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 that affects their mobility.
Blue badges are free of charge in Wales.
If you get certain benefits you'll automatically be able to get a Blue Badge. The application will be straightforward.
It's still worth applying if you're not automatically eligible, but you'll need to have very severe problems moving your legs or arms. The application will be more complicated, because you'll have to describe your mobility problems in a lot of detail.
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.
You can only get a Blue Badge from your local council or at GOV.UK.
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 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
- received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariff 6) for a permanent mental disorder
If you get Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
You’re automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you either:
scored 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ area of your PIP assessment
scored 12 points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ area of your PIP assessment
Check your PIP decision letter if you’re not sure.
If you're not automatically eligible
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
- you have severe problems using both 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
- you have a terminal illness that causes you serious issues getting around
You should also fill in this section if you can’t plan or follow a route without help from someone else because you have a severe ‘cognitive impairment’. A cognitive impairment is something that makes it harder for you to remember things or solve problems, for example a learning disability or dementia.
If you have temporary problems getting around
You can apply for a temporary 12 month Blue Badge if you’re recovering from, or waiting for treatment for a serious illness or injury that severely limits your mobility. Examples include:
complex leg fractures eg managed with external fixators for over a year
hip or knee joint replacements
stroke or head injuries
medical treatment eg for cancer
Your local council might refer you for an independent medical assessment to make sure that you qualify for a temporary badge.
Applying for a Blue Badge
You have to apply through your local council - your doctor can't help you get a Blue Badge. Your local council might also arrange an appointment to visit you - they'll let you know if you need this.
Filling in the application if you're not automatically eligible
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.
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.
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 of the application for them.
You should describe your condition in as much detail as you can. The walking problem has to be caused by a severe and permanent disability.
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 have severe problems using 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
- have severe problems using parking ticket machines or meters
Describe the problems you have with both of your arms. You’ll need to explain in detail why you have difficulty using parking ticket machines or meters.
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.
If you have a terminal illness
Your council will usually fast-track your application.
Contact your local council and ask if you can fill in a paper form - tell them you're terminally ill when you call. You'll still need to prove you're eligible but your application might be dealt with quicker. 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.
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.
What happens after you've applied
It could take a long time for your application to be processed. You should contact your council if you haven’t heard back within 6-8 weeks.
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.
Renewing your Blue Badge
You'll need to renew your badge after 3 years. You'll also have to re-apply for a badge if you stop getting the benefit your badge is linked to
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.