Get a 16-18 photocard
If you’re between 16 and 18 years old, you could get cheaper travel to school, college or work with a 16-18 photocard. The photocard lets you buy child rate tickets. This means you get 50% off the adult rate.
You can use the card to buy child rate:
- single or return tickets
- season tickets (for one week, 4 weeks or an academic term)
- National Express Daysavers
- monthly Direct Debit tickets
You can only use the photocard for travel in the West Midlands. You must show your photocard when you travel and when you buy tickets in person.
Check if you're eligible
You can get a 16-18 photocard if you're aged 16-18 and born after 31 August 2002.
You must also live at a property where Council Tax is paid to one of these councils:
How to get a 16-18 photocard
There are 2 ways to get a 16-18 photocard. You can get the photocard on its own or with a Direct Debit or season ticket.
To get your photocard, you'll need:
- an email address
- a digital passport-sized photograph
Get a 16-18 photocard on its own
If you only want a photocard you can use it later to buy child tickets. You can get your photocard online. You'll set up a Swift account when you apply.
Get a 16-18 photocard with a ticket
Use our ticket finder to get a Direct Debit or season ticket. You’ll get it sent to you on a 16-18 photocard.
You'll get your card within 5 working days. It does not matter how you buy it. It's valid until July 31 of the academic year you turn 18.
Contact Customer Services if your card does not arrive within 5 working days.
Use your 16-18 photocard
You can use your photocard to buy Direct Debit or season tickets online. You can also use the card to buy tickets in person:
- at a travel centre
- from your local Payzone store
- at a self-service kiosk
- on a bus or tram
- at a train station (train-only tickets are issued on paper)
You must take your card with you when you travel. If you have a paper ticket, you might be asked to show your photocard as ID.
You can use your photocard for journeys that are:
- to and from school or college
- to and from your place of training or employment
If you’re at school or college, you can only use your photocard Monday to Friday in term time, unless you have a season ticket.
You must travel before 9.30am or between 3.30pm and 6pm. If you need to travel after 6pm, the journey must be in connection with either:
- your education
- your training or employment
Your photocard is only for you - you cannot share it with anyone else.
If you're buying a single or return
Show your card and ask for a single or return. Then pay in cash or with your Swift pay as you go card. You can also get day tickets on National Express coaches.
If you've got a season ticket on your photocard
You’ll use your card differently depending on how you travel.
On the bus:
- Hold your 16-18 photocard to the reader.
- Wait for the green light or beep, then board.
- Show your photocard to the inspector if requested.
On the tram, give your photocard to the conductor. They will scan it for you.
On the train, show your ticket and your 16-18 photocard to the conductor if they ask to see it. At gated rail stations, hold your card on the yellow reader for entry or exit.
If you've got a paper season ticket
You’ll need to show your ticket and your photocard when you travel. At gated rail stations, insert your paper ticket for entry and exit.
If you change your address
Contact Customer Services if you need to change the address on your photocard.
If your photocard is not loaded with a ticket you bought
If you’ve tried to add a ticket to your photocard and it’s not there, you need to collect it:
2. Use the app to load the ticket onto your card.
You can also visit one of our on-street Swift collector machines. They read your card and add any tickets you’ve bought to it.
There are over 100 Swift collectors in the West Midlands. Find your nearest Swift collector.
Replace a lost or stolen photocard
Contact Customer Services if you’ve lost your photocard. You’ll have to pay a fee of £7.50.
If your card has been stolen, report it to the police. They’ll give you a crime reference number. You can then call Customer Services to get your photocard replaced for free.
You should get your replacement card within 3 working days.