A Blue Badge is a parking permit that allows people with disabilities or health conditions to park closer to their destination, often free of charge. If you or the person you care for have dementia, you may be able to get a Blue Badge.
People with a Blue Badge – whether they are the driver or passenger – can park free of charge on the street:
where there are parking meters or pay and display machines
in disabled parking bays
on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours (but not where there is a ban on loading and unloading)
in places where all motorists can park for a limited time free of charge – but there may be a time limit for Blue Badge holders too
You may be able to park in other places using your Blue Badge but you should always check if there are any restrictions, as there may be different rules. For example:
in private car parks eg shopping centres, supermarkets, hospitals
in town centres where local parking schemes are in operation
in central London, where the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, the City of Westminster, the City of London and parts of Camden have their own disabled badge schemes – for information, please see Sources of support, below
Blue Badge holders are also exempt from the London congestion charge.
A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t automatically mean a person is entitled to a Blue Badge, but many people with dementia will qualify.
Some people automatically qualify for a Blue Badge based on benefits they receive. These are people who:
receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if they can’t walk more than 50 metres (a score of eight points or more in the ‘moving around’ section) or if stress, anxiety or other mental health issues prevent them leaving the house (a score of 10 points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ section)
are registered blind
receive War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
have received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8), and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability
Other people may be eligible for a Blue Badge depending on their circumstances. For example, a person with dementia may qualify for a Blue Badge if:
walking endangers their health and safety
they are a risk to themselves or others around vehicles, traffic or car parks
they struggle severely to plan or follow a journey
they find it difficult or impossible to control their actions and lack awareness of the impact this could have on others
they regularly have intense and overwhelming responses to situations that cause a temporary loss of behavioural control
they frequently become extremely anxious or fearful in public or open spaces
display it on the dashboard or fascia of the car, with the front of the badge facing upwards
display the parking clock when you park on yellow lines or in an area with a time limit – set it to the 15-minute period in which you arrive
You can use it if you are the driver, passenger, or if someone needs to park so they can drop you off or collect you.
You must not:
let anyone other than the Blue Badge holder use it
give the badge to friends or family to allow them to park for free – even if they are visiting you
use the badge to allow a non-disabled passenger or driver to take advantage of Blue Badge parking benefits if you are remaining in the car, eg they cannot use the badge to park on yellow lines and go into a shop if you stay in the car