Smartcard

To make your travelling experience easier, we're replacing paper tickets with brand new paperless Smartcards.

A ScotRail Smartcard will store your tickets electronically, so you just need to touch in and out at the gates, giving you a faster, smoother journey.

Smartcards offer better value and feature great promotions. Season Ticket holders who travel on annual, monthly and weekly tickets can already enjoy using Smartcard. New routes will be rolled out to our customers this year and you'll find an even bigger selection of ticket types.

If you encounter any problems or would like more information, contact our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141.

1. Apply for your Smartcard

Apply online or call our dedicated Smartcard Team. You'll need an unobscured photo of your head and shoulders that's roughly passport sized (35x45mm). You'll receive your Smartcard within about seven working days. Click on the FAQs tab for full details.

2. Load tickets onto your Smartcard

Season Tickets can be added to your Smartcard online or at the station and will start from the date you choose. On some routes you can buy other types of tickets on Smartcard. Our staff are on hand to help.

3. Use your Smartcard

To use your Smartcard, hold and hover it on the yellow card reader at the ticket gates or on a Smartcard validator. Wait a couple of seconds until the light turns to green and then carry on. Do the same to exit a station. Click on the FAQs tab for full details.

Getting rid of your old paper ticket will make train travel much easier. Here's how using a Smartcard will benefit you:

1. Great value

Our best promotional offers will appear on Smartcards. Customers buying Season Tickets on Smartcard will get an array of benefits online:

  • A third off Standard Off-Peak single and return tickets for you and three adults aged 16+ when you're travelling together
  • A £5 First Class upgrade on off-peak travel for both you and three adults travelling together on your usual Season Ticket route

2. Fast and flexible

You won’t need to queue for tickets anymore and getting through the ticket gates is a lot smoother. You can choose from an array of ticket choices and great deals to suit all types of journeys.

3. Durable

Plastic Smartcards are tougher than paper tickets, so there’s less wear and tear, no ticket rejection at the station and you’re less likely to need a replacement.

4. Transparent

You can access your secure Smartcard account online showing recent journeys and transactions.

5. Secure

Your Smartcard will be registered in your name, meaning your tickets are protected if your Smartcard gets lost or stolen.

When you sign up for a ScotRail Smartcard you'll be asked to take or upload a passport-style photograph, which will be printed on your card.

We cannot sell a Season Ticket without a valid photocard and other Smart products, such as Club 50 membership, Under 25 Advance Purchase and Highland Railcard, also require a photocard.

Your photo Smartcard replaces the need for a separate ScotRail photocard.

Some of our Smartcard products are age-dependent. We need your date of birth in order to offer you the relevant range of products.

Your initial ScotRail Adult Smartcard is free but we may charge a replacement fee in some circumstances.

A Club 50 Smartcard and membership costs £15 per year.

When you apply for your Smartcard you’ll be taken through our photo upload process. This lets you choose to upload an existing recent photograph or take a fresh one with your device's camera – simply follow the instructions on screen.

Photo rules

  • The picture must be a photo of you and nothing else
  • It must be of passport picture quality (light background, only head and shoulders visible, face not covered and in focus)
  • Your face must be evenly and well lit
  • Your face must not be obscured by hats or hair
  • We prefer colour pictures but black and white images are acceptable too

Anyone from the age of 5 can get a Smartcard. You must be 16 years old or over to sign up for a Smartcard online and to buy tickets online.

Parents or guardians can apply for a Smartcard for children by downloading or requesting an application form.

We’ve designed the Smartcard so that you only need one. However, if you wish to take advantage of Club 50 membership discounts you'll need to ensure you have a Club 50 Smartcard.

You can purchase Season Tickets for a Smartcard on certain ScotRail routes.

Download the route map

You can buy Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets on Smartcard on certain other routes. Look out for Smart tickets and the Smartcard delivery option when you buy online.

We are extending Smartcard ticketing to more and more routes, so keep checking this site for further updates.

