The National Entitlement Card allows people aged 60+ and people with a disability to travel for free on local or Scottish long distance buses.
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Contact your Local Authority or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to apply for your National Entitlement Card.
You will need:
Depending on where you live, you can collect an application form from your Local Authority or SPT travel centre.
To understand what you’re entitled to please also see the terms and conditions.
If you're a resident in Scotland, aged five or over and meet one of the following criteria, you're entitled to free bus travel with the National Entitlement Card:
If you Receive Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Living Allowance under the higher rate of mobility or higher/middle rate of care, live in a care or residential home or hospital, or are a blue badge holder you'll need a letter to confirm your elegibility.
For details on getting your letter, please contact the Disability benefits helpline.
As well as free bus journeys, visually impaired people are also eligible for free train travel and concessions are available on ferry travel.
Your National Entitlement card gives free bus travel but, if you are blind or have a visual impairment, you're also entitled to use your card to access concessions on train and ferry travel within Scotland too.
If you have the eye symbol on your National Entitlement card you're entitled to free Standard Class rail travel across Scotland and for journeys to and from Berwick-upon-Tweed and Carlisle as well as concessions on ferry journeys throughout Scotland. Please contact the service operator for further information.
To get a National Entitlement Card you must be:
Apply for your card through your Local Authority or SPT travel centre.
Use your National Entitlement Card to get a ticket in advance or onboard the bus. Advance tickets must be collected in person.
When you get on the bus you'll notice an electronic ticket machine. Place your card on the machine with your photograph facing up and tell the driver your stop. The driver will help if you need assistance.
If there isn't a ticket machine like this, show your card and tell the driver your stop.
Remember you can only use your most recently issued National Entitlement Card on the bus. Any other cards will not work and you will not be allowed free bus travel. See our campaign poster (PDF, 340 KB) for more information on this.
If you need a companion to help you use public transport your National Entitlement Card will allow them to travel for free too.
Travelling with a companion can make things much easier. Helping you on and off the bus, carrying shopping or communicating with the driver helps maintain the freedom you get with the National Entitlement Card.
If you have this symbol on your card, you're entitled to have a companion travel with you, on the same journey, for free. Your companion and journey can vary, but your companion can only travel for free when they are with you. You are not obliged to travel with a companion, but the entitlement is there for when you need it.
Your companion is entitled to travel for free if you meet one of the following criteria:
If you receive Attendance Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance under the higher/middle rate of care or live in a care or residential home or hospital, you'll need a letter to confirm your elegibility. For details on getting your letter, please contact the Disability benefits helpline.
If you are registered blind, please provide a copy of your blind registration certificate.
When you apply for your National Entitlement Card please also bring evidence of your need to travel with a companion. That may be an award notice letter from the Department of Work and Pensions or a copy of your blind registration certificate.
Can I apply online?
Application forms include an individual bar code and place to attach your photograph so are not currently available online. Find your local contact for application forms and all other enquiries
Where can I travel?
Your new National Entitlement Card gives you free travel throughout Scotland on virtually all local registered and long distance scheduled bus services available to the general public. There are only a small number of services on which your National Entitlement Card cannot be used, for example premium fare night buses and City Sightseeing Buses.
Can I use my card on the train?
Some local authorities have joined with rail companies to offer their over 60 and disabled residents free or discounted train travel as well as the standard free bus travel. Contact your Local Authority directly for more information
What if my card doesn’t work on the bus?
If the electronic ticket machine did not recognise your card it may have expired or be damaged.
If it has expired, please contact your Local Authority to arrange a new card. The card will be delivered within 3-5 working days after you make contact.
If the card is valid, the driver will give you the option to pay the full fare and keep your card or swap your card for a seven day travel pass. The temporary pass will be valid for free travel but the companion element will not be available. You should then contact your Local Authority to arrange a new card. The card will be delivered 3-5 working days after you make contact.
Carlisle and Berwick-upon-Tweed travel
Your National Entitlement Card is valid on services to and from Carlisle and on services to and from Berwick-upon-Tweed from anywhere in Scotland. Please note that your Entitlement Card is not vaild for travel within these towns.
