Blue Badge Changes And Support Available For Disabled Drivers

Posted on 11 November 2019 by CarTakeBack

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There have been recent changes to the eligibility requirements to get a Blue Badge which means that as well as people with physical disabilities, people can now apply for one if they have a hidden disability. These include dementia, some learning disabilities, autism, and certain mental health conditions.

If you're a disabled driver, in addition to the blue badge there are lots of things that can help keep you on the road. Here's a roundup of what every disabled driver needs to know.

Blue Badge

Disabled parking sign

Blue Badges are issued to people with certain physical or cognitive disabilities. Most of us are aware that disabled drivers can apply for a Blue Badge to make it possible to park closer to their destination. Though you may not be aware that you don't need to own or drive a car to get a badge, it can be used in any vehicle being used to transport you. You can check if you will be eligible here

How do I apply for a Blue Badge?

Applications for Blue Badges can be made online via the government website. The application is handled by your local council and usually takes around 12 weeks.

For your application you'll need;

  • a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders,
  • your National Insurance Number,
  • a copy of your proof of ID (e.g. your birth certificate, passport or driving licence),
  • a copy of proof of your address (e.g. a council tax bill or a government letter),
  • and, a copy of proof of any benefits you receive.

Tax exemptions for disabled drivers

view of a steering wheel

Do I have to tax my vehicle?

Disabled drivers are entitled to a complete vehicle tax exemption if you receive the;

  • high rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA),
  • enhanced mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP),
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment,
  • or, the War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement.

If you receive the standard mobility rate from the Personal Independence Payment, you are entitled to a 50% reduction in vehicle tax. 

How do I claim for a vehicle tax exemption or reduction?

Complete exemption

If you are exempt from vehicle tax charges, you need to change your car's tax class to 'exempt' at a Post Office that offers a vehicle tax service. Find your local branch with the Post Office branch finder.

You'll need to take the following items;

  • the V5C (log book) of the car you are registering,
  • the vehicle tax reminder letter (if you have one),
  • a valid MOT certificate or MOT exemption document,
  • and, evidence of your eligibility for disability exemption.

50% Reduction

If you're eligible for a 50% reduction in vehicle tax because of your disability, you need to apply for the reduction from DVLA by post.

You'll need to send DVLA;

  • a completed V10 form, available here,
  • a letter or statement from the DWP that shows your PIP award, including the date it's applied to,
  • the V5C (log book) for the car you're registering,
  • a valid MOT certificate or MOT exemption document,
  • and, a cheque made payable to 'DVLA Swansea' for 50% of the full tax rate for the vehicle.

Send these items to, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BF.

Motability

hoist installed into a car for a mobility scooter

Am I eligible for Motability?

Motability is designed to keep people with disabilities mobile and independent. If you receive the enhanced rate for mobility in your PIP payments, or the higher rate of mobility component for DLA, you can lease a new car, wheelchair accessible vehicle, scooter, or powered wheelchair with Motability. The leases also include the insurance, servicing, maintenance and breakdown cover for your vehicle.

The payments depend on what you choose to lease. They are automatically taken from the mobility allowance of your benefits.

There are a wide range of vehicles, scooters and power wheelchairs to choose from, so you can find what best suits your needs and finances. To find out what's available to you, visit the Motability website.

Vehicle adaptations for disabled drivers

If you aren't eligible, or don't want to apply for a Motability vehicle, you may be able to get VAT relief for any equipment or work done on your car to adapt it to suit your needs. It is the responsibility of the supplier to apply the tax free status to your product or service. To do this you need to have your supplier fill in a 'VAT reliefs for disabled people' form, which they will need to keep in their records and produce to their VAT officer as required.

For more information on VAT relief for disabled people, visit the government website.

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