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.
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 ensure 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.
People who automatically qualify for a badge:
A person over two years old who meets at least one of the following criteria:
- receives the higher rate of the Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance;
- receives Personal Independence Payment for being unable to walk further than 50 metres (a score of 8 points or more under the 'moving around' activity of the mobility component);
- is registered blind (severely sight impaired);
- receives a War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement; or has received a lump sum benefit within tariff levels 1-8 of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation) Scheme, and has been 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:
Some people may also be eligible for a badge if they are over two years old and either:
- has a permanent and substantial disability which means they cannot walk, or which makes walking very difficult;
- drives a motor vehicle regularly, has a severe disability in both arms, and is unable to operate all or some types of parking meter (or would find it very difficult to operate them).
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.
You need to renew your Blue Badge every three years. If you apply for a badge online you'll be sent a reminder for this.
Please ensure you apply for a new Blue Badge 8 to 12 weeks in advance of the expiry date of your current Blue Badge.
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.
Dedicated disabled parking bays (no time limit) are available in the following council car parks:
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 ensure 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.
If you live in Middlesbrough and are registering the death at Middlesbrough's registration office, you can return the badge to the registrar who will forward it on to us. Otherwise, please return the badge to the Customer Centre at Middlesbrough House.
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.
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.
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.
If you believe that your organisation meets the necessary criteria please apply online via GOV.UK or call 01642 245432 to request an application form.
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.