Free bus travel and Young Scot cards

Under 22s free bus travel scheme

From 31 January 2022, 5-21 year olds living in Scotland for more than six months of the year will be eligible for free bus travel, regardless of nationality.

Parents or guardians of 5-15 year olds must apply on their behalf. Children under five years old already travel for free on commercial bus services across Scotland and do not need a card.

To apply, you'll need to provide proof of:

  • you and your child’s identity 
  • your address

If you are over 11, you will also need to provide a photograph.

How to apply

You can apply online, but due to COVID-19, 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 while restrictions are in place. All other eligible applicants will be encouraged to apply at a later date.

Even if you already have a NEC or Young Scot NEC, you must apply for a new or replacement card to travel by bus for free. The free travel is not added automatically to current cards, it has to be applied for by either a parent/guardian or the young person themselves and a new card issued.

For children/young people who have an existing NEC or Young Scot NEC

All applications for free bus travel to be added to an existing card can be made on the getyourNEC website.

  • children aged 5-11 must have a parent/guardian apply for their Junior NEC on their behalf, this card will not have their photograph on it
  • young persons aged 11-15 will need a parent/guardian to apply for the free travel on their behalf, this card will have their photograph on it
  • young persons aged 16 and over can apply to have the free travel without parental approval, they can do this online or by phoning 0300 100 1800 and asking for the free travel to be added to their existing card

GetyourNEC have created a step by step video showing how request a replacement card:

For children/young people who do not have an existing NEC or Young Scot NEC

For any child or young person who has never had a NEC or Young Scot card they will need to apply for one to receive the free travel. Applications can be made on the getyourNEC website.

GetyourNEC have created a step by step video showing how to apply for a card:

If you do not have the required documentation or are unable to apply online, you can contact our Customer Advice and Support service by:

For more information about the scheme including frequently asked questions you can visit Transport Scotland's website.

You can also find out more about free bus travel on Border Buses website.