Applying for a Blue Badge
If you're disabled or have a health condition that affects your mobility, you can apply for a Blue Badge.
You can also apply for a badge if you care for a child with a health condition.
Councils can charge for a blue badge. The most you can be charged is £20.
Contact your local council if you want to check how much they charge for a Blue Badge before you apply - you can find your local council and more information on the Blue Badge scheme on mygov.scot
If you get certain benefits you'll automatically be able to get a Blue Badge. The application will be straightforward.
You don't need to be able to drive to apply for a Blue Badge, unless you're applying because of problems with your arms.
Follow the advice on this page to renew your Blue Badge, too. You can’t use an expired badge, so make sure you apply for a new one as early as possible. You can ask your council when to submit your renewal.
Don't apply for a Blue Badge from anywhere other than your local authority or mygov.scot.
No one else can provide a genuine Blue Badge - if you think you’ve been scammed, you should report it.
Who can get a Blue Badge
You’re automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you:
- are registered as blind
- get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and scored 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ area of your assessment - check your decision letter if you’re not sure
- get War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8), and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability
If you're not automatically eligible
It's worth applying as you might still be able to get a badge. You'll have to fill in an extra part of the application to show why you need one.
You should do this if:
- you have problems walking that are permanent, or that your doctor says are likely to last at least a year
- you can't use your arms
- you're applying on behalf of a child aged over 2 who has problems walking, or a child under 3 who needs to be close to a vehicle because of a health condition
The application is more complicated if you're not automatically eligible. It's worth getting help from an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice to fill in the form properly.
You might also be able to get a badge if you have a mental illness, cognitive impairment or learning disability. You can apply for yourself, or someone can apply on your behalf (like a carer or parent).
To be eligible you must:
- have a diagnosed mental disorder
- have a lack of awareness of danger from traffic that is likely to compromise your safety or the safety of other people, during journeys. This condition needs to be certified by an independent mobility assessor
The applicant must also receive one of the following:
- the higher or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (depending on which local authority you live in), or
- Attendance Allowance at lower or higher rate, or
- Personal Independence Payment as having severely limited ability or limited ability to carry out daily activities including communicating verbally, reading and understanding signs and symbols and engaging with people face-to-face
Find out more about the scheme and how to apply on mygov.scot.
Documents you need
Before you apply, make sure you have:
- your National Insurance number or child reference number if you’re applying for a child
- your driving licence if you have one
- the number, expiry date and local council on your current blue badge, if you have one
You’ll also need:
- your original decision letter from the Department of Work and Pensions - if you're automatically eligible for a badge
- proof of identification, for example a birth or marriage certificate, passport, ID card or driving licence
- proof of address, such as a Council Tax bill or a utility bill dated within the last 3 months
- a photograph of the person the badge is for
Send copies of your documents rather than originals, in case your application gets lost in the post.
How to apply
You can apply for your Blue Badge online or directly to your council - the mygov.scot website will tell you how to do both.
Local authorities in Scotland are able to charge a fee for issuing a Blue Badge. This can't be more than £20. You usually have to pay this with your application and if your application isn't successful, the fee will be returned to you.
If you're automatically eligible, the application is straightforward.
If you're not automatically eligible you'll need to fill in an extra part of the application form to explain why you need a badge. Use the advice below to help you fill in the section that applies to you.
If you have a terminal illness
It's best to ask for a paper form directly from your council - tell them you're terminally ill when you call. They might give you instructions that will make the application easier, for example you might not need to answer all the questions on the form.
If you apply online, make sure you write clearly that you're terminally ill when you're asked to describe your medical condition. There won't be a box to tick.
If you or a child you care for has problems walking
If you’re applying on behalf of a child over 2 who has problems walking, fill in this section for them.
You should describe your condition in as much detail as you can.
Try to estimate how far you can walk without help. If you’re not sure, think about how many parked buses you could walk past before you'd start to feel pain or need a rest. One bus is about 11 metres long - so if you can only walk past half a bus, you can only walk about 5 metres. Write this on your form.
If you can’t work out the distance, write down how many steps you can take without help instead.
Tell your council how long it takes you to walk this distance, and how you walk - for example if you need to take small steps or shuffle.
Describe how walking makes you feel, for example if it causes you severe pain or makes you breathless, so that you have to sit down and rest.
You can't use your arms
It’s quite difficult to get a Blue Badge because of problems with your arms.
You can’t get a badge because of problems with your arms if you only travel as a passenger.
You’ll need to:
- have severe problems with both of your arms
- explain why you need to drive regularly
- be unable to use a parking ticket machine or meter
Describe the problems you have with both of your arms. You’ll need to explain why you’re unable to use a parking meter or ticket machine.
You’ll also need to explain why you need to drive a car regularly, for example for your job or to take your children to school.
Your child is under 3 and needs to be close to a vehicle
You'll need to explain that you have to be close to a vehicle to either:
- transport medical equipment
- get home or to a hospital quickly
If you carry around bulky equipment because of your child’s condition, you should list it. For example, if your child needs ventilators, suction machines, feed pumps or oxygen administration equipment.
Say how often this equipment is needed - for example every time you go out, or just some of the time.
If your child’s condition means they might need to go to hospital or home quickly, try to describe why in as much detail as you can. For example, you should explain if they have epilepsy or very unstable diabetes.
What happens after you've applied
You should hear back within 6 to 8 weeks - but it will depend on your council. You can contact your council if you want to find out how long your application is likely to take.
You might be asked to do a mobility assessment. A health professional will look at your ability to carry out a range of mobility activities. They'll tell your council whether they think your health condition or disability limits your ability to move around enough for you to need a badge.
You also might be asked to send in extra information or speak to a member of the council.
Your council will tell you in writing if this is the case.
If you’re refused a Blue Badge, you can ask your council to reconsider their decision.
You’ll need to renew your badge after 3 years, or when you stop receiving the benefit your badge is linked to - for example DLA or PIP.
You must give your Blue Badge back to your council if you no longer need it, for example if your condition improves. You could be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t.