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 person's 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 quality photo 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 buss 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.

We will automatically renew your senior persons bus pass if it expired after 31 July 2017. You will receive this in the post before your old one runs out. Please make sure we have your correct address. If you need to tell us about any changes please contact us.

If your bus pass expired before August 2017, you will need to follow the instructions at the top of this page to apply for a new bus pass.

In North Yorkshire and York you can use your pass on local bus services at any time, except between 6am and 9am on weekdays.

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

Service Time From Destination
X34 08:53 Middleton Tyas Scorton
24 07:40 Pateley Bridge Harrogate
29 08:42 Raskelf York
22 08:38 School day
08:13 School holidays
Ripon York
30 08:30 Reeth Richmond
80 07:50 Hutton Rudby Northallerton
136 08:12 Melmerby Ripon

You can travel free across the rest of England between 9:30am and 11pm on Monday to Friday, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

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
  • 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 2017

Service number Route Time
882 York - Ripon - Fountains Abbey Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
825 Ripon - Fountains Abbey - Pateley Bridge - Upper Nidderdale/Grassington Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
830 Preston - Lancaster - Kirkby Lonsdale - Ingleton - Hawes - Richmond Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
830* Middlesbrough - Darlington - Richmond - Hawes - Ingleton Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
833 Lancaster - Bentham - Ingleton - Slaidburn - Clitheroe Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
859 Richmond - Leyburn Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays
881 Morecambe - Lancaster - Ingleton - Settle - Malham Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays

* you can use this service only if your journey begins 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
127 Ripon - Hawes Vintage Tour Bus
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.

Use of your bus pass is subject to  terms and conditions (pdf / 40 KB).

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.

If you have lost or damaged your senior person's 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.

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 & 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.

A guide to using your bus pass leaflet

Read a  guide to using your bus pass (pdf / 1 MB).

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