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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

About the Blue Badge Scheme

The Blue Badge scheme allows drivers of passengers with severe mobility problems to park close to where they need to go. Find out where you can use your badge, how to display it and how to use it abroad.

About the scheme

You can now apply online for a Blue Badge if you live in England, Scotland or Wales

You can download leaflets free of charge here - they provide information about using and displaying a Blue Badge correctly in England and Wales.

You can find out how to apply for a Blue Badge using the link below if you are resident in England, Scotland or Wales. You can also change your personal details or report a lost or stolen badge.

Using a Blue Badge

Find Blue Badge parking

You can find out about Blue Badge parking spaces in your area from your local authority

In England and Wales, Blue Badge holders may generally park:

  • on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours, unless there is a ban on loading or unloading
  • at 'on-street' parking meters and pay-and-display machines for free and for as long as they need to
  • in disabled parking bays

There is currently no Blue Badge parking map for the UK but you can find parking information from your local authority. See the following link to find disabled parking bays.

All information on this page relates to England and Wales unless specified. Details of the scheme differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland - please see the relevant website for more information.

Displaying the Blue Badge

You should display the Blue Badge where it can be clearly read through the windscreen of your vehicle. The front of the badge should face upwards, showing the wheelchair symbol or the hologram in the new badge design.

When you receive your badge, you should also get a parking clock. Whenever you park on yellow lines, or in a place with time restrictions, the clock should:

  • show the quarter-hour period when you arrived
  • be displayed next to the badge

When no parking concessions are being used, Blue Badges should be removed from view.

Showing a Blue Badge for inspection

Enforcement officers who are allowed to inspect Blue Badges include:

  • police officers
  • traffic wardens
  • local council parking attendants
  • civil enforcement officers

They should produce an identity card with their photograph on it to prove they are who they say they are.

If an enforcement officer asks to see your Blue Badge, you must show it to them. If you do not, you will be breaking the law and could be fined up to £1,000.

Enforcement officers are not allowed to take away a Blue Badge unless accompanied by a police officer.

Misusing Blue Badges

Report misuse of a Blue Badge

If you think someone is misusing a Blue Badge, you can report it to your local authority

Blue Badges are the property of local councils, who can take them away if they are misused.

The Blue Badge is for your use only, and it is an offence to allow other people to use it. It is also an offence to park in an on-street Blue Badge parking bay without displaying a 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

The maximum fine for someone convicted is £1,000 plus any additional penalty for the related parking offence.

It is not illegal to remain in the vehicle with the badge displayed if you are a Blue Badge holder or waiting for the Blue Badge holder to return. However, you should consider using a car park whenever possible.

The Blue Badge Scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, for example supermarket car parks. However, off-street car parks may provide bays for Blue Badge holders. Please check any signs or notices before parking.

If you think people are unfairly parking in bays reserved for disabled people, contact the management of the store or car park.

Using a Blue Badge in London

The scheme does not apply in four central London boroughs, who offer their own parking concessions:

  • City of London
  • City of Westminster
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • part of the London Borough of Camden

However, you can find Blue Badge parking bays on the Blue Badge London map.

London Congestion Charge

Blue Badge holders do not have to pay the London Congestion Charge. You must register with Transport for London (TfL) at least ten days before your journey and pay a one-off £10 registration fee. You can download a registration form on the TfL website.

Telephone: 0845 900 1234

Textphone: 020 7649 9123

Using your Blue Badge abroad

The UK has agreed informal parking arrangements with other European Union (EU) countries, so you may be able to use the Blue Badge abroad. You can find out more by downloading the 'Parking card for people with disabilities in the EU' booklet below.

In non-EU countries, you should take the badge with you and ask whether you are entitled to use it.

Disabled visitors to the UK

Disabled visitors to England cannot get a Blue Badge. However, if you live in an EU country, you can use your parking card in the UK. If you are travelling from outside the EU, please check with the local authorities in the areas you want to visit to see if your country's parking card is recognised.

If you are visiting Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, different conditions may apply.

Toll concessions

Blue Badge holders and other disabled people are exempt from tolls at certain river crossings, bridges and tunnels. In most cases, you will have to apply in advance to qualify.

Who to contact for more information

The Blue Badge Scheme is run by your local council - contact them first for more information or advice.

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