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Blue badge parking sign

How to Get a Blue Badge in Essex

27 November 2023

For many people living with disabilities, a Blue Badge serves as a lifeline to increase their mobility and access convenient parking spaces to allow them to visit local amenities in the easiest way possible. In 2019, there were 80,348 Blue Badge holders in Essex and that number has increased year-on-year.

In this article, we will explain how to find out if you are eligible for a Blue Badge and how to apply for one.

What is a Blue Badge?

You may sometimes hear a Blue Badge referred to as a Disabled Badge and although these terms are used interchangeably, they are the same thing. “Blue Badges help people with disabilities or health conditions park closer to their destination.” If a person meets the eligibility criteria, obtaining a Blue Badge can take the anxiety of car trips away from someone suffering with a disability or medical condition. A Blue Badge allows the badge owner to park in the most convenient places where other people cannot, and comes in the form of a permit that is displayed on the dashboard of the car. This notifies traffic wardens of the required permission to park there.

How do I know if I am eligible for a Blue Badge?

Automatic eligibility

Some people are automatically eligible for a Blue Badge. This includes people who:

  • Are registered severely sight-impaired
  • Care for a child who is registered as severely sight-impaired and over the age of 2
  • Receive the higher rate of the Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Are in receipt of War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
  • Received a lump sum payment from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

If you are currently in receipt of PIP you will only be automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you score 8 points or more in the “Moving Around” activity of the Mobility Component. However, if this is not the case, you may still be eligible based on your circumstances.

Possible eligibility

Even if you do not meet the criteria for automatic eligibility, you may still be able to obtain a Blue Badge if one or more of the following applies:

  • You cannot walk
  • You have a severe disability in both arms which doesn’t impact driving but means you cannot operate parking machines
  • You have an SR1 form which declares that you find walking very difficult
  • You have a life-limiting illness which impacts your mobility
  • You have a child under the age of 3 with a medical condition and as a result, you have to carry around bulky medical equipment
  • You have a child that may require emergency medical treatment at any time
  • You have severe anxiety when you are in public spaces which can lead to overwhelming responses and loss of behavioural control

Not eligible

You will not qualify for a Blue Badge if:

  • You have issues carrying shopping from your car
  • If the person you are applying on behalf of is under 2 years old
  • Your condition or disability is temporary or causes intermittent issues
  • You have issues regarding bowel or bladder incontinence, unless you have severe walking issues in addition to this
  • You are only able to park in wide parking bays to be able to open the door and get in and out the car, unless you have severe issues with walking in addition to this

How do I apply?

Now you have a good idea of whether you are eligible for a Blue Badge, it is time to apply. Please bear in mind that even if you are not sure if your application will be accepted, it may still be worth applying.


Gather together all the required paperwork as well as any documentation that you feel will support your application. You will be required to submit:

  • Proof of identity to include one of the following:
    • Valid driving licence
    • Valid passport
    • Birth/adoption certificate
    • Marriage/divorce certificate
  • Proof of address to include one of the following:
    • A valid driving licence
    • A payslip dated within the last three months
    • A utility bill
    • A council tax document for the current tax year
    • A fully signed and termed tenancy agreement. This must display your address, names, tenancy term dates and signatures
    • An official letter from an organisation such as the NHS or HMRC dated within the last three months
  • Passport photo of the applicant - In order to be accepted, the photo must:
    • Be in colour
    • Be a close-up of head and shoulders
    • Have been taken within the last six months
    • Have no one else in it
  • Supporting evidence/documents - This may include:
    • An up-to-date letter of diagnosis
    • Evidence of prescribed medication
    • Evidence of the progression of your disability/medical condition over time
    • Any referral letters
    • Confirmation of ongoing treatment


Once you have gathered together everything you need for your application, you are ready to register.

The decision as to whether you will be accepted for a Blue Badge will be determined by your local council. Please bear in mind that it may take up to 12 weeks for your application to be processed.

What are the benefits of using a Blue Badge?

If your application is approved, your Blue Badge will be sent out to you in the post and will offer significant improvements to your quality of life. This will give you more confidence in going out knowing you will be able to find a parking space near your destination. The benefits of having a Blue Badge include:

  • Exemption from parking restrictions.
  • Free parking on streets with parking meters or pay and display machines for as long as necessary
  • Free parking on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours unless there is a “no loading” sign
  • Access to areas other vehicles do not have. Find parking spaces near you
  • Possible exemption from paying road tax
  • Parking in disabled bays for as long as necessary unless there is a sign
  • 100% discount from the congestion charge

How should I display my Blue Badge?

To ensure that your badge is visible and valid, you must ensure it is:

  • The right way up
  • Clearly visible
  • In date
  • Set to the right time if parking somewhere with restrictions

Where can you not park with a Blue Badge?

Whilst a Blue Badge offers many different places for you to park, there are still areas that are off limits. These include:

  • Goods loading bays
  • Clearways
  • Bus stops
  • Outside a school
  • Near a junction

Misuse of your Blue Badge will be taken seriously by your local council and may result in you being issued with a fine or them removing your badge.

Get help with your physical disability in Essex

Butterfly’s Care Group supports people living with disabilities and medical conditions in Essex through a variety of services.

We provide exemplary care within the local community and pride ourselves on giving our clients the very best we can offer. Our carers are local, fully trained and experienced and look after all their clients as if they were family members.

Contact us today to see if we can help you with your care needs.

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