This type of pass allows the holder to get discounted or free travel on buses, Tube, London Overground, Elizabeth line and most National Rail services within the London fare zones.
Basically, the total discount depends on the type of card you’re using (in other words, on your age). There are 5-10, 11-15, 16+, 18+ and 60+ Oyster cards with discounts of up to 50% and even some free options!
To put it simply, photocards are the versions of the standard card for certain age groups that allow for cheaper travel. If you fall under one of the groups and want to get discounts or free journeys, you can apply for your photocard online. To do that, sign in at the official TFL page and follow the instructions.
In case you don’t fall under any of the age groups, you don’t need a photo for your card, as the fair will stay the same anyway.
Transport for London (the government body that accepts people’s applications) leaves it up to you to have your photo taken. There are many Oyster card photo options (like photo shops and booths), but one of the easiest is to get it online on this page.
The requirements are far less strict for these cards, so you can smile if want to. However, don’t go too far as to make silly faces: you still need to be fully recognisable and your face must be completely visible.
You can upload a photo for an Oyster card by following these steps:
Once you’ve sent in your request, TFL will review your photo and application and send you your new Oyster card in the mail.
With one exception (which will be covered below), an Oyster card does not count as a formal photo ID on its own, but you can use it as a secondary form of identification. It is mainly used for public transport and does not have important information like your date of birth. However, some businesses may accept it as a form of identification if they need to confirm your identity in conjunction with another form of official ID.
Now, about the exception. According to the gov.uk website, a 60+ Oyster card can be used as proof of age and identity when voting in elections. Other types of Oyster cards, such as standard or student cards, cannot be used for this purpose. It’s always best to check with your local election authority to confirm their specific requirements for ID verification.