Opal and travel concession FAQs


Travel concession eligibility

Who can apply for a Concession Opal card?

You can apply for and travel with a Concession Opal card if you meet the following criteria:

  • You're an Australian citizen (or permanent resident of Australia)
  • You live in NSW
  • You're a full time student (enrolled in at least 25 credit points) studying at least 20 credit points of face to face (on campus) units
  • Part time students with a disability (if your Academic Integration Plan has the specific reasonable adjustment 'Tutorial Pre-registration required' assigned)
  • Western Sydney U students undertaking cross institutional studies (if your total study load is equivalent to a full time load (determined by Western Sydney U)
  • You're an international student on one of the following Australian Government scholarships
    • The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships funded by the Department of Education and Training for full scholarships and exchanges (excluding jointly funded Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowships and Exchanges, and professional development awards)
    • The Australian Awards (two scholarship streams) funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for full scholarships
    • The International Postgraduate Research Scholarships funded by the Department of Education and Training for full research scholarships

For full eligibility criteria please visit the Transport for NSW website (opens in a new window).

I'm a part time student registered with the Disability Service. Can I get a Concession Opal card?

Yes, if your Academic Integration Plan (AIP) has the specific reasonable adjustment 'Tutorial Pre-registration required' assigned.

You must complete and submit the 'Disability Declaration for Concession Opal Card' form before you can complete the standard two-step application process to get your Opal card.

I'm an online/external student, can I get a Concession Opal card?

To be eligible for a travel concession (including the Concession Opal card), you must be enrolled as a full time student (at least 25 credit points) and at least 20 credit points of your enrolment must be face to face/on campus units.

If you are not enrolled in at least 20 credit points of face to face units, you do not meet this criteria and are not eligible for any travel concession.

I'm an international student, can I get a Concession Opal card?

Yes, but only if you have one of the following Australian Government scholarships:

  • The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships funded by the Department of Education and Training for full scholarships and exchanges (excluding jointly funded Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowships and Exchanges, and professional development awards)
  • The Australian Awards (two scholarship streams) funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for full scholarships)
  • The International Postgraduate Research Scholarships funded by the Department of Education and Training for full research scholarships

If you are receiving one of these scholarships and are eligible for a travel concession, please follow the instructions on the how to apply for a Concession Opal card page.

I'm a Cross-Institutional student, can I get a Concession Opal card?

Yes, as long as your total study load is equivalent to full time (determined by Western Sydney U).

Western Sydney U students: If you're a Western student who is undertaking a unit/s at another tertiary institution via Cross-Institutional study, you need to take proof of your enrolment at the other university to Student Central so they can verify your study load and eligibility.

Once Student Central has verified your eligibility and updated your student record, you can complete the standard application process to get your Concession Opal card.

Non-Western Sydney U students: If you are a student at another tertiary institution and are undertaking a unit/s at Western, you will need to apply for a Concession Opal card/travel concession from your primary institution (not Western Sydney U). You will need to provide evidence of your Western enrolment to your primary institution – your statement of account/confirmation of enrolment letter from Western Sydney U should be sufficient.

I am a New Zealand Citizen with Australian Permanent Resident visa, can I apply a Concession Opal card?

You will need to bring your visa to Student Central and change your citizenship status to Permanent resident. Then, if you are eligible, you can apply for a Concession Opal card.

Consent and applying for an Opal card

Why do I need to give permission for the University to share my personal information with Transport for NSW?

Privacy laws prevent us from sharing your personal information without your consent. You need to give your consent (in MySR) so we can share that data with Transport for NSW, and only then will you be able to apply for a Concession Opal card.

What personal information is shared between the University and Transport for NSW?

The information shared is your full time status, Student ID number, surname, given names and date of birth, as per your enrolment information in MySR.

Do I have to agree to the Privacy Consent when I enrol?

No, giving consent is a choice. It will not affect your next enrolment step if you choose 'no' for the consent. However, you will not be eligible to apply for a Concession Opal card if you do not agree to the consent.

