The National Bus Pass entitles the pass holder to free off peak travel on local buses anywhere in England.
The National Bus Pass is available to older people or those with certain disabilities. To find out whether you are eligible for a pass, and for details of how to apply, follow the links below.
Important information about renewing your bus pass:
- Age-eligible passes issued by Devon County Council are only renewed automatically if they have been recorded in use on-bus in the preceding 12 months. This means that passes which are damaged and therefore do not scan on the ticket machine will not be automatically renewed. Similarly, passes which have only been used in London will also not be renewed. If your pass is damaged or has only been used in London please contact us at least one month before your pass is due to expire to arrange for a renewal.
- If you have an older person’s bus pass issued by Devon County Council which is now due for renewal and you have changed address since your pass was issued but did not inform us, please contact us immediately to ensure that your new pass is sent to the correct address.
- If you have a bus pass that was issued by a local authority other than Devon County Council, you will need to make a new application to Devon County Council as if applying for the first time. Devon County Council does not have access to the records or data held by other local authorities and as such we are unable to accept the issue of a National Bus Pass by another authority as proof of eligibility.
- Age-eligible passes that are currently in use are renewed automatically and you should receive your new pass 3-4 weeks prior to the expiry date of your current pass.
- If your pass expires within 2 weeks and you have not heard from us or received your new pass please contact us immediately.
- For further details refer to the section ‘Renewal process’ below.
If you have lost your bus pass please call our Customer Service Centre on 01392 383688 or 01271 383688.
- Renewal process
National Bus Passes issued by Devon County Council for age-eligible pass holders are renewed each month as they approach their expiry date. The renewals process used by Devon County Council is as detailed below.
- Devon County Council has decided that the most practical way of renewing passes is to automatically reissue them to the address that the expiring pass was sent to, unless we have been notified of a change of address. We are only renewing passes that have been in use in the preceding 12 months.
- Age-eligible passes are issued for a period of 5 years. In this period of time people may move within or out of Devon. If you move within the lifetime of your National Bus Pass you must ensure that we have your up to date address details. This service does not pick up address changes from council tax records or other services provided by your district or county council – you need to contact us if you have moved house.
- Any changes to your address MUST be notified to us at least two months before the expiry of your pass. The process we follow each month is the same (except for December 2017 renewals, see section below). The order for new cards is placed as close to the first day of the month in which the current pass is due to expire. We therefore need any changes to be notified to us in advance of our order otherwise your new pass will go to your old address.
- If you do not tell us about a change of address and your new pass is returned to us, we will keep hold of the pass for three months. If you do not claim your pass within that time, the pass will be destroyed and any request for a new pass will be chargeable as if the pass were lost. This also applies to passes that go to an old address and are not returned or are assumed destroyed. If you request a new pass more than three months after the new pass was sent to an old address, the request will be treated as a lost pass and will be chargeable.
- We are only renewing passes that have been in use in the preceding 12 months. This does not apply to passes used exclusively in London or passes that are faulty or broken and are not being recognised by the ticket reader on the bus. If your pass does not scan on the ticket machine and it is due for renewal, it is possible the pass will not be renewed. Please contact us if your pass is not working on the ticket machines.
- You may find that leading up to the renewal of your pass, we contact you to update the photograph on your pass. Please do not ignore our request. We only ask where the current photograph is poor quality or does not appear to look age appropriate. If you do not respond to our request for a new photograph your pass will not be renewed.
- December 2017 renewals
A large number of passes issued by Devon County Council expire on the 31st December 2017. These passes will start to be renewed from early September 2017 until the end of October 2017. The passes are being renewed by district and alphabetically by surname within that district. The district order is:
The passes are being send out early to avoid Christmas posting. As soon as your new pass arrives, destroy the expiring pass. A person can only hold one valid pass; as soon as your new pass arrives, please use it.
If you have not received your new pass by the Friday 10th November, please contact us so that we can ensure you have a new pass before 31st December 2017. It will not be possible to renew a pass in the last two weeks of December; if you contact us after 15th December for a new pass, you will not receive it until the 2nd week of January 2018.
- Who can apply for a National Bus Pass?
If your sole or principal residence is in the Devon County Council area you can apply to us for a National Bus Pass.
There are two types of pass: those issued to older residents and those issued to applicants with certain disabilities.
