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National Entitlement Cards

Young Persons Free Bus Travel - From 31 January 2022 all young people aged 5 to 21 (under 22) will be eligible for free bus travel - you will need to apply for a new National Entitlement Card to access the free travel. Find out more and apply online. Can't apply online? Read our update for more guidance.

If you are over 60, have a disability, or aged between 16 and 18 years you could be eligible for free or discounted 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, 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.

Travellers with a visual impairment can get Scottish National Blind Scheme concessions. The card gives you free rail travel on mainland Scotland.

When you complete your application, you will need:

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 should:

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 65 and over are also entitled to one return trip 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:

Other Discount Schemes

Air Discount Scheme

The Air Discount scheme provides 50% discount on flights to the Scottish Mainland and to other eligible areas in the Highlands and Islands. The Air Discount Scheme is available to all people whose main residence is Orkney (and other qualifying areas in the Highlands and Islands).

The scheme also includes students from the eligible areas who are studying away from home. Information on the Air Discount Scheme is available at the ADS website in the Related Sites section or by calling the Air Discount Scheme Administrator on Telephone: 08000322890. Air Discount Scheme Tickets can be booked through the airline website in the Related Sites section, through travel agents or from the Loganair Air Discount Scheme Call Centre on 08448002855, open Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00.

NorthLink Ferries Islander Scheme

Full-time residents in Orkney qualify for the NorthLink Ferries Islander Discount. The benefits of registering your residency with NorthLink Ferries is a 30% discount on standard fares for passenger and non-commercial passenger accompanied vehicles. Information on the scheme is available from NorthLink Ferries on Tel: 01856885500 and at the Northlink Ferries website in the Related Sites section.

Highland Rail Card

By purchasing a Highland Rail Card, valid for 12 months, you will receive 50% of all rail fares when you travel on the North Highland Line and West Highland and Kyle Lines. The Highland Railcard is available to all residents living in KW postcodes. Up to 2 children accompanied by an adult Highland Railcard holder can travel for a flat fare of £2 each.

Application forms for the Highland Rail card are available from the ScotRail website in the Related Sites section or from Orkney Islands Council Customer Services and from the Kirkwall Travel Centre.

Related Downloads

Related Sites

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS