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National Bus Pass

National Bus Pass

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.


  • 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.

    Older Applicants

    The date of eligibility for the National Bus Pass – for both men and women – is linked to the age at which a woman becomes eligible for a state pension. Enter your date of birth to find out when you will be eligible for your pass:

    Eligibility checker
    Eligible from:
    Already eligible
    Please use the date format dd/mm/yyyy
    66th birthday

    Disabled Applicants

    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

  • 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:

    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 nationalbuspass@devon.gov.uk

    Where to send your application

    Post all of these items to the address below:

    Concessionary Bus Travel
    Room 18, Matford Offices
    County Hall
    Topsham Road
    EX2 4QW

    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 11:30am. 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 2016 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?

    Please call the Concessionary Bus Pass Team on 01392 383688 or 01271 383688.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • I have recently moved to Devon and have a pass issued by another authority; can I get a new pass from Devon County Council?

    Although your existing pass will remain valid, you should apply for a new pass from Devon County Council as we will not have your details on our database. 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?

    You don’t need to do anything. A renewal letter and form will be sent to you approximately 3 months before the expiry of your bus pass. 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.

    • 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: nationalbuspass@devon.gov.uk

  • 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
    • Email:nationalbuspass@devon.gov.uk

  • Further Information

    You can find further information about the National Bus Pass Scheme in Devon in our Information Booklet.

    Downloadable application forms for the National Bus Pass and Devon Companion Bus Pass.

    General Terms and Conditions of the issue of National Bus Passes by Devon County Council.

    Our 2016 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.