The age of eligibility for the National Bus Pass is linked to the age of eligibility for the State Pension. For details of how this affects those born after 6th April 1960 please refer to the State Pension age timetables on the gov.uk website. If your date of birth is before 6th April 1960, enter your date of birth to find out when you will be eligible for your pass:Eligible from:Already eligible06/03/201606/07/201606/11/201606/03/201706/07/201706/11/201706/03/201806/07/201806/11/201806/03/201906/05/201906/07/201906/09/201906/11/201906/01/202006/03/202006/05/202006/07/202006/09/2020Please use the date format dd/mm/yyyy66th birthday
Disabilities which qualify someone for a National Bus Pass are those which are considered permanent, or which are likely to last at least 12 months. Such disabilities should have a substantial effect on the applicant’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
There are seven disability categories:
- Blind or partially sighted
- Profoundly or severely deaf
- Without speech
- Severe difficulty in walking
- Without arms or has a long-term loss of the use of both arms
- Learning Disability
- Unfit to hold a driving licence
Applicants with a disability may find the Devon Access Wallet useful to use alongside their National Bus Pass. The Devon Access Wallet scheme is an initiative to help make journeys by bus or train easier for anyone with communication difficulties, people with disabilities, deaf people and those whose first language is not English.
- How to apply
If your sole or principal residence is in the Devon County Council area and you decide to apply for a National Bus Pass you will need to provide the following items. Click on the links for further information:
- National Bus Pass application form
- Proof of residence
- Proof of age or disability
- A passport-sized photograph
Our information booklet and application form is available across Devon from libraries, tourist information centres and some council offices. You can request a copy to be posted to you by calling 01392 383688 / 01271 383688 or emailing us at email@example.com
Where to send your application
Post all of these items to the address below:
Concessionary Bus Travel
Room 18, Matford Offices
What happens next?
- If your application is approved, your new National Bus Pass will be posted direct to your home address.
- Please allow 5-10 working days to receive your National Bus Pass.
- If your application is refused you will be contacted in writing with an explanation why or a request for further information.
Residents of other council areas should contact their local council for details of how to apply for a National Bus Pass or visit https://www.gov.uk
- Using your bus pass
How to use a National Bus Pass
Your pass must be show to the bus driver on all journeys.
Most buses now have ‘smart-card’ readers. Simply hold your pass against the reader to register your fare. You are not usually issued with a ticket for ‘smart’ journeys.
If you are issued with a ticket you must retain it for inspection.
When to use a National Bus Pass in this area
Your pass is valid for free travel from 9:30am to the end of service on weekdays, and all day at weekends and on bank holidays.
Pass holders making any bus journey before 9:30am on weekday mornings will have to pay for their journey except in the following circumstance: valid passes can be used on eligible bus services where there is a service before 9:30am but no further service until after 12:00pm. A current list of bus services where this applies is available from the Concessionary Bus Travel Office. Please contact us for further details.
If you are using your National Bus Pass outside of the Devon County Council area, please check for local travel variations. The statutory concession is 09:30am – 11:00pm weekdays, unlimited travel weekends and bank holidays.
Where to use a National Bus Pass
Your pass entitles you to free off-peak travel on registered local buses* anywhere in England.
*A registered local bus is a timetabled bus service which is open to the general public.
What is not included with a National Bus Pass?
Your National Bus Pass is not valid for any of the following:
- car parking charges at Park and Ride sites
- long-distance coaches
- coach excursions and holiday tours
- rail-replacement buses
- ring and ride services, taxis, private hire cars or fare cars.
You cannot use your National Bus Pass on services operated as ‘sight-seeing tours’, those operated primarily for the purposes of tourism, those with only one type of premium fare or those on which the majority of seats can be reserved in advance of travel. A list of the excluded services in Devon can be found on page 13 of our 2017 Scheme Documents.
- The Devon Companion Bus Pass
Devon County Council will provide, on application, a Companion Bus Pass to applicants of secondary school age or above who have a severe disability and are only able to access local bus services with the assistance of a travelling companion.
The Devon Companion Bus Pass will provide free travel for one person travelling with the disabled person when they are using their National Bus Pass in the Devon County Council area.
There is a separate application form for the Devon Companion Pass. You need to provide one of the following items to support a Companion Bus Pass application:
- disability Living Allowance with the higher rate mobility component together with middle or higher rate care component.
- letter on headed paper from a medical professional confirming a specified medical condition that prevents independent travel; such as uncontrolled epilepsy or severe mental disorder.
- letter from Children’s or Adult Services confirming registration as blind or registered with a learning disability.
- war pension with mobility supplement award letter.
- personal Independence Payment scoring points in both the mobility activities and the daily living activities. A combination of two or more of the following:
- 8 points for ‘moving around’
- 12 points for ‘planning and following journeys’
- 8 points for ‘communicating verbally’
- 8 points for ‘reading and understanding signs, symbols and words’
- 8 points for ‘engaging with other people face to face’
The Devon Companion Bus Pass is a discretionary enhancement to the statutory scheme and wholly funded by Devon County Council. The Devon Companion Bus Pass may not be used outside of the Devon County Council area. For further information or to request an application form please contact us.
