Don't forget, waste collections will be a day later than usual all this week after the spring bank holiday.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Introduction

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.

Apply or renew

It’s easy to apply or renew online. The Government has produced a quick visual guide to show you how.

The online application is provided by GOV.UK

First, check if you are eligible.

Have your supporting documents ready – below you can find out what you need. You can upload your documents, photo and make payment using the online form.

If you are applying under the hidden disabilities (non-visible) criteria, please see this page before you apply – Apply for a Blue Badge if you have a hidden disability (a non-visible condition) 

Some organisations and websites offer a service to help you apply and they charge for this help. You don’t have to use this kind of service to be able to apply.

Renewing a Blue Badge

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 When your old badge has expired it is no longer valid and you should securely dispose of it yourself.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.

If your current badge has been lost, stolen or defaced, please use our Request a replacement Blue Badge page to order a new one.

Paying for a Blue Badge

A Blue Badge costs £10. You should pay at the time you apply.

If you have already applied and have an application reference, you can pay online. Only use this option when you have already applied.

How long it takes

We expect to process online applications within 6 weeks of receiving all the required information. Applications and documents sent by post will take longer to process – we aim to process postal applications within 10 weeks. Please don’t contact us to check progress – unless you have not heard from us within these timescales.

If applications are missing information, we will notify you once and then cancel your application after 10 working days. You must apply again.

Some applications need to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist and may take up to 8 to 10 weeks to assess. We will write to you if this applies to you.

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.

In line with Department for Transport guidance, our policy regarding the award of Blue Badges for Organisations means it is unlikely that taxi or private hire operators and community transport operators would be eligible for an organisational Blue Badge. They are not usually concerned with the care of disabled people who would meet one or more of the eligibility criteria for a badge.

Such operators are, of course, still able to display an individual’s Blue Badge when carrying the badge holder as a passenger.

You can apply online or phone us to apply on 0300 123 2224.

Who can have a Blue Badge

You’re automatically eligible for a Blue Badge

  • if you are registered as blind (severely sight impaired)
  • if you get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance – check your decision letter if you are not sure (Attendance Allowance is not a qualifying benefit)
  • if you get War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
  • if you received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8), and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability

Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

If you get Personal Independence Payment

If you get Personal Independence Payment and you either

  • scored 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ category of your Personal Independence Payment assessment
  • scored exactly 10 points specifically for descriptor E in the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity, on the grounds that you are unable to undertake any journey because it would cause you overwhelming psychological distress

you are automatically eligible for a Blue Badge. This only applies to customers with Personal Independence Payment awards in the two categories shown above. Check your Personal Independence Payment decision letter if you’re not sure. Example of a Personal Independence Payment Letter (PDF 1.22MB)

If your Personal Independence Payment award letter does not show either of those descriptions, you are not automatically eligible for a badge under Personal Independence Payment. Please continue to read if you think you may qualify another way.

If you have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 6 months or less and can provide a valid form DS1500 (issued by a health professional), or a valid form SR1 and a life expectancy of 12 months or less,  you are eligible for a Blue Badge. Please apply online or contact us to apply on 0300 123 2224.

For applicants with hidden disabilities, there is more information about how to apply on our hidden disabilities page.

If you are not automatically eligible

You may still be able to get a badge following further assessment

  • if you are someone who has an enduring and substantial disability or have a health condition that affects your mobility; or
  • if you have severe problems using both your arms
  • if you’re applying on behalf of a child aged over 2 who has problems walking or going to places; or a child under 3 who needs to be close to a vehicle because of a health condition or needs access to bulky medical equipment. Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Applying for the first time - documents you must provide

You must provide specific supporting evidence before we can process your application. You should have this ready before you start to apply. You will also need your National Insurance number – or child reference number if you’re applying for a child.

If applications are missing information, we will notify you once and then cancel your application after 10 working days. You will have to apply again.

Please do not send us original documents. We cannot accept responsibility for the loss of documents in the post. After we have processed your application, if you ask us to, we will return any original documents to you by standard Royal Mail postal delivery.

Documents you must provide

Please send one of the following as proof of your identity

  • A copy of the photograph page of a valid, current passport
  • A copy of a valid, current 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

You must provide one of the following, as proof of your address 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 benefits letter showing your address
  • A pension, HMRC or Tax Credit letter

A current passport style photograph
The photo must be taken against a plain, light background, be of you on your own, close-up of your head and shoulders, in colour, sharp and in focus. Look straight at the camera. It must not be the same photo used on a previous Blue Badge.

Supporting evidence of your eligibility

Automatic eligibility

  • If you are eligible as someone who is registered blind or severely sight impaired, please send a copy of either a Certificate of Visual Impairment or a BD8 form signed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist. If you are unable to provide this document, state the name of the local authority or borough where you are registered as severely sight impaired. We will check this when we process your application.
  • If you are eligible under Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment – Attendance Allowance is not a qualifying benefit – you do not need to provide further medical evidence. If we do need to see your current award letter or annual updating letter, we will ask you.
  • If you are eligible under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement – see our information in the ‘Who can have a Blue Badge’ section of this page – please provide evidence of your award from Veterans UK.

Eligibility following further assessment

Where you do not meet one of the automatic eligibility criteria but are applying because of an enduring and substantial disability or health condition affecting your mobility.

If you are applying for a badge for the first time, you must provide relevant medical evidence that proves you have the condition you have told us about. Think about the evidence you have before you send it and please do not send evidence that isn’t relevant – it will not help your application. It won’t be considered and may delay processing.

Relevant evidence can be:

  • Diagnosis letters from GPs, hospitals or other health care professionals confirming your condition.
  • Your medical summary report, which is available from your GP.

Applying to renew your Blue Badge - documents

If you are applying to renew a badge in Somerset

  • Photo– in Somerset, we can use the photo you sent us for your current badge unless your appearance has changed significantly – if your appearance has not changed significantly, you do not need to send us a new photo, unless you want to.
  • Identity proof  – you do not need to send this.
  • Address proof – you do not need to send this, unless your address has changed since your last application.

If you have been awarded and held a badge for the last three years and you are applying to renew, in Somerset you do not need to send us medical evidence unless we ask you.

Please do not send us original documents. We cannot accept responsibility for the loss of documents in the post. After we have processed your application, if you ask us to, we will return any original documents to you by standard Royal Mail postal delivery.

Last reviewed: May 29, 2024 by Neil

Next review due: November 29, 2024

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