Disabled people are entitled to a bus pass giving free off-peak travel on local bus services anywhere in England.

Apply

Before applying online, please ensure you have the following to hand otherwise you will not be able to apply online: 

  • a digital passport style photo that clearly shows your full face to upload to your application;
  • a valid email address; and
  • your supporting evidence. See further information below for required documentation.

Apply for your bus pass

Eligibility and evidence you will need to provide

To be entitled to a disabled persons bus pass, you must meet one or more of the criteria below and provide supporting evidence and include this with your application.

You will be eligible if:

  • you are registered with your local authority, or entitled to be registered as blind (severely sight impaired); or
  • you are registered, or entitled to be registered as partially sighted (sight impaired).

You will not be eligible if:

  • you are not entitled to be registered by your local authority.

Proving that you are eligible

Evidence we accept
  • a certificate of visual impairment (CVI) completed by an ophthalmologist;
  • form BD8 (issued from 1990, but replaced by the certificate of visual impairment);
  • evidence of registration with the local authority as being blind (severely sight impaired) or partially sighted (sight impaired);
  • blue badge - your pass will expire at around the same time as your blue badge;
  • evidence of residency at a registered home for the blind (severely sight impaired) or partially sighted (sight impaired); or
  • for veterans, the reasons for decisions’ letter under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCAS).

In general terms a person can be registered blind (severely sight impaired) if they cannot see (with glasses, if worn) the top letter of the eye test chart (used by doctors and opticians) at a distance of three metres or less.

Some people, who can read the top letter of an eye test chart at three metres, but not at six metres, may still be eligible for registration as blind if their field of vision is also severely restricted.

A person can be registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) if they have a full field of vision but can only read the top letter of the eye test chart at a distance of six metres or less (with glasses, if worn). However, if they can read the next three lines down at the same distance, but the field of vision is either moderately or severely restricted, they may still qualify for registration.

You will be eligible if:

  • you have both arms but are unable to carry out day to day tasks;
  • you have limb reduction deficiency of both arms;
  • you have bilateral upper limb amputation; or
  • you have a medical condition which affects the use of your arms. For example, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, motor neuron disease.

You will not be eligible if:

  • you have one arm and are able to carry out day to day activities.

Proving that you are eligible

Evidence we accept
  • documents which demonstrate that you have lost the use of your arms over the long term (12 months or more);
  • your blue badge - your pass will expire at around the same time as your blue badge; 
  • a letter from your medical practitioner who is treating you (not a GP);
  • for veterans, the reasons for discussion letter under Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCAS); or
  • visual assessment by staff (self-evident that the applicant has bilateral upper limb amputation).

You will be eligible if:

  • you have a learning disability which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning skills. This can include downs syndrome and other learning disabilities.

You will not be eligible if:

  • you have dyslexia, dyspraxia or attention deficit disorder - these would not qualify as a 'significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning';
  • your intelligence is not impaired, even if your disability affects your social functioning;
  • you are applying because of mental health problems; 
  • your condition started after you became an adult (for example a brain injury);
  • you suffer from mental health issues but are receiving appropriate treatment, meaning you would not be refused a driving licence; or
  • you suffer from mental health and cannot provide appropriate evidence to support your application.

Proving that you are eligible

Evidence we accept Evidence we cannot accept

Information which confirms you:

  • have significant impairment of your intelligence and significant impairment of your social functioning;
  • are known to a local authority as having a learning disability.
  • have evidence of residency at a registered care home for the disabled; or
  • have evidence of attendance at a registered special school.

We may also ask you to send additional information such as a statement of education health care plan (EHCP) or special educational needs (SEN).

Information which says you have:

  • learning difficulties;
  • asperger's syndrome;
  • autistic spectrum disorder;
  • a letter which says you would benefit from having a bus pass; or
  • a letter which asks you to be considered for a bus pass because you need one.

None of the above provides evidence that your intelligence is significantly impaired.

You will be eligible if:

  • your hearing loss is severe or profound (greater than 70 dBHL in both ears)

You will not be eligible if:

  • your hearing loss is mild or moderate (69 dBHL or less, in your better ear).

Proving that you are eligible

Evidence we accept
  • confirmation that you are registered as profoundly or severely deaf from a local authority;
  • a letter from audiologist or audiological report which demonstrated that you have hearing loss of more than 70 dBHL in both ears; or
  • for veterans, the reasons for decision letter under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCAS).

