How do I apply for an RTC card?
You need to fill out either the Basic or Medical application and take them to a transit agency to have your picture taken. You can find more information on this process here. There is no fee to apply for the program.
Can I pay a discount fare without an RTC Discount ID card?
Yes, but you must show a valid photo ID and one of the following when you board a bus, ferry or rail vehicle:
- Medicare card (not Medi-Cal)
- A current Disabled Person Parking Placard Receipt from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Transit discount ID card issued by another California transit agency if it is equivalent to the RTC Discount ID Card.
- If you are a Senior, (65 or older) you may pay a discounted fare using a Senior Clipper card. Learn more about getting a Senior Clipper card.
Please note, options 1-3 will only be applicable to public transit services that allow you to pay cash fare. To confirm, please check with the transit agency's services you plan to use.
Can I purchase a discount pass for unlimited rides in the month?
Many agencies offer monthly discount passes that must be electronically loaded onto an RTC/Clipper card, or stickers that can be placed on the card. Contact your transit agency for more information.
How long is the card valid?
RTC Discount cards are valid for varying lengths of time and will differ based on whether 1) your medical professional determines that your disability is of a limited duration, or 2) your eligibility is tied to a qualifying document that is valid for a specific period such as a DMV placard (2 years), or 3) you used a card from another transit agency as proof of eligibility. Effective for new and renewal RTC cards issued starting January 1, 2020: If you have a “P” (indicating permanent disability) on your card and you applied for the card using the Medical Certification form, you do not need to renew your card. You will be given the opportunity to update your contact information and photo every five years.
What if I need to travel with an attendant?
Your medical professional can check the box on the Medical Certification application, indicating your need for an attendant. You may use your card with the attendant symbol in order to pay discounted cash fares for the attendant. If you would like to have your attendant use a Clipper card, you can apply for an "Attendant-Limited" Clipper card at your transit agency. The attendant will not receive his/her own RTC Card nor be included in the photo on your card. The attendant is eligible for the discount fare only when accompanying you and must pay regular fare at all other times.
What if I need to travel with a service animal?
A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Certification or documentation is not required for your service animal. However, the service animal must be under your control at all times. The RTC Discount ID Card does not contain any special marking for a service animal, and a photograph of your animal is not required for your ID card.
I am visiting the Bay Area and have a discount card from a transit system in another city. May I use it instead of applying for an RTC Discount card?
If you plan to take transit frequently during your stay you should consider applying for an RTC Card. The RTC Card is more familiar to operators and is a Clipper Card that can be used to pay fares. Find out more about the advantages of Clipper at Clippercard.com.
- Card issued from a California Transit System: You are eligible for discount fares when you show a valid transit discount ID card from outside of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Because operators may not recognize your card, we recommend that you apply for an RTC card.
- Card issued from an Out-of-State Transit Systems: Transit operators may not accept out-of-state ID cards and you should apply for an RTC card. If you are visiting for less than 3 months, use the "Basic Eligibility" application form and your Out-of-State ID as proof of eligibility that works best for you. If you use the "Medical Eligibility" application, the certification must be completed by a doctor licensed in California.
How can I obtain information about the status of my RTC card application?
For questions about application status, call any of the transit agency offices listed here.
How do I transfer my balance from my expired RTC card to my new card?
Call Clipper Customer Service at 1-877-878-8883 or if hearing impaired, the TDD at 1-800-735-2929.
What if submitting an RTC application by mail or in-person is not accessible to me?
If you are unable to submit your RTC application by mail or in-person at a transit agency due to your disability, please contact email@example.com for next steps.
What do I do if I haven’t received my card after 21 days?
You can call any of the transit agency offices listed on the RTC Processing Locations page. Sometimes cards are returned as undeliverable and the transit agency will know if that happened. If the card needs to be sent again, it will be sent to a transit agency so that you can pick it up.