Misuse of blue badges
Blue badges are the property of local authorities, who can take them away if they are misused.
This page explains what counts as misuse of a blue badge. It also tells you what you should do if you suspect someone is misusing a blue badge in Scotland.
What counts as misuse of a blue badge?
Some forms of misuse are criminal offences. These include:
- allowing someone else to use your blue badge
- using a fake or altered blue badge while your vehicle is being driven
- using a fake or altered blue badge while your vehicle is parked
- any other kind of dishonesty or deception in obtaining or using a blue badge
- parking in an on-street blue badge parking bay without displaying a badge
- failing to produce a blue badge when you are asked for it by a traffic warden or police officer
- disobeying UK parking regulations, such as parking in a clearway or on a zebra crossing
- using a cancelled badge while your vehicle is being driven or is parked
- using a badge that should have been returned to your local authority while your vehicle is being driven or is parked.
Your local authority can also deem you to have misused your badge, even if you haven’t committed an offence, if any of the following apply:
- you stayed in a vehicle with the badge displayed
- you caused an obstruction while parking with your blue badge, such as blocking an entrance to a hospital
- you caused a dangerous situation while parking with your blue badge, such as parking on a junction and restricting the view of drivers.
What can happen if a blue badge is misused?
Blue badges are the property of local authorities. Your local authority can cancel your blue badge if you are found to be misusing it.
Police officers, traffic wardens and authorised local authority officers (including parking attendants and plain clothed enforcement officers) can ask to inspect your blue badge. Your badge can be confiscated if it appears to be a forgery, has been cancelled, should have been returned to your local authority or is being misused.
A local authority can cancel a blue badge if it is no longer held by the person to whom it was issued, e.g. when a blue badge is reported lost or stolen.
If you have committed an offence relating to a blue badge, you may also be fined up to £1000 plus any additional penalty for any related parking offence.
What should you do if you think someone is misusing a blue badge?
If you think that a blue badge is being misused you should:
- get as many details as possible from the badge on display
- report the matter to your local authority. You can find your local authority blue badge contact on the Transport Scotland blue badge website at www.bluebadgescotland.org.
What can you do if your local authority thinks you have misused your blue badge?
If your local authority thinks you have misused your blue badge, it may tell you it will not issue or renew your blue badge. It may also send you a notice demanding that you return the badge because of misuse. If you believe this is incorrect or unfair, you can appeal.
You can appeal in writing to Transport Scotland within 28 days of receiving the notice. It is important that you give full details of your case and why you are appealing.
Transport Scotland will liaise with your local authority to find out why it made its decision about the badge. Your badge will remain valid until the appeal is decided.
The Blue Badge Team
Top tipsIf you have any queries about the blue badge scheme, you can contact your local authority. You can find your local authority blue badge contact on the Transport Scotland blue badge website at www.bluebadgescotland.org
- More information about how you must use a blue badge
- More information about who is eligible for a blue badge
- If you need more help
To find out more about how the blue badge scheme works in other parts of the UK, you will need to look at the pages for the part of the UK that you are interested in.