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Guidelines for issuing secondary student cards

The information on this page does not apply to Opal. For full details on Opal, including card types and fares, visit the Opal website.

Target group

Full-time senior secondary students aged 16 years and older, who reside in NSW and attend a NSW/ACT school, who receive a NSW Senior Secondary Student Concession Card (previously referred to as the NSW School Pupil Identification Card). This now includes mature aged secondary students aged 19 years and older, who previously received a NSW Tertiary Student Concession Card but who now receive a NSW Senior Secondary Student Concession Card.

Coverage of students

While all young people under 16 years of age are eligible for half fare as a "child", on turning 16, students are required to obtain a concession card in order to continue to obtain concession fares. The standard card, the NSW Senior Secondary Student Concession Card enables them to access concession fares at all times.

Services covered

Half fare concessions are available on the following services:

  • Local bus services (school services and regular route services) across NSW.
  • Sydney Trains services (note: a separate concession station access fee is payable for entry/exit of Domestic and International Airport stations).
  • Sydney Ferries services and Newcastle Ferries services.
  • NSW TrainLink rail and coach services.

Most private ferry operators now recognise the standard concession cards/entitlements, although not formally required to do so. Where these entitlements are not recognised, students will be advised by the local operator of the card/document they require. In such cases the entitlements are more restrictive, and mature aged students must be under 30 years of age.

Concession fares are not available on special and premium services, charter services, special event services or tourism services.

Card issuers

  • Secondary student concession cards are generally issued by the school the student attends. The Transport Concessions Office can also issue cards at times when the school is not open, such as during holidays. It is also the issuer for home schooled students.
  • To issue concession cards, schools need to apply to the Transport Concessions Office to register as a third party issuer. The person/persons to have responsibility for the issuing of cards (the 'concession officer/s') will need to be specified, and they will be the only persons authorised to issue concession cards.
  • Schools are not permitted to delegate the issuing of concession cards to other organisations, such as companies contracted to print student identification cards.
  • Students should be advised of the availability of concession cards at the beginning of the school year and reminded of the need to apply to the school for a card prior to holidays and excursions. As students turning 16 will need to obtain a concession card for the first time, they will need to be alerted to the need to do so, and of the requirement to carry their card at all times when travelling on public transport on concession fares.
  • Students should be advised that applications can be made to Transport for concession cards/replacement cards during holiday periods, but that personal identification and proof of enrolment will need to be provided.

Transport Concessions Office

You can contact the Transport Concessions Office:


Locked Bag 5085,


131 500


(02) 9891 8941


Application forms

Secondary students are not required to use an application form to obtain a concession card from the secondary school they attend. However, they will need to use a Transport application form when applying for a card, or a replacement card with Transport for NSW.

Supplies of concession cards

Transport for NSW will provide each school with the requested number of cards and foils at the beginning of each year.

The Transport Concessions Office provides schools with supplies of concession cards and foils. Schools place their order with Transport for NSW in November or December each year, and can submit requests for further supplies later, if needed.

Assessment of student eligibility

Eligibility criteria:

  • Enrolled in a NSW or ACT secondary school or non-government secondary school.
  • Registered with the Board of Studies as a full-time home-schooled or distance education (OTEN) secondary student.
  • An International school student who meets the above criteria.


Procedures for issuing the card/s

  • The nominated concession officer/s are the only employees authorised to issue concession cards on the school's behalf and are accountable for the safekeeping of cards and foils, as well as records of the concession cards issued. Transport for NSW should be advised of any changes to the nominated concession officer/s at the beginning of each year.
  • Cards are generally issued at the beginning of the school year but may be issued throughout the year.
  • To issue a concession card, a school's concessions officer is required to verify the applicant's enrolment status and for eligible students, to fill in details of the student's full name, residential address and the school's name on the appropriate card.
  • The authorised officer must sign the card and attach a Transport security foil (except for Proof of Age cards which do not require a foil). The card must also be signed by the student for it to become valid.

Period of validity

School concession cards are valid from the start of each school year until the commencement of the next school year (which can be until the 31 March the following year). School leavers are required to return their cards upon obtaining employment, on commencing further full-time study or training, or on receipt of another type of concession card. Those in other circumstances can continue to use their card until the 31 March the following year.


No fees apply for the issue of an initial concession card or for annual renewals. However, a fee is payable for all replacement concession cards (apart from the Proof of Age card).

Replacement cards

  • Replacement cards can only be issued by the Transport Concessions Office.
  • Replacement forms require certification of the student's enrolment in the school by the school's concessions officer, and must be stamped with the school stamp.

The student must submit the certified form to the Transport Concessions Office by email or post and pay the prescribed fee by Money Order or Credit Card (excluding Amex and Diners).

Records to be kept by schools as registered third party issuers

Schools must keep a record of:

  • The serial numbers of all security foils provided by Transport
  • The name of each student issued with a card and the individual security foil number issued to them
  • Any cards that have been confiscated or returned by a student upon leaving the NSW education system, being expelled or taking up employment or further study on completion of school
  • These records are auditable and must be retained at least until the end of the next calendar year
  • A reconciliation statement must be provided to Transport on the designated form at the end of the school year
  • All cancelled and unused security foils must be returned to Transport with the reconciliation statement. All unused cardboard concession cards should be destroyed.

Last updated: 15 May 2017