Hearing loss is graded as:

  • 25 - 39 dBHL is mild - cannot hear whispers.
  • 40 - 69 dBHL is moderate - cannot hear conversational speech.
  • 70 - 94 dBHL is severe - able to hear some words when shouted.
  • > 95 dBHL is profound - unable to hear and understand even a shouted voice. 

You will be eligible if you are 17 years old or older and:

  • you have epilepsy and your current experience of seizures means that you would not be eligible for a driving licence;
  • you have diabetes and have suffered more than one hypoglycemic attack requiring the assistance of another person within the last 12 months;
  • you have a severe mental disorder which means you would be refused a driving licence or have your driving licence revoked by the DVLA; or
  • you cannot read a registration plate in good light at 20.5 metres (with lenses).

You will not be eligible if:

  • you are refused a driving licence by the DVLA as a result of the misuse of drugs or alcohol;
  • you are advised not to drive for medical reasons, or for the sake of your health, but are allowed to keep your driving licence. For example you are recovering from surgery or because driving would make the medical condition worse;
  • the reason you cannot drive is short term (less than 12 months) and you are not required to surrender your licence;
  • the reason you cannot drive is because of the side effects of medication that you are taking (unless your driving license is revoked or refused because of it);
  • you suffer from mental health issues (such as anxiety or depression) which would not cause you to be refused a driving license;
  • you have a life-limiting condition or serious illness, unless you are at risk of seizures as a result; or
  • you have dementia. Current DVLA guidance states you may be able to drive, but must notify the DVLA. The DVLA acknowledge that there are varied presentations and rates of progression, and the decision on licensing is usually based on medical reports. If you are subsequently refused a driving licence after such assessment, and you can provide evidence of this, you will then become eligible;
  • you suffer from mental health issues but are receiving appropriate treatment, meaning you would not be refused a driving licence; or
  • you suffer from mental health and cannot provide appropriate evidence to support your application.

Proving that you are eligible

Evidence we accept Evidence we cannot accept
  • a letter from the DVLA indicating that your driving licence has been refused or revoked following an assessment;
  • a letter from the DVLA accepting the surrendered driving licence, together with evidence confirming the relevant medical condition would mean the applicant’s driving licence would be refused or revoked;
  • information from a medical professional (not a GP) which confirms that you would be refused a driving licence (other than because of drug or alcohol dependency); or
  • evidence which demonstrates you have one of the disabilities or medical conditions which would be covered by Section 92 of the Road Traffic Act 1933.

You will also need to show whether the refusal of the driving licence is permanent (for example because of a lifelong condition) or temporary (for example because of an isolated seizure).

  • advice not to drive because of medication (unless it explicitly states that you must hand back your driving licence or that a driving licence would be refused);
  • letter from the DVLA indicating that you have voluntarily surrendered your driving licence;
  • a letter which states you would be unable to drive but which does not give the reason;
  • anything which indicates that the reason you cannot drive is linked to the misuse of alcohol or drugs;
  • a letter which says you would benefit from having a bus pass; or
  • a letter which asks you to be considered for a bus pass because you need one.

You are only eligible for a bus pass under this category if you are over 17 years old and able to provide the relevant supporting documentation.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 you may be refused a driving licence on the grounds of your medical fitness. Those currently barred from holding a licence include people with:

  • epilepsy (unless it is a type that does not pose a danger);
  • severe mental disorder;
  • liability to sudden attacks of giddiness or fainting;
  • inability to read a registration plate in good light at 20.5 metres (with lenses, if worn);or
  • other disabilities which are likely to cause the driving of vehicles by them to be a source or danger to the public.

You do not have to apply for a driving licence in order to qualify. However, if you are in possession of a current driving licence you cannot apply under this category. Applicants under this category may have their details passed to the DVLA for the purpose of fraud prevention.

You will be eligible if:

  • you are unable to walk at all;
  • you can only get about by swinging through crutches (long term);
  • you are unable to walk more than 64 metres with severe discomfort;
  • it takes an excessive amount of time to walk a short distance (e.g. five minutes to walk 100 metres); or
  • the exertion to walk would constitute a danger to your life or would likely lead to serious deterioration in your health.

You will not be eligible if:

  • your mobility problems are short term (less than 12 months), or
  • you are able to walk relatively normal with the use of an artificial leg.

