Young Persons’(Under 22s) Free Bus Travel

February 10, 2022

All young people and children living in Scotland aged 5-21 years can now apply for a card to access the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme, which began on 31 January 2022.

The Scottish Government is working in partnership with the Improvement Service (who are accountable for the NEC Scheme), National Entitlement Card Programme Office (who are responsible for the management of the NEC and support local authorities with the application process), and Young Scot to deliver the scheme.

From Monday 24 January, the acceptable 'proofs' you can provide for the Young Persons' Free Bus Travel Scheme whether applying online or through offline application routes allow some extra flexibility - see Frequently Asked Questions for full details. Briefly, 'out of date passports' can be used to support an application and proof of residency documents may be dated within the last 12 months.

If you are 16-21 years old, you must apply for your own NEC or Young Scot NEC. Previously issued cards will not allow you access to the scheme.

For further details of this scheme please click here to access the transport Scotland website.

Where can I travel?

The scheme will give you free travel on any bus in any part of Scotland on registered bus services. You can travel on buses outside the area you live in using your card. Only a few services, such as premium-fare night buses and City Sightseeing buses, will not accept the card. Contact the bus company before you travel if you are unsure.

How to Apply

Click here to apply online for this pass through the GETYOURNEC.SCOT.

Make sure you can finish the form in one go and that you have all your documents ready. The application form times out. You’ll need a reliable internet connection. If the form times out, you need to start the process again from the start. 

What will I need to get a National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC?

To apply, you will need:

  • proof of address, such as a bank statement or driving license
  • proof of identity, such as a birth certificate or passport
  • a photo of the young person, if they’re 11 or older
  • proof of relationship, if applying for someone else

If you’re applying online, it would be helpful to have scans or photos of your documents before you start.

From Monday 24 January, the acceptable 'proofs' you can provide for the Young Persons' Free Bus Travel Scheme whether applying online or through offline application routes allow:

  • 'out of date' passports to be regarded as acceptable proof documents. The key criterion will be the physical likeness of the photo, with no timeframe restriction being applied to a passport expiry date
  • a suitable proof of residency type document with either current date or dated within the last 12 months will be accepted.

Your responsibilities

  • The NEC is only valid for use by the person it’s issued to – no one else can use it.
  • You must be physically carrying your card to access the scheme – if you forget it or it gets damaged and doesn’t work, you’ll need to pay the fare.
  • If your card has a photo, make sure it is up to date and it looks like you.

Please click here to read the scheme terms and conditions.

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