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What happens when I’ve forgotten my Railcard?

If you’ve ended up with a forgotten Railcard, then don’t panic. There are some things that you can do to remedy the situation. 

What should I do if I’ve forgotten a Railcard?

If you’re on the train and you’ve realised you’ve forgotten a Railcard, then you should find a member of staff if you can. There’s no obligation to do this, but it may give you a more favourable outcome. 

You might be charged for a new full-priced ticket or issued a Penalty Fare. If this happens, remain calm and give the correct details.

Remember, a Penalty Fare is designed for ‘honest mistakes’. If it was suspected that you were intending to do wrong, then more serious action would have been taken. 

Once you find your Railcard, get in touch with the rail operator. Explain that you’ve forgotten your Railcard, and that you were charged for a new ticket. Once every calendar year, they will refund any new tickets and cancel the Penalty Fare. If you do this more than once per year, the new tickets and/or Penalty Fare will still stand. 

Is there anything else I can do?

It’s now possible to get your Railcard on your phone. For example, there’s a dedicated Railcard app. If you think that this would be more useful (and less difficult to lose), then it’s certainly an option. 

If there’s a while until your journey, and you’ve lost your Railcard, then the best option would be to order a replacement. 

You can do this through the place where you bought your Railcard, such as on the official Railcard website. 

Don’t forget that you can either change or refund your ticket free of charge (depending on the ticket type) when you book with Railsmartr. So, you can push your trip back a different date if a forgotten Railcard threatens to derail it.