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Frequently Asked Questions – veterans

1 Who is eligible for a free travel Opal card?

There are four different customer groups who may be eligible for a free travel Opal card:

  • NSW residents who are blind or severely vision impaired.
  • NSW residents who are Ex-Defence Force members with service related disabilities. Ex-Defence forces include veterans from New Zealand and WWII Allied Nations with reciprocal pension rights.
  • NSW residents who are Blinded Soldiers.
  • NSW residents who are the widow or widower of a First World War veteran.
  • NSW residents who are a recipient of a Victoria Cross or George Cross, or are the widow or widower of someone who was.

For further information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit transportnsw.info/veterans

2 How is a free travel Opal card different from an Adult Opal card?

There are several differences:

  • Travel is free, so there’s no need to load value onto the free travel Opal card.
  • It’s not mandatory to tap on and tap off when using the free travel Opal card.
  • The free travel Opal card is silver rather than black.
  • Other than Opal and New South Wales Government logos, the free travel Opal card is blank on the front.
  • The free travel Opal card is issued with the eligible customer’s name printed on the reverse.
  • For vision impaired  customers there is a tactile “O” sticker on the front and back of the card.
  •  Attendants for this customer group will also be issued free travel Opal card.
  •  Depending on the entitlement outlined in the letter that Transport for NSW sent to you with your entitlement card, a station access fee may apply for free travel Opal card holders and their attendant.
3 How do I apply for a free travel Opal card?

For Ex-Defence Force members with a disability apply online or call 131 500. For other eligible Ex-Defence Force members visit transportnsw.info/veterans to download the application form that matches your entitlement.

4 Do I have to tap on and tap off when travelling with the free travel Opal card?

Tapping on and tapping off with a free travel Opal card is optional, but tapping on and tapping off allows you to open gates at stations and wharves without needing assistance. You must always carry your proof of entitlement to concession travel when travelling with a free travel Opal card.

5 Can free travel Opal card holders and their attendants travel together using the same Opal card?

No, each customer travelling must have a separate, valid Opal card to travel. Customers eligible to travel with an attendant will be supplied a separate free travel Opal card for their attendant to use.

6 Is there a difference between the Opal card that gives free travel and the attendant’s free travel Opal card?

Yes. The free travel Opal card has the eligible customer’s name printed on the reverse. The attendant card has ‘Attendant of’ and the eligible customer’s name printed on the reverse.

7 How do I tap on and tap off with a free travel Opal card?

Tapping on and tapping off with a free travel Opal card is optional, but tapping on and tapping off allows you to open gates at stations and wharves without needing assistance. To tap on or tap off simply hold the card against an Opal card reader. Hold the card still until you hear a single ‘ding’. This sound confirms you have tapped on or off. Opal card readers are available at stations, on buses, ferry wharves and at light rail stops. If you have any questions about tapping on or off you can ask Transport staff or contact Opal Customer Care on 13 67 25.

8 What should I do if my free travel Opal card is damaged, lost or stolen?

If your Opal card is damaged, lost or stolen, report it by calling 131 500. Your current card will be blocked and a replacement Opal card will be sent out to you, usually within 5-7 working days (a fee may apply). While waiting for your replacement Opal card to arrive, you can continue to travel by using your concession entitlement card as a flash pass.

9 How will my personal information be managed?

Transport for NSW is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW). Our Privacy Management Plan is available at transport.nsw.gov.au/about/privacy. For information about how your personal information is collected, used and disclosed in the Opal ticketing system, read our Opal Privacy Policy, available at: opal.com.au/en/footer/privacy. Transport for NSW will keep your information at 18 Lee Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008. You can ask to access or amend your personal information held by us at any time during business hours, by contacting Transport for NSW at: privacy@transport.nsw.gov.au or Locked Bag 5085 Parramatta NSW 2124.

10 Will revenue protection officers or police 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. It isn’t mandatory to tap on and tap off, but you need to be able to show your concession entitlement card.

11 How do I check my trip history?

Call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) with your DVA number and an Opal Customer Care representative can tell you the last ten trips you've made. Your DVA number is needed to help confirm your identity with Opal Customer Care.

12 Does free travel Opal card give customers free travel to Sydney Airport stations?

Depending on your entitlements the station access fee may be charged, (for you and your attendant, if applicable). Customers should visit transportnsw.info/veterans for more information about eligibility and entitlements.

13 Can I use the free travel Opal card on Manly Fast Ferry or Sydney Fast Ferry services?

No, the free travel Opal card can’t be used on privately-owned ferry services. The free travel Opal card can be used on all Sydney Ferries services and the Stockton ferry in Newcastle. 

14 Where can I travel with a free travel Opal card valid?

The free travel Opal card can be used on all public transport services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

15 Does the free travel Opal card open the gates at Sydney Airport stations?

No, the gates at Sydney's Domestic and International Airport Stations are the only gates that will not open when a free travel Opal card is tapped against the reader. To open gates see station staff for assistance.

16 I'm a current holder of one of the following passes: Ex-Members of Defence Forces Transport Concession Entitlement Card, NSW Blinded Soldier Pass, WW1 Veteran's, Widows Free Pass. How do I apply for a free travel Opal card?

If you are a current holder of one of the listed passes, call 131 500 quoting your name, address and date of birth to apply for your free travel Opal card. Alternatively you can email concessions@transport.nsw.gov.au with ‘Ex-Defence’ in the subject line, quoting your name, address and date of birth in the email.