How to use a Blue Badge

How to use a Blue Badge

You must make sure that you use the badge properly. If you do not you could be given a Parking Notice or, if you misuse the badge you could be fined up to £1000 and the badge may be taken off you. It is therefore important to make sure you know how you should use it. The badge comes with a handbook that tells you how to use the badge - please make sure you read it thoroughly.

Then follow this simple checklist when you are about to use the badge and you will avoid accidentally misusing the badge or parking incorrectly and receiving a Parking Notice.

The Badge

1) Is the badge holder (the person whose name and photograph are on the badge) in the vehicle?

The purpose of the Blue Badge is to promote accessibility for people with limited mobility.  The badge can be displayed for parking concessions if the badge holder is returning to the vehicle.  An example where misuse would occur is if the badge holder was dropped off near their destination; the vehicle was parked with the badge displayed for parking exemptions and then the motorist (who is not the badge holder) returns to the vehicle and drives away to pick up the badge holder.

Even if a journey is made for the benefit of the badge holder, for example to collect shopping or a prescription, you cannot use their Blue Badge if they are not in the vehicle.

2) Is the badge still valid?

The badge is only valid for up to three years after it was issued - sometimes less. It is therefore important to make sure it hasn't expired when you use it.

If the badge has expired, it is no longer valid and must not be used. If you use an expired badge you will probably be given a Penalty Charge Notice unless your badge has expired by less than two weeks. You should return your expired badge to your local council and apply for a new one.

3) Are the details on the badge visible from outside the vehicle?

After you put the badge on display and get out of the vehicle you should check to see that you can see all the details on it, because if you can't see them, the parking officers can't see them either.

The officers need to be able to see the date that the badge expires, the name of the local council that issued the badge and the serial number. If these details cannot be seen the officer will have to issue you with a Parking Notice. You should therefore make sure that they are not covered by anything and that they have not faded.

If the details have faded so that you cannot read them you need to return the badge to the local council that issued it and ask for a replacement.

Do's and Don'ts of Displaying your Blue Badge

Blue Badge - Front Blue Badge - Back Blue Badge - Covered
Do display the badge with the expiry date and serial number clearly visible. Don't display the badge with your name and photograph on display. Don't cover any part of the badge details with the time disc or anything else.

Do display the badge with the expiry date and serial number clearly visible. Don't display the badge with your name and photograph on display. Don't cover any part of the badge details with the time disc or anything else.

The Parking Space

4) Am I parked in a bay where I can use the badge?

The badge does not allow you to park anywhere. You are meant to use it when parking on the street in either disabled bays, or normal bays that have a ticket machine or parking meter. You may also use it on yellow lines for up to three hours if there are no loading restrictions and you are not causing an obstruction and the badge provides exemption in on-street permit parking areas. If you park in any other type of bay you will receive a Penalty Charge Notice.

The badge is not meant to be used in car parks, however some car parks do make allowances for disabled badge holders. You need to read the instructions for badge holders in any car park you use - if there are no specific instructions then you should pay for your parking.

Newcastle City Councils car parks are all free for disabled badge holders, although you must not park in bays that are reserved for permit holders and you must never park on a yellow line in a car park.

Parking Ticket Machine - Out of Order

5) Is there a temporary restriction where I am parked?                                                        

Sometimes parking bays have to be taken out of public use. When this happens the ticket machine or meter will be covered with a hood. You cannot use the bay even with a disabled badge when it has been taken out of use.

Even though you do not need to pay to park at a ticket machine you should always check it to see if there is a parking restriction in place where you are parked. If there is, then you must park somewhere else or you will receive a Parking Notice.

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