Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) there may be delays in processing Blue Badge applications.
Who can have a blue badge
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 and for people with hidden disabilities including autism and mental health conditions.
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 have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes an inability to walk or considerable difficulty in walking
- have any score other than 10 points under descriptor E, in the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity of PIP, you may still be eligible for a blue badge, but you do not automatically qualify. This includes if you have a higher score of 12. You must provide evidence to demonstrate your eligibility, which will be assessed as part of your application.
Find out more on the GOV.UK website.
If any of these criteria apply, you must include proof of eligibility with your application.
If you are registered blind or severely sight impaired, you must send us either a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) or a BD8 form signed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist, which states that you are severely sight impaired (blind). If you are unable to provide this information, state the name of the local authority or borough where you are registered as severely sight impaired (blind). We will check this when we process your application.
If you have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 6 months or less, and can provide a valid DS1500, you are eligible for a blue badge. Please apply online or contact us to apply on 0300 123 2224.
You can get a badge following an assessment if you are a person who has been certified as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes you to:
- Be unable to walk
- Experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress
- Be at risk of serious harm when walking, or pose, when walking a risk of serious harm to any other person
What documents you will need
We require specific supporting evidence to process your application, please have this available before you start to apply.
If we do not receive your documents within 10 working days from the date of your application, we will assume that you do not wish to proceed and we will cancel your request. You must then apply again.
For hidden disabilities (non-visible condition) applications only please see our ‘Applying for a Blue Badge with a hidden disabilities (non-visible condition)’ information.
Supporting documents required for applications
Proof of your identity, such as:
- A copy of the photograph page of a valid passport
- A copy of a valid photocard driving licence – the front of the photocard showing your name, address, photograph and signature
- A copy of your birth or adoption certificate
- A copy of a marriage or divorce certificate, a civil partnership or dissolution certificate
Proof of your address
You must submit one of the following, dated within the last 12 months:
- A council tax bill
- A bank or building society statement
- A utility bill – gas, electricity, water or phone bill
- A copy of a valid photocard driving licence – the front of the photocard showing your name, address, photograph and signature
- A benefit letter showing your address
- A payslip showing your address
- A pension, HMRC or Tax Credit letter
An up-to-date photo
Your photo must be:
- of you on your own
- taken within the last 6 months and it must not be the same as the one on your previous Blue Badge
- a close-up of your head and shoulders
- in colour
- sharp and in focus with a clear difference between your face and the background
- taken against a plain, light background
- of you looking straight at the camera
- showing your full head, unless you cover your head for religious or medical reasons
Proof of any benefits you receive
You must send with your Blue Badge application either:
- A copy of your award notice letter (if it is less than 12 months old), or
- A copy of your annual updating letter
Example of a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Letter Please use this example to make sure you send the correct parts of your PIP letters to us to prevent a delay in processing your application.
Medical evidence where you have had a diagnosis of a condition that affects your mobility
You must supply relevant up to date (within the last 12 months) medical evidence to prove you have the conditions that affect you when walking. Please only provide the following documents, do not send appointment letters or any other notes or documents:
- Diagnosis letters from GPs, hospitals or other health care professionals confirming your condition detailing your treatment plan together with :
- A copy of your latest repeat prescription forms if you are taking medication to treat your condition.
Apply for, or renew a blue badge
If you are applying under the new hidden disabilities (non-visible) criteria, please see our ‘Applying for a Blue Badge with hidden disabilities (non-visible condition)’ information below before you apply.
If you are not applying under the new criteria, please read this information.
You can apply or renew online using the GOV.UK website. This is where our ‘Apply for or renew a blue badge now’ button takes you. This is a national system and we recommend that you carefully read and follow the instructions on the GOV.UK website. The page gives you information about how to use the form to apply.
The Government has produced a quick visual guide to show you how easy it is to apply for a blue badge online.
Before you apply please check:
- Your eligibility by reading our ‘Who can have a blue badge’ information.
- You have all the relevant supporting documents. You can find out what these are by reading our ‘What documents you will need’ information.
We aim to process all applications within 6 weeks of us receiving all required information. If applications are missing information, we will notify you once and then cancel your request 10 working days after this time if it is still incomplete. You must apply again. If your application needs to be assessed by one of our occupational therapists it may take longer to process than 6 weeks.
A blue badge costs £10
Blue badges are not automatically renewed. You can apply for a new one up to 11 weeks before your blue badge expires. We will contact you up to 10 weeks before the expiry date on your badge to remind you to apply for a new one. When your old badge has expired it is no longer valid and you should securely dispose of it yourself. There is no need to return it to us.
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 have to use this kind of service to be able to apply.
If your current badge has been lost, stolen or defaced, please use see our ‘Request a replacement blue badge’ information to order a new one.
We may ask you to attend a mobility clinic where an Occupational Therapist can assess your difficulty with walking. If your application is referred to an Occupational Therapist this may extend the time it takes for your application to be finalised, depending on the availability of clinic appointments.
Please contact us if you would like to check the progress of your application and have been waiting near or over 6 weeks.
Badges are sent centrally and can take 5 to 10 days to arrive by post after your application is processed.
We do not offer a drop-in service, so please don’t bring your application, payment or supporting documents to our reception area.
Where you can park
Most car parks provide dedicated parking bays for blue badge holders. You should always check the display boards for pricing. 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). You must display the parking clock showing the time you arrived. Please, always check local signs for information.
On-street disabled parking bays and waiting bays – you may park for free and, unless otherwise stated, there is no time limit. Again, check the local signs.
