How to use your Freedom Pass

Your Freedom Pass uses Oyster technology and should be used in the same way as an Oyster Card. Please note your Freedom Pass cannot be used as a 'Top-up' or 'pay as you go' Oyster card.

Here is some more detailed advice on using your pass in London:

You can use your Freedom Pass as soon as you receive it. Please destroy any previous pass you may have.

Using your Freedom Pass

Using your Freedom Pass is straightforward.

Card readerOn the gates at most stations and when boarding buses you will see a yellow circle which is a card reader. Keep your pass in its wallet and touch the pass flat onto the yellow card reader.

  • When travelling on Underground and train services you will need to touch your card on the reader when entering and exiting stations
  • On buses, trams and Docklands Light Railway you will only need to touch your card on the reader when boarding
  • On buses with more than one entry door you must touch your card on a reader at the earliest opportunity.

Holders of contactless payment cards

If you have a Freedom Pass and a contactless payment card that displays the symbol below, please only touch your Freedom Pass on the yellow card reader and keep your contactless payment card separate.

       contactless logo jpg

If you touch a purse or wallet containing your Freedom Pass and a contactless payment card on a reader, you could experience card clash.

On buses, if the reader only detects your contactless payment card, it may take payment of the £1.45 fare. If it detects more than one card, neither will be read.

From 16 September, contactless payment cards will be accepted for travel on Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London. After this date, if the reader at a station or tram stop only detects your contactless payment card, you may be charged for your journey. If it detects more than one card, neither will be read and at stations, the ticket gate may not open.

If you have a valid Freedom Pass and have been charged a fare on your contactless payment card, please contact TfL Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges) to apply for a refund.  You will need to advise them of your Freedom Pass number, name and bank account details.

Visit for more information on contactless payment cards.


You should be ready to show your Freedom Pass to station staff or ticket inspectors if requested.

For more information please read Transport for London's Conditions of Carriage

Travelling with children

Up to 4 accompanying children aged under 11 may travel free with a Freedom Pass holder on all Buses, trams Tube, DLR and between stations on the orange routes on National Rail/London Overground services as per the freedom pass map Opens in a new window.

How to ensure your Freedom Pass works properly

If your Freedom Pass is damaged it may stop working, and you may not be able to continue travelling for free until the pass is replaced, so please read our guidance on protecting your card from damage.

Lending your card to someone else

Please do not lend your pass to friends or relatives. The Freedom Pass is only to be used by the authorised holder. For more information, please read the conditions of use page.

Card expiry date

From June 2014, new and replacement Freedom Passes will have an expiry date of 31 March 2019.

Freedom Passes issued prior to June 2014 will either have an expiry date of 31 March 2015, 2016 or 2018.

Remember, if you move out of London you must inform the Freedom Pass helpline (0300 330 1433) as you will no longer be eligible and your card must be surrendered.