Smartcard

Get Smart.

ScotRail Smartcards store your tickets so you just need to tap in and out at the start and end of your journey.

Season Ticket holders can already enjoy using Smartcard across the ScotRail network. Our brand new Smart Super Off-Peak Day Return tickets are also now available, offering great value if you’re travelling at less busy times.

Anytime and Off-Peak tickets can be purchased for Smartcard on certain routes and we’ll be rolling these out across more of the ScotRail network this year.

Want to find out more? Check out how it works and the benefits of Smart below or browse our frequently asked questions

1. Apply for a Smartcard

Apply online and you'll receive your Smartcard within ten days. You'll need to take or upload a passport-style photo as part of the application process.

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2. Buy and load tickets

Buy online or at a ticket vending machine. Tap your Smartcard on the yellow reader on a validator, ticket machine or ticket gate to load the ticket.

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3. Use your Smartcard

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

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1. Great value

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

And customers buying Season Tickets on Smartcard will get these 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 both 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 gates when you start your journey.

3. Durable

Our plastic Smartcards are tougher than paper tickets, so there’s less wear and tear and you’ll get through the ticket gates more smoothly.

4. Transparent

Log into your secure Smartcard account online at My ScotRail to see recent journeys and transactions.

5. Secure

Your Smartcard is registered in your name so your tickets are protected if your Smartcard is lost or stolen.

There are several ways to get a ScotRail Smartcard:

When you sign up you'll be asked to provide a passport-style photograph, which will be printed on your card.

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

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

A Club 50 membership costs £15 per year.

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

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.

When you apply for your Smartcard online 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

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 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.

You may be asked to provide proof of age if you are travelling with a Smartcard designated as a Child card or Club 50 card.

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.

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

You can purchase 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 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.

Currently our Smartcards are only accepted on ScotRail services.

You can purchase 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 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.

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

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.

Customers buying Season Tickets on Smartcard will 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 both you and three adults travelling together on your usual Season Ticket route

You can buy ScotRail tickets for Smartcard online and at ticket vending 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, tap your Smartcard on the yellow reader on a Smartcard validator, a ticket vending machine or a ticket gate to load the ticket onto your card. Please note: allow three hours from purchasing your ticket before attempting to load it onto your Smartcard.

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

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 Smartcard validator in a single transaction.

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

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 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 vending machines.

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

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 sometimes takes a couple of seconds for a Smartcard 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.

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

If you forget your Smartcard there'll be no way of knowing if you have a valid ticket for your journey so 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.

Call our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141. They'll arrange for a new card to be issued, and 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.

When you receive your new card The Smartcard team can also arrange to have your remaining entitlement made available for you.

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.