Apply for or renew a Blue Badge

How to apply for or renew a Blue Badge for a West Sussex resident.

1 Overview

Blue Badges enable disabled people with visible and non-visible ('hidden') disabilities to access goods and services, by allowing them to park close to their destination. Blue Badge holders may travel as either the driver or passenger in accordance with the rules of the scheme.

Important COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information: Due to the current situation with COVID-19, wherever possible, apply for your Blue Badge online and not by paper/post. It will be extremely difficult for our staff to process paper applications or information sent by post.

A smartphone can be used to apply for a badge and you can ask family or friends to assist you with an online application. We will do our best to process paper applications and information however, we will have limited capacity to do this due to the current situation.

Please ensure that extra care is taken to ensure all required information and copies of documents are included with your application so that applications are processed more efficiently.

Renewal applicants: In response to COVID-19, we advised Blue Badge holders that District and Borough Councils in West Sussex should not issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) to residents using their badges with an expiry date of 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. After this date, badge holders will no longer be permitted to use their expired badges.

If a badge holder continues to use their expired badge after 30 September 2020, they may receive a PCN or other enforcement action. If your badge has expired or is due to expire, we strongly encourage you to start the reapplication process as soon as you can to ensure we have sufficient time to process your application and give you the best opportunity to receive a new badge before 30 September 2020, if you are entitled to one.

Please note: We are unable to confirm if the temporary relaxation in enforcement applies to private car parks or areas outside of West Sussex.

Find information on non-visible (hidden) disabilities.

The quickest and easiest way to apply or renew is online.

  • No waiting for your documents to arrive in the post.
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Eligibility checker
  • Access from a number of devices (smartphone, tablet, PC).
  • Reduction in delays as any missing information can be requested immediately. 

2 Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a Blue Badge you must meet certain criteria. These are detailed in the Department for Transport leaflet on the GOV.UK website.

There is also an eligibility checker on the online application and renewal form.

3 How to apply for or renew a Blue Badge

There is no charge to apply for a Blue Badge. Some private companies offer to help complete your form for you, in return for a fee, but you can get free help and advice by contacting us using the details below.

Also note that:

  • applying for or renewing a Blue Badge are both the same process
  • you can reapply up to 12 weeks in advance of your current badge running out
  • it may take up to eight weeks to process a complete application or renewal
  • you may be asked to attend an appointment with an expert assessor
  • you can apply or renew either online or by post
  • including an uploaded copy of your proof of address, ID, photo or evidence to support an application prevents delays, so check you have included everything required and as much details as possible before submitting your application.

Apply or renew online

Before starting your online application or renewal, ensure you have the following information ready:

  • details of your current Blue Badge (if you have one)
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of any medication you take, including the dosage.

You will also need to attach the following documents, either as scanned documents or digital photographs:

  • a recent, colour, passport-size photograph
  • a document confirming your address, such as a Council Tax or utility bill dated within the last 12 months
  • a document proving your identity, such as your passport or driving licence
  • recent medical evidence of your disability
  • your award letter if you are applying under any of the automatic eligibility criteria (for applicants applying under DLA or PIP, this must be no more than 12 months old). Please note that if any of the awards have been issued to a date less than 3 years in the future, your Blue Badge will be set to expire on the same date as the award. If this is the case, you may wish to apply under a different category.
Apply for or renew a Blue Badge online (GOV.UK) (external link)

This form may take some time to complete. If you cannot complete your application in one sitting we recommend you 'Save and exit' at regular intervals, particularly before uploading documents or photos. Details of how to retrieve your saved application will be sent to you by email.

You will be asked for payment details during the application or renewal process, but you will only be charged the £10 fee if your application is successful.

Apply or renew by post

Please note: Due to the current situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), wherever possible apply for a badge online using the link above.

Regrettably, due to Government recommendations, we cannot fully staff our office and therefore have limited capacity to receive and process applications sent by post. Applications and items sent by post are likely to be delayed.

The downloadable form to be printed and completed is below. You can scan your completed form, with supporting documents, and email them to us at blue.badges@westsussex.gov.uk or, if you have no other option, the return address is at the bottom of the form.

