BITE cards

The BITE Card is Essex County Council's proof of age card for young people aged 11 and above.  You can obtain a card by completing an application form from your school or library.  Details of how to apply are listed below.


  • helps prove your age to the bus driver so you can have the reduced fare you are entitled to under the bus company's terms and conditions
  • if you are older but look young, it will help prove your age when buying age-restricted goods
  • doubles as a library card.

How to apply

The easiest way is to apply through your school.  Alternatively, you may obtain an application form from your library or contact us on 0345 200 4134.  You will need a colour passport quality photograph and an authorised person that can verify your age and application and sign.  Full guidance is available with the form.  You will receive your card in 2-4 weeks.

If you go to school in Essex or live in Essex but attend school outside the county, you are entitled to one free card in each age band: 11-13, 14-15 and 16+.

Lost or stolen

Stolen cards are replaced free of charge when a Police Incident Number is supplied.  You do not have to supply new photographs.  If your card was also previously used as a library card, you must tell your local library immediately to prevent fraudulent use. If you need a replacement card, live outside of the administrative area of Essex County Council or are over the age of 18 there is a £5 charge.


If your bus driver refuses to accept your card, please contact us.


As your card has the PASS hologram it should be accepted by major retailers but this cannot be guaranteed. The retailers in these areas use different proof of age cards so may not recognise it. Please call Consumer Direct on 0845 4040506 if you encounter a problem.

Southend and Thurrock

Your BITE Card can be used as a library card in Thurrock. If you are using your BITE card on a bus which travels across Essex into Southend and Thurrock they should recognise your card. However, bus services operating only in Southend and Thurrock may not.

Rate this page