16+ Travel Card

Bus travel in Kent for over 16s in school, college or training.

Find out more about the 16+ Travel Card by downloading our parents and student's guide (PDF, 520.3 KB).

When to apply

Applications for the second half-year Kent 16+ Travel Card scheme opened on Monday 19 November 2018.

You need to apply by 4 January 2019 to be able to collect your child's card from school on the first day of term (25 February 2019). Any applications received after this date will be processed within 28 working days.

Please note that the deadline date for first half and full year pass is 30 November 2018. After this date you will only be able to apply for the second-half year pass.

Apply or renew online

The quickest way to renew your pass, or apply for the first time, is online.  

You will need:

  • the name of your school, college or learning provider
  • a debit or credit card
  • a passport photo saved in JPEG format, no larger than 40KB. Minimum image dimensions are 96 pixels x 134 pixels, maximum dimensions are 132 pixels x 169 pixels. Resize your photo online with BeFunky.

If you don't want to upload a new photograph for your renewal, you will need to renew by post.

Apply or renew online

Apply or renew by post

Complete our 16+ Travel Card application form (PDF, 1.1 MB) and return it with a cheque or postal order payment to:

Kent 16+ Travel Card, Public Transport, Kent County Council, PO Box 441, Aylesford, ME6 9HJ.

Please note, all cheques and postal orders must be made payable to Kent County Council.

For more information, download the 16+ Travel Card leaflet (PDF, 520.3 KB) or the 16+ guide for parents. (PDF, 562.4 KB)

To get a Kent 16+ Travel Card you must:

  • be 16 to 19 years old - to be eligible for a travel card for the academic year beginning September 2018 your date of birth must be between 01/09/1999 and 31/08/2002 (in academic years 12-14)
  • live in a house that pays Council Tax to Kent County Council
  • attend a participating school, college or work-based learning provider.

If your school, college or employer is based outside Kent, but you live in Kent you can still apply.

If you live in Medway or a London borough with a Kent postal address (for example Bromley) you cannot apply and should contact your own council to find out about their schemes.

Full year travel card

A card for the full academic year costs £400. There is no administration fee for applying for the pass and you will need to make the payment directly KCC. You must complete our application; making payment to your child's learning provider will not submit an application for the scheme.

Part year travel cards

You can buy travel cards to cover all or part of the academic year. The cost is based on when we receive the application:

16+ pass typeDurationCost
First half year pass1 September 2018 to 1 March 2019£200
Second half year pass25 February 2019 to 31 August 2019£200
Full year pass1 September to 2018 to 31 August 2019£400

Getting help with the cost

Speak to your school, college or employer to ask for help towards the cost if:

  • your household income is between £16,191 and £20,817 a year - you should pay between £200 and £400
  • your household income is less than £16,191 a year (the same as our free school meals criteria) - you should pay no more than £200
  • you are an employed 16 to 19 year old apprentice who can demonstrate hardship caused by travel pressures - you should pay between £200 and £400.

If you've received the full vulnerable learner bursary payment or your household income is more than £20,818 you'll pay £400.

Refunds for returned cards

If you leave your education or training or don't need your card for any other reason, we'll refund you part of the cost paid for the pass based on the terms where it has been used. You'll have to pay a £10 administration fee.

You need to return your pass to KCC to claim for the unused terms.

Passes returned in term (between dates)Refund due
Not collected, or returned before the start of the year£390
Term 1: 3 September 2018 to 19 October 2018£323.35
Term 2: 22 October to 19 December 2018£256.68
Term 3: 20 December 2018 to 15 February 2019£190.01
Term 4: 18 February 2019 to 5 April 2019£123.34
Term 5: 8 April 2019 to 24 May 2019£56.67
Term 6: no full term remaining£0

We'll send your travel card to your school, college or employer within 28 working days of receiving your application. If you applied by 13 July 2018, your travel card will be ready for the first day of term in September.

We have agreed with bus operators that for the first few days of the academic year (week commencing 3 September 2018), students who have applied on time and need to collect their new pass from school or college should be allowed to travel free of charge. If they have it, your child should carry their old pass, but anyone who would qualify for the scheme should be allowed to travel without any proof of payment or eligibility.

Once your application has been processed, you will receive an email or letter as confirmation. You no longer need to present a letter in order to travel and we are therefore not providing them.

You can use your 16+ travel card all day, all year. Cards run out on 31 August.

The card allows free travel on most public buses. You can't use it on private bus services and coaches.

See a list of all operators taking part (PDF, 94.1 KB)

Travel outside Kent

Use Traveline to plan your bus journey.

Outside of Kent: you can use your pass to travel to counties bordering Kent as long as the journey starts or ends in Kent. You can't use it on London buses.

Medway: you can use your pass as long as your journey starts or ends within the Kent County Council administrative area, but you cannot use your pass to make journeys from one Medway point to another Medway point.

If you experience any problems with the bus service that you are using, you should contact the bus operator. If this doesn't resolve the issue, you can email the 16+ Travel Card Team at kent16plustravelcard@kent.gov.uk.

Behaviour of card holders

You are expected to follow the code of conduct at all times and the bus company's conditions of carriage.

If you don't your pass may be taken away or you may even be banned from travelling on certain buses.

Download the 16+ Travel Card code of conduct leaflet (PDF, 661.9 KB).

Download the 16+ Travel Card terms and conditions (PDF, 88.9 KB).

Lost, stolen or damaged passes

To get a replacement pass please call us on 03000 41 84 84 with your child's name, address and school. You will need a debit or credit card.

Cost: £10 per replacement

Pay: by debit or credit card if you call us or send a cheque or postal order with your child's name, address and school (made payable to Kent County Council) to Kent 16+ Travel Card (Replacement), Kent County Council, Public Transport, PO Box 441, Aylesford, Kent ME6 9HJ.

You can have 3 replacement passes per school year.

Temporary passes

We'll send a temporary pass to your home for your child to show the driver whilst you're waiting for your replacement. We usually do this within 10 working days of receiving payment.

We'll send the replacement pass to the school before the temporary one runs out.

Found passes

If you have found a bus pass please contact one of our staff:

Changes to your details

If your circumstances change, for example if your child changes school or address, please email the details to kent16plustravelcard@kent.gov.uk.