Proving that you are eligible

Evidence we accept Evidence we cannot accept
  • your blue badge - your pass will expire at around the same time as your blue badge;
  • current Personal Independence Payment (PIP) award letter (including the point’s breakdown) which shows eight or more points for moving around;
  • current DLA letter showing mobility component at the higher rate; or
  • for a veteran, proof of receiving War Pensions Mobility Supplement or the reasons for discussion letter under Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCAS).
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) award of 6 points or less for moving around;
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) award of moving around but no breakdown of how the points have been awarded;
  • DLA mobility component at the lower rate;
  • DLA care component at any rate;
  • a letter which lists your medical conditions;
  • a letter which says your mobility is affected by a medical condition;
  • a letter which says you would benefit from having a bus pass; or
  • a letter which asks you to be considered for a bus pass because you need one.

You will be eligible if:

  • you are unable to communicate in any language. For example, you are unable to make clear basic oral requests or you are unable to ask specific questions to clarify instructions.

You will not be eligible if:

  • you have speech but it is too low or difficult to understand. For example, you have a severe stammer; or
  • you cannot speak English, but you speak another language.

Proving that you are eligible

Evidence we accept
  • evidence that you have been awarded eight points or more for the communicating verbally activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP);
  • a letter from social services, or another appropriate organisation providing support services (not a GP), stating you are without speech; or
  • documents which demonstrate you are without speech.

Further information

When applying for a disabled persons bus pass, you must ensure you have the following to hand:

  • a digital passport style photo that clearly shows your full face to upload to your application;
  • a valid email address; and
  • your supporting evidence.

Additional documents can also be provided to us so we are able to further clarify your identity. To support your application, you will need to choose documents that will prove both your date of birth and your address. 

  Accepted documents

Accepted documents to prove age and address

  • driving licence
  • NHS medical card
  • any NHS letter containing date of birth
  • prescription
  • firearms certificate
  • winter fuel allowance letter
Acceptable documents for proof of address
  • any letter from national or local government
  • current council tax bill, letter, payment book or benefits
  • current council or housing association rent book
  • tenancy or mortgage agreements
  • TV licence
  • a letter confirming residency provided by your care or nursing home, or a copy of an invoice for care
  • caravan site annual fee invoice and valid postal address
  • British Waterways residential permit
  • marina permit
  • mooring invoice showing mooring fees for more than six months
Acceptable documents for proof of age
  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • free TV licence
  • European Health Insurance Card

These documents are to be submitted with your evidence that shows you are eligible for a disabled persons bus pass. Documents that we accept to prove eligibility can be found on our web page under the relevant section to your disability.

Passes can only be used within England and are therefore not valid for travel in other areas of the UK such as Scotland and Wales. Your pass is eligible for travel in North Yorkshire and York on local bus services at any time, except between 6am and 9am on weekdays, in other areas of England it can generally only be used from 9.30am to 11pm weekdays and anytime on weekends and bank holidays, however this may be worth checking with the area’s authority before you travel.

Although your pass will be valid for off peak bus travel in London, it does not allow you to enjoy the additional benefits of a London Freedom Pass as these apply to London residents only.

The following services are an exception to this and you can use your pass between 6am and 9am.

Service Time From Destination
X34 8.53am Middleton Tyas Scorton
24 7.20am Pateley Bridge Harrogate
22 8.38am school day
8.13am school holidays
Ripon York
30 8.30am Reeth Richmond
30 8.50am Alne York
31X 8.24am Oswaldkirk Helmsley
80 7.50am Hutton Rudby Northallerton
89 8.30am Northallerton Stokesley
136 8.12am Melmerby Ripon
194 8.10am Hovingham Malton 

Exceptions to using your pass

You can use the pass on all registered local bus services in England except: 

  • you cannot use the pass on long distance coach services;
  • passes are not valid on local park and ride services but discounted fares are available; and
  • passes are not valid on services that operate primarily for the purposes of tourism (see below).

Services on which passes are not valid  

Yorkshire Dales area - summer 2019

Service number Route Time
822 York - Ripon - Fountains Abbey - Pateley Bridge - Grassington (Arriva Yorkshire)  Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
825

Selby - Wetherby* - Harrogate - Brimham Rocks - Fountains Abbey - Masham (Arriva Yorkshire) 

Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
831 Hawes - Ribblehead - Settle (Arriva Yorkshire)  Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
830 Middlesbrough* - Darlington* - Richmond - Reeth - Muker - Hawes (Arriva North East) Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
830

Preston - Lancaster - Ingleton - Ribblehead - Hawes - Muker - Reeth - Richmond (Rotala Preston Bus)

Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
881

Morecambe - Lancaster - Slaidburn - Settle - Malham (KLCH)

Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
 

Upper Dales CONNECT (LWB Demand Responsive journeys)

Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays

*ENCTS passes are valid for journeys on these services commencing outside of North Yorkshire. 

