Young Persons' Free Travel Scheme

Find out about the Young Persons' Free Travel scheme and how to apply.

Nearly a million 5 to 21 year olds living in Scotland are eligible to benefit from free bus travel. The scheme embeds sustainable travel behaviours from a young age, opens doors to new opportunities, and should help to meet our target of net zero emissions by 2045.

Children and young people who are 5 to 21 years old need a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot National Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC) to travel for free by bus. Parents or guardians of 5 to 15 year olds must apply on their behalf. 

Children under 5 years old already travel for free on commercial bus services and do no need a card, however you can apply two weeks before your child is due to turn 5 for their card.

Read the latest news on Free bus travel for under 22s. Further information on the legislation can also be found on the Transport Scotland website.

Who is eligible?

If you are 5 to 21 years old and live in Scotland then you are eligible for free bus travel, no matter your nationality. 

AgeWhich NEC?Approval required?
0 to 4 year oldsNo card needed to travel for free by busN/A
5 to 10 year oldsNECParent/guardian to apply
11 to 15 year oldsNEC, or Young Scot NECParent/guardian to apply
16 to 21 year oldsNEC, or Young Scot NECApply by themselves
Existing Cardholders
aged 11 to 15
NEC, or Young Scot NECParent/guardian to apply
Existing Cardholders
aged 16 to 21
NEC, or Young Scot NECNEC, or Young Scot NEC

How to apply?

If you live in East Renfrewshire and your child is between 5 and 10 years old you can apply via Parentsportal.

If your child is 11 to 15 you can apply via the website   

Existing National Entitlement Cardholders 11 to 15, parents/guardians will be required to apply and can do this via the website 

New and existing cardholders aged 16 to 21 can apply themselves via the website 

You can also apply in person at our Barrhead Service Centre, 211 Main Street, Barrhead, G78 1SY

If you have any difficulties completing your application online, either via Parentsportal or please contact us by e-mail at or call us on 0141 577 3001.

Video guides

The following videos offer useful information to help you understand the application process.

Rules & regulations

You're the only person allowed to use your NEC. It's not transferable. Allowing someone else to use it is fraud. This may lead to the card being cancelled and your entitlement.

Last modified on 15 May 2023