New legislation came into force on Friday 30 August 2019, with guidance and revised eligibility criteria produced by the Department for Transport.
The criteria now means people with non-visible or 'hidden' disabilities may be eligible for a Blue Badge. To check if you're eligible see Can I get a Blue Badge?
Apply or renew a Blue Badge online
To apply for or renew your blue badge you will need:
- an electronic photograph of yourself
- your National Insurance (NI) number
- an email address
- proof of your address, such as a council tax bill
- proof of who you are, such as a passport or birth certificate
- proof of any benefit or registration as severely sight impaired that proves you qualify
- information and proof of any medical conditions, treatment or diagnosis to support your application.
If you are renewing your badge, please remember to apply at least 6 weeks before your current one expires to make sure you get your new one in time.
If you are thinking of applying for a Blue Badge under the new criteria see applying under the new criteria.
Before completing your application, read guidance for:
GOV.UK: Apply for or renew a Blue Badge
Help with applying online
Applying online is the quickest way to apply for or renew your Blue Badge.
If you are unsure about using a computer and would like help to complete your application or renewal, contact:
These places can support you with:
- getting online
- filling in the form
- taking your digital photograph
Free computer access
If you already have an email address and you are able to use a computer, but don't have access to one, you can pop into the following places and use our equipment to complete your online application:
Can I get a Blue Badge?
You are eligible for a Blue Badge if you are more than two years old and:
- are severely sight impaired (registered blind)
- get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
- get 8 points or more under the 'moving around' activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- get the mobility component of PIP and have got 10 points specifically for Descriptor E under the 'planning and following journeys' activity, on the grounds that you are unable to undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress
- get the War Pensioners Mobility supplement
- get a qualifying award under the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme
If you are unsure whether these questions apply to you, then please read Section 2 of the guidance notes in the application form.
Important note: Government guidance states that only a PIP score of 10 under Descriptor E meets Blue Badge eligibility. A higher score or 12 points under Descriptor F will not meet the criteria for automatic eligibility. You can still apply for a Blue Badge using application form 2 if you think you may meet the criteria and can provide evidence listed on that form.
You may also be able to get a blue badge if you are more than two years old and:
- are unable to walk
- have an enduring and substantial disability which is likely to last three years, which means during the course of a journey you may either
- 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
- drive and have a severe disability in both arms
- are a parent or carer applying for a badge for a child under 3
- you drive a vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms and unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty in operating, all or some types of parking meter
- have been certified by an expert assessor as having an enduring and substantial disability
If you have a terminal illness
If you have a terminal illness, a DS1500 form allows a fastrack decision to be made about the eligibility and issue of a Blue Badge.
This does not mean you get automatic eligibility. You must meet one of the eligibility criteria listed above and provide appropriate evidence to assist quick decisions.
Applying under the new criteria
You should consider applying for a Blue Badge if you have a non-visible (hidden) condition which causes you to severely struggle with journeys between a vehicle and your destination and you:
- are constantly a significant risk to yourself or others near vehicles, in traffic or car parks
- severely struggle to plan or follow a journey
- find it difficult or impossible to control your actions and lack awareness of the impact that it could have on others
- regularly have intense and overwhelming responses to situations causing temporary loss of behavioural control
- frequently become extremely anxious or fearful of public / open spaces
If you have severe difficulty walking, you may need to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist.
If you suffer very considerable psychological distress and are applying under the non-visible disabilities criteria, you will need to provide sufficient evidence of your 'enduring and substantial' disability to support your application. This should include reports, letters and other documentation from health and/or social care professionals.
A letter stating that a professional 'supports the application' will not be sufficient to evidence specific details of the eligible conditions stated in the application.
Further information is available in the application form.
Blue Badges may also be available for organisations that care for and transport disabled people, who would themselves meet one or more of the eligibility criteria.
To find out if you, or the person you're applying on behalf of can get a Blue Badge, answer a few questions about your disability at:
GOV.UK: Apply for or renew a blue badge
Or, you can view a list of eligibility criteria at Citizen's Advice: Applying for a blue badge.
Other ways to apply and renew
The quickest way to apply for or renew a Blue Badge is online, either by yourself or with assistance from a family member, friend or the support listed above.
However if you need to complete a paper form instead, you can:
- Print the form and email or post it back to us:
- Collect a form from South Shields Town Hall or Jarrow Town Hall
- Call the Let's Talk Blue Badge Team on 0191 424 6000, who will confirm whether you may be eligible for a Blue Badge and send you the form in the post
Then return your completed application form together with the relevant supporting information.
Sending us your documents
As well as your application form, you will need to send us some supporting information.
Please send scanned or photocopied documents only - we may not be able to return any original documents sent to us.
You must send all these documents together by post to: Let's Talk Blue Badges, Clarendon, Windmill Way, Hebburn, Tyne & Wear, NE31 1AT
If you prefer to email your information, this must be done securely. Please email us before sending any of your personal information, and we'll reply to your email with a secure link. Email us on: BlueBadge@southtyneside.gov.uk
We cannot process your application until we receive all documentation.
Cost and how to pay
If your application is approved, a fee of £10 will be charged for your Blue Badge, which can be paid by telephone or cheque.
Please do not send payment with the application form.
Details of how to make this payment will be provided in the letter we send you, confirming if your application has been approved.
How long will it take for me to receive my Blue Badge?
Once we have received your information and payment, we will process your request within 5 working days. The Department for Transport will then send you your Blue Badge within 14 working days.
If you are renewing your badge, you must complete the same application form online or on paper. Please remember to apply at least 6 weeks before your current one expires to make sure you get your new one in time.
If your application is refused
We will tell you directly why you are not entitled for a Blue Badge, either face to face or over the phone.
You can ask us to reconsider your case if you don't think all the important information you provided was taken into account.
You can also re-apply if your mobility problems become more serious.
Lost or stolen badges
If you have lost your blue badge permit, please report it to the Let's Talk Blue Badges team on 0191 424 6000, or email BlueBadge@southtyneside.gov.uk