Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions for tertiary students

 

1 Who can apply for a Concession Opal card?

The Concession Opal card is available to all eligible full-time tertiary students enrolled at participating institutions

 

You're eligible to apply for a Concession Opal card if you:

 

  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • Reside in New South Wales
  • Are enrolled in an Australian Qualifications Framework, accredited higher education or vocational education and training course, at a tertiary institution authorised by Transport for NSW to issue tertiary student concessions
  • Are a full-time student enrolled on an internal basis (except where a person, by reason of disability, is enrolled on a part-time basis and/or on an external basis)

Note: ‘a full-time student’ means:

 

  • a university student who is considered to be enrolled on a full-time basis by their university; or
  • a student at an Institution other than a university who is enrolled in an accredited course of study requiring at least 16 hours per week of classes for a continuous period of at least six weeks.

If you're eligible for a Concession Opal card you must carry a proof of entitlement when travelling to prove you’re entitled to concession travel.

 

For travel within the Opal network (in conjunction with your Concession Opal card) your proof of entitlement can be either:

 

For travel in rural/regional NSW, you’ll need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card. Note: If you need to travel in rural/regional only occasionally, you will need to pay a full adult fare unless you carry a Transport Concession Entitlement Card when you travel

2 How do I apply for a Concession Opal card?

If you’re at a TAFE NSW college, you can apply straight away – go to step 1 below.

 

If you're at any other institution, for privacy reasons you’ll first need to check with your student centre whether you have already given your consent for your institution to share your details with Transport for NSW. If you haven’t, and your institution doesn’t have a specific online form for this, you need to complete this consent form and hand it in to your student centre.

 

Once you've given your consent wait up to two business days^ for Transport for NSW to receive your details, then follow these two steps: 

 

Step 1Check this list to see if your student photo ID card is ‘approved’ as proof of entitlement.

 

If your institution is on the list you can travel with your student photo ID card as proof of entitlement to concession fares with your Concession Opal card. If your institution isn’t on the list, you need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card.

Step 2Order your Concession Opal card online or call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL).

 

ˆ May vary depending on the tertiary institution and circumstances.

3 Why do I need to give permission for my tertiary institution to share my personal information with Transport for NSW?

Privacy laws prevent your tertiary institution sharing your personal information without your consent. That's why you have to give your consent as part of your enrolment or by visiting your main student office or student centre.

4 What personal information is shared between my tertiary institution and Transport for NSW?

The information shared is your full-time status, Student ID number, surname and first name and date of birth as per your enrolment information.

5 What should I do if my institution is not participating?

If your tertiary institution isn't a participating institution you'll need to travel using an Adult Opal card or an Adult Opal single trip ticket. Tertiary students are not allowed to use Child/Youth Opal cards or Child Youth single trip tickets.

6  How do I know if the Concession Opal card is available for students at my tertiary institution?

You can view an up-to-date listing of the tertiary institutions whose students can apply for the Concession Opal card.

7  Can I just carry my Student ID card when travelling with my Concession opal card?

Yes, but only if your institution is on the list of institutions that issue an ‘approved’ form of student photo ID. If your institution is not listed then you’ll need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and carry it with you at all times when travelling.

8  What's a Transport Concession Entitlement Card?

It’s a card proving your entitlement to concession fares. You only need one for travel in the Opal network (in conjunction with a Concession Opal card) if your institution is not on the list of institutions issuing an Approved Form of Student ID. If it is on the list, you can just use your approved student photo ID card to prove you’re entitled to concession fares.

 

If you need to travel outside the Opal network, you’ll also need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card.

 

See more FAQs about Transport Concession Entitlement Cards.

9  I’ve heard something about a green paper concession card and foils. What are they?

The previous green paper Tertiary Student Concession Cards and foils are no longer being used after 31 March 2017.

10  I had a concession foil last year and I already have my Concession Opal Card. Can I keep using it this year without having to do anything further?

No. Your Opal card will stop working unless you have re-enrolled this year at the same institution.

11  If I'm travelling outside of the Opal network, how do I get a travel concession?

Apply For travel in rural/regional NSW you need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and show it to bus drivers to purchase a concession fare.

 

When making a reservation and purchasing a ticket for travel on NSW TrainLink services you’ll need to produce your Transport Concession Entitlement Card and quote your student ID number which is printed on the back of the card.

 

See more FAQs about Transport Concession Entitlement Cards.

12  When I apply for a Concession Opal card why do you need to check my tertiary student number?

We use your tertiary student number to confirm your identity and that you're eligible for the Concession Opal card.

13  My student number isn't accepted when I apply online for a Concession Opal card, what should I do?

Your name and student number needs to be entered online exactly as it appears on your enrolment information. If you still have problems contact your tertiary institution; they may need to confirm your eligibility to Transport for NSW.

14  I'm a full-time student but my hours/units are spread across two or more tertiary institutions, can I get the Concession Opal card?

If that's the case you need to contact one of your tertiary institutions and get them to confirm your eligibility (by contacting all other relevant institutions) before applying for the Concession Opal card.

15  When I finish my tertiary course what happens to my Concession Opal card?

When you're no longer eligible, you'll be advised prior to the cancellation of your Concession Opal card. Contact 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) and we can transfer any value left on your card across to a new Adult Opal card.

16  What if I change tertiary institutions, can I still use the same Concession Opal card?

No, your old card will be cancelled. To get a new Concession Opal card you will need to confirm you're eligible with your new tertiary institution. If you are, complete a new privacy consent form and order a new Concession Opal card. If you need to transfer any balance from your old card onto your new card, please call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL).

