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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.

Young Scot seeks the views of young people in order to shape their services. They run consultations on issues such as alcohol, climate change, and substance misuse.

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
  • as a catering card in secondary, and some primary, school dining halls
  • to access our library service
  • 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). Please see the Concessionary travel page on the Transport Scotland website for more information.
  • to get Young Scot discounts and special offers in over 1,500 shops and services across Scotland and 80,000 across Europe
  • as proof of age
  • Free Bus Travel for 5 to 21 Year Olds (as of 31 January 2022). Please see Young Persons' Free Bus Travel Scheme for more information.

How do I apply for an NEC?

Drop-in sessions

NEC Team will be providing regular drop-in sessions at our North Ayrshire Libraries and other locations throughout North Ayrshire for those looking to apply for a National Entitlement Card for Young Scot or Junior Card for u22 free travel.  

 Ayrshire College Drop-in Sessions
Venue DateTime
No upcoming Drop-in sessions    

Please note: Ayrshire College sessions are for Ayrshire College Students only.

Library and Community Centre Drop-in Sessions
Venue DateTime
Auchenharvie Leisure Centre Monday 3 April 10am to 1pm
Portal, Irvine Thursday 6 April 10am to 1pm
Garnock Campus (KA Leisure) Wednesday 12 April 10am to 1pm
Vikingar, Largs Thursday 13 April 10am to 1pm

*All sessions are drop in, no appointment needed, please note that depending on volume there may be a slight wait for you to be seen. Our team will attend to you as quickly as possible.

Please note: if you are under 16 and wish to attend one of our drop-in sessions, a parent/guardian will have to be in attendance as they will be required to fill in relevant paperwork.

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, we would require the registered main contact on the child’s school record to come along on the day and complete a short consent form. This will allow us to verify all details via your child’s school record.  


For those aged 11 to 15 we do require an image for their card, if the school holds an image on their record and this is a recent image, with your consent we can use this. However, if your child can come along with you on the day, we can take their photograph there and then to upload on their card to ensure it is an up-to-date photograph and 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 all details via your school record and we can take your photograph on the day for your card also. 

All other new applicants

For all other applicants, if they are not attending an NAC school establishment, we will require a full application form to be completed on the day. We would also require supporting evidence to allow us to process your card. If you do not have all evidence with you, please still come along and our team can discuss alternative support and what we can do help you in your application. We can also arrange to have the applicants photograph taken on the day.  

Please note: if you are under 16 you must have a parent/guardian with you who is able sign parental approval for free travel on your behalf.

For further information on our drop in sessions please contact necadmin@north-ayrshire.gov.uk.

Applying for a card or renewing a card

Applications can be made by anyone aged between 12 and 25.

To apply online, you must be at least 12 years old and need to visit Get your NEC where you will be taken through the process of setting up a My Account profile and then through the application process or if under this age the parent/carer must have access to do so for you.

If you are in attendance at a North Ayrshire Council School or have recently left to attend college or university you can apply via a simplified consent form, please email necadmin@north-ayrshire.gov.uk for further information. Others methods and advice on how to apply is noted below.

Replacement cards can be requested online via Get Your NECs replacement request form, by calling 01294 310000 or by completing our short replacement request form

Please note: if you require assistance or have any queries regarding getmynec please view their help section.

If you are looking to have the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel element added to your card and you are under 16 your parent will need apply on your behalf as this requires parental permission.

Other methods

If you are unable to apply online, please email necadmin@north-ayrshire.gov.uk to ask for an application form or call 01294 310000.

We may ask you to send further 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 with you on the day that may be suitable. 

Young Persons' Free Travel Scheme

From 31 January, nearly a million 5 to 21 year olds living in Scotland will be eligible to benefit from free bus travel. The scheme will embed sustainable travel behaviours from a young age, open doors to new opportunities, and help tot meet our target of net zero emissions by 2045.

Children and young people who are 5 to 21 years old will need a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot Nation Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC) to travel for free by bus. Parents or guardians of 5 to 15 year olds must apply on their behalf. 

Children under 5 years old already travel for free on commercial bus services and do no need a card, however you can apply two weeks before your child is due to turn 5 for their card.

For latest news on free travel scheme please see the Scottish Governments information on free bus travel for under 22s and for further information on the legislation can also be found on Transport Scotlands National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Young Persons page. 

Who is eligible?

If you are 5 to 21 years old and live in Scotland then you are eligible for free bus travel from 31 January 2022, no matter your nationality. 

AgeWhich NEC?Approval required?
0 to 4 year olds No card needed to travel for free by bus 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

You can apply online for a new or replacement card with free travel from 10 January 2022 at Get Your NEC where you will be taken through the process of setting up a My Account profile and then through the application process. 

Rules & 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.

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