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Oyster card for 12 year old, photo needed?

still a bit confused about process of getting an Oyster card for my 12 yr old. Read on some sites you need to apply in advance and send in a photo ( I think that is the visitor Oyster card) others sites I read you just need to go to a tube station and purchase an Oyster card and ask them to add in the junior discount for the 12 yr old with ID?
Does anyone know for sure the process? We are arriving to London at Heathrow airport, is there somewhere to purchase the oyster card from there? We are still deciding if we will be taking the tube to our hotel from Heathrow, I assume the tube close to Heathrow will sell the Oyster card?
Read also can't purchase a visitor Oyster card in London, need to purchase this in advance is this true?

Posted by
1172 posts

We just did this for our 12 year old in July.

At Heathrow, go to the kiosk. They will ask how much you want to put on your Oyster cards and will load your child's oyster card with the discount ( half price). They marked ours with a star so we knew which one was hers. No need for a pic and they never asked to verify ID.
There is a 5 pound deposit on each Oyster card. You get that back as well as any remaining balances when you turn them in at the kiosk. You can also add to the card as needed at the tube stations.

Such a great system!

Posted by
3493 posts

The Heathrow tube is actually in the airport, very close, just follow the signs.

Visitor Oyster has restrictions on it vs the regular Oyster. Mainly that you would have to buy in advance and the deposit is non refundable on Visitor cards. Also, don't think those can be set up with the child discount. Just get a regular one at the Heathrow station. Takes 5 minutes and you don't get stuck paying delivery charges.

The tube ride in to the city is fun, low cost, relatively fast, and the people watching is great.

Posted by
1065 posts

"Read on some sites you need to apply in advance and send in a photo ( I think that is the visitor Oyster card) "

No, pretty sure that's the "Zip oyster card" for local children, don't bother with the visitor card just buy a normal oyster.