Physical Disability

Blue Badges - Parking for Disabled People

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At a meeting of Devon County Council's Cabinet held on Wednesday 14th March, it was agreed that DCC will start charging £10 for Blue Badges issued or renewed with effect from 1 July 2012

Image of a Blue Badge disc

What is the Blue Badge scheme?

The Blue Badge Scheme provides a national range of parking concessions for disabled people with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport. The scheme is designed to help severely disabled people to travel independently, as either a driver or passenger, by allowing them to park close to their destination.


On 14 February 2011 The Government announced a major programme of reforms to the Blue Badge scheme. These measures have been implemented to help ensure that disabled people have fair and equal access to the benefits the concession offers regardless of where they live, and to address current problems in relation to abuse and misuse of badges.

(See link): National Blue Badge Reform

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Where can Blue Badge holders park?

The Blue Badge scheme only applies to on-street parking. Badge holders have free use of parking meters and pay-and-display bays. They may also be exempt from limits on parking times imposed on other users (check local signs for information) and can park for up to three hours on yellow lines (except where there is a ban on loading or unloading or other restrictions).

The scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, such as supermarket car parks, or privately-owned roads, such as those you find at airports.

More information is available from the Department for Transport.

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Who can get a Blue Badge?

This leaflet explains who may qualify for a Blue Badge image - PDF icon (934KB - pdf help).

A person qualifies automatically for a Blue Badge if they are over two years old and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • they receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance;
  • they are registered blind;
  • they receive a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.
  • they have been both awarded a lump sum benefit at tariffs 1 -8 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking

A person may also be eligible for a badge if they are more than two years old and either:

  • have a permanent and substantial disability which means they cannot walk, or which makes walking very difficult; or
  • drive a motor vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms, and are unable to operate all or some types of parking meter (or would find it very difficult to operate them).

People with a behavioural or psychological disorder will not normally qualify unless their impairment causes very considerable difficulty in walking all the time.

Organisations that care for and transport disabled people who would meet one or more of the above criteria may also be eligible for a badge. However, this is entirely at the discretion of the issuing local authority and any organisation that qualifies must follow the conditions for using it.

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Special rules for children under three

A parent of a child who is less than three years old may apply for a badge for their child if the child has a specific medical condition which means that:

  • they must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around without great difficulty; and/or
  • they need to be kept near a vehicle at all times, so that they can, if necessary, be treated in the vehicle, or quickly driven to a place where they can be treated, such as a hospital.

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How to apply for a Blue Badge:

The quickest and simplest way for a Devon resident to apply for a Blue Badge is to telephone Devon County Council.

Devon residents who are over retirement age can apply for a badge over the telephone by calling Care Direct on 0845 1551 007.

Devon residents of working age can apply for a badge over the telephone by calling the Disability Information Service on 0845 155 1005

From the 1st January 2012 you will be able to apply Online via. DirectGov

If you are eligible for a badge, we will send you the completed application form including the information you gave us on the telephone or online. You will then need to return to us:

You should receive a Blue Badge within 5 working days of us receiving the form and supporting evidence.

Devon County Council does not currently charge a fee for issuing a Blue Badge.

If you live in Torbay or Plymouth, you will need to apply to your local council for a badge.dge will still be valid but you will have to reapply to the new local authority when it expires.

Renewing your badge

Your badge lasts for three years and a renewal notice will be issued automatically at least six weeks before the expiry date.

If you move during that time do not forget to tell Care Direct of your new address by telephoning 0845 155 1007. If you move to a different county your badge will still be valid but you will have to reapply to the new local authority when it expires.

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