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:
- Most recent* Disability Living Allowance (DLA) uprated letter with Higher Rate Mobility Component or Care Component with a period of entitlement of at least 12 months.
- Recent* evidence that you are in receipt of Attendance Allowance at the Higher Rate
- Recent* evidence that you are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with a score of at least 8 points on the Planning and following a journey component
- Recent* evidence that you are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with a score of at least 8 points or above under the communicating verbally’ activities (only if you are applying under category C - without speech)
- Recent evidence* that you are in receipt of the Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 8 points or above.
- Recent* evidence that you are registered blind or partially sighted
- Letter from a **specialist doctor/independent health professional/registered medical practitioner confirming that you are unable to travel alone and the reason for this.
*No more than 12 months old
**This is intended to include hospital consultants, clinicians, occupational therapists etc to offer impartiality at no cost to you.
How to apply for a new pass
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 disability – please see which proofs are accepted for each eligibility criteria.
If you want to apply by phone contact the Customer Service Centre on 0345 310 1111.
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
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:
- Evidence that you are a wheelchair user, sight impaired or unable to use public transport without the assistance of a companion
- Proof that you qualify for Carer's Allowance
- Proof that you receive Attendance Allowance/DLA (at the highest rate for a minimum of 12 months)
- A letter from your GP, specialist, Social Services, School Head Teacher or relevant professional organisation. The letter must clearly confirm that your disability means you are unable to use public transport without the assistance of a companion.
See our frequently asked questions page for more advice about bus passes.