Scottish & under 22 – free bus passes for essential travel (except 0-4 no need to apply)

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Child on School bus

This is to be introduced for all under 22 except those under 5 (have no need to apply travel is free) by the Scottish Government on 31st January 2022 but is now restricted to essential travel as a result of COVID-19 regulations.   There, are also still some challenges in obtaining a new pass.  This is despite the fact that most of the young people applying or being applied for by their guardians already have a travel card already.  The system seems to be difficult to use if you are helping the government by uploading the information needed.  But if you are having difficulty, please contact Fife Council: Tel 0345 155 0066 

, and they are very happy to help.  Should that help not be forthcoming or you get stuck you can contact the Concessionary Travel and Integrated Ticketing Unit Transport Scotland, Tel: 0141 272 7170

You can find more details about Concessionary travel on this Scottish Government’s website or read our summary below.

Entitlement

Children 0-4 Free no need to apply

                5-10 Parent or Guardian apply on behalf of their child (no photo required)
               11-15 Parent or Guardian apply on behalf of their child (photo needed and there is a choice NEC with photo or Young Scot NEC)

               16-21 Young Person needs to apply (photo needed and there is a choice NEC with photo or Young Scot NEC)

Eligibility

If you are 5-21 years old and live in Scotland, you are eligible for free bus travel from 31 January 2022.

In light of high levels of COVID-19 transmission, the Scottish Government is asking that you only apply for the scheme at this point if it is essential that you, or your child, travel by bus while restrictions are in place. 

All children and young people aged 5-21 will need to apply for a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot National Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC) to access free bus travel. Previously issued cards will not allow you access to the scheme. Children aged under 5 years do not need a card as they already travel for free on commercial bus services across Scotland.

The photograph on the card must look like you (if your NEC or Young Scot NEC includes a photo) to travel by bus for free.

Read the scheme’s full terms and conditions.

How to Apply

You can either apply online at GETYOURNEC.SCOT or (if your child’s school uses it) on parentsportal.scot. If you’re applying online, you may find it useful, before starting the application process, to download or look out the documents as outlined on GETYOURNEC.SCOT that you will need. You can apply using a smartphone/tablet or a computer depending on your preference, and if you don’t have scanned copies of your documents, you can take photos of your proofs during the application process using a smartphone/tablet. Alternatively, you can apply directly with your local council. 

  • If you are aged 16-21 you must apply for a new NEC yourself
  • A parent or guardian must apply on behalf of 5–15-year-olds and provide approval for them to travel for free by bus
  • Children under 5 years old do not need a card as they already travel for free on commercial bus services

If you cannot apply online, there are many other ways to apply, please contact your local council.

In some local council areas, schools are coordinating applications on behalf of their pupils. Schools will contact parents or guardians and pupils directly if this arrangement is in place.

You should allow up to ten working days from the date your application was approved for your card to arrive. Please be patient – the current situation with the pandemic means that it might take longer to process applications.

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on staffing levels, some local councils may not be able to offer in-person applications at all times, so please do check their website or call before setting off.

You can either apply online at GETYOURNEC.SCOT or (if your child’s school uses it) on parentsportal.scot. If you’re applying online, you may find it useful, before starting the application process, to download or look out for the documents as outlined on GETYOURNEC.SCOT that you will need. You can apply using a smartphone/tablet or a computer depending on your preference, and if you don’t have scanned copies of your documents, you can take photos of your proofs during the application process using a smartphone/tablet. Alternatively, you can apply directly with your local council. 

  • If you are aged 16-21 you must apply for a new NEC yourself
  • A parent or guardian must apply on behalf of 5–15-year-olds and provide approval for them to travel for free by bus
  • Children under 5 years old do not need a card as they already travel for free on commercial bus services

If you cannot apply online, there are many other ways to apply, please contact your local council.

In some local council areas, schools are coordinating applications on behalf of their pupils. Schools will contact parents or guardians and pupils directly if this arrangement is in place.

You should allow up to ten working days from the date your application was approved for your card to arrive. Please be patient – the current situation with the pandemic means that it might take longer to process applications.

 

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