Smartcard

Get Smart.

With a Smartcard you don’t need paper tickets: they’re all loaded onto a single, reusable card. It’s faster and easier – buy your tickets online, and there’s no need to queue at the ticket office.

Travelling on a Season Ticket? You can already use a Smartcard across our network.

If you’re travelling at less busy times, a Smart Super Off-Peak Day Return ticket is great value.

For certain journeys you can buy Anytime and Off-Peak tickets for Smartcard too – and we’ll be introducing these on more routes this year.

1. Great value

Our Smart Super Off-Peak Day Return tickets are only available on Smartcard, offering great value if you’re travelling at less busy times.

You get special benefits with Season Tickets on Smartcard too. Buy online and you’ll get:

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

2. Fast and flexible

Buy tickets for your Smartcard online and there’s no need to queue. Load your ticket via the Smartcard validator or ticket gate when you start your journey.

3. Durable

Plastic Smartcards are tougher than paper tickets. That means less wear and tear, and you’ll get through the ticket gates more smoothly.

4. Transparent

Log into your My ScotRail account online to see recent transactions.

5. Secure

Lost or stolen card? It’s registered in your name, so your tickets are protected.

How to sign up for a ScotRail Smartcard.

Watch our short animation about applying for a Smartcard, buying and loading tickets, and using your card when you travel with ScotRail.

1. Apply for a Smartcard

Apply online and we’ll send you a Smartcard within ten days. You'll need to take or upload a passport-style photo when you apply.

Find out more >>

2. Buy and load tickets

Buy online or at a ticket machine. To load tickets, hold your card on the reader at the ticket machine, ticket gate, or Smartcard platform validator.

Find out more >>

3. Use your Smartcard

To start and end your journey, hold your Smartcard on the reader at ticket gates or a Smartcard platform validator until the light turns green.

Find out more >>

There are two ways to get a ScotRail Smartcard:

You’ll need to take or upload a passport-style photograph when you apply, which we’ll print on your card.

You should receive your Smartcard within ten days.

No. Your first ScotRail Smartcard is free – but we may charge a replacement fee in some circumstances.

Some of our Smartcard products are age-dependent. We need your date of birth so we can offer you the relevant range of products.

Your Smartcard replaces your ScotRail photocard. You can’t buy a Season Ticket without a photocard, and other Smart products – such as Club 50 membership, Under 25 Advance Purchase and Highland Railcard – also need a photocard.

You’ll be shown how to upload a photo when you apply online. You can either upload a 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

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

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

Ordering a Smartcard for a child? Download the application form below.

You may be asked to provide proof of age if you're travelling with a Child card or Club 50 card.

Normally you only need one. If you want to join Club 50 you’ll need a Club 50 Smartcard.

No, but every member of your family can have their own Smartcard.

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

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

We’re 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.

No. You can only use a Smartcard on ScotRail services.

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

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

We’re extending Smartcard ticketing to more and more routes, so keep checking for further updates.

Note: Smartcards are currently only accepted on ScotRail services.

It depends on the type of ticket. For example, Anytime tickets allow you to break your journey, but Advance tickets are only valid for the train you’ve booked.

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

When you buy a Season Ticket on Smartcard you’ll get other exclusive 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 you and three adults travelling together on your usual Season Ticket route

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

Online

Enter your journey details and choose the Smartcard delivery option at checkout (where available). You’ll be asked to enter your Smartcard number. Before you travel, hold your Smartcard on the yellow reader on a platform validator, a ticket machine or a ticket gate to load the ticket onto your card.

Allow three hours from buying your ticket before loading it onto your Smartcard.

From a ticket machine

Just hold your card over the reader and follow the instructions. The ticket will be added to your Smartcard straight away.

Standard Smartcards can hold up to four products, and Club 50 Smartcards can hold up to eight products. To make sure all your tickets load onto the card, buy one ticket per transaction.

Yes. It loads onto the card immediately, and will appear in your online account the next day.

Log into My ScotRail and you’ll see all the ticket details on your account.

You can also check your tickets at ticket machines.

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

No. You can’t put a ScotRail ticket on other Smartcards such as SPT, Oyster, or NEC. But you can add SPT subway tickets to your ScotRail Smartcard.

You can make changes and get refunds on some tickets, with an administration fee.

If you bought your ticket online please call the Web Support team on 0344 811 0142.

Otherwise contact our Smartcard team on 0344 811 0141.

It can take a couple of seconds for the card to validate on the yellow target area. If the problem continues, let one of the ScotRail team know and continue on your journey – or call our Smartcard team on 0344 811 0141.

You’ll need to buy a new ticket for your journey.

You may be eligible for a refund of the replacement ticket under certain circumstances. Call our Smartcard team on 0344 811 0141 between 07:00 and 22:00 Monday to Friday to find out more.

Call our Smartcard team on 0344 811 0141. They'll send you a new card, and cancel your old one to make sure no one else uses it. There might be an admin charge for replacement cards.

When you receive your new card, get in touch with the Smartcard team to get your remaining tickets loaded onto it.

Log into My ScotRail to edit your account details.

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