Apply for free bus travel

If you are aged 5 - 21, over 60 or have a disability, you could be eligible for free bus travel to get around your local area, and the rest of Scotland. The free bus travel scheme is open to holders of a National Entitlement Card (NEC).

Apply now for your NEC in one of these simple ways:

It is a quick and easy way to apply or replace a National Entitlement Card online.

This online service is for:

  • Over 60s bus pass
  • Disabled concessionary travel
  • Young Scot NEC cards
  • Other card types and services following soon

You will be guided through the application process online. You will be asked to provide proofs as part of this process.

If you require dedicated support from us, you can phone our Customer Contact Centre on 03000 200 292 (option 5 then option 5) and we can provide guidance over the telephone or set up an appointment with you if additional assistance is required.

If you are applying for free bus travel on the grounds of Epilepsy, Mental Health or Learning Disability you will need to have completed in full the appropriate form to support your application. These forms to support your application can be downloaded following the links below and will need to be provided as part of both the online or ‘in person’ application process.

We cannot offer any support regarding the GetYourNec process as this is provided by the Scottish Government’s Improvement Service. However, this process does provide support and guidance to help you submit the application. 

You can apply for a companion concessionary card if your mobility means that you need to be accompanied when you travel. This card allows you and one companion to travel together free of charge on the same bus journey.

You will qualify for a Companion Concessionary Card if one of the statements below applies to you:

  • You receive the higher or middle rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • You receive the standard or enhanced rate of daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • You receive Attendance Allowance
  • You are registered as blind
  • You receive war pensions constant attendance allowance
  • You live in a care home, residential home or hospital and are eligible for the higher or middle rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance

You don’t need to take the same companion with you every time, and you can still travel by yourself if you don’t want to take a companion.

From 31 January 2022, all young people living in Scotland aged between 5 and 21 years will be eligible for free bus travel within Scotland. Find out more about this new scheme.

What does this mean for you?

Those aged between 5 and 21 will be able to access free bus travel on registered bus services across Scotland including a very limited number of local cross-border services from the south of Scotland into northern England.

How do I get free bus travel?

If you are aged between 16 and 21 and already have an active NEC or Young Scot NEC you can download your free bus travel using the Transport Scot Pass Collect app. Details on how to do this can be found on the Transport Scotland website.

If you are unable to download your free bus travel and aged between 5 and 21 years old, you will need to apply for a National Entitlement Card (card) or a Young Scot National Entitlement Card (card).  

Children under 16 years old will need their parent/guardian to apply on their behalf and provide approval for free bus travel to be enabled on their child’s card. 

Young people aged 16 years and over will be able to apply for free bus travel themselves. 

Children under 5 years old can already travel on buses for free. They will not need to apply for a card.

As part of the application process, you will be required to upload supporting documents, and for those aged 11 to 21 a passport quality photograph will need to be uploaded. Guidance on what’s required to support the application can be found on the getyournec.scot website.

As part of the application process, for those aged 11 to 25, photographic ID is required to be uploaded.  This can be either a valid Driver’s Licence or Passport. If you do not have either of these documents, then you can't apply via getyournec.scot.  You will need to:

•    Complete a paper application form
•    Have a photograph referee complete part of this form.

Once the form is complete, phone our Customer Contact Centre on 03000 200 292 (option 5 then option 5) and we can set up an appointment with you to have the application form submitted.

 

Please note:

Primary school pupils who pay for their school lunches using a ‘Kidz Card’ number online, should chose the option ‘no’ when asked ‘do they already have a National Entitlement Card’.  This new card with free bus travel will be sent to your home address and will have a brand-new card number on it. Once you have this new card you should use it to make payment online for school lunches. 

Secondary school pupils who pay for their meals and use a ‘Young Scot/ National Entitlement Card’ number to make payments online for school meals, should chose the option ‘yes’ when asked ‘do they already have a National Entitlement Card’.  This new card with free bus travel will be sent to your home address and will have a brand-new card number on it.  Once you have this new card you should use it to make payment online for school meals. 

If you are aged 11-26, you can also have the Young Scot branding added to your card which you can use to access a wide range of discounts and use the card as a proof of age card. Young Scot is the national organisation for young people in Scotland. It provides information, discounts, activities and opportunities for young people.

Find out more about things to do and discounts available locally.

If your Accord Card gets lost, stolen or damaged, or if it stops working, you can request a replacement online via the GetYourNec website if you sign up for this service. Alternatively, if you require dedicated support from us, you can phone our Customer Contact Centre on 03000 200 292 (option 5 then option 5) and we can provide guidance over the telephone.

If you have lost your card, please check first with these organisations to see if it has been handed in:

Police Scotland also operate out of the Customer Service Centre and are available:

Monday – Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm<
Saturday to Sunday 8.00am - 10.00pm

At all other times, or if the door has been temporarily locked, please use the buzzer for access or to be connected to 101.

If you try to use the card on the bus and it is faulty, the bus driver will ask to take the card from you and give you a 7-day ticket which you can use instead until you get a replacement card. If you don’t want to hand over your card, the driver may ask you to pay your fare.

Please note: no 7-day ticket is issued to those who are entitled to free bus travel based solely on being aged 5 to 21.  A new card is required to continue to access free bus travel.

If the card is used for cashless catering at school, replacement cards can be requested by contacting the school office. The card should arrive around 21 days from the date you order it.

You can renew your free bus travel entitlement online via the GetYourNec website if you sign up for this service.

If you require dedicated support from us, you can phone our Customer Contact Centre on 03000 200 292 (option 5 then option 5) and we can provide guidance over the telephone or set up an appointment with you if additional assistance is required.

If you are renewing on the grounds of Epilepsy, Mental Health or Learning Disability you will need to have completed in full the appropriate form to support your application. These forms to support your application can be downloaded here and will need to be provided as part of both the online or ‘in person’ application process.  You can download these documents here:

 

It’s important that your NEC record has accurate and up to date information, so we need to know as soon as possible if:

  • You change your name or address.
  • Your entitlement to concessionary travel has changed.

You can manage this change yourself via the GetYourNec website if you sign up for this service.

If you require dedicated support from us, you can phone our Customer Contact Centre on 03000 200 292 (option 5 then option 5) and we can provide guidance over the telephone or set up an appointment with you if additional assistance is required.

For the appointment you will need to bring documents which show your new address, such as a utility bill, bank statement, or an award letter from the Benefits Agency. If your name has changed, we will need proof of this such as a marriage certificate or confirmation of the change by deed poll.

If your entitlement has changed, we need to see evidence of this, for example an award letter from the Benefits Agency which confirms your new entitlement to Disability Living Allowance.

Details of the policy and legislation governing the scheme and information on how bus operators are reimbursed can be found here in the related links section.

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