Home   Education and learning   Young Scot and the National Entitlement Card

Young Scot and the National Entitlement Card (NEC)

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity for Scotland. They provide 11 to 26 year olds with information, ideas and incentives to help them become confident, informed and active citizens.

National Entitlement Card (NEC)

This free electronic smart card gives you access to council services, concessionary travel, discounts and special offers and can be used as proof of age. Ask for the Young Scot logo to be included on your OneScotland National Entitlement card in your application.

In North Ayrshire you can use your card:

  • for concessionary travel for older and disabled people
  • for free bus travel for 5 to 21 year olds
  • to get concessionary travel – 1/3 off single bus and rail fares and if you live on Arran or Cumbrae, you can get 2 free return journeys to the mainland every year (for full time volunteers aged 19 to 25 years and young people aged 16 to 18 years) 
  • to access library services
  • to get discounts and special offers in over 1,500 shops and services across Scotland and thousands more in Europe
  • as a catering card in secondary, and some primary schools
  • as proof of age

How to apply for a NEC

Drop-in sessions

Look out for drop-in sessions at libraries and other locations across North Ayrshire if you'd like to apply for a National Entitlement Card.

Please note: under 16s must bring a parent/guardian to complete paperwork.

For information on drop in sessions email NEC Admin.

What do I need to bring with me?
School pupils aged 5 to 15 years old

If your child is aged 5 to 15 and attends a North Ayrshire school, the registered main contact on the child’s school record must come along on the day and complete a consent form. We use this to verify details via your child’s school record.  


For those aged 11 to 15 we need a photographic image for their card. If the school holds a recent image on their record, with your consent we can use this. If your child comes with you on the day, we can take an up to date photograph to ensure it meets our PASS requirements.  

School pupils aged 16 or over

If you are 16 or over and still attend a North Ayrshire school or recently left in the summer, you can come along on the day and complete a short consent form. This will allow us to verify details via your school record and take your photograph for your card. 

All other new applicants

For applicants not attending a North Ayrshire Council school, we will require a full application form to be completed on the day. We will need supporting evidence to process your card. If you do not have supporting evidence, come along and chat to our team about alternative support and what we can do help you with your application. We can take your photograph on the day.  

Please note: under 16s must bring a parent/guardian who is able sign parental approval for free travel on your behalf.

Applying for a card or renewing a card

Anyone aged between 12 and 25 years of age can apply online at Get Your NEC.

To get Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel added to your card and you are under 16 your parent/guardian will need apply on your behalf as this requires parental permission.

If you attend a North Ayrshire Council school, or have recently left to attend college or university you can apply via a simplified consent form email NEC Admin to request.

Replacement cards can be requested online at Get Your NEC, or by phoning 01294 310000, or by completing our replacement request form

Other methods

Ask for an application form by calling 01294 310000.

We may ask you to send supporting evidence, examples below, please ensure you have these: 

  • Proof of age: Birth Certificate, Passport, photo driving licence, Adoption Certificate, Marriage Certificate, PASS hologrammed card
  • Proof of address: letter from school/university/etc., bank statement, photo driving licence, Council Tax bill, Benefit book, council rent card, recent utility bill or recent mortgage statement
  • Photographic evidence: passport, photo driving licence, PASS hologrammed card*

*If you do not have photographic evidence with you at the drop-in session our team can discuss other options that may be suitable. 

Young Persons' Free Travel Scheme

Who is eligible?

If you are 5 to 21 years old and live in Scotland you are eligible for free bus travel.

You will need a new, or replacement, National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot Nation Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC).

If your child is 4, you can apply for their card 2 weeks before their 5th birthday.

Get Your NEC 

AgeWhich NEC?Approval required?
0 to 4 year olds None N/A
5 to 10 year olds NEC Parent/guardian to apply
11 to 15 year olds NEC, or Young Scot NEC Parent/guardian to apply
16 to 21 year olds NEC, or Young Scot NEC Apply by themselves

Rules and 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 entitlements withdrawn.

Is this page useful?