Scarborough area

Service Number Route
108 / 109 Scarborough Sea Front Tour buses
64 / 65 Scarborough Park and Ride Services
P1 / P2 Whitby Summer Seasonal Park and Ride
1 Whitby Summer Tour Services

Other areas

Service Number Route
ME1 Moors Explorer: Hessle - Hull - Pickering - Danby

Other service types

Generally community transport demand responsive services operated under Section 19 permit are not eligible services and concessionary pass holders are not entitled to free travel. A discounted fare will often be offered.

  • The use of bus passes are subject to the terms and conditions of the North Yorkshire and York scheme as well as the terms and conditions of the Operator on whose vehicle the journey is being made.
  • All passes must be produced for inspection prior to each journey whether demanded or not, this will be done by the driver scanning the pass on a ticket machine or manually recording the journey.
  • Bus passes remain the property of our council and are not transferable. They may only be used by the person whose name and photograph appear on them. Any attempt to use a bus pass fraudulently will result in the pass being withdrawn.
  • Only one pass is permitted per eligible resident for fraud prevention purposes.
  • Passes will not be valid if they are out of date, illegible, damaged or altered. These may not work on the ticketing machines and the Operator will have the right to confiscate the pass should it be used in any of these conditions.
  • Possession of a bus pass gives no priority over other passengers and does not guarantee any person the right to a seat on any such vehicle.
  • Bus passes are not valid on taxis, rail services, tour buses, express coach, Park and Ride or coach services, they apply to eligible local bus services only.
  • We reserve the right to amend the terms of the travel concession scheme to withdraw, amend or replace any pass.
  • If you originally applied for a disabled person concessionary bus pass but either didn’t request the companion enhancement or didn’t qualify, you will automatically be issued an older person bus pass if you are old enough. This means your bus pass will automatically renew every five years without you having to do anything. You will need to let us know if your circumstances change, information on how to do this is under the ‘Change of Circumstances’ section on our website.

Pass holders must comply with our policies for bus pass usage. Further details regarding these can be found on our website under the relevant sections

For information on what we do with your data, please see our  Privacy Notice (pdf / 239 KB).

You are obliged to notify us if your pass is lost or stolen to enable us to prevent the pass being used fraudulently. Your old pass will be hotlisted during this process meaning it will no longer be accepted on services, if this happens the Operator is in their right to confiscate your bus pass., this is to reduce the number of cancelled cards in circulation as it reduces the chances of passes being used fraudulently.

Lost, stolen or damaged bus pass

If you have lost or damaged your buss pass, there will be a charge of £5 for a replacement.

If your pass has been stolen, and you have a crime reference number from the police, we can issue your replacement pass free of charge.

Please phone us and select option 3 to arrange for a replacement pass.

If you order a replacement pass then your old one will stop working as it will be ‘hotlisted’. If your pass was damaged, you will still be able to use it by showing it to the driver until your new one arrives. The driver must be able to tell that it belongs to you by clearly seeing the photo on the front of the pass.

Hotlisted bus pass

Once a pass is ‘hotlisted’ it means it has been electronically cancelled and will no longer be accepted on services. If you try to use a hotlisted pass then the Operator is in their right to confiscate this from you.

There are three main reasons why a bus pass will have been cancelled:

  1. The pass was reported as lost or stolen and it was replaced. You may have the new pass at home or in another bag or wallet.
  2. We wrote to you about your pass and the letter was returned by the Royal Mail. Have you changed address recently?
  3. We wrote to you asking for up to date proof of eligibility or asking for you to return the pass. Do you need to confirm your eligibility?

Bus passes not reading correctly

Sometimes a pass may fail to work on the bus card reader. In this case, it can still be used if it is in date, not hotlisted and the driver is satisfied that the picture on the pass is the holder. As the pass is not hotlisted, it is unlikely it will be withdrawn, you should still contact ourselves to let us know it didn’t work as you may need to order a replacement pass.

