About the blue badge
The blue badge is the common name for the 'parking card for disabled people'. It offers parking concessions to those who fall within certain categories of physical and sensory disability. It operates across the European Union and is regulated in the UK by the Department for Transport (DfT), which stipulates the qualifying categories.
There are currently eight qualifying categories, which are listed under 'Eligibility' below.
A car displaying a blue badge may park on-street without charge (subject to certain conditions) in areas where others would have to pay a parking fee. The blue badge can be used in any vehicle in which the holder is travelling; the holder does not have to be the driver. For more information about the Blue Badge Scheme go to the Blue Badge FAQ on the Gov.uk website.
The legislation which specifies the qualifying categories is the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 and the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2007. This legislation came into effect on 15 October 2007 and was further amended on 17 June 2011.
Eligibility - qualifying categories
A person is eligible for a blue badge if they:
- have a permanent and substantial disability that means they are unable to walk or have very considerable difficulty walking
- receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or an award of eight or more points for the moving around element of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- are registered blind
- receive a war pensioners' mobility supplement
- have received a qualifying level of compensation under the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces compensation scheme and have been assessed by the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency as having a permanent & substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking
- drive a vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms and are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty operating, all or some types of parking meters
- are a child under the age of three years who, on account of a condition, must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment that cannot be carried around with the child without great difficulty (see list below)
- are a child under the age of three years who, on account of a condition, must always be kept near a motor vehicle so that, if necessary, treatment for that condition can be given in the vehicle or the child can be taken quickly in the vehicle to a place where such treatment can be given.
Bulky medical equipment includes:
- suction machines
- feed pumps
- parenteral equipment
- syringe drivers
- oxygen administration equipment
- continual oxygen saturation monitoring equipment
- casts and associated medical equipment for the correction of hip dysplasia.
How to apply for a blue badge
You can apply for a blue badge online via the Gov.uk site. When making an online application you can upload a digital photograph as well as digital images of your proofs of identity and address, saving you time and the cost of postage or paying to use a photo booth. The details of a Support Service are listed on the Gov.uk site. If you have questions about the process of completing an online application or experience technical problems while completing your online application do not exit or abandon your application but contact Initial Enquiry Support Service.
Blue Badge Initial Enquiry Support Service
Telephone (England): 0844 463 0213
Please note: only use the official site above to apply for a blue badge.
If you want to apply online and need support to use a computer, the Croydon libraries are offering support sessions. You can contact your local library to book an appointment to use a computer and ask for a member of staff to assist you.
You can also contact travel services (details below) and ask for an application form.
Reporting changes of personal details
If you have a blue badge please remember to report any change of address or telephone number to travel services so that we can make sure that all renewal invitation letters reach you. Please provide proof of your new address such as a utility bill, tenancy agreement or letter from your bank. If the badge is no longer required, for example on the death of the badge holder, please cut the badge in half and post it to Travel Services at the address at the foot of this page.
Renewing a Croydon badge
- Please note that you remain responsible for taking action to renew your current badge in good time so that you can be issued a further badge if you continue to qualify.
- If your existing badge was issued by Croydon Council you will receive a courtesy notification from the national badge production company three months before your badge is due to expire to remind you to apply to renew your badge. This reminder may take the form of an email, an SMS message or a reminder sent by post, depending on your preferred form of contact.
- You will not automatically be sent an application form. You will be reminded that you can apply for a further badge online at www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge
- You do not need to wait to receive your renewal reminder, you can access the online application site at any time.
Please do apply well in advance in case a new mobility assessment is required before a further badge can be approved. This will often require attending an interview with an occupational therapist and may take time to arrange.
It is important that the badge production unit hold up to date contact details for you so please remember to report any changes of address, mobile phone number or email address. You can do so by sending an email to travel services at firstname.lastname@example.org with the updated information.
If you are unable to apply online even with support it is currently still possible to obtain a paper form. You can contact the travel services team using the contact details below to request one. However, we would recommend the online application process wherever possible as online applicants receive a tracking reference number and an automated acknowledgement so you can be sure you application has been safely received. We no longer post out acknowledgement cards when paper application forms are received.
Renewing a badge issued by another local authority
If your existing badge was issued by another local authority and you have now moved into Croydon you will not automatically be invited to renew your badge. You should contact us to make an application for a new Croydon badge. Please contact us three months before your badge is due to expire. It is important that you allow sufficient time for us to process your application and obtain any medical evidence that is required before your existing badge expires. Our contact details are shown below.
You can also renew a Blue Badge online via the Gov.uk website
What to do if your Croydon badge is lost, stolen or damaged
If you need to request a replacement badge you can now do this online. You can also report a lost or stolen badge online. If you are unable to do this online please email, telephone or write to the travel service team (see below) to ask for advice. If your badge has been stolen you should first report the theft to the police and obtain a crime reference number. If your badge has been mislaid, please search your home for it carefully. If another person usually acts as your driver please check whether your driver has the badge in their possession. If you last used the badge while shopping or at a petrol station, consider asking whether it has been handed in as an item of lost property.
We aim to process requests for replacement badges within 10 working days of receiving the online report and the fee. Please note that the printing company which produces badges can take a further 5 working days to produce and despatch badges through the post.
How to pay the administration charge
If your application for a new, renewal or replacement badge is approved, you will be required to pay an administration charge of £10 before the badge can be produced. You can pay this by credit card or debit card by telephoning the travel service team using the contact details below. Alternatively you can send us a cheque or postal order made payable to Croydon Council. Please note that we are not able to accept cash payments.
New Blue Badge design and scheme review
Since January 2012, a new design has been used for all badges issued. The new style badges are more durable and have many security features aimed at reducing abuse of the scheme, for example by copying or altering. Customers can apply for new or renewal badges online and will be able to upload their own digital passport standard photographs which could help to save on the cost of using photo booths.
Croydon are implementing the latest guidance from Department for Transport regarding establishing entitlement to a badge. Since April 2011, our policy has been to arrange for most applicants for a badge to have an independent mobility assessment to establish the degree of mobility impairment.
These assessments are arranged if the applicant has applied on the grounds of having a permanent and substantial disability which means that they are unable to walk or have very substantial difficulty in walking unless they already have an award of the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Results of our customer satisfaction survey
A summary of the responses received from our recent customer satisfaction survey, is available in the 'Downloads' section below.
- Travel Service Customer Satisfaction report Q24 - 31.03.16 [124.5KB]
- Easy Guide to Accessible Transport 2015 [4.7MB]