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.

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.

If you do not have the facility to scan documents at home, you can scan and upload them to your memory stick at one of our libraries free of charge.

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

If you prefer to apply by post, download, print and complete the application form below. The return address is at the bottom of the form.

Download a Blue Badge application renewal form (PDF, 445KB)

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. As an alternative, you can hand your application in free of charge at any West Sussex library.

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

From 30 August 2019, the government will be introducing 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 your local authority.

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 on or after 30 August 2019.

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).

You will also need to provide evidence of your condition, such as:

  • a letter or diagnosis, as up-to-date as possible
  • 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
  • Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
  • 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)
  • evidence of other benefits received (even if you are not automatically eligible).

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

You can track the progress of your online application using your GOV.UK reference number.

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:
26 September 2019
Share this
Share this

Do you have any feedback about this page?

Help us improve this website

Let us know if this page was helpful so we can make improvements. Add a star rating and leave your feedback below to show how useful you found this page.

Rate this page:
Clear star rating...
  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.