Zip Oyster photocards

5-10 & 11-15 Zip Oyster photocards

11-15 oyster zip card

Children aged under 11 can apply for a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to:

  • Travel free on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services where pay as you go is accepted
  • Pay as you go at the child rate on Southeastern high speed services between St Pancras International and Stratford International; and on Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink services between Coulsdon South and Gatwick Airport
  • Pay as you go at child rate on the Emirates Air Line cable car
  • Pay as you go at half adult rate on Thames Clipper River Bus services

    You can check this map [PDF 0.3MB] to see where your child can travel free on National Rail services with a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard, and where they will be charged a child-rate pay as you go fare.

    If you are accompanying your child on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and some National Rail services, they can travel free without a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard. Check this map [PDF 0.3MB] to see the services on which they can do this.

    Your child doesn't need a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to travel free on buses and trams or to buy child-rate paper tickets, unless they look older than 10. Find out more about travelling with children.

    Children aged over 10 years and 11 months and under 16 on 31 August can apply for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard to travel:

    • Free on buses and trams
    • At child rate on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line and most National Rail services in London
    • At half adult rate on Thames Clipper River Bus services

    If your child is now 16 but was aged 15 on 31 August then they can still apply for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard. Despite the name, this photocard is still valid when your child is 16.

    16+ Zip Oyster photocard

    16 plus oyster zip card

    Young people aged 16 and 17 can apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard to:

    • Buy child-rate 7 Day, Monthly or longer period Travelcard and Bus & Tram Passes
    • Pay as you go at half adult rate on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London

    Children aged 16 or 17 on 31 August who live in a London borough can travel free on buses and trams.

    Londoners aged 18 on 31 August who are still in full time education can also apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard that allows free bus and tram travel.

    If your child is now 16 but was aged 15 on 31 August then they can still apply for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard.

    You must apply online and you'll need a Zip Oyster photocard account.

    If you already have a Zip account, you can apply by signing in.

    If you have an Oyster photocard account for a non-Zip Oyster photocard, you'll need to use a different email address to apply.

    5-10 and 11-15 Zip Oyster photocards

    The parent or guardian must apply for a 5-10 or 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard for their child.

    Find out how to apply if you:

     
    Live in a London borough

    You must apply online and you'll need to provide:

    • An active, valid email address
    • Details from your child's machine readable passport. If they don't have one or you can't provide the details, you'll have to complete your application at a post office (see below)
    • A digital photo of your child which must be:
      • A JPG, BMP or GIF file and less than 6MB
      • A true likeness
      • Without hats and head coverings, unless worn consistently for religious or medical reasons and, only then, if the features of their face can still be seen

    You will need to pay an administration fee (£10 for a 5-10 and £15 for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard).

    If you have a credit or debit card, you can complete your application online. If you don't have one, you will need to complete your application at a post office (see below).

    Completing an application at a post office

    You will need to complete your application at a post office if:

    • Your child doesn't have a machine readable passport, or you can't provide the details
    • You don't have a credit or debit card

    You'll need to print a verification letter and take it with your payment and proof of your child's age to a post office in London to complete the application. The proof of age must be either:

    • A valid passport
    • An ID card from a European Economic Area country
    • A birth certificate
    • A current full UK driving or provisional licence
    • A Biometric Residency Permit

    If there is an issue with your application we'll email you, so please check for emails from us.

    We'll post your child's Zip Oyster photocard to you within a week of applying.

     
    Live in the UK but outside London

    You must apply online and you'll need to provide:

    • An active, valid email address
    • Details from your child's machine-readable passport. If they don't have one or you can't provide the details, you'll have to collect their card from a Visitor Centre (see below)
    • A credit or debit card to pay the administration fee (£10 for a 5-10 and £15 for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard)
    • A digital photo of your child which must be:
      • A JPG, BMP or GIF file and less than 6MB
      • A true likeness
      • Without hats and head coverings, unless worn consistently for religious or medical reasons and, only then, if the features of their face can still be seen

    If we can verify your child's age online, we'll post your child's Zip Oyster photocard to you within a week.

    If you can't provide details from your child's machine readable passport, or if they don't have one, you'll need to collect their Zip Oyster photocard from a Visitor Centre. You can choose which one to pick it up from when you apply. You must allow a minimum of four weeks for your application to be processed.

    Collecting a Zip Oyster photocard from a Visitor Centre

    If you're collecting your child's Zip Oyster photocard from a Visitor Centre, you must bring your confirmation email and proof of identity for your child. It can be any of the following:

    • A valid passport
    • An ID card from a European Economic Area country
    • A birth certificate

    You must provide original documents - we can't accept photocopies.