17  Can I continue to use my Concession Opal card if I change institutions during the year?

No, if your Concession Opal card is linked to one institution. If you are no longer enrolled at that institution, your Opal card will stop working and you will need to apply for another Concession Opal card using your student number from the new institution.

18  How long is a Concession Opal card valid for?

It's valid as long as you remain an eligible tertiary student. When you are no longer eligible we will advise you. Contact 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) to order a new Adult Opal card and transfer any value left on your card, or apply for a refund

19  Can I get a Concession Opal card from an Opal retailer?

No, you need to apply online or call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) so we can confirm your eligibility for the concession.

20  Can I apply for two Concession Opal cards if I'm a full-time student at two different tertiary institutions?

No, you're only entitled to one Concession Opal card, which is not transferable.

21  I go to a tertiary institution in NSW that's outside the Opal network area; can I apply for a Concession Opal Card?

Yes, any eligible full-time tertiary student in NSW can apply for a Concession Opal card, as long as you attend a participating tertiary institution. To apply, first give your consent to your tertiary institution so they can share your eligibility status with Opal.

 

You’ll also need to check whether your institution is on the list of institutions that issue ‘approved’ Student ID cards. If it’s not on the list, you’ll need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card as proof of entitlement to concession fares.

22  Can I order the Opal card and get it delivered to another address?

Yes, your residential address and the delivery address you nominate during the application can be different.

23  Can I apply for a Concession Opal card using a smart phone?

No. You won’t be able to conduct the transaction over the Opal mobile site. For online applications, please use a desktop computer or tablet.

24  What should I do if I lose my Concession Opal card?

If you lose your Concession Opal card contact Opal on 13 67 25 (13 OPAL), so we can cancel your old card and transfer any value onto a replacement card. The replacement Concession Opal card will take around 5-7 working days to arrive. During this time you should travel using an Adult Opal card or Adult Opal single trip ticket. Please note, tertiary students are not allowed to use Child/Youth Opal cards or Child Youth single trip tickets. Fines may apply if you don’t have a valid ticket.

25  Can I switch to auto top up after I get my card?

Yes, you can switch to auto top up at any time by simply logging into your account and following the prompts. Alternatively, call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL).

26  What is the minimum auto top up amount?

The minimum auto top up for Concession Opal cards is $20, which is half the Adult Opal card amount.

27  Does a Concession Opal card need to have a minimum balance in order to use it?

Yes, you need a minimum amount on your Concession Opal card to tap on. For trains it's $1.18 off peak and $1.69 peak; for ferries $2.87; and for the Stockton Ferry, buses and light rail it's $1.05. To ensure you can travel, keep your Opal card topped up, or set up auto top up

28  Can I use my Concession Opal card as a proof of concession for travel outside the Opal network?

No, a Concession Opal card isn't a proof of concession. 

 

For travel in rural/regional NSW you need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and show it to bus drivers to purchase a concession fare.

 

When making a reservation and purchasing a ticket for travel on NSW TrainLink services you’ll need to produce your Transport Concession Entitlement Card and quote your student ID number which is printed on the back of the card.

 

See more FAQs about Transport Concession Entitlement Cards.

29  I want a Concession Opal card but don't want to share any of my details. Can I get a Concession Opal card?

No, proof of entitlement is always required to ensure those receiving the Concession Opal card are eligible. You can use an Adult Opal card or Adult Opal single trip ticket if you do not wish to share your details.

30  I've heard I can deregister my Concession Opal card after I receive it, is that true?

No, Concession Opal card holders need to remain registered so we can communicate any changes that occur with your eligibility status.

31  Can I return my Concession Opal card and get a refund of any value left on it?

Yes, if you no longer wish to travel using your Concession Opal card you can get a refund for your remaining Opal balance. Find out more here.

32  Will transport staff be able to check my Opal card?

Yes, Revenue Protection Officers and NSW Police Officers can check your journey information at any time using a portable Opal card reader.

33  Can I still use my Concession Opal card if I drop subjects?

If you drop subjects and no longer qualify as a full-time student, your eligibility for the Concession Opal card will cease (a short grace period may apply). If you drop subjects but are still classed by your tertiary institution as 'full-time' you are likely to maintain your concession entitlement. Contact your institution to confirm your eligibility.

34  I just tried to tap on and the Opal reader said "Code 53 - card not valid", what does this mean?

Code 53 is shown when your card is blocked because you’re no longer entitled to use a Concession Opal card.

If you believe you should still be eligible, contact your entitlement provider.

If you're no longer eligible, you'll need to get an Adult Opal card or Adult Opal single trip ticket to travel again. If your old Concession Opal card is registered, you can transfer the remaining balance to a new Opal card by calling 13 67 25 (13 OPAL). Please note: you have 90 days to do this from the date of your entitlement expiry. 

You can apply for a refund if your card is registered or unregistered, and balance transfers for registered Opal cards. 

35  My Concession Opal card has been blocked, what should I do?

Your card is blocked because you're no longer entitled to use your Concession Opal card.

If you believe you should still be eligible, contact your entitlement provider.

If you're no longer eligible, you'll need to get an Adult Opal card or Adult Opal single trip ticket to travel again. If you have a registered Concession Opal card you can transfer the balance on it to a new Opal card by calling 13 67 25 (13 OPAL). Please note: you have 90 days to do this from the date of your entitlement expiry. 

36  How do I link my existing Concession Opal card to someone's account so they can pay for my travel?

Have your Concession Opal card number and security code ready and get, for example, your parents to log into their account, select "Link existing card to your account" and then enter the card number and security number on your Concession Opal card. Your parents will then be able to select their credit card or debit card for auto top up to pay for your travel and you can also pick an Opal card nickname to make it clear which card is yours.