Date Blue Badge holders need to apply to renew or face £1000 fine

Roughly one in every 25 people in the UK have a Blue Badge, meaning that more than two million with additional needs can access disabled parking spaces that are typically closer to their destination - but many are unaware that they could get a hefty £1000 fine if they do not renew their permit properly.

In recent years, Blue Badge eligibility has been massively expanded to include more disabilities that are less visible, such as dementia, Parkinson's, and epilepsy. In addition to disabled drivers, these parking permits also make it easier for people who care for those with these disabilities to park closer to where they are going.

Many of these newer Blue Badge holders will not know that their pass does not automatically renew and must be re-applied for two years and nine months after it was first granted. If an expired Blue Badge is displayed, the holder could face a large financial penalty.

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It is a criminal offence for anyone to use or misuse an invalid Blue Badge. According to the Department for Transport: "doing so could lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge. Making sure that the scheme is not abused will benefit genuine badge holders, such as yourself."

While this applies to any badge holders letting other people use their parking concessions, it also applies to out-of-date badges. Anyone found to be misusing a Blue Badge can have it taken off them by a parking attendant, traffic officer, or their local authority.

While the Department for Transport recommends applying 12 weeks, or three months, before your badge is due for renewal, Manchester City Council's advice is that those requiring re-assessments should renew as soon as they can. They say on their website: "For applications that are subject to further assessment, currently processing can take up to 12 weeks"

You can renew your Blue Badge through the website, for the price of £10. You should be prepared to provide a proof of identity, proof of address, and a record of any benefits you are claiming. You will also need the details of your current Blue Badge to reapply.

There is specific advice for Blue Badge holders in Manchester, that should make life easier. According to Manchester City Council: "If you've reapplied for your blue badge and are waiting for an assessment, you can continue to use your out-of-date Blue Badge for up to 28 days after the date of expiry, but this waiver only applies to parking on public highways within Manchester City Council boundaries, and in any dedicated disabled parking bays.

"The waiver does not apply to private car parks (such as shops, hospitals or retail parks).

"To continue using your expired Blue Badge, you must have already reapplied for your replacement badge. A Parking Charge Notice (PCN) will still be issued for any other parking violation."

You can get in touch with the council's Blue Badge team on 0161 277 5919 if you have any questions.