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


To be eligible for an older persons bus pass, you must:

See the further information section below to check whether you are eligible. 

Apply for your first bus pass

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 of age and address. See further information section below for accepted documents.

Apply for your first North Yorkshire bus pass

Applying for your bus pass online is the quickest, and most straight forward way to apply. If you need assistance with your application then you can ask a caregiver, friend or family member to help you. However, you must ensure the portal account is set up using the details of the individual applying and not the person helping create the account.

Renewing your bus pass

Your older person's bus pass will be automatically renewed. You will receive this in the post before your old one runs out. If you have moved to another part of North Yorkshire, call 01609 780780.

If you move away from North Yorkshire then you must return your pass and apply for a new pass from your new local authority. All passes returned to us must be accompanied by a covering letter, explaining why the pass is no longer required.

Further information

You can check when you will be eligible for a free bus pass using the GOV.UK state pension checker. You are able to apply online 2 weeks before you become eligible.

Check when you are eligible for a free bus pass

You will need to provide supporting evidence and include this with your application. The following documents are accepted:

  Accepted documents

Accepted documents to prove age and address

  • driving licence
  • full state pension letter
  • 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
  • social security pension card
  • free TV licence
  • European Health Insurance Card

People who live abroad

Please provide evidence you are a resident within North Yorkshire for more than six months of the year. Accepted evidence is the same as listed for address and age evidence above.

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
34 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
23 7.41am Kirby Hill Ripon
18 8:45am Stokesley Guisborough
18 8:54am Great Ayton Guisborough

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

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

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

Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays

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.

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.

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 bus pass, there will be a charge of £10 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 call 01609 780780.

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 call 01609 780780.

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 an older persons 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 on our disabled person's bus pass page.

If you need any help applying for your bus pass our web chat service is available during office hours or you call 01609 780780.