Questions about blue badges | Oxfordshire County Council

Questions about blue badges

More information about the disabled parking scheme including who's eligible.

Using your badge

The badge is issued to the person not the vehicle so it can be used for whichever car the disabled person is travelling in. It only applies to parking in the street, though some district car parks have spaces for disabled parking. Find out more information on your district council website, see below.

You should display the Blue Badge where it can be clearly read through the windscreen of your vehicle. The badge should be displayed with the photograph down. See How and where to use your badge.

Are you eligible for a Blue Badge?

If you are not automatically eligible for a badge, your application will be assessed and you may need to be seen by an Independent Mobility Assessor.

You can check online whether you’re eligible for a Blue Badge, or use our guide below.

You automatically qualify for a Blue Badge if any of the following apply

  • You receive higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or you have eight points or more under the 'Moving Around' mobility component of Personal Independence Allowance (PIP).
  • You receive War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement.
  • You receive Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) award, tariffs 1-8 and have been assessed by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) as having a permanent and substantial disability that causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty walking.
  • You are registered as blind under the National Assistance Act 1948 (partially sighted people do not automatically qualify).

You may qualify for a Blue Badge if

  • You have a child under three years old and need to transport medical equipment or always be near a vehicle so they can be treated or driven to a place to receive treatment for a permanent illness.
  • You drive a vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms and can’t operate or have considerable difficulty operating parking meters.
  • Have a permanent and substantial disability which affects your mobility and means you have considerable difficulty in walking.

We will ask you to provide recent medical evidence to verify your level of disability. If we can’t make a decision based on your application, we may ask you to attend an Independent Mobility Assessment. This will be carried out by a qualified professional and is free. It is not a medical assessment and will assess your mobility specifically.

If you are someone who has been given a medical prognosis of less than a year to live, please contact your GP or other health professional.

What to include with your application

With your form you must send:

  • One recent passport size photograph. It is important you follow the photograph guidelines below to avoid delaying your application
  • A cheque for £10 made payable to Oxfordshire County Council. This payment will be banked when we receive it, if your application is unsuccessful you will receive a full refund from Oxfordshire County Council.
  • Proof of your address. Either a copy of a utility bill or bank/credit card statement dated within the last three months, or a copy of a council tax bill, DWP or Pensions letter dated within the last 12 months. If you are completing the application form on behalf of someone under the age of 16, you should give your consent for the local authority to check school records to confirm their address.
  • Proof of your identity. Either a copy of your birth, adoption, marriage or divorce certificate, a copy of your driving licence or a copy of your passport.
  • Please note that all paperwork will be retained by the Blue Badge team therefore please only send photocopies, not originals.
  • If you automatically qualify because of a benefit you receive, you must include proof of that benefit. Failure to submit all required documentation will delay the processing of your application and may result in the application being returned to you.

Please note that we reserve the right to request copies of information submitted to be certified, or to ask you to bring original documents to a face-to-face assessment, or to collect the badge in person with appropriate original identification. Please do not sellotape your documents to your application, or together

Photograph guidelines

  • The photograph must be a close-up, digital photograph of the head and shoulders of the badge holder. See examples below. The photograph shall have a strong definition between face and background and shall be:
  • in colour
  • 45 millimetres in height and 35 millimetres in width (passport size)
  • taken within the past six months
  • against a light grey or cream background
  • undamaged
  • free from ‘redeye’, shadows, reflection or glare from spectacles;
  • of the full head of the holder (without any other person visible or any covering, unless it is worn for religious beliefs or medical reasons)
  • facing forward
  • with nothing covering the face
  • looking straight at the camera
  • with a neutral expression and mouth closed
  • with eyes open and clearly visible (without sunglasses or tinted spectacles and without hair or spectacle frames obscuring the eyes)
  • in sharp focus and clear;
  • printed professionally or in digital format;
  • a true likeness, without amendment

Size and position of image

Look directly ahead, straight at the camera:

Correct image

Looking directly
ahead.

