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National Entitlement Card FAQs

Applications for new, replacement and renewed National Entitlement Cards (NECs) or Young Scot National Entitlement Cards are currently being accepted. However, what is available to you, and how you can access this, varies across Scotland.

You can apply for a card online at getyournec.scot or through your local council. More information about how to apply is below.

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. Please allow 10 working days (2 weeks) from when your application is accepted for your card to arrive.

  • Please allow 10 working days (2 weeks) from when your application is accepted for your card to be delivered. If you applied for a card at getyournec.scot, you can check the status of your application online.

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

  • People living in all council areas can apply online for a new, renewed or replacement card at getyournec.scot. Concessionary cardholders (disabled people, over 60s and young people) can also update their photo and personal details through getyournec.scot. If you wish to apply for a new card online, you will need:

    • proof of identity, e.g. passport or driving license
    • proof of address, e.g. bank statement
    • a device with a camera or a webcam, e.g. laptop/tablet/smartphone

    If you are applying for free bus travel for children and young people under 22, there are some extra documents needed (see 'Information on free bus travel for young people' below).

    If you don't have these documents, you can still apply for a card but you will need to use an offline route such as your local council.

    Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (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 SPT council areas, as well as Aberdeenshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland and Perth & Kinross.

    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.

    Please contact your local council if you have any queries about applying for a NEC/Young Scot NEC.

  • 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.

    Before you apply online this is what you’ll need.

    Applying for a National Entitlement Card/Young Scot NEC for yourself aged 16+?

    To apply you will need:

    • a device with a camera or webcam (laptop/tablet/phone)
    • to sign in using your mygovscot myaccount (Click Register if you don’t have one)
    • a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders
    • proof of identity (passport, driving licence, Young Scot NEC, Biometric Residence Permit or use your Yoti account)
    • proof of address (such as Council Tax bill or bank statement)

    Note for students: If you are studying in Scotland, please provide proof of your Scottish address when applying for your NEC/free bus travel. We cannot process applications where a home address outside Scotland is used or where the address on proof of identity (e.g. driving license) does not match the address you use in your mygovscot myaccount.

    Your address must be a postal address which is recognised by the Royal Mail. University documents can contain university accommodation codes which results in mail not reaching you. Please ensure that you include your flat/room number in your address in mygovscot myaccount and that this matches your proof of address document.

    Parent/guardian applying on behalf of a child aged under 16?

    To apply you will need:

    • a device with a camera or webcam (laptop/tablet/phone)
    • to sign in using your mygovscot myaccount (Click Register if you don’t have one)
    • parent/guardian proof of identity (passport, driving licence, Young Scot NEC, Biometric Residence Permit or use your Yoti account)
    • parent/guardian proof of address (such as Council Tax bill or bank statement)
    • proof of the child's identity (eg. birth certificate (if under 11 only), passport, Biometric Residence Permit or Young Scot NEC)
    • proof of the child's address (only if they live at a different address from you)
    • a recent digital image of the child (if aged 11+) showing their head and shoulders
    • proof of relationship - there are a number of documents you can use to show your relationship with your child:
      • Full Birth Certificate (abbreviated certificates cannot be used)
      • Adoption Order
      • Kinship Care Order
      • Compulsory Supervision Order
      • Residence Order
      • Permanence Order
      • Guardianship Order
      • Parental Order
      • Something that shows you’re the main person looking after your child. This can be a copy of either a letter from your local authority or a legal order

    See a full list of accepted proof of address and photograph guidelines.

    If you do not have the documents you need

    If you don't have these documents, you can still apply for a card but you will need to apply through your local council.

  • If you are 5-21 years old and live in Scotland you are eligible for free bus travel.

    The Scottish Government is working 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.

    Children and young people aged 5-15 will need a new or replacement NEC or Young Scot NEC before they can travel. Parents, guardians or carers of children aged 5-15 will need to apply on their child’s behalf. Children under 5 do not need a card as they already travel for free on commercial bus services across Scotland.

    If you’re aged between 16 and 21 you can apply for a new or replacement card. However, if you’re aged between 16 and 21 and you already have an active NEC or Young Scot NEC, you can download free bus travel onto your existing card using the Transport Scot Pass Collect app. This means you may not need to apply for a new card to access your free bus travel.

    Active cards are those received since 2016 – they’ll have a long number next to the ITSO logo and, if there’s a date of birth shown, it will be highlighted with a pink strip. Please note, any NECs which are dedicated matriculation cards aren’t compatible with the app.

    Find out more about how to download and use the app.

    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.

    Freebus.scot provides all the information needed to apply.

    How to apply

    There are two ways to apply:

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

    Applying online through getyournec.scot

    Before you apply online this is what you’ll need.

    Applying for a National Entitlement Card or Young Scot NEC for yourself aged 16+?

    To apply you will need:

    • a device with a camera or webcam (laptop/tablet/phone)
    • to sign in using your mygovscot myaccount (Click Register if you don’t have one)
    • a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders
    • proof of identity (passport, driving licence or use your Yoti account)
    • proof of address (such as Council Tax bill or bank statement)

    Note for students: If you are studying in Scotland, please provide proof of your Scottish address when applying for your NEC/free bus travel. We cannot process applications where a home address outside Scotland is used or where the address on proof of identity (e.g. driving license) does not match the address you use in your mygovscot myaccount.

    Your address must be a postal address which is recognised by the Royal Mail. University documents can contain university accommodation codes which results in mail not reaching you. Please ensure that you include your flat/room number in your address in mygovscot myaccount and that this matches your proof of address document.

    Parent/guardian applying on behalf of your child aged under 16?

    To apply you will need:

    • a device with a camera or webcam (laptop/tablet/phone)
    • to sign in using your mygovscot myaccount (Click Register if you don’t have one)
    • parent/guardian proof of identity (passport, driving licence or use your Yoti account)
    • parent/guardian proof of address (such as Council Tax bill or bank statement)
    • proof of the child's identity (eg. birth certificate (if under 11 only), passport or Young Scot NEC)
    • proof of the child's address (only if they live at a different address from you)
    • a recent digital image of the child (if aged 11+) showing their head and shoulders
    • proof of relationship - there are a number of documents you can use to show your relationship with your child:
      • Full Birth Certificate (abbreviated certificates cannot be used)
      • Adoption Order
      • Kinship Care Order
      • Compulsory Supervision Order
      • Residence Order
      • Permanence Order
      • Guardianship Order
      • Parental Order
      • Something that shows you’re the main person looking after your child. This can be a copy of either a letter from your local authority or a legal order.

    See a full list of accepted proof of address and photograph guidelines.

    (Why do we ask for all these proofs?)

    If you do not have the documents you need

    If you don't have these documents, you can still apply for a card but you will need to apply through your local council.

    A fuller set of FAQs on the Young Persons' Free Bus Travel Scheme is available on freebus.scot

  • These FAQs are reviewed every month 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 will also be published and communicated to all scheme users on a regular basis.

We are here to help

If you applied for a card at getyournec.scot, you can check the status of your application online. Please note that though we aim to review all online applications within 10 working days (2 weeks), during busy periods it may take slightly longer.

For queries about online applications, please contact the getyournec.scot helpdesk.

If you have query about an application made through your local council, please contact your council directly.

If you have had problems using your card on the bus or with the Transport Scot Pass Collect app, please contact Transport Scotland at concessionarytravel@transport.gov.scot.

If you have a query about the extra Young Scot services on your card, contact info@young.scot.

More information on the NEC scheme can be found here:

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

Created and published by the Improvement Service in partnership with NECPO, Transport Scotland and Young Scot. Information accurate and true as of March 2024.