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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 1 week, 4 weeks or an academic term)
  • bus day tickets
  • monthly direct debit tickets

Check if you're eligible

You can get a 16-18 photocard if you're aged 16-18 and born after 31 August 2005.

It's valid until July 31 of the academic year you turn 18. 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.

Get a 16-18 photocard on its own

If you would like a 16-18 photocard without purchasing a ticket, you can apply online.

Log in or create an account

You can use your 16-18 photocard straight away to purchase child fare tickets and can add season tickets.

Get a 16-18 photocard with a ticket

  1. Use our ticket finder to find the best ticket for you. Select ‘Young Person’ from the drop-down
  2. Press 'Buy on Swift'
  3. Log into or create your Swift account
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your purchase
  5. Your ticket will automatically be loaded onto your 16-18 photocard
  6. The card will be ready to use when it arrives in the post within 5 working days

Adding a ticket to an existing Swift 16-18 photocard

If you already have a 16-18 photocard, you can purchase your ticket using our ticket finder.

  1. Use our ticket finder to find the best ticket for your child
  2. Press 'Buy on Swift'
  3. Log into your Swift account
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your purchase
  5. You will then need to 'collect' your ticket onto the Swift child photo card using the TfWM app. You can also do this at a Swift ticket machine.

 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 ticket machine
  • 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.

Using your 16-18 photocard

On the bus, hold your card next to the reader. Wait for the green light or beep.

On the tram, hand your card to the conductor. They will scan it for you.

On the train, hand your card to the conductor. You can also hold your card on the yellow reader to open entry and exit gates at stations.

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.

You can buy tickets for a Swift 16-19 photocard:

Contact us if you need to change the address on your photocard.

It is likely that you have not collected your ticket onto your card. The easiest way to collect your ticket is by using the TfWM app

  1. Download the TfWM app
  2. Open the app and select ‘Collector'
  3. Hold your 16-18 photocard to the back of your phone to collect your ticket onto your card

    You can also visit one of our Swift ticket machines. They read your card and add any tickets you’ve bought to it.

    You can find a list of our Swift ticket machines here.

    Contact us 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.

    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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