Companion bus pass

How to apply for a bus pass for your companion if you are disabled and cannot travel alone.

If you are entitled to a Disabled Bus Pass and cannot travel alone, then you can apply for a Companion bus pass at the same time. This will allow your companion to travel free - but only when they are with you.

Children between the age of 5 and 15 who qualify for a disabled pass will be issued with a companion pass automatically.

Whilst you are entitled to free travel anywhere in England within permitted off-peak times, your companion will only be entitled to free travel on journeys that start in Oxfordshire. If you travel outside of the Oxfordshire county border your companion will have to pay for their own travel.

A holder of a companion pass may start a bus journey in the area of Oxfordshire independently, but if accompanied by a companion, both pass holder and companion must board and get off the vehicle at the same point.

We will issue companion passes at our discretion.

Companion pass criteria

If you live in Oxfordshire and meet the disability criteria specified on the disabled bus pass page, you must also provide evidence using one of the options below if you want to prove that you also qualify for a Companion Pass:

  • be registered Severely Sight Impaired (Blind)
  • be in receipt of Higher Rate Attendance Allowance*
  • be in receipt of Higher Rate Care Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a period of entitlement of at least 12 months*
  • be in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with 8 points or more for 'planning and following a journey' component*
  • letter from medical professional advising that you cannot travel alone

*no more than 12 months old.

How to apply for a new pass

Apply online

To request a companion pass you need to apply for a disabled person pass online. Towards the end of the process you will need to tick the box 'I would like to apply for a companion enhancement'.

Online is the quickest way to apply for a pass. Applications for a disability companion pass applied online remove the need for an additional paper application.

Before you apply online you will need digital version of:

  • A recent photograph with a plain background in JPG/JPEG format. You can either upload an existing photo or use a webcam or smartphone during the the application process. (See photo guidance)
  • Proof of identity – birth certificate, current driving licence, passport identification page, or pension letter in PDF format.
  • Proof of address – a pension letter, current driving licence, bank or credit card statement (less than three months old) in PDF format.
  • Proof of disabilityplease see which proofs are accepted for each eligibility criteria.

By phone

If you want to apply by phone contact the Customer Service Centre on 0345 310 1111.

In person

You can apply in person at any of our libraries or County Council building receptions by using one of the public computers.

You will need to bring a suitable photo and copies of your proof of disability, need for a companion and residency documentation (see below).

If you are having trouble getting a passport style photo, staff have equipment to help take your picture for you.

When will I get my pass?

If you apply in person your pass cannot be issued on the day by our staff. It will be dispatched separately and should reach you within 10 working days.

Upgrade an existing pass

If you currently have a disabled bus pass and want to add a companion element to it, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0345 310 1111.

If your disabled bus pass is still valid and you wish to apply to add a companion, you will need to make a payment of £10. If your disabled bus pass is due for renewal, you don’t have to pay. This fee can only be paid by cheque or by visiting one of our main libraries. 

Proof of residency

One of the following documents is acceptable as evidence of residency:

  • Pension letter*
  • Current driving licence
  • Recent* utility bill
  • Recent* bank or credit card statement
  • Recent* council tax bill

* no more than three months old

Further information

See our frequently asked questions page for more advice about bus passes.