Travelling with animals

You can travel with an assistance animal on all forms of public transport, if you carry an Assistance Animal Permit. Guide dogs and hearing dogs with accreditation do not require a permit.

The Assistance Animal Permit is valid in NSW on all trains, buses, ferries, light rail and taxis. Your Assistance Animal Permit has a photo of the nominated assistance animal on it and cannot be used for another animal. Apply for a permit.

To find out if other services recognise the permit, contact the operator. See transport operators.

Travelling with an assistance animal

When you travel with an assistance animal you need to ensure that:

  • you have a valid ticket or pass for your trip (your animal travels free)
  • you are responsible for the conduct, care, feeding and toileting of your animal
  • the animal must be under the control of the registered handler at all times
  • your guide or hearing dog wears a harness or medallion of registration. Interstate and internationally certified guide and hearing dogs are recognised. All other animals must be certified as a trained assistance animal.
  • you use the wide gate to enter and exit at larger gated ferry terminals and stations.

Pets or other animals are permitted on some transport services.

Animals on trains

Only assistance animals and police or security dogs may travel on trains. Other animals and pets are not permitted on stations or trains.

Animals on buses and light rail

Assistance animals and assistance animals in training can travel on light rail services. Assistance Animal Permits are not needed for guide dogs and hearing dogs with accreditation. 

With the permission of the bus driver or light rail staff, other animals may travel on buses or light rail services if the animal accompanies a customer, is suitably confined in a box, basket or other container and is under control. Animals may not travel if they interfere with the comfort or safety of customers or staff.

Animals on Sydney and Newcastle ferries

Assistance animals and assistance animals in training are allowed on Sydney and Newcastle ferries.

You may be allowed to board with a pet or other animal if it is confined in a box, basket or other container, as required by the NSW Passenger Transport Act and regulations.

When boarding a ferry with a pet or other animal please be aware that:

  • the animal must be restrained in a suitable box, basket or other container at all times while on board the ferry
  • the ferry master may refuse to allow the animal on the ferry if the vessel is reaching its capacity
  • animals that are not clean, appear vicious or likely to annoy, threaten or inconvenience other customers will not be allowed on a ferry
  • animals are not allowed on seats and must not obstruct passageways
  • animals should not travel in enclosed ferry cabin areas unless outdoor areas are unavailable
  • you should keep your animal away from other travelling animals to ensure the safety and comfort of other customers and pets

How to apply for a permit

To obtain an Assistance Animal Permit, you need to provide:

  • medical evidence you have a disability and that the assistance animal alleviates the effects of the disability
  • documentation that your assistance animal has received appropriate training from an accredited training organisation.

You can download an Assistance Animal Permit application form, obtain one from the Transport Concessions office, or the NSW branch of Vision Australia or Guide Dogs Australia. Completed applications should be sent to the Transport Concessions Office. Permits are issued for free and valid for 12 months.

Contact the Transport Concessions Office

By mail: Locked Bag 5085 Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone: 131 500