- Frequently asked questions
• Is there a charge for a bus pass?
Your initial bus pass and any renewals will be free of charge, however there is an administration fee payable to replace a lost, stolen or damaged pass. If you need to replace your bus pass please call the Concessionary Bus Pass Team on 01392 383688 or 01271 383688.
• How do I replace a lost, stolen or damaged pass?
There is a £10 administration charge for replacing any pass that has been lost, stolen or damaged. Please call the Concessionary Bus Pass Team on 01392 383688 or 01271 383688 to arrange for the replacement bus pass application form to be sent to you.
• My pass has stopped scanning on the ticket machines, what should I do?
Please call the Concessionary Bus Pass Team on 01392 383688 or 01271 383688.
• My pass expires soon, what should I do?
The most important thing is to let us know if you have moved house! If your pass was issued due to a disability you will be sent a renewal form approximately 3 months prior to the expiry date of your pass. Age-eligible passes that are currently in use are renewed automatically, however we do write to some pass-holders to request a new photograph if appropriate. If your pass expires within 2 weeks and you have not heard from us or received your new pass please contact us immediately.
If an automatically renewed pass is returned to Devon County Council by Royal Mail because the pass holder has moved and not notified us, it be held for a period of 3 months. Any passes which remain unclaimed after 3 months will be destroyed and an administration fee of £10 will be charged for the replacement of any such passes.
• Can I apply for my pass before I am eligible?
You can submit your application up to two weeks before the date you become eligible and you will receive your pass on or around the date you become eligible.
• How long will it take for me to get my pass?
Once we have processed your application a pass will be ordered for you from our card producer who will post the pass to your home address. You should receive your pass within 5-10 working days.
• Who should I notify if I move house?
If you have moved to another address in the Devon County Council area please write to us to let us know. Make sure you include your bus pass number(s) and details of both your old and new address. We will require proof of your new address before we can update your record.
If you have moved out of the Devon County Council area please apply to your new local authority for a new pass. Once you have your new pass please return your old pass to us to let us know you have moved away.
If a pass is returned to Devon County Council by Royal Mail because the pass holder has moved and not notified us, it be held for a period of 3 months. Any passes which remain unclaimed after 3 months will be destroyed and an administration fee of £10 will be charged for the replacement of any such passes.
• I have recently moved to Devon and have a pass issued by another authority; can I get a new pass from Devon County Council?
Devon County Council does not have access to the bus pass records of any other local authority. Whilst your existing pass may remain valid for a short period, you should apply immediately for a new pass from Devon County Council. As we do not have access to any of your previous bus pass information this will be treated as a new application. Once we have issued you with a new pass, please send your old pass back to the issuing authority letting them know you are no longer a resident of their area.
• I have a pass on the grounds of a disability and it expires soon, what should I do?
A renewal letter and form will be sent to you approximately 3 months before the expiry of your bus pass. Prior to the renewal of your pass, checks will be undertaken against the social care system to check that your eligibility is still valid. Up to date proof of your continuing eligiblity may be requested. If you have changed address since your pass was issued please let us know immediately as this could result in a delay in renewing your pass.
•Do you perform any additional checks to confirm information submitted to support an application on the grounds of a disability?
Yes, any proof or information provided in support of an application may be checked with available Devon care systems, educational information and other public bodies to assist in the verification of eligibility. We will also check with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for the prevention and detection of fraud.
Can I collect my pass from County Hall?
No, your bus pass will be posted to your home address by the card producer. We do not print the passes at County Hall.
• I have found a bus pass. What should I do with it?
Any pass that is found should be returned immediately to the issuing authority. The address should be on the rear of the card. If the pass was issued by Devon County Council please let us know using the contact details below.
• I can’t find the answer to my question on your website, how can I get in touch?
There are a number of ways to get in touch with us:
- Post: Concessionary Bus Travel, Room 18 Matford Offices, County Hall, Exeter, EX2 4QD
- Telephone: 01392 383688 or 01271 383688
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact us
There are a number of ways you can get in touch with us regarding the National Bus Pass (or to apply for a Senior Railcard discount code):
- Post: Concessionary Bus Travel, Room 18 Matford Offices, County Hall, Exeter, EX2 4QD
- Telephone: 01392 383688 or 01271 383688
- Further information
You can find further information about the National Bus Pass Scheme in Devon in our Information Booklet.
General Terms and Conditions of the issue of National Bus Passes by Devon County Council.
Our 2018 Scheme Documents contain full details of the Devon County Council Concessionary Travel Scheme.
If you require any further information not available on the links above then please contact us.