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Swift 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)
  • nBus day tickets
  • 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 2005.

You must also live at a property where Council Tax is paid to one of these councils:

  • Birmingham
  • Coventry
  • Dudley
  • Sandwell
  • Solihull
  • Walsall
  • Wolverhampton

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.

nNetwork Child tickets on Direct Debit

*You will be charged for 10 months via direct debit giving you 2 months free.
The cost per day is based on the annualised price over 365 days. Other T&Cs apply.

Applying for a 16/18 Photocard

If applying for a 16/18 photocard for the first time, then follow the steps below:

  1. Go to
  2. Select ‘Swift and Tickets’
  3. Under the column ‘Discounts and free travel passes’ click 16-18 photocard.
  4. Click ‘Apply for 16-18 photocard’.
  5. 3 different options will be presented: ‘Already have an account’, ‘new customer’ or ‘have a card but not a swift account’.
  6. You will need to select ‘Create Account’ under the new customer section.
  7. This will bring you to the young person’s account set-up page, scroll down to the information box where you will input your date of birth, then press ‘continue’.
  8. Select the box that is related to the type of education you are studying whether that be Full-Time Education or an Apprenticeship Course. Once you have selected the relevant box you will need to complete the name and address of where you study, then press ‘continue’.
  9. Next, enter your personal details, add your photo and enter a valid email address and password as this will create your account. Once completed press ‘Continue’.
  10. Once everything is completed a 16/18 photocard will be sent out to you via post, this can take up 5 working days. There is an option to purchase a pass when creating the card, if not a card can be sent out blank to be topped up at Swift Vending machines or local payzones.


Replacing 16/18 Photocard

Lost or stolen swift cards can be replaced so long the swift card is registered and there is an existing product on the card with more than 7 days remaining. Replacement cards can take up to 5 working days to arrive depending on the post.

Lost Cards

Lost cards can be replaced over the phone by calling Customer Service – Ticketing on 0345 303 6760. Swift cards can also be replaced by going online and paying the admin fee:

  1. Go to
  2. Select the ‘Swift and Tickets’
  3. The last column is ‘Manage your ticket’, you will see an option to ‘make a payment’ – click this to make a payment for a replacement card.

Logging into your swift account that was created when you made the 16/18 photocard is also another option available to replace a lost card, paying the £7.50 admin fee.

The fee for a replacement card is £7.50. Once payment has been verified a replacement card should reach you within 5 working days.

Customer Services - Ticketing

Telephone: 0345 303 6760

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 8am to 6pm
Wednesdays, 10am to 6pm
Saturdays, 9am to 1pm
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays

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:

  • 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 9.30 am or between 3.30 pm and 6 pm. If you need to travel after 6 pm, 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:

  1. Hold your 16-18 photocard to the reader.
  2. Wait for the green light or beep, then board.
  3. 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.

Customer Services - Ticketing

Telephone: 0345 303 6760

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 8am to 6pm
Wednesdays, 10am to 6pm
Saturdays, 9am to 1pm
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays

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:

1. Download the Swift collector app (available on Android or Apple iOS)

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.

Customer Services - Ticketing

Telephone: 0345 303 6760

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 8am to 6pm
Wednesdays, 10am to 6pm
Saturdays, 9am to 1pm
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays

Get nNetwork for £1.25* a day

5-18* year olds can get 2 months’ free travel across the year* on the bus, tram, and train.
For multi-modal travel get the nNetwork ticket today.

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