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16+ Zip Oyster photocard

Benefits

  • 50% off adult pay as you go fares on bus, Tube, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line (excluding between West Drayton and Reading) and most National Rail services in London
  • If you live in London, you get free travel on buses and trams
  • Child rate 7 Day, Monthly or longer period Travelcard and Bus & Tram Pass

Who is it for?

Children aged 16 and 17 can get a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard.

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

Adults who live in a London borough who were 18 on 31 August and in full-time education, can apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard to get free travel on buses and trams.

How to apply

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

If you're 18, you must apply for your 16+ Zip Oyster photocard and create your own photocard web account.

When you apply, you agree that you or the Zip Oyster photocard holder will comply with our Young Person's Behaviour Code. If you or the photocard holder doesn't, we can withdraw the photocard.

Under 18

To apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard, create or sign in to your photocard web account. (You must use a different email address from any contactless and Oyster account for a standard adult Oyster card.)

You will also need:

  • A clear, unaltered colour digital photo of your child which is a .jpg, .bmp or .gif file and less than 6MB
  • Details from your child's valid, machine-readable passport to verify their age and identity. All machine-readable passports are accepted, including non-UK passports
  • A colour image of the details page from your child's valid, machine-readable passport that is in .png or .jpg format and less than 6MB. This must clearly show the child's photo, name, date of birth and passport number
  • A debit or credit card to pay the £20 administration fee

We'll email you if we have to reject your photo or passport image. You will need to upload another to finish your application for your Zip Oyster photocard.

If your child doesn't have a valid, machine-readable passport, start your application online and you'll be prompted to download and print a letter to take to the Post Office to complete it.

At the Post Office you'll need:

  • Proof of your child's age and identity, such as a birth certificate
  • Proof of your address, such as a residential utility bill or bank statement dated with the last three months
  • A debit or credit card or cash to pay the £20 administration fee

Once your photo, passport image and/or your Post Office letter have been accepted, your 16+ Zip Oyster photocard will usually arrive within two weeks.

Aged 18

If you were 18 on 31 August, you need to prove you're in full-time education by meeting all of this criteria:

  1. At least 12 hours of guided learning per week, between 09:00 and 17:00, Monday to Friday
  2. At least 10 weeks on a further education course at Level 3, including apprenticeships and courses funded by the Education Funding Agency
  3. In a sixth form college, academy, further education college or other training provider

Your school or college can confirm if your course qualifies.

Apply by creating your own photocard web account.

You will be prompted to download and print a letter to take to your school or college. They must sign the letter to prove you're still in full-time education.

Take this letter to a Post Office where you will need to provide:

  • Proof of your age using either an original valid passport, ID card from a European Economic Area country, a birth certificate, current full UK driving or provisional license or a Biometric Residency Permit
  • Proof of address using either a residential utility bill (from last three months), bank, building society or credit card statement (from last three months), current council tax bill, current council or Housing Association rent book or statement, or a current driving license

You pay an administration fee of £20 using a debit or credit card. At the Post Office you can also pay by cash.

Once your photo, passport image and/or your Post Office letter have been accepted, your 16+ Zip Oyster photocard will usually arrive within two weeks.

To apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard, create or sign in to your photocard web account. (You must use a different email address from any contactless and Oyster account for a standard adult Oyster card.)

You will also need:

  • A clear, unaltered colour digital photo of your child which is a .jpg, .bmp or .gif file and less than 6MB
  • Details from your child's valid, machine-readable passport to verify their age and identity. All machine-readable passports are accepted, including non-UK passports
  • A colour image of the details page from your child's valid, machine-readable passport that is in .png or .jpg format and less than 6MB. This must clearly show the child's photo, name, date of birth and passport number
  • A debit or credit card to pay the £20 administration fee

We'll email you if we have to reject your photo or passport image. You will need to upload another to finish your application for your Zip Oyster photocard.

If your child does not have a valid machine-readable passport, you can collect your photocard from a TfL Visitor Centre.

  • Apply at least 28 days before your preferred collection date and select a Visitor Centre that is open. Visitor Centre locations and opening times are shown in the application, or call Customer Services 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges) for advice
  • When collecting your card at a Visitor Centre, you'll need to provide proof of your child's age. This should be either your child's passport, ID card from a European Economic Area country or birth certificate. No other documents are accepted

Once your photo and passport image have been accepted, your 16+ Zip Oyster photocard will usually arrive within two weeks.

How to use

Once you get your 16+ Zip Oyster photocard, you can use it straight away.

Make sure you touch in at the start of your journey and touch out at the end on yellow card readers. You only need to touch in on buses and trams. Find out more about touching in and out.

Use your photocard web account to manage your card or report a lost card.

Expiry

I live in a London borough

Your 16+ Zip Oyster photocard expires on 30 September in the year after your 18th birthday.

If you apply for your card between 1 August 2022 and 31 July 2023, it will expire on these dates:

 Age on 31 August 2022  Expiry date
 16  30 September 2024
 17  30 September 2023
 18  30 September 2023

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

I don't live in London

Your 16+ Zip Oyster photocard expires the day before your 18th birthday.

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