Yes. As long as you're using a Smartcard with your photograph on it, you'll no longer need to carry your photocard.

You may be asked to provide proof of age if you are travelling with a Smartcard designated as a Child card. This is the same for paper tickets too.

Once we receive your application, your new Smartcard will be posted out to you within seven working days.

Each member of your family can get their own Smartcard. There are several ways to get a ScotRail Smartcard:

There are several ways to get a ScotRail Smartcard:

On certain routes you can buy Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets to put on your Smartcard. Look out for Smart tickets and the Smartcard delivery option when you buy online.

We are extending Smartcard ticketing to more and more routes, so keep checking this site for further updates.

You can buy tickets for Smartcard online and at ticket vending machines.

When you buy online, you must specify the Smartcard number. Then, before you travel, you must tap your Smartcard on the yellow reader on a platform validator, a ticket vending machine or a ticket gate.

When you buy a ticket at a ticket vending machine it will be added to your Smartcard automatically - just hold your card over the reader and follow the instructions.

Refunds are available for unused portions of a Season Ticket.

If you purchased your Season Ticket on our website please contact the Web Support team on 0344 811 0142.

Otherwise contact our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141 to ask about a refund - please be aware that we may charge you an administration fee.

It is not possible to put a ScotRail ticket on other Smartcards, eg SPT, Oyster, NEC. However, you can add SPT tickets to your ScotRail Smartcard.

Current cards can hold up to four products and newer cards will hold up to eight. We advise that you purchase one ticket per transaction (there is no additional cost) as there's currently a limit on how many tickets we're able to send to the gate or validator in a single transaction.

Smartcard tickets are the same price as the same paper tickets, but some of our best value products will only be available on Smartcard, like our new Smart Super Off-Peak Day Return.

Being a Smart Season Ticket holder will entitle you to other online benefits. Click on the 'What are the benefits?' tab on the Smartcard page for more details.

You can purchase Season Tickets for a Smartcard on all ScotRail routes.

You can buy Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets on Smartcard on certain other routes (look out for Smart tickets and the Smartcard delivery option when you buy online).

We are extending Smartcard ticketing to more and more routes, so keep checking this site for further updates.

Note: Smartcards are currently only accepted on ScotRail services.

We are in the process of extending Smartcard ticketing to more and more routes across the ScotRail network. Keep checking this site for further updates.

You can buy Season Tickets, Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets on Smartcard on certain routes. Look out for Smart tickets and the Smartcard delivery option when you buy online.

Currently Smartcards are only accepted on ScotRail services.

It sometimes takes a couple of seconds for the card to validate on the yellow target area. If the problem persists, please let a ScotRail representative know and continue on your journey or contact our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141.

Where the type of ticket you hold permits a break of journey then you will be able to do so.

You can put tickets purchased from SPT onto your ScotRail Smartcard, as well as tickets bought online at scotrail.co.uk and from our ticket vending machines.

On-train staff carry hand-held readers to check the tickets loaded onto your Smartcard.

Since there'll be no way of knowing if you have a valid ticket for your journey, you may be asked to purchase a new ticket. You may be eligible for a refund of the replacement ticket under certain circumstances. Call our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141 anytime between 07:00-22:00 Monday to Friday to enquire.

The easiest way is by logging into My ScotRail on the website.

Our ticket vending machines at stations will also display the tickets you have on your Smartcard.

You can change your personal details by logging into your My ScotRail online account and following the link to "Edit account details".

If you want to cancel your Smartcard please call our Smartcard team on 0344 811 0141 anytime between 07:00-22:00 Monday to Friday.

When you first purchase a ticket online and select Smartcard as the fulfilment method, you'll be asked to enter the number from the front of your Smartcard.

Call our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141. They'll arrange for a new card to be issued with your remaining entitlement on it. They'll also cancel your old card to make sure no one else can use it. Please note that an admin charge may be applied for replacement cards.

Yes. However, although a ticket is loaded to the card immediately, it will only appear in your online account the next day.