18+ Student Oyster photocard

18 plus student oyster photocard graphic

Benefits and eligibility

Get 30% off the price of adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.

If you're 18 or over, live at a London address during term time, in full-time education, or on a mandatory work placement in London, you may be eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard.

If you're 18 and live in London you may still be eligible for a Zip 16+ Oyster photocard which offers half price travel on rail services and free travel on buses.

To apply, you must be enrolled:

  • With a school, college or university that's registered on the TfL scheme
  • On a mandatory work placement in London
  • On an eligible full-time or part-time course

You'll need:

  • A colour digital photo to upload
  • Your student enrolment ID from your school, college or university
  • Your course start and end dates
  • A credit or debit card to pay the £20 fee
  • An active email address

Can I get one?

To get an 18+ Student Oyster photocard you must be:

  • A student aged 18 or over
  • Living at a London address during term time
  • Enrolled with a participating school, college or university that's registered on the TfL scheme

You must also be one of the following:

  • Enrolled on a full-time course including at least 15 tuition-led and/or structured learning hours a week (with attendance at scheduled classes being Monday to Friday only and not including evening classes) over a minimum of 14 weeks on the same course
  • Receiving NHS bursary money* as a full-time student
  • A full-time postgraduate student (for example, studying or writing up for 15 or more hours a week)
  • A full-time student registered and studying on a higher education course with an education establishment not registered on the scheme, but on mandatory work placement in London for at least 14 weeks. You must still be under the pastoral care of your education establishment
  • A sabbatical officer
  • Enrolled on a part-time course lasting a period of at least 14 weeks and either:
    • A part-time student receiving NHS bursary money* or
    • A part-time postgraduate student receiving financial help from your education establishment as part of their Higher Education Council for England(HEFCE) discretionary additional support (such as Student Opportunity allocation or Access to Learning Fund)^

*You must provide your school, college or university with satisfactory evidence of your sponsorship before they can validate your application.     

^Talk to your education establishment before you apply if you are unsure whether you are eligible.

If your school, college or university is outside Greater London, but you live in Greater London during term time and travel regularly to and from there, you may still be eligible for this photocard.

You are not eligible if:

  • You're getting paid for on-the-job training
  • You live outside Greater London during term time

18+ Student Oyster photocard terms and conditions.

How much do I save?

If you have an 18+ Student Oyster photocard, you can get 30% off the price of adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.

If you live near your school, college or university, or only make a few journeys, you may not need a Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season ticket. You may be better off using pay as you go at the adult rate.

If you have a 16-25 Railcard, you can add the discount to your 18+ Student Oyster photocard to get a 34% discount on off-peak pay as you go fares and off-peak daily caps on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London.

How do I apply?

You can apply for your 18+ Student Oyster photocard online. You'll need:

  • A colour, digital photo*
  • Your student, enrolment ID from your school, college or university
  • A London address
  • A valid debit or credit card to pay the £20 administration fee
  • An active, valid email address

* A colour, digital photograph must be:

  • A full face photo of the applicant's head and shoulders with your full face clearly visible
  • A true likeness of you

You should not be wearing anything that covers your head unless it is consistently worn for religious or medical reasons.

If your photo doesn't meet these guidelines, your application will be rejected.

Once you've fully enrolled with your school, college or university and have got your enrolment number, you can apply up to four weeks before your course start date, or on your 18th birthday. Applications received before these dates will be rejected.

If you're on a course that's longer than one year, you can get a photocard valid for the length of your course, or up to three years, whichever is sooner.

An Oyster photocard account will be set up for you when you apply and you can use it to check the progress of your application and correct any mistakes.

Application status

You can check the status of your application by:

  • Signing in to your Oyster photocard account
  • Texting the application reference number to 07624 809 330 - you'll then receive a response from our SMS service (standard network charges apply and can vary considerably, so please check with your mobile service provider)
  • Calling 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges)

Late card delivery

If you've haven't received your photocard within two weeks, check your application status.

How do I use it?

Once you've added a Travelcard, Bus & Tram Pass season ticket, or pay as you go credit to your 18+ Student Oyster photocard, you can start using it. Pay as you go journeys are charged at the adult rate.

Touching in and out

To avoid paying too much when using Oyster pay as you go, make sure you touch your card on the yellow card readers. It's slightly different for each type of transport. Find out more about touching in and out.

Buying tickets and topping up

If you have an 18+ Student Oyster photocard you can top up your pay as you go credit and buy discounted Travelcard season tickets online. You can only do this via your 18+ Student Oyster photocard account.

Discounted Bus & Tram Pass season tickets can only be bought at Oyster Ticket Stops or Visitor Centres.

If you try to buy a Travelcard season ticket via a contactless and Oyster account, you will be charged the full adult price.

Expiry date

  • Your student-rate travel discount will expire on your course end date
  • We will be informed by your school, college or university if you're no longer eligible or your course end dates have changed. This may lead to your 18+ Student Oyster photocard being stopped
  • If you've applied for a multi-year validity 18+ Student Oyster photocard, we'll issue you with a photocard that is valid for a maximum of three academic years
  • If your course is longer than three academic years, and you have told us in your application, we will send you a new photocard free of charge
  • Continued use of your 18+ Student Oyster photocard means that you agree and accept the terms and conditions of the scheme
  • You can read the 18+ Student Oyster photocard terms and conditions at any time by signing into your Oyster photocard account

Lost, stolen or damaged cards

Find out what to do if your 18+ student Oyster photocard is lost, stolen, damaged or stops working.

Work placements

If you're a student coming to London to do a full-time work placement for a minimum of 14 weeks and your school, college or university isn't part of the scheme, you may be able to get an 18+ Student Oyster photocard.

Firstly, fill in the online form, then upload your photograph and pay the £20 administration fee. In the course dates section, enter the start and end date of your placement in London.

You will need:

  • A colour digital photo*
  • Your enrolment ID from your education establishment
  • A valid debit or credit card to pay the £20 administration fee
  • An active, valid email address

*A colour, digital photograph must be:

  • A full face photo of the applicant's head and shoulders with your full face clearly visible
  • A true likeness of you

You should not be wearing anything that covers your head unless it is consistently worn for medical or religious reasons.

If your photo doesn't meet these guidelines, it will be rejected.

Once you've completed your application, ask your school, college or university to complete and send us a letter that must:

  • Be on your school, college or university's letter-headed paper
  • Confirm you are enrolled on a full-time course consisting of at least 15 tuition-led or structured learning hours a week, for at least 14 weeks
  • Provide details of your placement and its start and end dates
  • Be signed by a person in authority (for example, the registrar, bursar, university secretary or head of student services)

The letter must be sent to:

Transport for London
Admail 4121
London SW1P 1AT

It can take up to two weeks to process your application after we have received your letter and completed application.

If you don't complete your application form correctly or your letter doesn't contain all the information we need, your application will be rejected.

Schools, colleges and universities

In London

For your students to apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard, you'll need to register with us first unless the students are on a work placement.

Read the full terms and conditions for education establishments below to check whether your education establishment is eligible to join the scheme. Education establishments are responsible for ensuring that they and their students are eligible for the scheme and aware of the terms and conditions before signing up. There is a non-refundable registration fee of £10.

If your students are coming to London on mandatory work placements they might also be able to apply. Please see the full terms and conditions for education establishments offering work placements below. 

Outside London

You may be able to register on the scheme if you have eligible students who live in London during term time and regularly commute to and from your school, college or university.

Call 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges) for more information on how to register.

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