Download a Blue Badge application renewal form (PDF, 420KB)

Along with your application form you will need to post the following documents:

  • a recent, colour, passport-standard and size photograph, signed on the back by the applicant
  • a copy of a document confirming your address, such as a Council Tax or utility bill dated within the last 12 months
  • a copy of a document proving your identity, such as an ID card or passport
  • a copy of your award letter if you are applying under any of the automatic eligibility criteria
  • recent medical evidence of your disability.

We are not responsible for documents that are lost in the post; applicants send them in at their own risk. Please do not send the original documents.

The cost of postage varies according to the size, thickness and weight of the letter. Underpaid postage will severely delay your application.

If you would like us to send you a form, you can contact us by email or phone using the details below.

If you are successful in your application we will contact you by letter or email advising how to make payment. Once payment is received, your badge will be posted to your home address.

4 Non-visible (hidden) disabilities

Applying for a Blue Badge with a non-visible (hidden) condition

On 30 August 2019, the government introduced new eligibility criteria for Blue Badge applications in England.

Due to the nature of non-visible (hidden) conditions, applications will be assessed by looking at an applicant's needs. Having a certain condition or disability does not automatically entitle somebody to a Blue Badge.

To prepare for the new criteria, the Department for Transport (DfT) conducted extensive research with an independent consultancy. This research included insights from a range of healthcare professionals that care for people with relevant conditions and disabilities, as well as local authorities that issue the badges.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

You will be automatically eligible under the new criteria if, in your PIP mobility assessment, under 'Planning and following a journey' you receive 10 points and Descriptor E, which says “Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.”

If you did not meet this criteria, you may be eligible but will need to answer further questions. We encourage you to supply supporting documents including copies of any PIP Assessment to help determine eligibility.

Other benefits

There is no automatic eligibility under the new criteria with other benefits, including:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA).

You can still apply and your application will be assessed by us.

Applying under the new criteria

Consider applying for a Blue Badge if you have a non-visible (hidden) condition, causing you to severely struggle with journeys between a vehicle and your destination, and are either:

  • constantly a significant risk to yourself or others near vehicles, in traffic or car parks
  • severely struggling to plan or follow a journey
  • finding it difficult or impossible to control your actions and lack awareness of the impact you could have on others
  • having regular intense and overwhelming responses to situations causing temporary loss of behavioural control
  • frequently becoming extremely anxious or fearful of public/open spaces.

If one or more of these are relevant, apply online.

To apply, you will need a photograph or scan of:

  • a recent colour passport photograph with the name of the applicant written on the back
  • proof of your identity (birth/marriage certificate, passport, driving licence)
  • proof of your address (dated within the last 12 months).

Applications submitted without supporting documentation are very unlikely to be successful. You will need to supply evidence of your condition and symptoms, such as:

  • a clinical letter confirming diagnosis, as up-to-date as possible
  • professional or clinical evidence of the progression of the condition over time
  • confirmation of ongoing treatments/clinic attendances, or referral for such
  • evidence of prescribed medication relevant to your condition
  • your patient summary or summary care records
  • copies of assessments, such as from a memory clinic
  • Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - please supply the latest version including all pages
  • care plans from Social Care
  • social housing letters/assessment reports from a local authority
  • letters from other professionals involved in your care
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decision letters (even if you are not automatically eligible) - please note that this alone is insufficient supporting evidence
  • evidence of other benefits received (even if you are not automatically eligible) - please note that this alone is insufficient supporting evidence.

West Sussex County Council will not pay for or reimburse any costs associated with applying for a badge, including supply of supporting documents. We do not encourage you to supply documents that will involve a charge, including obtaining a letter from your GP.

5 What happens next

Applications typically take up to eight weeks to process, not including any time spent waiting for missing documents or information. We will contact you should we require anything further.

Please note that for certain communications, our system generates automated letters that are sent as attachments from the email address noreply.bluebadge@northgateps.com. If you have any doubts as to the source of the email, please do not open the message or attachments and email us at blue.badges@westsussex.gov.uk or phone 01243 777653.

We will let you know the outcome of your application or renewal.

6 Receiving your badge

If your application is successful, you will be advised by email or post on how to pay online or over the phone. You will then receive your badge by post to your home address.

If you have any problems with this phone the Blue Badge team on 01243 777653 or email blue.badges@westsussex.gov.uk.

Before you use your Blue Badge, visit GOV.UK and download the booklet to find out how to use it.

Last updated:
22 October 2020
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