Get the facts on Ireland's Free Travel Scheme

South Munster Citizens Information has provided a Know your Rights piece with information and advice around the Free Travel Scheme.
Get the facts on Ireland's Free Travel Scheme

Everyone aged 66 and over, living permanently in Ireland, can get the Free Travel Scheme

WHAT is the Free Travel Scheme?

The Free Travel Scheme allows you to travel, free of charge, on public transport and some private bus and ferry services.

Who qualifies for it?

Everyone aged 66 and over, living permanently in Ireland, can get the Free Travel Scheme.

People with disabilities and carers aged under 66 may also qualify for Free Travel if they are in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment. You can check with your local Citizens Information Centre if you are unsure whether or not you qualify.

If I have Free Travel can somebody else travel with me?

If you qualify for Free Travel and you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, your partner may travel with you for free. They cannot travel with you for free, if you are under age 66 and getting Free Travel because you are getting Carer’s Allowance, or you are the nominated carer for a person getting Constant Attendance Allowance or Prescribed Relatives Allowance

If you can’t travel alone for medical reasons, you may get Free Travel for a companion. This allows a person aged over 16 to travel with you for free.

If you qualify for Free Travel, your Public Services Card (PSC) will have FT (for Free Travel) in the top left-hand corner. The letter following it shows who you can take with you:

FT-P - you can travel for free

FT+S - your spouse, partner or cohabitant can travel with you for free

FT+C - you can have a person (over 16) travel with you for free

You must carry it with you when you are using public transport.

Paper free travel passes are no longer being issued but you can still use your paper pass, if it is valid.

Where can I use Free Travel?

You can use your Free Travel on most Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus, DART and Luas Services and on certain private bus and ferry services. Free travel is also available on Local Link services.

It does not include some special services such as Dublin Bus AIRLINK services.

Are there any limits on the times when I can use my Free Travel?

There are no restrictions.

Can I use my Free Travel to travel to Northern Ireland?

You may also travel free of charge on certain cross-border services between Ireland and Northern Ireland. But to travel free in Northern Ireland, you must have a Senior Smartpass.

How do I get a Senior Smartpass?

To qualify for free travel within Northern Ireland, you must be in receipt of a Free Travel Card or Paper Pass and be aged 66 years or over. Your spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, or companion is not eligible to accompany you for free in Northern Ireland under this scheme. You can get an application form from your local Social Welfare Intreo office or Citizens Information Centre

What happens if I have Free Travel due to a disability and I start work ?

You can keep your Free Travel for 5 years, if you moved from one of the following disability payments to work:

Disability Allowance

Invalidity Pension

Partial Capacity Benefit (from Invalidity Pension)

Disablement Benefit paid along with Incapacity Supplement

You can also keep your Free Travel for 5 years if you transferred from Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension to a Community Employment, SOLAS or a Back to Work scheme.

How to apply for Free Travel

If you are aged 66 or over and are getting a social welfare pension, your Public Service Card (PSC) will be issued showing that you have Free Travel automatically. You must have completed the PSC SAFE registration process and be getting one of the following payments:

State Pension

Invalidity Pension

Blind Pension

Disability Allowance

Carer’s Allowance

If you are married or in a civil partnership, your PSC will be issued with FT-S on it. If you are cohabiting, you must fill in Part 1 and 2 of the Free Travel application form FT1.

If you are not getting one of the payments above, but you are eligible for Free Travel you must fill in the Free Travel application form FT1.

You can get an application form for Free Travel from the Department of Social Protection. The form is also available at your local post office and Citizens Information Centre.

What happens if I lose or damage my Free Travel pass or PSC?

There are currently 2 types of Free Travel Pass - a paper Free Travel Pass and a Public Services Card with Free Travel (with F-T written in the top left-hand corner). Paper passes are no longer being issued so if you need a replacement for a lost or damaged paper pass you must undergo SAFE registration and get a Public Services Card.

If your Public Services Card Free Travel is lost, stolen or damaged, you should telephone 0818 837 000 to request a replacement card.

The telephone lines for South Munster Citizens Information in Cork City are monitored from 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. In addition, the Cork City Centre CIC in Cornmarket Street is open to the public from 10am to 12.30pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the Blackpool CIC is open to the public each morning from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. Full details for all Citizens Information Centres and their opening times are available on our website.

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