Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve included a lot of the information on other parts of this website, but here are answers to other questions you may have.   

Yes. Certain services, such as Scotland-wide concessionary travel, are only available to qualifying holders of the National Entitlement Card (NEC). Other services such as library or leisure memberships may offer a choice of using the NEC or not.

NECs can only be issued to people who are resident in Scotland; cards are issued by local councils on receipt of a valid application for a service that uses the NEC.

The microchip securely holds the minimum information needed to manage the services on the card. This includes basic personal details (i.e. name, house number and post code, date of birth and gender) and in some cases information needed by the services the cardholder has applied for (e.g. library card number, leisure card number). More detail can be found in the NEC Privacy Impact Assessment, which can be downloaded from

Only the data required for the provision of the relevant service is made available to individual electronic card readers. This is achieved by securing each service’s area of the microchip with a different electronic key, and only giving this key to the provider of the service concerned. For example, if you access both library services and concessionary travel using the NEC, both services will have a different key and the reader on the bus cannot read any information about your library membership.

The cardholder's name and photo will be printed on the front of the card, along with a unique reference number for each card. There may also be symbols to indicate what travel concessions the cardholder is entitled to. Young Scot branded cards, optional branding for 11-25 year olds, also carry the cardholder's date of birth for proof of age purposes.

No. The central database used for producing and maintaining the physical cards, known as the Card Management System (CMS), does not receive details of what you have done using your NEC. The Scottish Government does not have access rights to the CMS. Access is restricted to those administering the card on your behalf. This would normally be authorised representatives of your local council, the NEC Programme Office at Dundee City Council (who act as administrators of the Scheme on a national basis) and the suppliers who are contracted to provide card management and production services. The only personal information held by the CMS is that detail necessary to print or re-print a card for an individual and deliver it. More detail can be found in the NEC Privacy Impact Assessment, which can be downloaded from

Each service provider chooses how they record the transactions carried out with the card. For example, Transport Scotland records details of journeys made using a NEC in order to reimburse transport operators; however, they do not need to hold your personal details to do this, only the fact that a valid NEC was used. Transport Scotland does not share the details of individual journeys made.
All Library systems are required to record the personal details of who has taken out their stock regardless of whether or not the borrower has used the NEC, and will be required to protect that information accordingly.Other service providers may not even record the fact that you have used a particular NEC, for example if showing the NEC Young Scot card for a retailer discount.

Your local council is the data controller for both the NEC and myaccount systems. The myaccount system is used as part of the verification of personal details that takes place in line with the NEC Scheme Terms and Conditions. More detail can be found in the NEC Privacy Impact Assessment, which can be downloaded from .

saltirecard is a brand that indicates a card could be used for commercial smart travel Scotland-wide in the future. As well as being available as a NEC, the saltirecard brand is also appearing on transport operators’ commercial smart cards. Only the NEC can be used for concessionary travel in Scotland, and if at some time in the future you want to use your NEC for commercial, non-concessionary smart travel Scotland-wide as well, it needs to carry the saltirecard brand.

If you want to check that the details the NEC Scheme holds for you are correct, the easiest way is to make use of NEC Online. Your local council will also be able to help make changes to your address, etc.
In terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act), your local council is the Data Controller. If you wish to exercise your right to see a copy of all the relevant personal data held by the NEC Scheme under the terms of the Act, you may make a subject access request to the Data Protection Officer at your local council.