Free travel for ex-members of the defence forces with a disability

    Overview

    If you have an Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, you and your approved attendant are entitled to free travel on public transport in NSW.

    You must carry your Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card with you at all times to receive free travel and as proof of entitlement.

    Sydney and surrounding areas – Opal network

    With an Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, all you need to do is show your pass to transport staff for free travel on trains, buses, most ferries and light rail.

    If you also have a free travel Opal card, you can open ticket gates at train stations and ferry wharves, excluding the ticket gates at Sydney Airport stations.

    Regional NSW – outside Opal network

    With an Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, you receive free travel on regular local bus services.

    If you reside outside the Sydney and Newcastle areas, you are also entitled to three return or six single free journeys on NSW TrainLink Regional services, each calendar year, for travel within NSW or the NSW portion of an interstate journey.

    Ex-Member of Defence Forces
    Transport Concession Entitlement Card

    You are eligible to apply for an Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, if you meet the following criteria:

    • You are residing permanently in NSW.
    • You are a war veteran from Australia, New Zealand or a WW2 Allied Nation with reciprocal pension rights with Australia, and
    • You have been rated by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) as having a service-related disability of 10 per cent or greater for which you receive a disability pension, or
    • You receive periodic payments or have received a lump sum payment from DVA for permanent impairment compensation and your overall impairment points determined under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (Cwlth) for injuries or diseases related to overseas warlike or non-warlike service are at least 10 points.

    Warlike and non-warlike service is as defined in the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation (Warlike Service) Determination 2012 (No.1) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation (Non-warlike Service) Determination 2012 (No. 2) made under 6(1)(a) of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (Cwlth) and any subsequent Determinations made under that part.

    How to apply

    To apply for or renew your Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, you need to apply on the Transport Concession Entitlement Card website.

    You will need your DVA number for the application.

    When your eligibility is confirmed, your card will be mailed to you within 8-10 working days. If you are found to be ineligible, you will be advised when applying.

    You can apply for the free travel Opal card on the same form.

    The Ex-Members of Defence Force Transport Concession Entitlement Card is issued free of charge and is valid for up to three years or until your entitlement ceases (e.g. if you move interstate).


    Sydney and surrounding areas – Opal network

    Opal is an electronic ticketing system used on public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

    On the Opal network, if you have an Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, you can travel for free with your pass. This does not include the Sydney Airport station access fee.

    • Required: Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card – show to transport staff.
    • Optional: Free travel Opal card – opens gates automatically at stations and wharves without assistance from staff, excluding the ticket gates at the Sydney Airport stations.

    If you have an approved attendant they can travel with you for free if your Transport Concession Entitlement Card or Opal card is marked "Plus Attendant". This does not include the Sydney Airport station access fee.

    How to get your free travel Opal card

    If you already have an Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, you are eligible for the free travel Opal card. To apply, call 131 500 quoting your name, address and date of birth or email concessions@transport.nsw.gov.au with 'Ex-Defence' in the subject line, quoting your name, date of birth and address.

    If you are applying for a new Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, you can apply for the free travel Opal card at the same time on the Transport Concession Entitlement Card website. You will need your DVA number for the application.

    The free travel Opal card is optional and not a requirement for free travel. It enables you to open ticket gates without the assistance of transport staff. 

    At Sydney Airport train stations, you will need to show your proof of entitlement to staff to pay a Concession Sydney Airport station access fee at the gate. 

    The free travel Opal card is valid for five years or until your entitlement ceases.

    Travelling with your free travel Opal card

    You must carry your Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card when you travel with your free Opal card.

    Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card and Free travel Opal card

    If you do not have your Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, you are required to pay for and travel with an Adult fare, or you may be fined.

    For Opal terms of use and travel benefits, visit the Opal website.


    Travelling to and from Sydney Airport train stations

    • With your proof of entitlement, you are entitled to a Concession Sydney Airport station access fee. You will need to show your proof of entitlement to staff and pay at the gate.
    • Without your proof of entitlement, you are required to pay the Adult Sydney Airport station access fee.

    Read more about travelling to the airport by train and the Sydney Airport station access fee.


    Regional NSW - outside Opal network

    If you have an Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card you are entitled to free travel on privately-operated regular route local bus services. If you have an approved attendant they can travel with you for free if your pass is marked "Plus Attendant".

    If you reside outside the Sydney and Newcastle suburban areas, you are also entitled to:

    • Three return or six single free journeys on NSW TrainLink Regional services, each calendar year, for travel within NSW or the portion of an interstate journey.
    • Free travel for your attendant on these journeys if your pass is marked "Plus Attendant".

    When travelling interstate with your free journeys, you will need to pay the applicable fare from the NSW border to the interstate destination.

    Once these free journeys have been used, you and your attendant must pay an adult fare.

    Please note: Concessions do not apply when booking sleeping berths.

    You need to present your pass at any NSW TrainLink ticket office or accredited travel agency when you book and before you travel.

    Other privately owned and operated services may offer concessions at their own discretion. Check with local transport operators before you travel.


    Exceptions

    Free travel and concession fares are not available on fast ferry services between Manly and Circular Quay, event shuttle buses, chartered bus services and Great Southern Rail services.

    If you reside in Sydney or Newcastle, there are no concessions for you or your attendant (if you have one) on NSW TrainLink Regional services.


    Replacement cards

    • Ex-Member of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card: Order a replacement on  the Transport Concession Entitlement Card website or call 131 500. A replacement fee may apply.
    • Free travel Opal card: Call 131 500. A replacement fee may apply.

    Contact the Transport Concessions Office

    Mail: Locked Bag 5085, Parramatta NSW 2124
    Phone: 131 500
    Email: concessions@transport.nsw.gov.au