Blue Badge Misuse
Blue badges: Who can use them, when can they be used and the consequences for breaching the rules.
A Blue Badge is available to those who suffer from certain disabilities which affect their mobility. It allows the individual to park in specified places which are closer to their destination. However, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people being arrested for Blue Badge misuse.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for Blue Badge misuse, have had a badge confiscated, or need help with any other issues related to Blue Badge misuse, please get in touch and our expert defence solicitors will be happy to advise.
If you have a question about misuse of a Blue Badge, this page contains information on:
- Eligibility for a Blue Badge
- Using a Blue Badge
- Can a Blue Badge be used anywhere in the UK?
- What counts as Blue Badge misuse?
- Are Blue Badges linked to cars?
- What happens if you use someone else’s Blue Badge?
- Has an offence been committed?
- What is the penalty for misuse of a blue badge?
- Can a traffic warden confiscate a Blue Badge?
- Will you be interviewed under caution for Blue Badge misuse?
You are automatically eligible, without further assessment, if you:
- Are registered as blind
- Receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and scored 8 points or more in the “moving around” area of your assessment
- Receive War Pensioners Mobility Supplement
- 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 which causes inability to walk or considerable difficulty in walking
You are not automatically eligible but are subject to a further assessment if you:
- Have problems walking that are permanent or, that your doctor believes, are likely to last at least a year
- Drive a vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms and are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty operating, all or some types of parking meters
- Are applying on behalf of a child under 3 who needs to be close to a vehicle because of a health condition or must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around without great difficulty
You will not be eligible if you:
- Have a temporary condition
- Have an intermittent condition
- Are awaiting an operation which should improve your condition
- Have a disability that does not cause your inability to walk
Those who are eligible and receive a blue badge have the right to park in disabled parking spaces. You can use a blue badge in the following circumstances:
- Parking on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours if safe to do so (not within 15 metres of a junction or where there are loading or unloading restrictions)
- ‘On-street’ pay and display areas free of charge and without time limit
- ‘On-street’ disabled bays free of charge and without time limit
- Council owned ‘off-street’ charged car parks but you are not entitled to free parking
Badge holders have a legal obligation to return the badge if:
- The badge expires
- The badge holder is no longer eligible (e.g., mobility improves)
- It is a replacement badge and the original has been found
- The badge is so damaged that it cannot be identified or distinguished from forgery
- The badge holder no longer requires the badge (e.g., confined to home)
- The badge holder dies
The Blue Badge is recognised all over the UK and in all EU countries, although parking provisions for those with a disability differ from country to country.
Badges can be misused in multiple ways by the badge holder or by a third party. A badge holder can misuse a badge by:
- Parking in the wrong place
- Using a badge that is no longer valid
- Using a badge that has been reported as lost or stolen
- Letting another person use the badge
- Using a copied badge
- Altering the details on the badge
- Making a fraudulent application
- Continuing to use the badge when it is no longer needed
A third party can misuse a badge by:
- Using someone else’s badge
- Using a badge belonging to someone who has died
- Copying, altering or faking a badge
- Using a stolen badge
- Using a fake badge
A Blue Badge is linked to the person who is eligible for it, rather than a specific vehicle. This means that only they can use a reserved space – someone else driving their car cannot.
Using someone else’s Blue Badge is a criminal offence. You could be fined up to £1,000 and have the badge confiscated.
It is a criminal offence, under s117 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, to misuse a badge. Under Fraud Act 2006, it is a fraudulent offence to use a fake badge, a stolen badge or the badge of someone who is deceased.
If you are suspected of committing a criminal offence, you will be interviewed under caution by the police. If you are charged, you will face prosecution. Following a conviction, you will receive a conviction for fraud on your criminal record and a possible fine of up to £1000.
Traffic wardens have the power to inspect a Blue Badge, as do police officers, parking attendants and civil enforcement officers. The badge could potentially be confiscated if it is found to have been misused.
There is certainly an increase in the number of formal interviews under caution for those suspected of using a blue badge wrongly. If you have been invited in for a formal interview under caution, then call us today and we can represent you.