Am I Eligible and What Evidence do I Need?

If you are a resident of Cornwall and are either of pensionable age or have a permanent disability you may be entitled to a pass.

Interpretation of the following eligibility categories will be in accordance with statutory guidance issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) under Section 146 of the Transport Act 2000. The DfT is of the opinion that the types of disability which should enable people to claim the statutory concession are those which are permanent or which have lasted at least twelve months - or which are likely to last at least twelve months, and have a substantial effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

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Please Note: Instead of seeking a letter from your Medical Professional or Social Worker you can now complete Side 2 of the Application Form for certain categories.

You will need to provide your National Insurance Number on your Application Form.

The DfT advises that permits should be issued to people whose sight is so impaired that they would be able to register as blind or partially sighted. The formal notification required to register is a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI), signed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist (eye specialist). For both blind and partially sighted people, however, registration is voluntary. It is recognised that local authorities are unlikely to have the expertise to assess applicants, so for the purposes of the travel concession local authorities may, where appropriate, require evidence that the applicant is registerable as blind or partially sighted from an eye specialist, for example, an optometrist.

Cornwall Council requires one type of the following items of proof:

  • Evidence from an eye specialist/ medical professional on official paper that the applicant is registered or is registerable as blind or partially sighted
  • Letter from Social Services confirming registration as blind or partially sighted

People who are profoundly or severely deaf. Hearing loss is measured in decibels, as dBHL (Hearing Level). People are generally regarded as having a severe hearing loss if it reaches 70-95 dBHL and a profound loss if it reaches 95+ dBHL. There is no statutory registration system for deaf people. However many will be registered on a voluntary basis with their local authority Social Services department. The register is open to people who have varying degrees of hearing loss, so in checking applications a local authority is advised to check that the applicant is profoundly or severely deaf. As for blind and partially sighted people local authorities may where appropriate require applicants to show evidence of registration before issuing a permit, or evidence that they are registerable, for example, an audiological report, or a report from an aural specialist.

Cornwall Council requires one type of the following items of proof:

  • Evidence from an aural specialist/medical professional on official paper that the applicant is registerable as profoundly or severely deaf

People without speech, who are unable to communicate orally in any language. These people will be: unable to make clear basic oral requests e.g. to ask for a particular destination, fare or unable to ask specific questions to clarify instructions e.g. "Does this bus go to the High Street"? This category would not, in the DfT’s opinion, cover people who are able to communicate orally, but whose speech may be slow or difficult to understand because, for example, of a severe stammer. The local authority may reasonably seek medical evidence to support the application in appropriate cases.

Cornwall Council requires one type of the following items of proof:

  • Evidence from a medical professional on official paper that the applicant is without speech
  • Social Services registration as disabled person

People who have a disability, or have suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long term effect on their ability to walk (likely to last at least 12 months) In assessing the eligibility of other applicants local authorities will wish to consider the ability to walk for distances of up to 100m without stopping, severe discomfort or help from another person, whether a mobility aid is used - wheelchair, crutches, walking frame, stick, etc. It is envisaged that permits will be issued to people who can do so only with excessive labour and at an extremely slow pace or with excessive pain. In other words the degree of disability should not fall far short of that required to qualify for the higher rate mobility component of DLA.

Cornwall Council requires one type of the following items of proof:

  • Evidence from a medical professional on official paper which states that the applicant can not walk for up to 100m without stopping, severe discomfort or help from another person even when a mobility or artificial aid is used.
  • Disability Living Allowance with higher rate mobility component (Official letter must be no older than 12 months showing period awarded)
  • Letter from Social Services confirming registration as disabled person.
  • War pension (Mobility supplement)
  • Current Blue badge parking permit (photocopy of both sides)
  • Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax disc) exemption certificate
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP) where the customer has been awarded at least 8 points against either or both of the relevant two activities: The moving around activity and the communicating verbally activity (Official letter must be no older than 12 months showing period awarded)

People without arms, or who have long term loss of the use of both arms. This includes upper limb double amputees and those with congenital absence of both upper limbs. In the DfT’s opinion, it also covers both people with deformity of both arms and people who have both arms; if in either case they are unable to use them to carry out day to day tasks, for example, paying coins into a fare machine. In these latter cases the DfT advises that a local authority should normally seek independent medical evidence to support the application.

Cornwall Council requires one type of the following items of proof:

  • Evidence on official paper from a medical professional confirming that the applicant has long term loss of the use of both arms
  • Letter from Social Services confirming registration as disabled person
  • Disability Living Allowance with higher rate mobility component (Official letter must be no older than 12 months showing period awarded)

The Department of Health adopted the term 'learning disability' in 1992. It has the same meaning as its predecessor 'mental handicap' but it is seen as more acceptable, particularly in reducing the confusion with mental illness. The person should be able to qualify for specialist services.

The local authority may be aware that the applicant has had contact with specialist services and he or she may have had special educational provision. In determining eligibility in a case where there has been no previous contact with specialist services a local authority should normally seek independent medical advice or check any register of people with learning disabilities which may be held by the Social Services Department of the applicant’s local council.

Cornwall Council accepts the following proof only:

A letter from either your Medical Professional or from Social Services confirming that you have a learning disability.  This letter will need to explain that:

  1. You have a permanent disability (or one that has lasted over 12 months or one that will last at least 12 months) and that you have a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind including significant impairment of intelligence and social function. This condition must have a substantial effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
  2. Or, you have a permanent disability (or one that has lasted over 12 months or one that will last at least 12 months) and that you have a reduced ability to understanding new or complex information. This includes having a difficulty in learning new skills and being able to cope independently.  This condition must have started before you became an adult, have a lasting effect on your development and have a substantial effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

Please note: Letters which state 'learning difficulty' will not be accepted.

People who would be refused a driving licence on medical grounds under Section 92 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (except on the grounds of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol). Those who are currently barred from holding a licence include people with:

Uncontrolled epilepsy (epileptic attack within the last 12 months or side effects from medication)

A severe mental disorder

Liability to sudden attacks of giddiness or fainting (whether as a result of cardiac disorder or otherwise)

The inability to read a registration plate in good light at 20.5 metres ·

Other disabilities or medical condition which would cause the refusal or withdrawal of a driving licence at present.

Cornwall Council requires one type of the following items of proof:

  • A letter on official paper from a medical professional confirming the medical condition and confirmation whether at present this would cause a driving licence to be refused or withdrawn.
  • Letter from the DVLA giving notice of refusal or withdrawal of licence (must be dated within the last 12 months and all pages of the letter must be sent)

Before the 6th April 2010, you would be eligible when you turned 60 years of age. After this point, you would become eligible for a bus pass when a woman born on the same day reaches pensionable age. You can check the exact date that you will become eliglble using the GOV.UK website.

Cornwall Council requires one type of the following items of proof:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Department for Work and Pensions letter confirming state retirement pension
  • Driving Licence
  • NHS medical card
  • Optical/medical prescription
  • Retirement card (Pink)
  • Passport

You can also download the Eligibility criteria for bus pass document.