    If you don't have these, or if the name or date of birth doesn't match your application exactly, we can't issue the photocard.

    If there is an issue with your application we'll email you, so please check for emails from us.

     
    Live outside the UK

    You need to apply online and you'll need to collect it from a Visitor Centre.

    You must apply at least four weeks before the date you want to collect the Zip Oyster photocard and select which Visitor Centre you want to collect it from. You can apply up to three months in advance of your chosen collection date.

    To apply, you'll need to provide:

    • An active, valid email address
    • A credit or debit card to pay the administration fee (£10 for a 5-10 and £15 for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard)
    • A digital photo of your child which must be:
      • A JPG, BMP or GIF file and less than 6MB
      • A true likeness
      • Without hats and head coverings, unless worn consistently for religious or medical reasons and, only then, if the features of their face can still be seen

    You will be sent an email to confirm your application. You will need to bring this and proof of identity for your child when you collect the photocard from your chosen Visitor Centre.

    Proof of identity must be one of the following:

    • A valid passport
    • An ID card from a European Economic Area country
    • A birth certificate

    You must provide original documents - we can't accept photocopies.

    If you don't have these, or if the name or date of birth doesn't match your application exactly, we can't issue the photocard.

    If there is an issue with your application we'll email you, so please check for emails from us.

    16+ Zip Oyster photocard

    All 16 and 17 year olds are eligible for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard. If your child was 15 on 31 August then they can still apply for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard, which is better value.

    Age Are you eligible?
    16 Yes
    17Yes
    18Only if you live in a London borough and are in full time education

    Young Londoners aged 16 and 17 are eligible for free bus and tram travel. Those aged 18 may also be eligible if they live in a London borough and are in full time education.

    A parent or guardian must apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard if their child is aged under 18. Those aged 18 or 19 must apply for themselves.

    Find out how to apply if you:

     
    Live in a London borough

    Aged 18?

    If you were aged 18 on 31 August, you must also prove that you are still in full time education to get free bus and tram travel. Being in full-time education is defined as:

    • At least 12 hours of guided learning per week, between 09:00-17:00, Monday to Friday
    • At least 10 weeks on a further education course at Level 3
    • In a sixth form college, academy, further education college or other training provider

    Examples of Level 3 courses include:

    • A-levels (AS/A2)
    • Vocational awards such as BTEC and NVQ qualifications at level 3
    • The International Baccalaureate

    It can also include apprenticeships and training courses funded by the Education Funding Agency, provided you're 18 or under on 31 August. Your school, college or training provider will be able to confirm if the course qualifies.

    You must apply online. You'll need to create a Zip Oyster photocard account if you don't already have one.

    If you're under 18, your parent/guardian must create an account. If you're aged 18 (or 19 as long as you were 18 on 31 August), you'll need to create your own account using your own details.

    To apply, you'll need to provide:

    • An active, valid email address
    • Details from the applicant's machine readable passport. If you cannot supply these details you will have to complete your application at a post office
    • A payment card for the £20 administration fee, which must be registered to the address used in the application. If you don't have a card to pay online you will have to complete your application at a post office (see below)
    • A digital photo (of the applicant) which must be:
      • A JPG, BMP or GIF file and less than 6MB
      • A true likeness
      • Without hats and head coverings, unless worn consistently for religious or medical reasons and, only then, if the features of their face can still be seen 

    Completing an application at a post office

    You will need to complete your application at a post office if:

    • Your child doesn't have a machine readable passport or you can't provide the details
    • You don't have a credit or debit card

    You'll need to print a verification letter and take it with your payment to a post office in London to complete the application. If you're 18 or 19 you'll need to get your verification letter endorsed by your school or college.

    You will need to take proof of age, which must be either:

    • A valid passport
    • An ID card from a European Economic Area country
    • A birth certificate
    • A current full UK driving or provisional licence
    • A Biometric Residency Permit

    You will also need to take proof of address, which must be either:

    • A residential utility bill (dated in the last three months)
    • A bank, building society or credit card statement (dated in the last three months)
    • A council tax bill (current document)
    • A council or Housing Association rent book or statement (current document)
    • Driving licence (current document)

    If there is an issue with your application we'll email you, so please check for emails from us.

    We'll post your child's Zip Oyster photocard to you within a week of applying.

     
    Live in the UK but outside London

    You must apply online and you'll need to provide:

    • An active, valid email address
    • Details from the applicant's machine readable passport. If they don't have one or you can't provide the details, you'll have to collect their card from a Visitor Centre (see below)
    • A credit or debit card to pay the £20 administration fee
    • A digital photo of your child which must be:
      • A JPG, BMP or GIF file and less than 6MB
      • A true likeness
      • Without hats and head coverings, unless consistently worn for religious or medical reasons and, only then, if the features of their face can still be seen

    If we can verify your child's age online, we'll post your child's Zip Oyster photocard to you within a week.

