Blue Badges (Disabled Parking badges Scheme)

How do I apply for a Blue Badge

How long does it take to process an application?

Once all supporting documentation has been provided and the fee has been paid, an application can take up to 8 weeks for those who need an independent assessment and for applications under the automatic criteria these will be processed within 10 working days

What do I do if I need to re-apply for my Blue Badge?

A letter will be issued to you about 10 weeks before your current badge will expire inviting you to re-apply.  You can do this either online, on the phone 01546 605517 or in person at your local customer service point or email bluebadges@argyll-bute.gov.uk to request an application. 

Please note: you will need to make a new application when re-applying for your badge.

For those needing assessed, we recommend that you apply for the replacement badge as early as possible before the expiry date to allow processing time and to prevent delay, as these can take 6 - 8 weeks to process. Applications assessed automatically and those requiring no further assessment should apply around 4 weeks in advance.

What are Blue Badges for?

The Blue Badge scheme is for drivers or passengers with severe mobility problems and people with a mental disorder or cognitive impairment. The scheme provides a range of on-street parking concessions enabling Blue Badge holders to park closer to where they need to go.  

The Scheme allows badge holders to park on the streets of towns and cities.  It cannot be used in private car parks, privately owned roads or at airports where indicated.

If you are unsure as to whether you can park in a street, nearby street signs should help

Am I eligible for a Blue Badge?

Applicants over the age of two can get a badge;

  • if they meet one of the automatic qualifing criteria or
  • have a successful independent mobility assessment carried out or
  • they have a disability in both upper limbs or
  • diagnosed mental disorder or cognitive impairment

A child under the age of three with specific medical conditions may also qualify.

For more information on eligibility read Can I get a Blue Badge booklet?

What qualifies as Automatic Criteria?

You are automatically eligible for a badge if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance
  • you meet a ‘Moving Around’ descriptor for the Mobility Component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) that indicates that you either cannot stand or can stand but walk no more than 50 metres (8 points or more)
  • you meet the 'Planning and Following Journeys' descriptor for the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) that indicates that you can't follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid (12 points)
  • You were in receipt of a fixed term award of the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance immediately before being assessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). You did not receive the Mobility Component of PIP at 8 points or more for the ‘Moving Around’ activity or 12 points for the ‘Planning and Following Journeys’ activity and you have requested a mandatory reconsideration of that decision with the Department for Work and Pensions within the last year
  • you were in receipt of a lifetime or indefinite award of the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance immediately before being assessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • you are Severely Sight Impaired (blind)
  • you receive a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
  • you have received a lump sum benefit within tariffs 1 to 8 of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation) Scheme and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial difficulty which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking. 

If I don’t automatically meet the criteria for a Blue Badge, can I still get a blue badge?

The rules since 1st September 2012 are that if you don't fall under one of the automatic eligibility criteria, you must have an independent mobility assessment carried out using the information provided on the application form.  Some applicants may be invited for a face to face assessment.  This will be held at your local hospital and you will be issued with an appointment to attend if required.

New applications - All first time applications that don't meet the automatic criteria must have an assessment carried out

Re-Applications - If you have previously been issued a badge since 1 September 2012, you may already have had an assessment. The independent blue badge assessor can decide that the applicant does not need to be reassessed due to the nature of their condition as no improvement is expected. When re-applying for your blue badge, we will be able to confirm if you need a further assessment.

What is the Independent Mobility Assessment criteria?

If you do not fall under an automatic criteria you may also be eligible for a badge if you meet one of the following:

  • you have a permanent and substantial disability which means you are unable to walk, or virtually unable to walk; or
  • you are unable to walk, or virtually unable to walk because of a temporary but substantial disability which is likely to last for a period of at least 12 months but less than 3 years.

Eligibility is not based on the basis of a particular diagnosis or condition; it is the effect of the disability on your ability to walk that is important. Medical conditions such as asthma, autism, psychological/behavioural problems, Crohn’s disease/incontinent conditions and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) are not in themselves a qualification for a badge. People with these conditions may be eligible for a badge under the above criteria, but only if they are unable or virtually unable to walk.

What is the Severe disability in both upper limbs?

You may also be eligible if you drive a motor vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both upper limbs, which means you are 

  • unable to operate,
  • have considerable difficulty in operating, all or some types of parking meter.

To qualify for a badge under this criterion you will need to show that you meet all of the following:

  • that you drive a vehicle regularly;
  • that you have a severe disability in both arms; and
  • that you are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty operating, all or some types of on-street parking equipment.

Only drivers with the most severe disabilities in both their arms will be eligible under this criterion. It does not apply to people, who for example, have difficulty carrying parcels or shopping or to people who travel solely as a passenger.

What is the mental disorder and cognitive impairment application?

On the 1st April 2016 Transport Scotland introduced a pilot to extend the eligibility criteria to include mental disorders and cognitive impairments.  The eligibility criteria is to allow people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person’s parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.

A decision was made on Friday 15 December 2017 that the cognitive pilot has now been made a permanent category from Monday 18 December 2017. 

To meet this eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge the applicant must:

  • Have a diagnosed mental disorder

  • Be in receipt of a qualifying benefit

Lack awareness of danger from traffic, meaning something is likely to risk the applicant's safety or the safety of other people during journeys. The purpose of the Badge would be to support safety where other strategies don’t work. You may want to talk to a health or social care professional about whether a Blue Badge is appropriate before applying, as it may be other tools would reduce the risk better.

