Free bus travel and Young Scot cards


I’m turning 60 soon, when can I apply for an NEC card?

You can apply up to two weeks before your sixtieth birthday.

How long will it take to receive my new card?

You should receive your card within two weeks.

I have a caravan or holiday home in Scotland, can I still apply?

Yes, providing you can provide all the necessary evidence, it doesn’t matter if your address in the Borders is a caravan or holiday home. 

If you don’t have any of the required proofs of address, we’re unable to accept a letter from a Caravan Park site to confirm eligibility. 

I’ve lost my card or it’s stopped working

If you’re a Young Scot and you’re still at school you should contact your school office. Otherwise you can renew or replace your card:

If you’ve lost your NEC card you’ll have to pay the full fare until your new card arrives, but if your card has stopped working you can either: 

  • pay the full fare and keep your card until the new one arrives
  • ask the driver to swap your card for a seven day travel pass (if you have a companion card your companion won’t get free travel until you get your new card)

Why does my current card number not work when entered on GetYourNEC?

Your card number needs to be entered without any spaces. You should also make sure you enter your first name, last name and date of birth exactly as it shows on your current card.

If you are still having issues check the GetYourNEC help page and log a query with their support team.

What evidence do I need to provide for a Young Scot application?

If you’re still at school you won’t need to provide any evidence. If you’re not at school, find out what evidence you need to provide.

What evidence do I need to provide for a Young Scot application with free bus travel?

If you are aged 5-15 years old, your parent or guardian must apply for your Young Scot NEC with free bus travel on your behalf.

You and your parent/guardian will need to provide proof of identity (your name and age), proof of residence (where you usually stay) and a photograph if you are 11 years old or over.

Why does my parent or guardian have to apply for a NEC/Young Scot NEC on my behalf?

If you are 5-15 years old, and you want to add the free bus travel entitlement to your card, then your parent or guardian must apply on your behalf. This will make sure they are aware that you get to travel for free by bus, so that they can continue to exercise responsibility over your wellbeing and safety.

By applying on your behalf, they are agreeing for you to receive an NEC or Young Scot NEC that allows you to travel for free on any registered bus service in Scotland, as well as a limited number of local cross border services into northern England.

If you are 16 years old and over, you can apply yourself.

My disabled card with plus one travel is due to expire, can I seek parental approval now for free travel under the young persons’ scheme?

A disabled cardholder can choose whether they wish to be part of the young persons’ scheme or continue with their disabled card. Some disabled NECs allow a companion to travel with the young person for free, which the young persons’ scheme doesn’t. In this case, you will lose your companion travel if you decide to re-apply under the young persons’ scheme.

I already have a disabled NEC for the Older and Disabled Scheme, will I need a new card?

It's your choice. Some local council areas provide discounted travel on rail, tram or subway with a Disabled Persons’ NEC, but you are likely to have to renew that card more often. Currently, a Disabled Persons’ NEC is valid for up to three years. However, if you have a Disabled Companion NEC, allowing a companion to travel for free with you, then we would recommend not to change to the new scheme. The new scheme does not allow anyone to travel with you for free.

I live in Scotland part of the year, can I still get free bus travel?

If you live in Scotland for most of the year (at least six months), then you are eligible.

I requested a card through GetYourNEC online, how can I check the status of the application?

You can check the status of your application by logging into the GetYourNEC portal. It's taking around 10 working days for applications to be reviewed, you will receive another email to inform you once your application has been reviewed.

Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with GetYourNEC online applications. If you have any queries about your application, contact the GetYourNEC Customer Service Team.

Do I need a new card if my name has changed?

If you’ve legally changed your name your account will be updated by the National Records of Scotland and a new card will be automatically issued to you.

If you haven’t legally changed your name, but would prefer to have a different name, you can update your card on the GetyourNEC website, complete our online contact form or phone our Customer Advice and Support on 0300 100 1800. Your account will remain in your official name, but we can add a preferred name which would appear on your card and we can issue you with a new card.

What do I do if I’ve moved address?

You can complete our online contact form or phone our Customer Advice and Support on 0300 100 1800 to tell us you’re moving.

You won’t need a new card if you’re moving to another address in the Borders, but you may have to provide proof of your new address if you’re not liable for Council Tax. 

If you move out with the Borders, you should contact your new Council. They may issue you with a new card if there are different discounts available in that area.

Can I use my NEC card on trams in Edinburgh?

Visit the Edinburgh Trams website to find information on using your NEC card on trams in Edinburgh.

Can I get a discount on train or ferry travel with my NEC card?

To find out if there are any discounts for over 60’s card holders, phone our Customer Advice and Support on 0300 100 1800.

Visit the Transport Scotland website to find out more about discounts if you are sight impaired or severely sight impaired.

National Entitlement Card

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells