Vision Impaired Person
Vision Impaired Person’s (VIP) Travel Pass
If you're severely vision impaired, you can apply for a vision impaired person's (VIP) travel pass. The VIP travel pass entitles you and your attendant (if applicable) to free travel on on public transport in NSW. You can also apply for a free Opal card at the same time.
You are eligible to apply for a Vision Impaired Person’s Travel Pass if you are a permanent resident of NSW and meet the following criteria:
- You receive the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension on the basis of blindness from the Department of Human Services (DHS), or
- You have been assessed by an ophthalmologist (or optometrist in rural and regional areas) as having one of the following:
- Visual acuity on the Snellan Scale less than 6/60 in both eyes while wearing the appropriate optical correction (glasses or contact lenses).
- The field of vision constricted to 10 degrees of arc in the better eye, irrespective of corrected visual acuity.
- The combination of visual defects results in the same visual impairment as that which occurs in the above two conditions.
How to apply:
- Complete the VIP Travel Pass application form (pdf 944KB).
- You will be required to provide documentation to support the conditions of use, so be sure to prepare digital copies of two colour passport-sized photos and your supporting documents.
- Have your medical specialist complete and sign the appropriate sections (if applicable).
- Upload and submit your application form, photos and supporting documents online via the Concessions application form.
The Vision Impaired Person's Travel Pass is issued free of charge and is valid for five years.
You can apply for a free travel Opal card on the same form.
For a replacement Vision Impaired Person's (VIP) Travel Pass, call 131 500. A replacement fee may apply.
Important information before applying
If you receive an age pension or disability support pension:
- The pension must be on the basis of blindness and issued to you by the Department of Human Services (DHS)
- Make sure you have your DHS customer reference number ready when applying
If you receive a pension that is not on the basis of blindness:
- You will require a specialist appointment with an ophthalmologist to support your application
- If you live in a rural or regional area and do not have access to an ophthalmologist, the assessment and supporting documents may be completed by an optometrist
Your attendant and/or your guide dog can travel with you for free if your pass or Opal card is marked "Plus Attendant". However, your attendant will need to pay the concession Sydney Airport station access fee at the airport station ticket gates.
You must carry your Vision Impaired Person's Travel Pass as proof of entitlement, or you may be fined.
Free travel is generally not available on private ferries, event shuttle buses, premium or charter bus services, Great Southern Rail services or tourism services.
Vision Impaired Person (VIP) pass holders are entitled to free travel on all Sydney Trains, Sydney Metro and NSW TrainLink Intercity services (non-booked services covering the rail network bounded by Dungog, Scone, Goulburn, Bomaderry (Nowra) and Bathurst).
Free travel is also available to VIP pass holders on Sydney Ferries, Sydney and Newcastle Light Rail, Sydney Buses and Newcastle Buses services, as well as privately operated local bus services throughout NSW.
In the Opal network, present your VIP Pass to transport staff for free travel.
To be able to open gates at metro and train stations and ferry wharves without staff, you can apply for a Free travel Opal card. It is optional and for convenience. It is not a requirement for free travel.
You must carry your Vision Impaired Person's (VIP) Travel Pass as proof of entitlement. If you do not have your proof of entitlement, you are required to pay for and travel with an Adult fare, or you may be fined for travelling on an invalid ticket.
How to get your free Opal card
- To apply, call 131 500 quoting your name, address and date of birth.
- For a replacement free travel Opal card, call 131 500. A replacement fee may apply.
The free travel Opal card is valid for five years or until your entitlement ceases.
You can also apply for the free travel Opal card when applying for a new or replacement Vision Impaired Person’s Travel Pass.
Sydney Airport train station access fee
With a Vision Impaired Person's Travel Pass you will not need to pay the Sydney Airport station access fee when travelling to or from the airport train stations.
However, your attendant will need to pay the Concession Sydney Airport station access fee at the airport station ticket gates.
On NSW TrainLink Regional services, you are entitled to free travel and concession fares.
- one return free trip or two one-way free trips in First or Economy class on Regional services each calendar year within NSW only
- concession fares in First or Economy class on Regional services within NSW
- concession fares from the NSW border to your interstate destination when travelling on NSW TrainLink Regional services.
Concessions do not apply for sleeping berth charges.
When travelling in other Australian states or territories, holders of the NSW Vision Impaired Person’s Travel Pass receive travel benefits that would normally apply to VIP Travel Pass holders from the host state or territory (excluding annual free regional journeys) and vice versa.
Your attendant and/or your guide dog can travel with you for free if your VIP Travel Pass is marked "Plus Attendant".
You need to present your pass at any NSW TrainLink ticket office or accredited travel agency when you book and before you travel. Read more on how to book your NSW TrainLink ticket.
Other privately owned and operated local services may offer free travel or concessions at their own discretion. Check with local transport operators before you travel.