The Blue Badge Scheme provides national parking concessions for people with severe walking difficulties who travel as drivers or passengers. The scheme is also for people who are severely sight impaired.
People who have blue badges can park close to their destination in on-street parking and some car parks.
While there is a small charge for a Blue Badge, there is no charge to apply.
Please be aware that there are some organisations and websites which offer a service to help you apply and they will charge you for this help. You don't need to use a service like that.
There is only one place you can apply and that is on the GOV.UK website. This is where our 'Apply now' button takes you.
Clicking the button will take you to the blue badge application page on the GOV.UK website, where applications are processed centrally. The page gives you information about how to use the online form to apply and how to track your application.
Or you can apply by phoning us on 0300 123 2224.
We will need information about you to decide whether you are eligible for a blue badge. We may need to ask you to attend a mobility clinic where an occupational therapist can assess your difficulty with walking.
Who can have a blue badge?
You can get a badge without further assessment if you:
- receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance
- receive a 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)
- are registered blind (severely sight impaired)
- receive the War Pensioner's mobility supplement
- are a severely disabled service person or veteran who is compensated under the new Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
- have received a lump sum benefit within tariff levels 1 to 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
You can get a badge following an assessment if you:
- have a permanent disability that means you can’t walk or have considerable difficulty walking;
- have a severe disability in both your upper limbs, you regularly drive a motor vehicle and that you are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty operating, all or some types of on-street parking equipment;
- are a child under the age of 3 who needs medical equipment with you at all times that cannot easily be transported, or if you are affected by unstable medical conditions and may require emergency treatment.
What will it cost?
The charge for the blue badge is £10.
Where can I park?
Most car parks provide dedicated parking bays for blue badge holders that are often free, but you should always check the display board because some places charge. Blue badges are sometimes not recognised in private car parks.
On-street parking is free. You may also be exempt from limited parking times and can park for up to three hours on yellow lines (except where restrictions are indicated). Please, always check local signs for information.
You can use a blue badge on a moped. The badge must be visible and securely fitted to the moped. If you have any queries please phone Somerset Parking Services (NSL) on 0333 999 8889 and choose option 4.
There are also agreements about where you can park when travelling in Europe.
How do I renew my blue badge?
The National Blue Badge Information Service will send you a letter or text message before the expiry date on your badge explaining how you can apply for a new badge.
If your badge becomes faded and the details are unreadable, please phone us to arrange for it to be replaced.
If you change your address please let us know immediately.
If you move into or out of Somerset your badge will still apply, but you will have to apply to your new local authority when it needs to be renewed.
What happens if I lose my badge?
If your badge is stolen you must first report it to the police. Then contact us to arrange for a replacement badge. A replacement blue badge costs £10. We will cancel your old badge, this means it can no longer legally be used, even if it is later found or returned.
What if I disagree with the decision not to issue a blue badge?
If your application is not successful we will tell you why and how you ask for the decision to be reviewed.
If you request a review we will need to share your information with an occupational therapist, who may ask to see you. They will then make a decision based on the rules and their decision is final.
Your responsibilities if you have a blue badge
You have a duty under regulation 9 of the 2000 regulations to return the badge if:
a) the badge expires;
b) you are no longer eligible or, in the case of an organisational badge, the organisation no longer exists or is no longer eligible;
c) it is a replacement badge for one that is lost or stolen and the original is found or recovered (in this case the original badge should be returned so that it can be securely destroyed);
d) the badge is so damaged/faded that the details on it are illegible;
e) the badge is no longer needed
How do I return my badge?
If you no longer need your blue badge, please post it back to us at this address:
Blue Badge Scheme
Somerset County Council
Bridgwater Social Care Office
PO Box 457
If you are using the Tell us once process to register the death of someone who had a blue badge, if you give permission, this information will be passed to us so that you don’t need to contact us separately.
Misuse of a blue badge
We want a blue badge system in Somerset that is trusted and respected. Wrongful use of a blue badge is a criminal offence and we will take appropriate action. See our ‘Report the misuse of a Blue Badge’ page to find out more.
Organisational Blue Badges
Organisations which transport disabled people,and who meet the eligibility criteria can also apply for a blue badge. You can apply online on the GOV.UK website.
To find out more
Go to the GOV.UK website for more detailed information or phone us on 0300 123 2224