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How to apply for a bus pass

Holly Thomas / 09 February 2015 ( 21 January 2020 )

A quick guide to who is eligible for older person's bus passes and how to apply for them.

Have you claimed your free bus pass?

Public transport has many things going for it.

It can be a lifeline for people without cars. For motorists, it can be useful backup for times when you are unable or unwilling to use your car.

It can get you out of a fix if your car is out of action and can make journeys to areas where parking is a problem less stressful.

The good news is that people aged 60 and over are entitled to a free bus pass. Here’s how to bag yours:

Am I eligible?

The age at which you can apply for a free bus pass differs depending on where you live.

If you live in Scotland or Wales, you become eligible when you reach 60. 

Those living in England must wait until they reach the state pension age. This is changing, and depends on when you were born. 

Because the state pension age is higher for men, the Department for Transport says men can get their pass when they reach the female state pension age (to avoid gender discrimination). To find out your state pension age, visit the Government's online calculator.

Find out what other benefits you might be entitled to.

What does the pass get me?

Older people are entitled to free off-peak travel on local buses in England. The free bus pass allows you to travel free on local buses anywhere in England between 9.30am and 11pm on weekdays and all day weekends and public holidays.

If you live in Wales, over 60s, as well as disabled people, can travel free on local buses in Wales at any time - there are no time restrictions. In areas where buses are limited, you can even use it on the train. The scheme is currently funded until 31 March 2015.

People living in Wales can also use their passes to travel free on cross-boundary journeys in and out of England, providing the journey starts or finishes in Wales.

The Scottish National Entitlement Card allows free travel on local or Scottish long distance buses.

Save money on train travel.

Where do I apply?

Wherever you live, you must apply to your local authority. You will need to provide identification, to ensure your age and where you live, so that the right local authority can issue the pass.

Find more information here.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.