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National Entitlement Card FAQs

The situation so far

Applications for new, replacement and renewed National Entitlement Cards (NECs) are currently being accepted. However, what is available to you, and how you can access this, varies across Scotland due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Contact your local council to find out how to apply in your area.

Please allow up to 4 weeks for your card to arrive.

Scotland has moved out of the COVID-19 levels system, and is now beyond Level 0. Everyone should continue to act carefully and remain cautious. Please stay safe by following government guidance when travelling and check gov.scot/coronavirus for more information.

  • Please allow up to 4 weeks for applications made via your local council (or other agency) or via getyournec.scot.

    If you have applied for a Young Scot NEC through your school, the school should provide more information on when your card will be delivered.

  • Applications for new, replacement or renewed cards are currently being processed without the need to request this in person. Please contact your local council to find out how you can apply for, renew or replace your National Entitlement Card.

    SPT and some councils are offering appointments via phone or email.

    The Post Office is also able to process applications from those aged 60+ in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) council areas, as well as Aberdeenshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland and Perth & Kinross.

    People living in some council areas can apply online at getyournec.scot. A list of councils that offer this service is available under 'How do I apply for a card or replace/renew my card online?'.

    Any queries relating to applying for an NEC should also be directed to your local council.

    Please stay safe by following government guidance when travelling and check gov.scot/coronavirus for more information.

  • Online applications for new, renewed and replacement cards are now available through getyournec.scot.

    Concessionary cardholders (disabled people, over 60s and young people) can also update their photo and personal details through getyournec.scot.

    getyournec.scot was launched by the Improvement Service on 14 July 2020. It enables Scottish residents to apply for and manage their card entirely online.

    getyournec.scot is currently available for people who live in the council areas below, with several more working towards going live:

    • Angus
    • Argyll and Bute
    • City of Edinburgh
    • Clackmannanshire
    • Dumfries and Galloway
    • Dundee City
    • East Ayrshire
    • East Dunbartonshire
    • East Lothian
    • East Renfrewshire
    • Glasgow City
    • Midlothian
    • Moray
    • North Lanarkshire
    • Orkney Islands
    • Perth and Kinross
    • Renfrewshire
    • Scottish Borders
    • Shetland Islands
    • South Ayrshire
    • South Lanarkshire
    • West Dunbartonshire
    • West Lothian
    • Western Isles
  • Applications for new and replacement Young Scot National Entitlement Cards (NECs) are currently being accepted. However, what is available to you, and how you can access this, varies across Scotland. Your local council will have information on how you can apply for or replace your Young Scot NEC in your area.

    If you have applied for a Young Scot NEC through your school, you should receive this card at school, or through the post to your home address.

    If you have not applied through school, it is possible for you to apply for a new Young Scot National Entitlement Card or to request a replacement card via your local council (or other agency) or via getyournec.scot if it is available in your area. A list of councils that offer getyournec.scot is under 'How do I apply for a card or replace/renew my card online?'.

    Find out more at young.scot/card.

  • From January 2022, around 930,000 young people will be eligible for free bus travel through the National Entitlement Card (NEC) and the Young Scot branded NEC. This will embed more sustainable travel behaviours from a young age and help to meet our target of net zero emissions by 2045.

    The Scottish Government continues to work with its partners at the Improvement Service and 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, which will become operational on 31 January 2022.

    This means all residents in Scotland aged between 5-21 will be eligible for free bus travel from 31 January 2022.

    Read the latest news and find out more information on the legislation and our plans for the new scheme.

    If you have any questions about the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme, please contact Transport Scotland.

    How to apply

    Work is still ongoing to finalise the application process. Most existing cardholders will not have to reapply for a new card but will have to apply for the travel element to be enabled on their card.

    Further information will be provided for existing cardholders and new applicants later this year.

    Parents or guardians will be required to approve applications for young people under the age of 16 to ensure they can exercise their responsibility for their children’s safety. This includes providing approval for existing cardholders to access the scheme.

    If you need a new or replacement NEC or Young Scot NEC for other services then please contact your local council or use getyournec.scot if it is available in your area. A list of councils that offer getyournec.scot is under 'How do I apply for a card or replace/renew my card online?'.

  • These FAQs are reviewed every two weeks and updated accordingly.

    Information and updates on the NEC application process will be available on each local council's website and social media accounts.

    Any changes to card processing arrangements and to the resumption of face-to-face verification will also be published and communicated to all scheme users on a regular basis.

We are here to help

More information on the NEC scheme can be found here:

More information of the concessionary travel scheme can be found here:

For information about how to apply for a National Entitlement Card, visit use getyournec.scot (if it is available in your area) or contact your local council directly. Details of all local councils can be found here:

Any other queries, please contact the Improvement Service on:

Created and published by the Improvement Service in partnership with NECPO, Transport Scotland and Young Scot. Information accurate and true as of October 2021.