What to do if your blue badge application is refused

Carlton Boyce / 17 December 2015

Simple step-by-step guide to appealing against the decision to refuse your application for a disabled parking blue badge.

We’ve covered renewing your blue badge in a separate article, but what should you do if that application is refused?

We understand that a refusal will be a very stressful time for you and your family, but it’s important to stay calm and follow the correct appeals procedure. 

You might not understand why you’ve got to jump through hoops, but getting frustrated isn’t going to speed the process up!

We bust the common myths about blue badges.

Stage one

A local council or other issuing authority can refuse a blue badge application for any one of the following reasons:

  • It believes you are not eligible for a blue badge.

  • It believes you have misused a blue badge previously and have at least one conviction for doing so.

  • It has reasonable grounds to believe you are not the person you claim to be.

  • It has reasonable grounds for believing you would let someone else use your blue badge.

  • It believes you are not resident in its area.

  • You have not paid the fee (if there is one).

So the first stage of your appeal is to find out why your application has been refused, something that will be detailed in the refusal notice. 

Once you understand this, you can start to draw up a plan to address those concerns.

Read our guide to buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Download our FREE guide to help answer some of the key questions around care. From Saga Healthcare.


Stage two

While there is no legal right for the issuing authority to allow an appeal, most, if not all, will do so. However, you only have 28 days to appeal, so it’s important not to delay as you don’t have much time.

Using the refusal notice as a guide, jot down any evidence you can produce to convince the council that its concerns are unwarranted. Once you’ve got the details clear in your mind, complete the appeal notice, or write a formal letter depending on the format that is being asked for.

Include all the evidence you can, no matter how insignificant it might seem. 

If the issuing authority is to come to an informed decision it must have all the relevant information and the better the evidence, the greater your chance of having your appeal upheld. Stick to facts though, and resist the urge to be facetious or rude.

Finally, you might like to seek the help of a disability rights group, or your local MP.

Are you eligible for Motability?

Stage three

In England, you will need to send your appeal to the authority that has refused your Blue Badge. There is no further right of appeal to the Department of Transport; the local authority’s decision is final.

In Wales, the appeal must be sent to: Blue Badge Team (Wales), Integrated Transport Unit, Transport Wales, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ.

In Scotland it must be sent to: Transport Scotland, The Blue Badge Team, 2D North, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ.

In Northern Ireland an appeal should be directed to: Blue Badge Unit (Northern Ireland), Castle Barracks, Wellington Place, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.

Could you claim Carer's Allowance?

Help your loved ones keep their independence at home with Saga SOS Personal Alarm service, part of Saga Healthcare. No start-up costs, no delivery charges and the first month is FREE. Find out more here

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.