Pentland Ferries - RDS FAQs
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Q: Who can apply for the discount under the Orkney Resident Discount Scheme?
A: Anyone 16 and over whose permanent/main residence is on the Orkney Islands. It does not apply to second or holiday homes. Students who are studying away from home may also apply to receive the discount if their main residence is in Orkney.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the number of eligible trips?
A: There is no restriction on the number of trips per person.

Q: Is the discount available for both single and return journeys?
A: Yes it applies to both single and return journeys.

Q: How do I apply for the resident discount?
A: You can register for the scheme by completing an application form and submitting one item of proof of residence. The application can be completed online at , by email to or by post to Orkney Resident Discount Scheme, Pentland Ferries, Pier Road, St Margaret’s Hope, Orkney, KW17 2SW. Applications cannot be made in person.

Q: Do all the eligible adults in my household need to complete individual applications?
A: Yes, eligible individuals over the age of 16 in the same household must complete separate application forms. All applicants 16 years old or over will receive their own unique RDS number.

Q: I’ve received my RDS number. How can I make a booking with my resident discount?
A: For existing accounts, simply go to and log into your account using your registered email address and start your booking process. For new accounts, go to and activate your account using your registered email address. Once your account is activated you are ready to make a new booking.

You can also book by phoning our Booking Line on 01856 831 226, quoting your RDS number.

Q: Do I need to submit photographic ID for proof of residency?
A: No, the following documents can be accepted as proof of residency for your application;

  • Council Tax Bill
  • Driving or Provisional Licence
  • Bank Statement
  • National Concession Scheme Letter
  • National Insurance Letter (16-17 year olds)
  • Young Scot Letter (16-17 year olds)

However, passengers using RDS may be asked to provide photographic ID at check-in or onboard to verify their identity against the RDS number on the booking. Failure to provide photographic ID, if requested, may result in an increase of fare and a suspension of the RDS account.

Q: I have a holiday/second home in the eligible areas, do I qualify for a card?
A: Unfortunately, you do not. Only individuals whose main/permanent residence is on the Orkney Islands are eligible for the discount.

Q: How do I go about changing my name/address details?
A: Any changes to personal details should be notified as soon as possible to Failure to update this information could result in the discount being removed due to incorrect information being held and the account becoming invalid. Changes to address will also require submission of a new proof of residence.

Q: Can I use my Scottish Government Travel vouchers with my resident discount?
A: Yes, you can still use your travel vouchers as you would with a non-resident booking. Please call us on 01856 831 226 to make a booking and hand in your vouchers at the time of travel. We regret that you cannot make a booking online if you plan to use travel vouchers.

Q: How long will it take to process my application?
A: Please allow up to 7 working days to receive your RDS number via email. Please allow an additional few days if we have sent your welcome letter and RDS number by post.

Q: Does the discount apply to all fares?
A: No, the resident discount applies only to passengers (adults and children), motorbikes, cars, motorhomes and caravans under 5m and small vans and minibuses under 5m.

Q: Can I make a booking for someone else using my RDS number?
A: No, you must only use your RDS number when making a booking for yourself as the lead passenger. If you are found to be abusing the Resident Discount Scheme by booking discounted travel for non-eligible individuals, you will be required to pay back the discount claimed and the company reserves the right to withdraw the resident status on your account.