A Guide to Becoming a Blue Badge Holder in the UK
If you rely on mobility aids to live independently, becoming a Blue Badge holder in the UK can be a life-changing event. A Blue Badge is a parking permit that allows disabled people to park closer to their destination and make it easier for them to get around. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of becoming a Blue Badge holder and provide you with tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible.
What is a Blue Badge?
A Blue Badge is a parking permit that allows disabled people to park closer to their destination. This can be especially helpful for those who use mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or crutches, to get around. The badge is valid for three years and can be used throughout the UK. Blue Badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours, or in designated Blue Badge parking spaces for an unlimited amount of time. The badge can be used by the person it is issued to, or by someone who is driving them.
To be eligible for a Blue Badge, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You are registered as blind or severely sight impaired.
- You receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- You receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have scored 8 or more points in the 'moving around' activity of the mobility component.
- You receive War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement.
- You have a permanent and substantial disability which means you cannot walk or have very considerable difficulty walking.
If you meet any of the above criteria, you may be eligible for a Blue Badge. Keep in mind that eligibility criteria may vary depending on your location, so it's best to check with your local council for specific requirements.
Applying for a Blue Badge
To apply for a Blue Badge, you will need to contact your local council. You can find your local council's contact details on the Gov.uk website. Your local council will require you to provide some information, such as your National Insurance number, proof of identity, and proof of eligibility. They may also ask for a recent photograph of yourself.
It's important to note that the application process can take up to eight weeks, so it's best to apply well in advance of when you need the badge. If you're applying for a renewal, you can do this up to six weeks before your current badge expires.
What happens next?
Once your application has been approved, you will receive your Blue Badge in the post. You should read the guidance that comes with the badge to make sure you understand how to use it correctly.
It's important to remember that the Blue Badge is for your use only, and you should not lend it to anyone else. If you are caught using a Blue Badge that doesn't belong to you, you could be fined up to £1,000.
Becoming a Blue Badge holder can make a significant difference to your quality of life if you have mobility difficulties. If you meet the eligibility criteria, it's worth applying for a Blue Badge. Remember to apply in plenty of time, as the process can take a while. And once you have your badge, make sure you use it correctly and don't lend it to anyone else.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the process of becoming a Blue Badge holder in the UK. If you have any further questions, please contact your local council for more information.