Service deliveryDigital Customer ServiceOnline Blue Badge application process introduced

Online Blue Badge application process introduced

New digital tool will reduce application time to less than half an hour and allow applicants to complete the entire process online.

The Department for Transport has launched a new online Blue Badge application process that will allow applicants to complete the entire process online without the time-consuming task of sending their supporting documents in the post, allowing people to upload documents instead, including proof of identity, and photographs.

This fully integrated, end-to-end process will allow people with disabilities to access Blue Badges quickly, giving them the freedom and confidence to travel with ease.

In a survey of councils last summer, the Department for Transport found that on average it takes an applicant 17 days from applying to receiving a brand new Blue Badge – or 28 days if a medical assessment is required.

The new online online Blue Badge application process is expected to reduce the time it takes to apply for a Blue Badge to 13 minutes.

Applications for individuals that do not qualify for automatic eligibility – where additional information to support the application is required – are expected to be reduced to 25 – 30 minutes.

For those that need it or prefer the option, an offline process to apply for a Blue Badge will still be available.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “Blue badges are a lifeline for many disabled people, and it’s important to make the application process as quick and easy as possible. Speeding up the process will allow people to access the tools they need to travel independently, and with confidence.”

Last year, research by Better Connected found that Council websites ‘do a particularly poor job for drivers with disabilities’. While the issuing of blue badges is not a district council function, the Better Connected report says it seems odd that sites refer to blue badges being required for users of parking bays for disabled people without providing links to further information about how to get one. Fewer than half of the 210 sites tested (covering all English and Northern Irish district councils) made it easy to find information on how and where to apply for a disabled person’s parking badge, currently held by 2.38 million individuals in England.

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