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Travelling with the OV-chipkaart

Checking in and out

Checking in with NS

  • Make sure you have an NS season ticket or the 'pre-paid travel with NS' product on your OV-chipkaart
  • Make sure you have enough credit on your OV-chipkaart (at least the boarding fee)
  • At the departure station, hold your OV-chipkaart up against the NS card reader in one of the gates or free-standing posts
  • Always hold just your card directly up against the card reader rather than your entire wallet or purse, especially if you have more than one OV-chipkaart
  • You will hear a single beep (, 6 kB)
  • The screen will display 'Goede reis' ('Have a good journey') or the name of your season ticket
  • You have now checked in and you can board your train

Checking out with NS

  • At the arrival station, hold your OV-chipkaart up against the NS card reader in one of the gates or free-standing posts
  • You will now hear two beeps (, 9 kB)
  • The journey fare, remaining credit, name of your product or season ticket and class will appear on the screen
  • And should you forget, you can still check out at the arrival station up to 6 hours after checking in if it is on the same day
  • If you only discover later that you forgot to check out, you can get a refund of the excess amount paid

Checking in or out by mistake
You do not have to be afraid that you might check out again by mistake immediately after checking in, or vice versa. Your card cannot be read twice in quick succession as once you have checked in or out, it is not possible to check in or out again with NS (at the same card reader) for the next 100 seconds.

What if you have checked in but then decide not to take the train after all? Then you need to wait at least 100 seconds but no more than 60 minutes; you can then check out again free of charge at the same station. If you do not check out, after 60 minutes the boarding fee will be deducted from your credit.

Check to see whether your OV-chipkaart is ready for use
Here you will see the steps you need to have taken for each season ticket and kind of OV-chipkaart in order to be able to check in and out with NS.

Non-standard situations

Not every journey is the same. You may end up in situations where it is not immediately clear how the OV-chipkaart should be used. You may wonder where and when exactly you need to check in and out, or whether you are actually able to use your OV-chipkaart  or whether you even need an OV-chipkaart in this situation.

Here, we have explained the procedure for such non-standard situations. You will find explanations of:

  • Travelling with NS International
  • Travelling in the opposite direction to the route
  • When NS puts on buses

If you do not see a particular situation that you think should be on this page, please let us know (Dutch only). We aim to make this overview as comprehensive as possible.

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Changing to another NS train
You can see the possible routes for your journey in the Journey Planner

  • You are travelling from Vlissingen to Utrecht
  • The Journey Planner tells you that you need to change at Rotterdam
  • You check in at Vlissingen
  • You simply change trains at Rotterdam
  • You check out at Utrecht

The same applies if the Journey Planner specifies more than one changeover station for NS. In that case too, you only check when you get to your destination station. Perhaps you may prefer to travel via another station or want to make a stop at one of the intervening stations. Click the button at the bottom of the page for examples of such journeys.

Changing to a tram or bus, the metro or another train company
You need to check out first with NS if you are changing to a tram, a bus, the metro or another train company. This is because you have finished that part of your journey with NS. Then you check in with the new transport company (and at the end of your journey you check out again with the same transport company). The same applies if you start your journey with another transport company and then change to NS.

Please note:do not forget to check out when leaving a particular transport company, because it is not possible to go back and check out with the previous company once you have checked in with the next transport company. In other words, the sequence is important.

Travelling with an NS season ticket holder

With an NS season ticket up to three people can travel with you during off-peak hours at a 40% discount. From 9 July passengers accompanying you should apply the Samenreiskorting to their own OV-chipkaart at an NS ticket machine or NS service desk. They can do this on an anonymous or personalised OV-chipkaart with a minimum balance of € 10. To do so:
1. The passenger accompanying you holds their OV-chipkaart up to the OV-chipkaart logo at the bottom right of the NS ticket machine.
2. Choose ‘Joint journey discount’ and the class you want.
3. Click on 'Agree' and hold the OV-chipkaart up to the OV-chipkaart logo at the bottom right of the NS ticket machine again.
4. The passenger accompanying you tops up credit to their own OV-chipkaart. A minimum of € 10 is required to be able to travel.
5. The passenger accompanying you checks him or herself in during off-peak hours and checks out at the end of the journey, and is able to travel at a 40% discount.

Always top up credit or add a product to your OV-chipkaart before checking in.

The Samenreiskorting is automatically removed 35 minutes after checking out. If the passenger accompanying you checks in with NS or another train operator again within 35 minutes, they can still travel with you using the joint journey discount. For return travel the Samenreiskorting must be applied to the OV-chipkaart again.

If you travel together again on the return journey, the Samenreiskorting must be applied to your companion's OV-chipkaart at an NS ticket machine. If the passenger accompanying you is continuing on their journey alone, they must remove the Samenreiskorting from their card. This can be done at an NS ticket machine. The Samenreiskorting will be automatically removed 35 minutes after checking out.

Good to know
• Off-peak hours are Monday to Friday after 9.00 a.m., and at weekends and on public holidays all day. During the holiday months of July and August and the week between Christmas and New Year you can travel at a 40% discount all day.
• The Samenreiskorting can be used for NS and other train operators' services.
• The Samenreiskorting is available from NS ticket machines and NS service desks, and from the ticket machines of other train operators.
• The Samenreiskorting is not available online.


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