    If you can't provide details from your child's machine readable passport, or if they don't have one, you'll need to collect their Zip Oyster photocard from a Visitor Centre. You can choose which one to pick it up from when you apply. You must allow a minimum of four weeks for your application to be processed.

    Collecting a Zip Oyster photocard from a Visitor Centre

    You will be sent an email to confirm your application. If you're collecting your child's Zip Oyster photocard from a Visitor Centre you must bring your confirmation email and proof of identity for your child. It can be any of the following:

    • A valid passport
    • An ID card from a European Economic Area country
    • A birth certificate

    You must provide original documents - we can't accept photocopies.

    If you don't have these, or if the name or date of birth doesn't match your application exactly, we can't issue the photocard.

    If there is an issue with your application we'll email you, so please check for emails from us.

     
    Live outside the UK

    You must apply online for a Zip Oyster photocard and you'll need to collect it from a Visitor Centre.

    You must apply at least four weeks before the date you want to collect it and choose which Visitor Centre you want to collect it from. You can apply up to three months in advance of your chosen collection date.

    To apply online you'll need:

    • An active, valid email address
    • A credit or debit card to pay the £20 administration fee
    • A digital photo of your child which must be:
      • A JPG, BMP or GIF file and less than 6MB
      • A true likeness
      • Without hats and head coverings, unless worn consistently for religious or medical reasons and, only then, if the features of their face can still be seen

    You will be sent an email to confirm your application. You will need to bring this and proof of identity for your child when you collect the photocard from your chosen Visitor Centre.

    When you collect your child's Zip Oyster photocard from a Visitor Centre, you'll need to bring your confirmation email and proof of identity for your child. It can be any of the following:

    • A valid passport
    • An ID card from a European Economic Area country
    • A birth certificate

    You must provide original documents - we can't accept photocopies.

    If you don't have these, or if the name or date of birth doesn't match your application exactly, we can't issue the photocard.

    If there is an issue with your application we'll email you, so please check for emails from us.

    Help and guidance

    Zip Oyster photocard terms and conditions.

    Help and guidance for existing Zip Oyster photocard holders and new applicants:

     
    Checking the status of your application

    If you have any questions once you've applied or want to find out what's happening with your application, you can:

    • Sign in to your Zip Oyster photocard account
    • Text your application reference number to 07624 809330 - You'll receive a response from our SMS service. (Standard network charges apply and can vary considerably. Please check with your mobile phone service provider)
    • Call us on 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges
     
    How to use a Zip Oyster photocard

    Once you get your Zip Oyster photocard, you can start using it immediately. You'll need to add pay as you go credit or a season ticket to it, unless your photocard allows you to travel free.

    To pay the right fare, make sure you touch in and out on the yellow card readers. It's slightly different for each type of transport. You may get a penalty fare if:

    • You don't touch in correctly
    • You don't have a valid ticket or enough pay as you go credit on your Oyster photocard for your journey

    If you can't be recognised by your photo anymore, you need to order a replacement and upload a new photo. You'll need to pay a £10 administration fee.

    Find out more about touching in and out.

     
    Behaviour code

    Zip Oyster photocard holders must stick to the rules, as set out in our Young Person's Behaviour Code, which they must agree to as part of the application process. If they don't comply with the Behaviour Code, we can withdraw their Zip Oyster photocard.

     
    Lost, stolen or damaged Zip Oyster photocard

    Apply for a replacement Zip Oyster photocard if it has been lost, stolen or it's damaged. You must pay a £10 administration fee.

    While you are without your Zip Oyster photocard you must pay for your travel.

    Find out what to do if your Zip Oyster photocard is lost, stolen or stops working.

     
    My Zip Oyster photocard has stopped working

    You can't use your Zip Oyster photocard if it has a negative pay as you go balance, even if it allows free travel on buses and trams. You will need to top it up before you can use it again. You can check your pay as you go balance by signing in to your Zip Oyster photocard account, or at Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail stations, Oyster Ticket Stops and Visitor Centres.

    If your Zip Oyster photocard doesn't have a negative balance and isn't working, call Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges). We can only deal with queries from the Zip Oyster photocard holder or the parent or guardian who completed the application.

    While you are without your Zip Oyster photocard you must pay for your travel.

    Find out what to do if your Zip Oyster photocard is lost, stolen or stops working.

     
    Pin and security questions

    When you apply online, the Oyster photocard online account holder will be prompted to give an answer to a security question.

    You'll need either the answer to your security question if you contact us with queries about your Zip Oyster photocard, or if you need to report it as lost, stolen or damaged. 

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