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Get to know the OV-chipkaart

The OV-chipkaart

The OV-chipkaart is the new public transport smartcard, the ticket for all public transport in the Netherlands. You only need a single card for the train, train, bus and metro. You use this card to check in for each mode of transport as you depart and to check out again when you arrive. You can load various season tickets onto your OV-chipkaart that let you travel more cheaply. You can also use it as an e-purse (travelling on pre-paid credit). This means you do not need separate paper tickets any more.
You can already check in and out with the OV-chipkaart at NS, but it is not yet mandatory. The paper tickets will disappear in the longer term. You will then only be able to travel with NS by checking in and out with an OV-chipkaart.
You pay the same amount for a journey on an NS route with the OV-chipkaart as you do for a paper ticket. You can look up the fares in the Journey planner.

Travelling on NS with the OV-chipkaart
If you buy an NS season ticket, you automatically get a free OV-chipkaart in your name. Buying an NS season ticket maybe cheaper if you are staying in the Netherlands for some time. At the moment, it is only possible to buy an NS season ticket if you have a Dutch bank account and a Dutch home address.
If you already have an OV-chipkaart in your name, you can have the season-ticket placed on the personalised card.

You can travel on NS using the following types of OV-chipkaart:

A personalised OV-chipkaart with one of the following season tickets on it:

  • Weekend Vrij 
  • Dal Vrij 
  • Dal Voordeel 
  • Altijd Voordeel 
  • Kids Vrij 
  • Altijd Vrij 
  • Voordeelurenabonnement 
  • Studentenreisproduct

A personalised OV-chipkaart that you have purchased through the website of ov-chipkaart.

A personalised OV-chipkaart that you have purchased from another carrier

An anonymous OV-chipkaart

An NS-Business Card

Not yet available to everyone

Some NS passengers will only be able to check in and out with their OV-chipkaart travel with NS at a later date:

  • NS or public transport annual route season ticket
  • Monthly network or monthly route season ticket
  • Children who are travelling on a Railrunner ticket

If one of those groups applies to you, then you can keep travelling for now in the way you are familiar with. When these types of season tickets are also converted to the OV-chipkaart, we will keep you up to date on ns.nl.


Different cards

You can choose either a personalised OV-chipkaart or an anonymous one.

Personal OV-chipkaart

  • Suitable for public transport season tickets
  • Can only be used by the cardholder
  • Shows the cardholder's name, date of birth and photo
  • Protects your card against misuse within 24 hours of it being reported lost or stolen
  • If you report a theft, loss or defect you will be given a refund for the remaining balance
  • You can enable automatic top-up
  • You can view your journey transactions and balance using your personal Mijn NS account

You can find information about purchasing the card by going to buying a personalised OV-chipkaart.
You can see how to activate your card so that you can travel with it by going to applying for a pre-paid e-purse and activating it.

Anonymous OV-chipkaart

  • No name or photo on the card
  • Can be used by other people, but not for the same journey: if there is more than one person travelling, each will need their own OV-chipkaart
  • Cannot be blocked in the event of loss or theft
  • If your card is stolen, lost or has a defect, you will not be given a refund for the remaining balance
  • You can view your journey transactions and balance using your personal Mijn NS account

You can find more information by going to buying an anonymous OV-chipkaart.
You can see how to activate your card so that you can travel with it by going to applying for a pre-paid e-purse and activating it.


I already have a season ticket

If you have Weekend Vrij, Dal Vrij, Dal Voordeel, Altijd Voordeel, Kids Vrij or Altijd Vrij, then you will already be using an OV-chipkaart. The situation for the other NS season tickets is as follows:

Voordeelurenabonnement (off-peak season ticket)

  • Your Voordeelurenabonnement is already on a personalised OV-chipkaart
  • If you have sufficient credit on the card, you can use it to check in and out when travelling with NS and all other transport companies
  • If you prefer to continue using paper tickets, you can do so in the same way as before, for the time being at any rate
  • We will inform you as soon as anything changes

NS/OV-Jaarabonnement and Jaartrajectabonnement (annual general or route-specific season tickets)

  • Your Jaarabonnement is already on a personalised OV-chipkaart
  • If you have sufficient credit on the card, you can use it to check in and out when travelling with other transport companies
  • It is not possible to use this card to check in and out when travelling with NS
  • There are no changes for you at present: you will continue to travel in the same way as always
  • We will inform you as soon as anything changes

Maandnetabonnement and Maandtrajectabonnement (monthly network and monthly route season tickets)

  • These monthly season tickets are not yet on an OV-chipkaart
  • You still need an identity card; this can be an 'old style' identity card or a personalised OV-chipkaart
  • You need to enter the number on your identity card or the 7-digit number top right on your OV-chipkaart when you purchase a Maandabonnement at the ticket machine
  • When there is an inspection you must show your paper monthly season ticket and your identity card or OV-chipkaart
  • There are no changes for you at present: you will continue to travel in the same way as always
  • We will keep you informed of any changes via ns.nl

You can read more about using the OV-chipkaart to travel with other transport companies at ov-chipkaart.nl.


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