Applying for an older person's bus pass

Bus Pass - Older person's bus pass image

Eligible older people are entitled to free off-peak travel on local buses throughout England. You will need a bus pass, which must be shown to the bus driver on each journey.

On this page:

  • whether you are eligible for an older person’s bus pass
  • what you need to apply
  • the application form

1. When am I eligible for an older person's bus pass?

In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the female State Pension age, whether you’re a man or a woman.

2. What do I need to apply?

You will need the provide the following to apply:

  • proof of your age
  • proof of your address
  • a photograph of you.

When applying by post please send photocopies only, ensuring that the date of birth and address are printed, not hand written and can be clearly read. East Sussex County Council cannot accept any responsibility for items that are mislaid in the post. No documentation will be returned.

See below for a full list of acceptable documents.

Proof of your age (one needed)

  • birth certificate (and marriage certificate if applicable)
  • driving licence (photocard only)
  • passport
  • State pension letter
  • NHS medical card

Proof of your address in East Sussex (one needed)

  • a valid current driving licence (photocard only)
  • a letter from Department of Work and Pensions (no more than 3 months old)
  • a recent bank or credit card statement (no more than 3 months old)
  • your current council tax bill
  • a recent utility bill (no more than 3 months old)

If your main home is not in East Sussex, you should apply for a bus pass to the local authority where you usually live.


You will need one passport style/sized colour photograph of your head and shoulders with a single coloured background.

Head wear, unless specified for religious or medical purposes, and tinted glasses are not to be worn.

3. When to apply

We recommend you apply no earlier than:

  • 2 months before your state pension age for paper applications.
  • 6 weeks before your state pension age for online applications.

The bus pass will normally arrive a week or two before your eligible date.

4. Applying for a pass

Alternatively you can:

  • Print and send the Older person’s application form.
  • Call our information centre 0300 33 09 471 (local rate), and they will post a form to you.
  • Go into an East Sussex library find your local library. As well as providing the form, library staff can check your completed application. They will be able to check your proof so there will be no need to photocopy documents. Library staff will also send your application off for you.
  • From late January 2020 older person’s forms will be available from West Sussex libraries in Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill as they serve some of our residents. These libraries cannot check and send.

5. Contact us

If you have a question about this page, please speak to our information centre: