue Badge automatically, allowing you to park closer to your destination. Use this guide to check whether you can get a disabled parking badge in England, Scotland, and Wales, and how the process differs in Northern Ireland.

Automatic Qualification for a Blue Badge

People who automatically get a Blue Badge must over the age of two (2) and (any):

  • Receiving the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Receiving a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) because you are unable to walk more than fifty (50) metres (meaning you have a score of at least eight points under the ‘moving around’ activity of the mobility component).
  • Registered as a blind person (severely sight impaired).
  • Receiving a War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement.
  • Have already received a lump sum benefit within tariff levels one to eight (1-8) of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation) Scheme and certified as having a permanent and substantial disability causing an inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.
  • Receiving the mobility component of PIP and obtained ten (10) points specifically for descriptor E under the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity due to you being unable to undertake any journey because it would cause you overwhelming psychological distress.

Note: Any score other than ten (10) points under descriptor E, in the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity of PIP, means you may still qualify for a Blue Badge (including a score of 12). You would need to supply evidence to show eligibility and then be assessed as part of the application.

Blue Badges in Scotland

People in Scotland will also be automatically eligible to get a Blue Badge, if they (any):

  • Scored twelve (12) points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ section of mobility assessment for PIP.
  • Had a mandatory reconsideration for the PIP benefit accepted by the Department for Work and Pensions. If so, they would qualify for a one (1) year badge.
  • Previously received the higher rate of the mobility component for DLA indefinitely.

Blue Badges in Wales

You are automatically eligible for a disabled parking badge in Wales, if you (either):

  • Receive tariff level six (6) of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for a permanent mental disorder.
  • Scored twelve (12) points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ part of the mobility assessment for PIP.

Other Ways to Get a Blue Badge

As a general rule, you might qualify for a Blue Badge if you (any):

  • Cannot walk at all or are unable to walk without the help from someone else or a mobility aid.
  • Find it difficult to walk because it causes breathlessness or pain (or because it takes a long time) or you feel that walking is a danger to your health and safety.
  • Have a terminal illness that means you cannot walk or you find walking very difficult and have a DS1500 form.
  • Are suffering from a severe disability in both arms and drive regularly (but are unable to operate a pay-and-display parking machine).
  • Have a child under the age of three (3):
    • With a medical condition that means they always need to be accompanied by bulky medical equipment.
    • With a medical condition that means they must always be kept near a vehicle in case they need emergency medical treatment.
  • Are ‘constantly’ a significant risk to yourself or others near vehicles, in traffic, or in a car park.
  • Become extremely anxious ‘frequently’ or you have a fear of public or open spaces.
  • Struggle severely to plan or to follow a journey.
  • Find it difficult or impossible to control your actions and lack awareness of the impact you could have on others.
  • Have intense and overwhelming responses to situations on a regular basis that causes temporary loss of behavioural control.

Note: Individual applicants and support organisations can apply for (or renew) a Blue Badge online in Northern Ireland.

Documents Needed to Apply for a Blue Badge

Local councils make decisions on whether people meet the eligibility criteria for disabled parking badges. Even so, they need some information and evidence before they will start the assessment process.

As a rule, it takes around twelve (12) weeks to assess an application for a Blue Badge. Following that, you can ask them to reconsider your application if you believe they failed to take account of all the facts.

The evidence that you will need to provide includes:

  • A recent digital photograph (showing your head and shoulders).
  • Proof of your identity and full postal address (including your contact details).
  • Your National Insurance number (if applicable).

You can use a copy of any of the following to prove your identity:

You can use a copy of any of the following to prove your address:

  • Recent council tax bill
  • Recent letter from one of the recognised government departments (e.g. Department for Work and Pensions)
  • Driving licence
  • Recent letter from a school (if under the age of 16)

How to Provide Proof of Benefits

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

You can show evidence of claiming DLA using the rate of the mobility component that you are getting (and award end date). The most recent letter from the DWP will show your:

  • Mobility rating
  • Certificate of entitlement to DLA
  • Date stamp of the letter

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

In most cases, you will need to know the scores that you got from the mobility assessment, along with the end date for your award.

You can use three pages from the letter that you received from the DWP to provide proof of your PIP award. The letter shows your:

  • Entitlement to PIP (first page)
  • Assessment scores (penultimate page)
  • Mobility scores (last page)

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

You can provide proof of the AFCS benefit using the most recent letter that you received from the Ministry of Defence. It will show that you:

  • Got injured in service since the 6th of April 2005.
  • Receive a benefit through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (with a lump sum payment within Tariffs one to eight).
  • Have been certified as having a permanent, substantial disability which causes inability to walk (or causes very considerable difficulty in walking).

War Pensioners’ Mobility Scheme

To provide proof of this benefit, you can use the most recent letter that the Ministry of Defence sent you. It will show that the applicant [you]:

  • Got injured in service before the 6th of April 2005.
  • Receives a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.

Providing Proof of Your Eligibility

The issuing council will assess the application if you are not using one of the benefits. In this case, they will ask you to provide some extra information.

If you are unable to walk, find walking difficult, or you have one of the ‘hidden’ (non-visible) conditions, you will need to answer questions about how your condition affects your walking – and provide details of (any):

  • Relevant medication that you take.
  • Relevant treatments that you are receiving (or will receive).
  • Healthcare or associated professionals involved with the treatment of your condition.

They will also ask questions about how your condition affects journeys between your vehicle and the destination if you have a non-visible condition.

Note: You will be able to upload supporting documents (e.g. diagnosis letters, correspondences, prescriptions).

How to Provide Documentation

Making an online application for a Blue Badge means you will be able to upload a digital photograph and scanned copies of your:

  • Proof of address
  • Proof of benefit
  • Proof of identity
  • Supporting documents

You can take a photograph of required documents on a mobile phone or tablet device and then upload it within the actual application.

If you choose not to upload the documents during the application process, you can supply copies to your local council authority instead.

Blue Badge Scheme for Organisations

In some cases, organisations will qualify for either a single or multiple disabled parking badges. To be eligible for an organisational badge, the company must provide (both):

  • Care for (or assist) people who need to have a Blue Badge.
  • Transportation for people who need to have a Blue Badge.

The issuing local council would determine whether there is a clear need for organisational badges (e.g. instead of issuing an individual badge).

Hospices, residential care homes, and local council social services departments are typical examples of the kind of organisations that can get Blue Badges.

Operators of private hire and community transport vehicles, including taxi operators, are unlikely to qualify for an organisational Blue Badge unless their business concerns transporting disabled people.

Note: The organisation must display their badge when transporting someone who would be eligible for a Blue Badge in their own right.

Who Can Get a Blue Badge in United Kingdom