Resident’s Parking Zones – you should not park unless you have a relevant permit for the zone. If the zone is shared use and also allows limited waiting, you may park without time limitations.
There are also agreements about where you can park when travelling in Europe.
You can use a blue badge on a moped. The badge must be visible and securely fitted to the moped.
For full details of parking restrictions, see the booklet that was sent to you with your blue badge.
Apply for or renew a blue badge for an organisation
Organisations which transport disabled people and who meet the eligibility criteria can also apply for a blue badge.
You can apply online or phone us to apply on 0300 123 2224.
Appeal a blue badge decision
If, after applying, you have not been awarded a badge but you feel you are still eligible, you can appeal the decision.
To appeal the decision, you must notify us within 28 days of the badge being refused, giving your reasons and providing any additional evidence supporting your original application. To submit an appeal please use the button below.
After 28 days it is no longer possible to appeal the decision – you must submit a new application.
As part of the appeal process we will need to share your information with our occupational therapy department and you may be asked to attend a mobility clinic with an occupational therapist.
We aim to process your appeal and tell you what has been decided within 28 days of us receiving it.
If your mobility or condition deteriorates significantly and you can produce medical evidence of this, or if you are awarded the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments where you have scored 8 points or more in the ‘Moving Around’ descriptor of the Mobility Component, you can reapply.
Request a replacement blue badge
If your badge is lost or stolen you must contact us to cancel your badge so that it is not used fraudulently.
You can only use this service if you need a replacement blue badge. If your badge is due to expire please see the top section of this page for more information.
A replacement blue badge costs £10
You can request and pay for a replacement badge using the button below. You do not need to provide a new photo. This form is for replacement badges only – not renewals.
When we have received your application and payment we will order you a replacement badge – which you should receive within 28 days.
Cancelled badges cannot legally be used and cannot be reinstated. So, even if you find the badge later or if it is returned, you must still pay the £10 fee, and a new badge will be issued. The old badge must be disposed of securely.
The replacement badge is a duplicate of the original badge – so the expiry date will remain the same. It will not run for another 3 years.
If your badge becomes faded and the details are unreadable, you must have a replacement badge. The replacement badge will cost £10.
When you have received your replacement, please return the damaged or defaced badge to us – Blue Badge Scheme, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.
We do not offer a drop-in service, so please don’t bring your application and payment to our reception area.
Cancel a blue badge
Please let us know if someone who had a blue badge has died. We will update our records immediately so that no more correspondence is sent out. Please return the badge, confirming the date of death, to:
Blue Badge Scheme
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.
If your circumstances have changed and you no longer need a blue badge, please post it back to the address above and tell us the reason you no longer need it.
Update a blue badge
If you change your address, please let us know immediately so that our records are kept up to date and any correspondence, including your renewal reminder letter, is sent to the correct place. You can update your details by contacting the Blue Badge Team using the details at the bottom of this section.
If you move into or out of Somerset your badge will still apply, but please notify the council of the area you are moving out of so that they can transfer your details to the new authority.
Renewal reminder notifications and other correspondence can also be sent by email or text. If you would prefer to receive communications from us in this way please let us know and we will update our records.
If you have changed your name, your badge will still be valid. Please let us know if your name changes, so that if your badge is renewed the new badge will have your new name on it. If you want to replace your current badge with one that shows your new name, please send your request to us in writing along with proof of identification. When we receive your request we will contact you for a payment of £10.
If you want to update the photo on your badge while it is still in date, please send your request to us in writing, along with the photo. When we receive your request we will contact you for payment of £10.
When you receive a replacement badge, please return your old badge to:
Blue Badge Scheme
Email the Blue Badge Team – Bluebadge@somerset.gov.uk
Report the misuse of a blue badge
Please contact us to tell us about the misuse of a blue badge. All reports are treated confidentially. To be able to investigate we will need the serial number on the badge, and if available the name and address of the holder. A badge can be withdrawn immediately if:
- it has been reported lost or stolen
- the holder is not the person they claim to be
- the holder allows another person to display the badge
- the badge was obtained by false representation
- violations have occurred on more than three occasions (for example, parked vehicle causing obstructions or danger to other road users)
Someone else can drive you and use your blue badge if you are a passenger in the vehicle. They can use it when they are picking you up or dropping you off. But if you allow someone else to use the badge when you are not a passenger, this is a criminal offence.
If an able-bodied person uses the badge and the holder has allowed this use, their badge will be immediately withdrawn. It is a criminal offence for an able-bodied person to use a badge. If they do so, they are liable to a fine of up to £1,000.
It is also a criminal offence to drive a vehicle displaying a disabled badge unless the badge holder is either driving or is a passenger in the vehicle, or an able-bodied person needs to display the badge on their vehicle to enter or leave a pedestrianised area to collect or drop off the badge holder. The maximum fine is £1,000.
You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities as a blue badge holder by reading the document on this page of the GOV.UK website.
What we will do if a blue badge is misused
We work closely with parking enforcement officers. If they or we discover that a blue badge is being misused we will work together to investigate the reasons. Parking enforcement officers have powers to seize a blue badge at the roadside if they think it is being misused.
If this happens, or if we suspect misuse or it is reported to us, we will contact you to let you explain what has been discovered or reported and ask for your views. This could be:
- No further action
- We issue a warning, and any further breach will result in your badge being withdrawn
- Withdrawal of the badge
- Arranging an appointment with an Occupational Therapist for another assessment
We will also consider a criminal proceeding if we believe an offence has been committed.
You can apply for or renew an individual badge online. If you are unable to do this you can make a phone application by phoning us on 0300 123 2224