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Blue Badges

This is a national scheme that we deliver locally. We use the guidelines and regulations set out by the Department for Transport.

To apply for a Blue Badge you must provide detailed information about your disability and mobility difficulties. It is your responsibility to provide supporting documents from health professionals with your application.

Blue Badges allow disabled people to park closer to their destination. They are issued to people, not vehicles, so you can use them in any vehicle you travel in.

You can apply for a Blue Badge on behalf of someone else. If you do this, please fill in the form as if you are the person the badge is for. For example, when asked for 'your address', put in the address of the person the blue badge is intended for.

The application process can take six to eight weeks.

We do not issue temporary Blue Badges. 

We do not issue Blue Badges for:

  • a temporary disability such as a broken leg, or if your problem is intermittent and does not continuously severely restrict your ability to walk.
  • a condition that affects a person's ability to carry shopping.

How to apply for a Blue Badge

Please apply online using either:

Department of Transport website


Reading Borough Council website

You'll need the following to apply for or renew your Blue Badge:

  • the details of your current Blue Badge (if you have one)
  • a digital or signed photo
  • proof of identification
  • proof of residency
  • proof of your benefit award
  • relevant medical evidence (medical evidence includes letter of diagnoses, consultation report and/or treatment plans). You must attach any medical report or hospital letters you possess that would support your application. Registering online with your GP surgery will enable you to access your Patient Summary which should support your application.

Badges are usually issued for a period of three years. If your application is linked to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with an award that is less than three years, the badge will expire when the DLA or PIP ends.

You automatically qualify for a Blue Badge if: you (or the person you are applying for) are more than two years old, and fall into one or more of the following descriptions. (You will still have to complete an application form and provide the required documents):

  • have a terminal illness and hold a DS1500 report (please attach a copy of your DS1500 form) ;or
  •  you receive the higher rate 'for help with getting around' mobility component of Disability Living Allowance; or
  • you receive 8 points or more for the 'moving around' part of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) We will need to see evidence of this; or
  • you receive 10 points for the Planning and Following a Journey, component of the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) under "Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant" ; or
  • you are registered as severely sight impaired (blind) under the National Assistance Act 1948 (partially sighted people do not automatically qualify); please send a copy of your registration card (both sides). NOTE: Registered as partially sighted is NOT automatic criteria. If you are only registered as partially sighted you will need to complete the rest of the application form; or         
  • you receive War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement; or
  • 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 may qualify if:

  • you have an enduring and substantial disability which affects your mobility and means you have considerable difficulty in walking; or
  • you have a child under 3 years old and need to transport bulky medical equipment for urgent treatment, or always be near a vehicle so they can be treated or driven to a place for treatment for a permanent illness; or
  • you drive a vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms and have considerable difficulty working parking meters.

You may also qualify if you have a non-visible (hidden) disability.

As of 30 August 2019, the blue badge criteria includes people who have a non-visible disability and who:

  • cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person
  • cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress
  • have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking)

We may be required to seek further information regarding your hidden disability from other health professionals known as Expert Assessors when assessing your hidden disability.

In which case please allow 4-6 weeks for this process to be completed.

NOTE: if you require another person to accompany you at all times and this negates the considerable difficulty you have you will not qualify for a Blue Badge.

The full change of criteria can be seen on the department for transport website under Running a Blue Badge parking scheme.

Walking assessments

When you apply for a Blue Badge we may ask you to attend a walking assessment so that we can assess your mobility. There is no charge for this.

Walking assessments are carried out by Expert Assessors, who fully understand both mobility issues and the Department for Transport Blue Badge criteria.

We will let you know if you need to go for a walking assessment and contact you to arrange an appointment. It will take place at the Civic Centre in Reading.


After applying, the Blue Badge Team will let you know if your application has been successful.

Once you have been successful, you can pay using our secure online payments website (find Blue Badge from the drop-down list and then use the 'select' button which will put the cost - £10 - into the amount field). Please do not send payment with your application.

Department of Transport rules mean we cannot send renewed badges by post. Please note that renewal Blue Badges will not be issued if previous badges are not surrendered at the time of collection.

Replacement Blue Badge

You can report a lost, stolen or defaced badge online.

If you move to Reading, you should continue to use your existing badge until it expires. You must then apply to us to renew your badge at least eight weeks before it is due to expire.


As long as the badge is physically included in the journey, a vehicle displaying a Blue Badge is allowed to park:

  • in on-street disabled parking bays (showing a blue wheelchair symbol). Try to use these rather than parking on yellow lines
  • on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours. Your blue parking clock must show the quarter hour period in which you arrived and must be displayed alongside your Blue Badge. You must leave a gap of at least one hour before you return to park in the same part of the road. You must not park in places where a ban on loading or unloading is in force, as indicated by kerb markings.
  • free of charge on the public highway at parking meters or pay-and-display bays, unless signs say otherwise
  • in disabled spaces in off-street car parks (supermarket, hospital or local authority car parks). You may have to pay for your parking. 
  • in on-street parking spaces that state a parking time limit - the time limit may not apply to blue badge holders. Check with signs before parking - if there is a time limit, set your blue parking clock to the quarter hour in which you arrived.

Blue Badge holders are not permitted to park in bays for specified users such as permit holders bays, unless they also have a residents permit.

Interactive Blue Badge parking map

Rights and responsibilities for individuals  - this gives details of where you can and cannot park with a Blue Badge.

Rights and responsibilities for organisations


You can appeal if we refuse your application. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you need to wait six months before reapplying unless there has been a serious decline in your health and mobility.

Blue Badge appeal process

Change of circumstances

Contact us if your address or contact details change. Return your badge to us if you no longer need it.


Let us know if you think someone is using a Blue Badge they are not eligible for.

Apply for a dropped kerb.

Disabled parking bay

Applying to have a disabled box marking


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