 

If you have a Mental Disorder/Cognitive Impairment, you may be eligible if you are over the age of three and meet the following criteria

Have a letter confirming a diagnosed mental disorder or cognitive impairment and you are in receipt of either

  • the higher or middle rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or

  • the higher or lower rate of Attendance Allowance (AA) or

  • has been awarded at least eight points in respect of activity 7 (communicating verbally), activity 8 (reading and understanding signs, symbols and words) and activity 9 (engaging with other people face to face) of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) ***Please note that points can be accumulated from each of these activities***

and

  • a healthcare professional (excluding a GP) or a registered social worker can confirm that the applicant meets the definition by completing the questionnaire in Section 3 of this application form.

Applications may take up to 8 weeks to process as they may be required to have an assessment carried out by the independent blue badge assessor.

Mental Disorder/Cognitive Impairment applications cannot be made online, please request an application form by phoning 01546 605517 or in person at your local customer service point or by email bluebadges@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Special rules for children with a disability under age 3

A parent of a child who is under three years old may apply for a badge for their child if the child has a specific medical condition which means that they must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around without great difficulty.

Bulky medical equipment includes any of the following:

  • ventilators;
  • suction machines;
  • feed pumps;
  • parenteral equipment;
  • syringe drivers;
  • oxygen administration equipment;
  • continuous oxygen saturation monitoring equipment; and
  • casts and associated medical equipment for the correction of hip dysplasia.

A child will be eligible to receive a badge if the equipment is always needed and cannot be carried around without great difficulty.

A parent of a child who is less than three years old may apply for a badge for their child if the child has a specific medical condition which requires that they are kept near a vehicle at all times, so that they can, if necessary, be treated in the vehicle or quickly driven to a place where they can be treated, such as a hospital.

Some examples of such highly unstable medical conditions are:

  • tracheostomies;
  • severe epilepsy/seizures;
  • highly unstable diabetes; or
  • terminal illnesses that prevent children from spending any more than brief moments outside and who need a quick route home.

Please note this list is not exhaustive.

A parent or guardian must apply on behalf of a child under three.

What do I need to provide along with my application?

Once you have completed your application form either online or using a paper form, the following documents must also be provided:

All applicants must provide:

  • a passport-style photograph
  • proof of qualifying benefit (if applicable)
  • proof of identity
  • proof of residency
  • the Blue Badge fee (£20)

If you are applying under the mental disorder or cognitive impairment category you will also need to provide a letter confirming the diagnosis of the mental disorder or cognitive impairment, unless you are re-applying and the condition you have will not improve.

For a child under 3, you will also need to provide a letter of confirmation from your consultant or health professional.

If you are applying as you have a disability in both arms, you will also need to provide a letter from your consultant or health professional confirming that you have a severe disability in both arms and that you are either unable to operate all types of parking meter, or have considerable difficulty operating all or some types of parking meter.

If you have applied online you can email your documents to bluebadges@argyll-bute.gov.uk

What happens after you apply?

If you applied online, you can track the progress of your application on the Blue Badge Scotland website.

or

If you applied in person:

Applications can take up to 8 weeks to process.  Once your application has been approved, all evidence submitted and the fee paid, we will request your Blue Badge from the National Centre.

This will be delivered to your home along with the rights and responsibilities of a blue badge holder information booklet and time clock for use if travelling in England and Wales

Can an Organisation apply for a Blue Badge?

Some organisations may be eligible for a Blue Badge if they both care for and transport disabled people who themselves meet the eligibility criteria for a badge. The local authority will decide whether the organisation has a clear need for an organisational badge rather than using the individual badges of people it is transporting. An organisational badge must only be displayed when someone who would be eligible for a Blue Badge in their own right is being transported.

Common examples of organisations that may be eligible include residential care homes, hospices or local authority social services departments. It is unlikely that taxi or private hire operators and community transport operators would be eligible for an organisational Blue Badge as they are not usually concerned with the care of disabled people.

When making an application for an organisational Blue Badge, you may be asked for evidence that the vehicles on which the badge will be displayed are licensed under the Disabled Passenger Vehicle taxation class. You will be asked for information such as the number of qualifying disabled people being cared for, the type of vehicle being used to carry passengers and whether the vehicle is adapted.

How do I report a lost, damaged or stolen badge?

You can report a lost or stolen badge online.

What you need:

  • If you have lost your badge or it has been stolen you need to provide either a lost property slip or a crime reference number, these are issued by the police.
  • There is a £20 administration charge for lost or stolen badges and your current badge will be cancelled. Further use of a cancelled badge would be a criminal offence subject to a maximum £1000 fine.

If your Blue Badge is damaged then bring the damaged badge and the £20 administration fee to your local customer service point and we will request a replacement.

How do I report a suspected fraudulent user?

If you would like to report someone who you suspect is using a Blue Badge which they are not entitled to please contact our Fraud Team.

How to apply for a Disabled Person’s Parking Place

In order to be eligible to apply for a disabled person’s parking place to be created near your home, you firstly need to be a Blue Badge holder. Please note the disabled person’s parking place is not allocated to a specific person and may be used by anyone who has a Blue Badge. It may not be possible to create a disabled person’s parking place in some areas because of the disruption this will cause to local traffic.

Check eligibility

The applicant must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • Have a valid disabled person's badge (Blue Badge)
  • Have a permanent medical condition which affects mobility
  • Either be the driver of a private vehicle or be assisted by a carer who is the driver of a private vehicle, provided that the carer lives at the address stated  [Note: you must also provide a copy of the Vehicle Registration Document V5 – failure to do so will mean we cannot process the application]
  • The vehicle must be kept at the address stated in the application form
  • There is normally difficulty in obtaining a parking space on the public road
  • It is not possible to construct a driveway or other hardstanding area adjacent to the property

If you think you meet these requirements and wish to apply for a disabled parking place to be created near your home, please download the application form and once completed forward to the Traffic and Development Section, Argyll & Bute Council, 1A Manse Brae, Lochgilphead PA31 8RD.