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Concessionary TravelConcessionary Travel

National Entitlement Cards

If you are Under 22, over 60, or have a disability, you could be eligible for free bus travel to get around Scotland using National Entitlement Card or Young Scot National Entitlement Card.

Eligible permanent residents in Orkney, under the disability or age criteria (over 60 and 16-18 year olds), are also entitled to two free return ferry journeys to the Scottish Mainland or Shetland per year. These four ferry vouchers are issued each year for use between April to March the following year.

Under 22s Free Bus Travel

All young people aged 5 to 21 (Under 22) are eligible for free bus travel in Scotland. You will need to apply for a new National Entitlement Card to access the free travel in most cases.

A parent or carer must apply on behalf of 5–15 years olds - this ensures the free bus travel has been approved by parents/carers, so they can ensure young people are safe and well. Young people aged between 16 and 21 who already have an active NEC or Young Scot NEC can download free bus travel onto their existing Young Scot card using the Transport Scot Pass Collect app. Find out more information about the scheme at

You can apply for a National Entitlement Card or Young Scot card online at

If you are unable to apply online or do not have the proofs required to apply online, you can apply direct to the Council who can accept a wider range of proofs.

Supporting documents are required to verify your application (you can read more at

  • Proof of person
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of photo (along with a recent passport type photograph)
  • Proof of disability award (if applicable)

Check the full details of the eligibility criteria and documents you need to show for the different types of card with Transport Scotland. 

Scotland-wide Free Bus Scheme for people who are older or disabled

Anyone aged 60 or over and eligible disabled people who live in Scotland are entitled to travel free on any local bus service and scheduled long distance coach services throughout Scotland with the National Entitlement Card.

Concessionary travel is not available for tours, excursions, night services or other special services where a premium rate is charged.

Online applications

New applicants

Anyone applying for a National Entitlement Card for the first time can now use the on-line system. Click below to apply and follow the step by step process to create or log in to your MyGovScot MyAccount to make your application. Verification will be done through the online process by scanning documents or you can choose to apply via YOTI (Your Digital Identity).

Paper copies of the applications are still available.  Please call 01856 873535 extension 3637 or email the transport team.


Orkney Islands Council Transport Service will issue a renewal form the month before your current card expires, requesting updated proof of entitlement for disabled card holders.

Please note cards for over 60s do not expire.

Isles Residents Scheme

There is a Smartcard for local concessionary travel from islands to the mainland of Orkney. In order to meet the required eligibility criteria residents must meet all of the below;

  1. Be in possession of the National Entitlement Card (NEC).
  2. Be aged 65 or over; or hold a valid Disabled NEC
  3. Be a permanent resident on one of the isles (Eday, Egilsay, Flotta, Graemsay, Hoy, North Ronaldsay, Papa Westray, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay, Stronsay, Westray and Wyre).

Please note that holiday homes and holiday homes used on a commercial basis do not qualify for this travel concession.

Subject to Orkney Islands Council continuing the local concessionary entitlement scheme, the Smartcard will be automatically 'reloaded' each year and should therefore be treated with care and not discarded. The current entitlement is 24 single trips per year with Orkney Ferries (residents of Papa Westray and North Ronaldsay are able to use their National Entitlement Card for use on the air service).

The Smartcard application form is available in the 'Related Downloads' section below.

Replacement charges may be made for lost or damaged cards.

Orkney Islands Council Community Transport Concessionary Travel Scheme

Orkney residents who are disabled or are aged 60 and over are also entitled to three return trips per month on eligible Community Transport schemes, such as Dial-a-Bus. Residents must be in possession of a National Entitlement Card.

With effect from 1 April 2016, the entitlement will be specifically for use on social and leisure trips. Journeys include, but are not limited to: shopping, visiting friends, lunch clubs, physical activities and church. The concessionary entitlement is not for use on trips for work, education or medical purposes. This includes journeys to your doctor, dentist, attending a prevention clinic, physiotherapy and hospital appointments.


For further information or to request paper application forms please contact the Transport Service:

  • Telephone: 01856873535 extension 3637.
  • Email the Transport Service
  • Post:  Transportation Service, Harbour Authority Building, Scapa, Orkney KW15 1SD

Other Discount Schemes

Air Discount Scheme

Information can be found at Air Discount Scheme | AirDiscountScheme

NorthLink Ferries Islander Scheme

Information can be found at Orkney and Shetland Islander Registration | NorthLink (

Highland Rail Card

Information can be found at Highland Railcard | Travel cards and Discounts | ScotRail

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