Too close

Too close

Too far away

Too far away

Not looking

Not looking

Image background

Avoid patterns and other images encroaching into the background. A plain, pale background is more successful.

Correct image

 

Too dark

Too dark

Patterned

Patterned

Other images

Other images

Photograph quality

Avoid over and under exposed photos. Watch out for shadows created behind the subject.

Correct image

 

Too light

Too light

Too dark

Too dark

Shadow

Shadow

The applicant (or parent/guardian if under 16) must sign the photograph on the back. You may send a photo from a self-service booth, family album or digital photo.

Warning: If your photograph does not conform to the guidelines above your application may be delayed. Please ensure the name and date of birth are written on the back of the photograph - please do not sellotape your photograph to your application

How long does it take to get a Blue Badge

If there are no problems with your application, and you have provided all required evidence and payment, you should get your badge 6-8 weeks after applying.

Tracking, amending or cancelling your application

If your badge has expired

Once a Blue Badge is out of date it can not be used. We attempt to contact customers eight weeks before their badge is due to expire; however, it remains your responsibility to ensure your badge is valid.

If your badge has expired and you have received a parking fine, you will need to contact the Civil Enforcement Team on 0345 337 1138 to discuss this.

Lost, stolen and damaged cards

If you have lost your badge or had it stolen

Please complete this online form.

If your badge has been stolen, you will need a Crime Reference Number.  You can report the theft by telephoning the non-emergency police number on 101 quoting, if possible, your badge serial number to obtain a Crime Reference Number. 

If your badge is faded or damaged

Please do not complete the application form. Badges issued after 1 January 2012 should not fade. If you have an older badge which has faded or become damaged, please return the badge to us at Blue Badge Administration, PO Box 873, Oxfordshire OX1 9NY with a covering letter and a new badge will be issued. No photograph or payment is required. Badges must be returned to us in order for this to be done.

Most badges will last for three years. If you receive the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Mobility, your badge will be issued for the period you receive this. For example, if your DLA entitlement is under three years, your badge will expire when your DLA expires.

Blue badges for organisations

A badge may be issued to organisations that care for and transport disabled people who would  meet the eligibility criteria for a blue badge if they applied individually.

Where relatively few people meet the eligibility criteria for a badge in the organisation, it would be preferable for the disabled people themselves to apply for badges, rather than have one issued to an organisation.

Organisational badges will therefore only be issued to an organisation which both:

  • cares for and transports disabled people who would meet one or more of the eligibility criteria for an individual Blue Badge
  • has a clear need for an organisational badge rather than using the personal Blue Badges of people it is transporting.

In all circumstances, badges will be supplied to organisations or departments (for example, a social services department) rather than to individual staff members.

All employees of the organisation who will be using the badge should be reminded that they must only use the badge for the purposes of transporting disabled people in their care who meet one or more of the eligibility criteria for a badge. If they use the badge to take advantage of the concessions when there are no passengers in the vehicle who are eligible for a badge they will face a fine of up to £1,000.

We do not issue paper applications for organisations - please use the link below to make an application.

Apply for a blue badge.

Appealing against a decision

If we have written to you informing you that your application has been unsuccessful and you believe this decision is wrong you can ask us to review it.

We will review all of the information you provided to us and progress the application to the next stage of the assessment process. Please do  not send a further payment, if your review is successful we will contact you to request the £10 fee.

If you have not yet had an Independent Mobility Assessment, your application will be assessed by a medical professional and you may be invited to attend a face-to-face clinic.

If you have already attended a face to face clinic a senior occupational therapist will review your application, the supporting documents you have provided, and the assessments that has already taken place.

You can also re-apply if your mobility problems become more serious, however, please supply supporting evidence.

Returning a badge

If the badge holder has died or the badge is no longer needed, please return it to the Blue Badge team at Blue Badge Administration, PO Box 873, Oxfordshire OX1 9NY explaining why it is being returned so we can update our records.

Last reviewed
22 March 2017
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