It is possible to book in advance with your National Entitlement Card but you may incur a booking fee. Some bus operators may waive the fee, check before you book.
Using the card
You are the only person that is allowed to use your card. Your card will be withdrawn if you allow anyone else to use it.
Travel using a National Entitlement Card is subject to the normal regulations and conditions of carriage of each transport operator. Your card gives you the same rights as a full-fare paying passenger.
Contact your Local Authority or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) Travel Card Unit if:
Your National Entitlement Card has an expiry date on the front. If you're 60 or over you'll get a new card sent to you before the old one runs out. If you have a disability your Local Authority or SPT may be in touch 4-6 weeks before the card runs out. If you don't hear from them, or need assistance renewing your card, contact them directly:
Injuries that automatically meet the disability criteria for the National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Older and Disabled Persons (Eligible Persons and Eligible Services) (Scotland) Order 2006.
|1||Loss of both legs (above or below knee) and both arms (above or below elbow).|
|1||Loss of both eyes or sight in both eyes and loss of either both legs (above or below knee), or both arms (above or below elbow).|
|1||Total deafness and loss of either both legs or both arms.|
|2||Loss of both legs above knee (hip disarticulation or hemipelvectomy).|
|2||Loss of both arms above elbow (shoulder disarticulation or forequarter).|
|2||Loss of both legs above or below knee (not hip disarticulation or hemipelvectomy) and one arm (above or below elbow).|
|2||Loss of both arms above or below elbow (not shoulder disarticulation or forequarter) and one leg (above or below knee).|
|2||Loss of one arm, above or below elbow, and one leg, above or below knee, with total loss of use of another limb due to traumatic injury involving vital structures. *|
|3||Loss of both legs at or above knee (trans-femoral or knee disarticulation).|
|3||Loss of both arms at or above elbow (trans-humeral or elbow disarticulation).|
|3||Loss of one leg above knee (hip disarticulation or hemipelvectomy).|
|4||Loss of both legs below knee (trans-tibial).|
|4||Loss of both arms below elbow (trans-radial)|
|4||Loss of both hands (wrist disarticulation) or where amputation distal to that site has led to permanent total loss of use of both hands.|
|5||Loss of both feet at ankle or where amputation distal to that site has led to permanent total loss of use of both feet.|
|5||Loss of one leg at or above knee (trans-femoral or knee disarticulation).|
|1||Spinal cord injury, at or above vertebra C3.|
|1||Brain injury with persistent vegetative state. (a)|
|1||Brain injury where epilepsy is present (or where there is high risk of epilepsy) and the claimant has reflex activity but has little or no meaningful response to the environment, no language, double incontinence and requires full-time skilled nursing care. (b)|
|2||Brain injury where epilepsy is present (or where there is a high risk of epilepsy) and full-time skilled nursing care is required, and the claimant has two of the following: reflex activity but little or no meaningful response to the environment, no language or double incontinence. (ab)|
|2||Spinal cord injury at vertebra C4, C5 or C6.|
|3||Brain injury where epilepsy is present (or where there is a high risk of epilepsy) where the claimant has limited response to environment; substantial physical and sensory problems; one or more of cognitive, personality or behavioural problems and requires regular skilled nursing care. (c)|
|4||Spinal cord injury at vertebra T2 to T6.|
|4||Uncontrolled post head injury epilepsy.|
|5||Spinal cord injury at vertebra T7 to T10.|
|6||Spinal cord injury at vertebra T11 to L1.|
|7||Spinal cord injury at vertebra below L1.|
|1||Total deafness and loss of both eyes, or total deafness and total blindness in both eyes, or total deafness and loss of one eye and total blindness in the other eye.|
|2||Loss of eyes.|
|2||Total blindness in both eyes.|
|2||Loss of one eye and total blindness in the other eye.|
|5||Loss of one eye and permanent damage to the other eye, where visual acuity is correctable to 6/36.|
|6||Total deafness in both ears.|
|6||Severe binocular visual field loss|
|8||Bilateral permanent hearing loss of more than 75dB averaged over 1, 2 and 3 kHz, with severe persistent tinnitus.|