Blind or partially sighted

You can apply for a National Concession bus pass if you are blind or partially sighted:

  • 'Blind' means having a high degree of vision loss i.e. seeing much less than is normal or perhaps nothing at all. 'Partially sighted' is a less severe loss of vision. Partially sighted people can see more than someone who is blind, but less than a fully sighted person.  Blind and partially sighted people can register with their local council.  The register is held by the social services or social work department, or by a local voluntary agency, and is confidential.
  • For registration purposes, the term ‘blind’ now becomes ‘severely sight impaired (blind)’ and partially sighted becomes ‘sight impaired (partially sighted)”.  The formal notification required to register as “severely sight impaired” or “sight impaired” is a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI), signed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist (eye specialist).  However, registration is voluntary.  The individual should have a copy of their CVI and should be encouraged to register, if they have not already done so, as they may be entitled to various other benefits too.
  • In general terms a person can be registered as severely sight impaired (blind) if they cannot see (with glasses, if worn) the top letter of the eye test chart (used by doctors and opticians) at a distance of 3 metres or less. Some people who can read the top letter of an eye test chart at 3 metres, but not at 6 metres, may still be eligible for registration as blind if their field of vision is also severely restricted. Only being able to read the top letter at 3 metres is sometimes referred to as 3/60 vision: the person can see at 3 metres what a person with normal vision can see at 60 metres.
  • A person can be registered as sight impaired (partially sighted) if they have a full field of vision but can only read the top letter of the eye test chart at a distance of 6 metres or less (with glasses, if worn). However, if they can read the next three lines down at the same distance, but the field of vision is either moderately or severely restricted, they may still qualify for registration.
    The Department advises that concessionary travel passes should be issued to people whose sight is so impaired that they would be able to register as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted). Local authorities may, where a person is not on the local authority register, require evidence from an eye specialist, for example an optometrist, that the applicant would qualify to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted).  Advice on how to register can be found on the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) website at:

Based on the guidance are you blind or partially sighted?

Agree and continue