If you move away from North Yorkshire then you will no longer be entitled to a concessionary bus pass from us. You must return your pass and apply for a pass from your new local authority. If the pass holder dies, please return the pass to us.

All passes returned to us must be accompanied by a covering letter, explaining why the pass is no longer required.

If you move to another part of North Yorkshire, you should phone us and select option 3 to tell us your change of address.

If you originally applied for a concessionary bus pass but either didn’t request the companion enhancement or didn’t qualify, you will automatically be issued a disabled person bus pass if you are old enough. This means your bus pass will automatically renew every five years without you having to do anything.

However, if you now require a companion to travel with you, you should contact us so we can issue you with a companion pass. Details on companion passes and the evidence you will need to provide for this can be found under the ‘Companion bus passes’ on our website.

A person is eligible for a companion pass if they cannot travel alone because of their disability. Companion passes are an enhancement to the national scheme and a discretionary element of the North Yorkshire English National Concessionary Scheme. 

You will be eligible if:

  • you are sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind); or
  • you require support whilst travelling because of your disability.

You will not be eligible if:

  • you are a child, but do not meet the evidence criteria below.

Proving that you are eligible

  Documents
Evidence we accept
  • Evidence that you are sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind). See accepted documents for blind or partially sighted above.
  • Current DLA award letter showing mobility component at the higher rate.
  • Current DLA award letter showing care component at the higher rate.
  • Current attendance allowance award letter showing award is at the higher rate.
  • Current PIP award letter showing enhanced rate mobility or daily living.
  • Evidence that you have a learning disability (see accepted documents above), are age 19 or under, and in full time education attending a special school.
Evidence we do not accept
  • DLA award letter showing mobility component at the lower rate.
  • DLA award letter showing care component at the middle or lower rate.
  • Attendance allowance award letter showing award is at the lower rate.
  • PIP award letter showing standard rate Mobility or Daily Living.

Generally the companion entitlement is only valid for journeys in the issuing authorities’ area, however for some of our adjacent authorities there are reciprocal arrangements where the companion pass will be accepted. The pass will only be accepted for the cross boundary part of the journey, and not for onward journeys.

Participating authorities

  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • West Yorkshire PTE
  • Kingston Upon Hull City Council
  • South Yorkshire PTE
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • South Yorkshire PTE
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • North East Lincolnshire Council
  • City of York Council

Whilst you are entitled to free travel anywhere in England within permitted off peak times, your companion will only be entitled to free travel on journeys where the local authority allows this discretionary element. If you travel in an area where it is not permissible, your companion will have to pay for their own travel.

You do not have to take the same companion on every journey, but they must board and get off the bus at the same location as you.

We will automatically renew your disabled persons bus pass if you originally applied under the following circumstances:

  • blind or partially sighted;
  • you do not have arms or have long term loss of the use of both arms;
  • you are profoundly or severely deaf; or
  • you are without speech. 

You will receive your automatically renewed pass in the post approximately ten days before your old pass runs out. Please make sure we have your correct address

We will not automatically renew your disabled persons bus pass if you originally applied under the following circumstances:

  • you have a learning disability;
  • you would be, or have been, refused a driving licence; or
  • your condition has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to walk.

Customers who applied for their pass online will be sent an automatic reminder to reapply approximately four to six weeks before your current pass expires. Postal renewal reminder letters are no longer sent out. 

You can renew your pass online 30 days before the given expiry date shown on your bus pass. When renewing your disabled persons bus pass you will need to, once again, provide documentary evidence as you did when you applied initially to ensure you still meet one or more of the eligibility criteria.

If you still meet the eligibility criteria we will also make a decision, on a case by case basis, to decide if you qualify for an automatic renewal. If eligible, for future passes, you will receive this in the post approximately ten days before your old one runs out. Please make sure we have your correct address.

If you have moved out of North Yorkshire and your pass is due to expire, then you will need to reapply with your new local authority. Further details about what you will need to do can be found below, under the ‘Change of circumstance’ section. 

If you are unsure whether you would be eligible for an automatic renewal, or have any further queries please contact us.

If you need any help applying for your bus pass, our web chat service is available during office hours or you can phone us.

Assistance to complete your online application is available at the following libraries. Please phone the library before visiting, to check they are able to assist when you plan to visit.

Please remember to bring your supporting evidence with you.

Access to a computer and scanner, for uploading supporting evidence, is available at all local libraries. Please phone the library before you visit as you may need to go on a specific day or time.

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