Personal & Social Needs


The OV-chipkaart (OV-chip card) is the means of payment for public transport system in the Netherlands. The size of a bank card, it contains an invisible chip, and can be loaded with credit.


Types of cards: 

  1. Personal: Like a personal ID card, it has your photo on it and personal information, such as your name, birth date and BSN. It is non-transferable, and can hold travel products based on the age of the holder (e.g. students or senior citizens). When lost or stolen, it can be blocked within 24 hours. It can be also loaded automatically from your bank account. Purchase it online at
  2. Anonymous: This card is transferable between persons. However, only one person can use it at a time. It costs €7,50 and credit can be added to it as needed. It is valid for 4 - 5 years. When lost or stolen it cannot be blocked. Purchase it at the service desk at the train station or at some supermarkets.
  3. Single-Use/Disposable OV-chipkaart: Made of stiff paper, these have replaced the old paper-tickets. They can only be used for simple travel products (single, return, or a 1-day pass) and are meant to be thrown away after use. It is not possible to load credit or products onto this card. These cards cost €1, in addition to the regular price of the trip. (Some exceptions apply.) This option is best for tourists or occasional travelers.

Check in and check out 

  • Hold your OV-chipkaart up to the OV logo on the card reader. You'll hear a beep and see a green light. On the screen text will appear such as, "Goede reis!" ("Have a nice journey!"), and a sort of surety money is deducted from your credit balance.
  • At the end of your trip, check out in the same way. Hold your OV-chipkaart up to the OV logo on the card reader. Again you'll hear a beep. The real cost for the trip is now deducted from your credit balance.


If you make a transfer you will need to check out and in again on the next mode of transport. If you are transferring from one train to another train of the same company, you only need to check out at the end of your journey. 


Check out and in when transferring:

  • You travel by bus and transfer to another bus.
  • You travel by bus and transfer to a train.
  • You travel by an NS train and transfer to a regional train, for instance from one NS train to a regional train like Veolia, Arriva, Connexxion or Syntus.

Check out on your final destination:

  • If you are transferring to a train of the same company, for instance from NS to NS, Arriva to Arriva, Veolia to Veolia, and so on.

Choose the right card reader

Card readers sometimes are placed at the platform at train stations or metro and tram stations. Be sure that you check out at the right Public transport company.


If you do forget to check out, you can apply for a refund via






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