Applying for free and discounted student travel

If you are studying at a hoger beroepsonderwijs – HBO (higher vocational education) or wetenschappelijk onderwijs – WO (scientific/academic education)  tertiary education institution in the Netherlands you can apply for free and discounted student travel on public transport. You can apply for student travel at the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs – DUO (education implementation service) website. You will need a personal OV-chipkaart to load the student travel product on to. The time you check in determines whether you will travel free or with a discount for your whole journey.

Last updated 11 October 2022

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Check to see if you can apply

Free and discounted student travel is part of your student finance. It is a loan which is converted into a gift if you graduate within 10 years. Your eligibility for student finance depends on your citizenship or residency status, your age and your course. You can find out if you can apply for student travel at the website.

Weekday or weekend pass

With free and discounted student travel, you can choose between a weekday or a weekend pass. If you study in a different area to where you live, a weekday pass might be a better option. If you live and study in the same area, then a weekend subscription may be more practical.

Free and discounted travel

When exactly can you travel for free, and when at a reduced rate? What happens on public holidays? You find the validity of both weekday and weekend passes in the overview with travel days on the DUO website.

Changing your pass type

You may wish to change your pass at a later date if you find that one type is more practical than the other. You can do this by logging in to Mijn DUO. You are allowed a maximum of two changes in a single year, but you can only make one change every 2 months. You cannot make any changes between 1 May and 25 August in the same year.

Applying for student travel

If you would like free or discounted travel on public transport, then log in to Mijn DUO to apply for student travel. 

Loading student travel on to your OV-chipkaart

New students can apply for and purchase a personal OV-chipkaart (public transport card) online. When your application has been processed by DUO, koppel (link) the student travel product to your personal OV-chipkaart online. Then the student travel product must be physically uploaded to your OV-chipkaart at a service point. There is a list of service points in your area on the website.

Cancelling student travel

If you are no longer entitled to receive free and discounted student travel, you must cancel it yourself at a service point. This will not happen automatically when you cancel your student finance. When will you get a fine? If you use your student travel product while you are no longer entitled to it.

Laws and regulations (in Dutch)

Wet studiefinanciering

Regeling studiefinanciering 2000, hoofdstuk 4

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