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 bus pass

Further information

You can check when you will be eligible for a free bus pass using the GOV.UK state pension checker.

Check when you are eligible for a free buss 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
  • 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.

Your senior persons bus pass will be automatically renewed. You will receive this in the post 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.

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

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.

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.

If you move away from North Yorkshire, you must return your pass and apply for a pass from your new local authority. Please include a covering letter to let us know why you are returning the pass. If the pass holder dies, please return the pass to us.

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

Lost, stolen or damaged bus pass

If you have lost or damaged your senior persons 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 a replacement pass free of charge.

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

Once a replacement pass has been requested, your old one will stop working. 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

A hotlisted bus pass is one that we have cancelled electronically and is no longer valid for travel.

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?

We have asked bus drivers to remove hotlisted cards from users and return them to the council. This is to reduce the number of cancelled cards in circulation.

Please note that each eligible resident is only entitled to one concessionary bus pass. This is to reduce the likelihood of the pass being used by those who are not entitled to travel. When a pass holder has a change in circumstances, such as moving house, they must contact us to arrange for a replacement pass.

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, but we should be contacted to let us know it didn’t work.

When boarding a bus show your pass to the driver then place it on the ticket machine to record your journey. On some buses without this equipment, the driver will record your journey manually.

General terms and conditions of a bus pass

Use of the pass is 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.

Possession of a bus pass gives no priority over other passengers and does not guarantee any person the right to a seat on any vehicle.

The county council reserves the right to amend the terms of the scheme and to withdraw, amend or replace any pass.

The pass remains the property of the county council and is not transferable. It may be used only by the person whose name and photograph appear on it. Any attempt to use the pass fraudulently will result in the pass being withdrawn.

The pass is not valid if it is out-of-date, illegible, damaged or altered.

Frequently asked questions

When exactly can I travel?

Your pass is valid for use on bus services in York and North Yorkshire from 9am to 6am the following morning on weekdays and anytime on a weekend and bank holidays. Elsewhere in England it can generally only be used from 9.30am to 11pm weekdays and anytime on weekends and bank holidays.

Can I travel anywhere in England for free?

Yes, but you cannot travel in other areas of the UK, for example Scotland and Wales.

Is my pass valid for travel in London?

Yes, your pass is valid for free off peak bus travel in London. Only London residents can enjoy the additional benefits offered by the London Freedom Pass such as free travel on the underground.

Can I use my bus pass on any bus service?

No. The vast majority of bus services will accept your pass for free travel. Some services such as tour buses, park and ride, or services primarily for the purpose of tourism are excluded. Your pass will generally entitle you to a reduced fare on these services.

Can I use my pass on any other transport?

No. Bus passes are not valid for taxis, rail services, tour buses, park and ride or coach services. They are only valid on eligible local bus services.

What do I do if my pass is lost or stolen?

You must tell us, as this will help prevent it being used fraudulently. We will send you a replacement pass.

Do I have to pay for a replacement pass?

If your pass has been stolen, and you can supply a crime reference number, there will be no charge. If your pass has been lost or damaged there will usually be a £5 charge.

I am moving house. What do I need to do?

You must contact us and notify us of your change of address.

If you are moving out of North Yorkshire you must return your pass, as you are no longer entitled to the concession from the county council. You will be able to apply for a pass from your new local authority.

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