The Blue Badge scheme provides parking for people with disabilities who travel as either drivers or passengers. A Blue Badge allows a vehicle to be parked nearer to where the holder needs to go than standard parking spaces might. The scheme operates throughout the UK.
Who can use a Blue Badge to park?
Blue Badges are only valid for parking when the badge holder is either driving the vehicle or is being transported in the vehicle. The badge holder must be present when the vehicle is parked; if the badge holder has already been dropped off before the vehicle is parked the driver cannot use the badge.
Blue Badges are not for use by family or friends of the holder. Use of a Blue Badge by a person other than the badge holder is a criminal offence and can lead to a £1,000 fine. Parking Civil Enforcement Officers as well as police officers have the right to inspect Blue Badges to make sure they are being used correctly, so badge holders should show their badges when requested. Additional powers introduced in October 2013 allow Civil Enforcement Officers to retain a Blue Badge in certain circumstances including if the badge is being misused or has been reported lost or stolen.
Eligibility for a Blue Badge
People who automatically qualify for a badge:
People who may be given a badge without extra assessments are aged more than two years old and fall within one or more of the following categories:
- getting the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA); or
- getting the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and has obtained 8 points or more under the ‘moving around’ activity; or
- getting the mobility component of PIP and has obtained 10 points specifically for Descriptor E under the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity, on the grounds that they are unable to undertake any journey because it would cause them overwhelming psychological distress; or
- is registered blind (severely sight impaired); or
- getting a War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement (WPMS); or
- has been both awarded a lump sum benefit at tariffs 1-8 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, and is certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.
People who may also qualify for a badge:
People who may be issued with a badge after extra assessments are those who are aged more than two years old and may be described as one or more of the following:
- a person who drives a vehicle regularly, has a severe disability in both arms and is unable to operate, or has considerable difficulty in operating, some or all of parking meter; or
- a person who has been certified by an expert assessor as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes them, during the course of a journey, to:
- be unable to walk;
- experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress; or
- be at risk of serious harm when walking, or pose, when walking, a risk of serious harm to any other person.
In addition, children under the age of three may be eligible for a badge if they fall within either or both of the following descriptions:
- A child who, on account of a condition, must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment, which cannot be carried around with the child without great difficulty;
- A child who, on account of a condition, must always be kept near a motor vehicle so that, if necessary, treatment for that condition can be given in the vehicle, or the child can be taken quickly in the vehicle to a place where such treatment can be given.
Apply for a Blue Badge
The easiest and quickest way to apply for a Blue Badge is online. To apply online, you'll need:
- your National Insurance number
- driving licence number, if you have one
- a photograph that meets passport requirements. For more information on these requirements please see the Gov.uk website
- the number, expiry date and local authority given on your current badge, if you have one
Your Blue Badge will cost £10.
If you automatically qualify for a badge you should receive it within 28 days. If you need a walking assessment, your application may take up to 6 weeks to process.
Renew your Blue Badge
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
If you're reapplying for a badge under the categories relating to DLA and PIP, have been reassessed for your benefit, and have successfully received a new benefit award, you can apply for a Blue Badge online. Applications may take a little longer than usual to process due to the impact of coronavirus.
If you're reapplying for a badge under the categories relating to DLA and PIP, and you have not been reassessed for your benefit due to coronavirus, following national guidance we can only issue a badge lasting up until the end date of your current DLA or PIP award, up to a maximum of 3 years. Therefore, if your reassessment has been delayed we may not be able to reissue a new badge under these criteria until you've been issued a new award which meets the eligibility criteria. If this applies to you, you might want to wait until you've received a new award. Alternatively you can make an application under the 'further assessment criteria' - see 'People who may also qualify for a badge' under the 'Eligibility for a Blue Badge' section for more information. Apply for a Blue Badge online.
The maximum amount of time a Blue Badge can last for is 3 years. This could be less if your badge is linked to a DLA or PIP award, or if the badge is for a child under the age of 3 years old. The badge holder is responsible for knowing the date when their badge expires.
If you want to renew your badge you need to reapply. You can reapply online via GOV.UK.
Please make sure you apply for a new Blue Badge 8 to 12 weeks before the expiry date of your current Blue Badge.
Once your Blue Badge has expired it will no longer be valid. Please return your expired badge to us by post to: Blue Badge team, PO Box 505, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FZ.
Pay for your Blue Badge
If your application for a Blue Badge has been approved, you'll need to pay the £10 fee before we can order your badge. The Blue Badge fee can be paid:
- online using a payment card - pay for your Blue Badge online
- by cheque made payable to Middlesbrough Council, and sent to: Blue Badge Team, Middlesbrough Council, PO Box 505, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FZ
If you're struggling to make a payment using one of these methods, please call us on 01642 729184.
