Lost railcard and oyster—starting again: do I need an online TfL account to link my railcard with an oyster?

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lightbulb

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Good evening all,

I have not used my Oyster or Disabled Persons Railcard since March last year, and have lost them both. I have applied for a replacement railcard, and have an unregistered Oyster card that a friend gave me when he moved out of London. I no longer have an active TfL online account (I stopped using it when they required everyone to reregister a few years ago with a new password). I seem to recall that I when I first had an Oyster linked to my railcard that special rules applied to the Disabled Persons Railcard, and that I had to have an online account to have the railcard linked. Is this still a requirement, or can I just link my unregistered Oyster card and Disabled Persons Railcard at an LU station?
 
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CyrusWuff

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To be able to add the Railcard discount to an Oyster card, the member of staff will need to enter a "photocard" number (which they'll usually either use the station's location code or your Railcard number for) and a password (which you can reset later if you create a new online account) before the option to add a discount (more accurately, up to three discounts) appears. There's no requirement to register the card online, but if you don't you won't be able to transfer the balance to a new card if you lose it and you won't be able to print usage statements.
 

lightbulb

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Thank you. You mention that I would need to have a password to link my oyster and railcard. As I don't intend to register the card online (because I have no wish to manage accounts online in general), would be there be any need to remember the password—in other words, can I quite literally forget it once it's created, on the assumption that I won't ever be required to know it?

You need to register the Oyster card.

There's no requirement to register the card online.

Thank you bothfor both answers to be correct, the implication is that I need to register the card, but that registration need not be online. Can the registration be done over the telephone with TfL customer services?
 
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Haywain

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Thank you bothfor both answers to be correct, the implication is that I need to register the card, but that registration need not be online. Can the registration be done over the telephone with TfL customer services?
In my experience, if it is not registered the station assistant will do that on the machine at the station when adding the railcard discount. They may make up a password or misspell one. This can lead to bigger problems later on when you can't access the account, so I would recommend registering the card online yourself.
 

lightbulb

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In my experience, if it is not registered the station assistant will do that on the machine at the station when adding the railcard discount. They may make up a password or misspell one. This can lead to bigger problems later on when you can't access the account, so I would recommend registering the card online yourself.
Sorry to labour the point, but I really do not wish to have any online interaction with TfL, and if forced into it, I may well decline to link my card. I'm looking for a definitive answer as to whether it is possible to have my railcard linked with my oyster card without having an online account—I do appreciate that it may be advisable for all sorts of reasons, but is it mandatory? I'm happy for TfL to have my name and address, but do not wish to provide them with any other information, including my telephone number and my email address, as I consider this information to be private. I can also foresee having such problems in the near future when I become eligable for a 60+ Oyster: I'd much rather apply for that in writing, and not online for the same reasons.
 

su31

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Sorry to labour the point, but I really do not wish to have any online interaction with TfL, and if forced into it, I may well decline to link my card. I'm looking for a definitive answer as to whether it is possible to have my railcard linked with my oyster card without having an online account—I do appreciate that it may be advisable for all sorts of reasons, but is it mandatory? I'm happy for TfL to have my name and address, but do not wish to provide them with any other information, including my telephone number and my email address, as I consider this information to be private. I can also foresee having such problems in the near future when I become eligable for a 60+ Oyster: I'd much rather apply for that in writing, and not online for the same reasons.
Tube station staff with the correct training can add your railcard to an Oyster card at the ticket machines. As previously stated, if the card is showing on the ticket machine as not registered, it will need a password adding. Personally, I ask the customer to add a memorable word or date at this point. The photocard number must be added by staff. 9 digits is the max allowed, so we have to add the last 9 digits from a railcard number.

Going onwards to the Over 60s card, I understand that applications are solely online now, and the Post Office no-longer process alternative applications (they used to). Part of this is because the applicant's photo and ID are uploaded digitally at the time of application.
 

lightbulb

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Tube station staff with the correct training can add your railcard to an Oyster card at the ticket machines. As previously stated, if the card is showing on the ticket machine as not registered, it will need a password adding. Personally, I ask the customer to add a memorable word or date at this point. The photocard number must be added by staff. 9 digits is the max allowed, so we have to add the last 9 digits from a railcard number.

Going onwards to the Over 60s card, I understand that applications are solely online now, and the Post Office no-longer process alternative applications (they used to). Part of this is because the applicant's photo and ID are uploaded digitally at the time of application.
Thanks for your reply.

This really will cause me problems as I do not own a camera (or a smartphone), and have no means of taking a photograph. Even if I did, I have no knowledge of uploading anything. I am astonished that a product specifically for the over 60s expects all people of that age group to be familiar and capable of this—I am of course aware that many over 60s are indeed capable and knowledgeable, but it ought not to be assumed that this is universally so. I recently applied for a new passport, and the photo was taken by my local chemist, and I applied using a paper form. If the passport office can offer an alternative to online applications, then so can TfL, if it so chooses!
 
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