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Qualifying for a Gold Card or Gold Card +Companion

The Gold Card qualifying age is now linked to the state pension age, you no longer receive one automatically at the age of 60.

To see when you'll qualify for a Gold Card on age grounds check the State Pension age.

If you have a disability, you may qualify for a Gold Card, regardless of your age. This includes people who are:

  • blind or partially sighted
  • profoundly or severely deaf
  • without speech
  • without arms or have the long term loss of the use of both arms
  • have a long-term disability which seriously impairs their ability to walk - this may include Blue Badge holders
  • have a learning disability
  • are disqualified from driving on medical grounds (this may include people with a severe mental disorder)

If you're applying because you are disabled, you'll need to provide supporting documents with your application, this may include one of the following:

  • blind registration card or eye specialist letter
  • deaf registration card
  • audiology clinic report or letter
  • report from speech and language therapy service
  • higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) notification letter
  • PIP letter showing 8 points or more for mobility component, moving around
  • war pensions mobility supplement notification letter
  • Blue Badge, physiotherapist or occupational therapist report
  • an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Statement
  • supporting letter from your special school or school with enhanced resources to cater for children with autism or letter from a medical professional
  • stamp and signature or supporting letter from adult social care services or medical professional
  • DVLA letter or consultant report

Please check the application form for details of which proof documents you need to supply.

Qualifying for a Gold Card +Companion pass

Proof of disability

For the financial year 2024/2025 Derbyshire County Council (not Derby City Council) are trialling the issue of +Companion Gold Cards.

If you're a Derbyshire County Council resident (you pay your council tax to one of the 8 district or borough councils within Derbyshire - Amber Valley, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash, High Peak, North East Derbyshire or South Derbyshire), and you're blind or have a severe mobility or learning disability, then you'll have the option of requesting a +Companion pass to cover the bus journey for both yourself and your (one) companion.

Being issued with a +Companion pass means that you're deemed unable to travel alone, and so must be accompanied to use your bus pass.

The companion who travels with you is not limited to one specific individual. It can change dependent on the circumstances.

Unlike the Gold Card holder, the companion will only be entitled to free travel on bus journeys which begin in Derbyshire. In any other area across England, including the Derby City Council area, companions will need to pay a fare. Companions also need to pay a fare when travelling without the Gold Card holder.

Being a trial, the pass will be set to expire on 31 March 2025.

There are 3 categories of disability in the context of possible entitlement for a +Companion bus pass. You must choose a 'companion' related evidence option (if applicable or available) to request this type of pass. The documentary proof required is as follows.

Category A: blind or partially sighted

A certificate of visual impairment confirming you are blind.

Category D: mobility (walking) substantially impaired

Personal Independence Payment at 12 points or more in the moving around activity. Please provide first page of award letter plus further pages confirming points awarded.

Letter from a registered medical practitioner confirming that your walking ability is long term and substantially impaired, and is of such severity as to preclude bus travel unaccompanied.

Category F: learning disability

An Education and Health Care Plan which confirms the severity of your learning disability is of such severity as to preclude bus travel unaccompanied.

Letter from a registered medical practitioner confirming that your learning disability (commenced before adulthood) and/or related mobility is of such severity as to preclude bus travel unaccompanied.

Upgrading to a Companion pass for existing Gold Card holders

If you are an existing Disability Card holder and would like to upgrade to a Companion pass, please check if you qualify, and then contact your local borough or district council.