Where can I park with my Blue Badge in Middlesbrough?
The council allows free parking without time limits for disabled badge holders in all its pay and display car parks, and pay and display on-street parking areas. This provision applies to all types of parking places including long, short and limited-stay spaces, not just dedicated disabled bays (excluding the private permit parking area on level 4a of the Captain Cook Square Car Park and level 6 which is also for private parking on Monday to Friday).
Use of disabled bays is controlled by Civil Enforcement Officers who issue a Penalty Charge Notice to motorists abusing these facilities. Please make sure you display your badge and parking clock correctly. Please make sure that you're using a valid badge, and that the badge holder is being dropped off and/or collected from the parked vehicle.
Dedicated disabled parking bays (no time limit) are available in the following council car parks:
Disabled badge holders are not allowed to park in places with restrictions, such as loading areas and bus stops. Parking must not endanger, inconvenience, or obstruct pedestrians or other road users.
If you're using a private car park, including supermarkets and hospitals, always check the parking instructions of the car park provider. These will usually be displayed in the car park or on the parking meter. They will explain the individual provider's rules about disabled parking.
Track your Blue Badge application
If you've made an application for a Blue Badge, you'll usually hear from the team within 2 weeks.
If you've not heard anything and would like to find out what is happening with your Blue Badge request, you can contact the Blue Badge team on 01642 729184 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appeal a Blue Badge decision
If you've been refused a Blue Badge, you can appeal the decision. Contact us and tell us why you think we were wrong to refuse you a badge. Please include copies of any new supporting evidence you have. You can contact us:
- in writing to: Blue Badge Team, Middlesbrough Council, PO Box 505, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FZ (if you're sending supporting evidence, please send photocopies rather than the original documents)
- by email to: email@example.com.
Once we've received your appeal, we'll respond to you within 2 weeks. As part of the appeal process, you may need to attend a face-to-face assessment.
Update your Blue Badge details
If you'd like to update your personal details, you can contact the Blue Badge team by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your Blue Badge number as a reference.
Report a lost or stolen Blue Badge
If you've lost your badge or it's been stolen, you can report it to the Blue Badge team on 01642 729184 or by email to email@example.com.
Please note, the Blue Badge administration fee of £10 applies to requests for a replacement badge.
How to display your Blue Badge
When using the parking concessions you must display the badge on the dashboard or fascia panel, where it can be clearly read through the front windscreen. If there is no dashboard or fascia panel in your vehicle, you must still display the badge in a place where it can be clearly read from outside the vehicle. The front of the badge should face upwards, showing the wheelchair symbol.
The side showing the photograph should not be visible through the windscreen.
You must also make sure that the details on the front of the badge remain legible. If they become unreadable through fading or wear and tear, you must return the badge to us so we can issue you with a new one. Displaying a badge that is illegible may result in a parking fine.
What to do if the Blue Badge holder has died
If you live in Middlesbrough and are registering the death at Middlesbrough Register Office, you can return the badge to the registrar who will forward it on to us. Otherwise, please return the badge to: Blue Badge team, PO Box 505, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FZ.
The council's Tell Us Once service can inform a number of government departments and council services about the death, to save time for the family. The Blue Badge can be returned as part of this service.
Report the misuse of a Blue Badge
The Council is committed to providing high quality facilities for Blue Badge holders. As part of this commitment we encourage you to report the misuse of Blue Badges. Blue Badges are strictly for use by the badge holder, who must be present when the vehicle is being parked. Blue Badges are not for use by family or friends of the badge holder. Use of a Blue Badge by a person other than the badge holder is a criminal offence and perpetrators can be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.
You may report suspected misuse or fraud by completing the online form. You don't have to give your name or contact details.
Organisational Blue Badges
An organisation that cares for and transports groups of disabled people who would each qualify for a Blue Badge in their own right may apply for an organisational Blue Badge.
The organisation should be using a vehicle adapted for the use of disabled passengers. You'll need to provide details of the adaptations and if the vehicle is licensed under the Disabled Passenger Vehicle (DPV) taxation class, and confirm that the vehicle is solely being used for the purpose of transporting the disabled people being cared for.
The organisation should also confirm the number of qualifying disabled people, and if too few people who meet the eligibility criteria are being transported, the disabled people would apply for their own Blue Badges rather than for an organisational badge.
The organisational badge is issued to the organisation or department rather than to an individual employee, and employees are reminded that the badge must only be used for transporting disabled people who meet the eligibility criteria. If the badge is used when there are no eligible passengers in the vehicle, a fine of up to £1,000 can be imposed.