We strongly recommend that you consider applying for a blue badge
Regardless of whether or not your parent is a driver, if you drive, our carents strongly recommend the blue badge scheme. It can make getting about so much easier for both of you.
For drivers and passengers
Your parent can use their blue badge as a driver or as a passenger to help get parked closer to wherever they are going. Parking near the supermarket, bank or hospital is simpler and often cheaper if your parent has a blue badge. Also, disabled parking bays are often wider than the majority of bays which makes it much easier for your parents to get in and out of the car.
The way a blue badge can be used differs in England, Scotland and Wales. Generally, it enables you to:
- park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours (unless there is a ban on loading)
- park for free where there are parking meters, pay and display machines, disabled parking spaces (with the blue wheelchair symbol)
There may be other benefits for blue badge holders although these depend on local arrangements. Some car parks and town centres have special parking arrangements and benefits for disabled people. This includes London which has some provision for disabled people on its red routes (visit the Transport for London website for more information )
Issued by Local Councils
Blue bridges are issued by Local Councils and the application costs and processes vary slightly across the UK. A blue badge is free in Wales but costs £10 In England, and £20 in Scotland. The badges usually last up to three years after which they will need to be formally renewed.
We recommend that you apply for the scheme as soon as possible because the process can take 12 weeks or even longer. If you live in England or Wales you can apply online through your Local Council. Your parent can apply directly or you can apply on their behalf.
There is quite a lot of paperwork involved with the application process and the application will not be assessed until the council is in receipt of all the necessary evidence. In England and Wales you can apply online through this government portal.
On behalf of your parent, you will need to supply:
- A recent digital photo
- Suitable proof of identity documents eg birth certificate, driving licence, passport
- Proof of address
- National insurance number
- Some proof of their health problems or disability and/or any relevant benefits
Of course, not everyone is eligible for a blue badge. There are two types of eligibility criteria.
- eligible without further assessment (automatic)
- eligible subject to further assessment
Automatic eligibility is for people registered blind, in receipt of some disability or armed forces benefits, or a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.
Some councils will also automatically approve and fast track applications from people with a terminal illness who hold a DS1500 report ( (available from your GP or the MacMillan Nursing Trust).
Applicants requiring further assessment are required to provide more detailed information and upload relevant documents about their medication, treatment, diagnosis and involvement with health care services.
Permanent disability only
The blue badge regulations do not allow the issue of temporary badges. Blue badges are only issued to people with a permanent disability.