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 if you do not wish to share your details.

How do I apply for a Concession Opal card?

The steps to apply for a Concession Opal card are described on the page How to apply for a Concession Opal card (opens in a new window). 

My name or 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 in My Student records (MySR) (opens in a new window). If you still have problems, you need to contact:

  • Western Sydney University students contact Student Central on 1300 668 370
  • The College students contact Student Services Centre on 9852 4488

Western Sydney University, The College isn't showing as an option on the Opal website, what do I do?

The College students need to select 'Western Sydney University' from the list of tertiary institutions.

When I apply for a Concession Opal card, do I need to provide my middle name?

When you apply for a Concession Opal card, your name has to be exactly the same as it appears in My Student records (MySR) (opens in a new window). If your middle name is included in the 'given names' field in My Student Records, then it needs to be included in the 'first name' field in your Concession Opal card application. If it is not in My Student Records, then do not include it.

If your name on your Concession Opal card applications does not exactly match your record in My Student Records, then this may cause an error.

When I apply for a Concession Opal card, why does Transport for NSW need to check my student number?

Transport for NSW needs your student number to confirm that you're eligible for the Concession Opal card.

Do I have to provide my email address and phone number to Opal?

Opal uses your email address and phone number to contact you with important information about your card, including if your card is going to be cancelled. You need to provide accurate contact information so these messages reach you.

It is also your responsibility to keep your information up to date in the Opal system. We recommend you use your student email address as it won't change for the life of your card.

Using public transport

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. Concession Opal cards are not transferable, so you may be asked to prove your identity by showing your student card.

You will need to carry your student ID card with you on public transport.

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 outside the Opal network.

From 1 February 2017 you need to get a new Transport Concession Entitlement Card (TCEC) in order to be eligible for concession travel outside the Opal network. Information about the TCEC will be available on the Transport for NSW website in 2017.

I received a fine for travelling on public transport without the correct ticket/Opal card, can I dispute it?

Yes, you can dispute a ticket issued on public transport (these can be issued by Revenue Protection Officers or NSW Police Officers).

To lodge a dispute, go to the State Debt Recovery Office website (opens in a new window) and click the 'Request a review' button.

General travel concession and Opal information

Can I still use my Concession Opal card if I drop units?

If you drop units and no longer qualify as a full time student, you will no longer be eligible for the Concession Opal card. If you drop units (subjects) but are still classed as 'full time' you are likely to maintain your concession entitlement.

Why has my Concession Opal card become invalid?

There are three reasons your card could become invalid:

  • You are not enrolled in enough units to qualify as a full time student
  • You are not enrolled in any units (this may be the case in between teaching sessions, so it's important to reenrol as early as possible)
  • You have changed your consent in My Student Records (MySR) to 'No' on the 'Opal Travel Concession' page

You will need to either fix your enrolment or change your consent option back to yes in order to be eligible for a Concession Opal card again.

What do I do if my Concession Opal card becomes invalid?

Once you're sure you meet the eligibility (see the question 'Why has my Concession Opal card become invalid', above), you will need to apply for another Concession Opal card through the Opal website.

If you have any money left on the old (invalid) card, you will then need to organise to have the balance transferred to your new card.

You cannot reactivate an invalid Concession Opal card.

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

When you finish your course, you're no longer eligible for the Concession Opal card and it will be cancelled.

If you have any value left on your card, you should call Transport for NSW on 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) and they will transfer it across to a new Adult Opal card.

If I change tertiary institutions, do 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 eligible, you will need to 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).

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

No, you need to follow the two step process outlined by the University as Transport for NSW need to confirm your eligibility with us.

You need to:

  1. Provide consent via My Student records (MySR) (opens in a new window)
  2. Apply for your Concession Opal card online (opens in a new window) or over the phone on 13 67 25 (13 OPAL). All the information you need is available on the travel concession webpage.

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.

Can I de-register my Concession Opal card after I receive it?

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