County Connection participates in the Regional Transit Discount Card Program which allows people with disabilities, those traveling with an attendant, and certain veterans to ride at reduced fares on all Bay Area transportation systems. It is also a Clipper card, and you can add cash value or products.
Applications for the RTC Discount ID Card are accepted at San Francisco Bay Area transit agency locations. New applicants must go to a transit agency to have their photo taken. Individuals with disabilities who are applying for the RTC Discount Card and do not have a valid Medicare card or DMV placard identification card must secure a physician’s certificate of disability. Applications are forwarded to a central processing office, where application information is verified. Qualified applicants are then mailed the new RTC card.
Upon receiving your Discount ID Card, you are immediately eligible for reduced fares on all participating public transit systems. No additional proof of eligibility is required, but you must show the Discount ID Card at the time you pay the fare.
As of January 9, 2022 there are no fees for new and renewal cards. The replacement card fee is reduced to $3. Acceptable forms of payment are cash (no bills larger than $20) and checks (credit cards are not accepted).
If you are eligible under one of the “Basic” categories noted below, you may apply under that category. “Basic” eligibility does not require medical certification. To qualify for Basic Eligibility, bring original documents of one of the following with your application:
- Medicare card, the federally-issued red, white, and blue card – only for those under 65 years of age. (NOTE: Medi-Cal is not accepted for eligibility.)
- California DMV Placard Registration parking placard receipt. If you bring the blue or red placard, you must also bring the registration receipt. If you have disabled license plates (DP) instead of a placard, you must submit a “Medical Eligibility” form.
- Other California transit agency card that is equivalent to the RTC Card.
- Proof of Veterans Disability– A copy of your Service Connected Disability ID card and your VA Certification letter demonstrating a disability rating for aid and attendance, or for a service-connected disability with a rating level of 50% or higher. Please note that it may take more than several months to verify your application with the VA due to their current work volume. For a quicker turnaround, it is recommended that you submit a “Medical Certification” application instead.
- The transit agency staff will take a photocopy of the supporting documentation and submit it with your application. Staff will also take your photo for printing on the RTC card.
To apply under “Medical Eligibility” you must have a licensed professional (see list below) certify your disability.
- Complete section 1 of the Medical Certification form.
- Sign the application in Sections 2 and 3: Your signature in Section 2 authorizes your doctor to release information, your signature in Section 3 is your acceptance of the RTC Program terms. If you application is not signed in the right places, it cannot be verified.
- Bring the Medical Certification form to your licensed professional. They will complete Section 4 of the form which certifies the disability.
- Bring the completed application form with you when you have your photo taken at your transit agency.
- It is recommended that you have the form completed before going to the transit agency to have your photo taken.
- If your doctor has not completed their portion of the form, the application verification process may take more than 21 days.
Photocopies of the Medical Certification are not accepted under any circumstances.
Licensed professionals listed below can complete the Medical Certification, Section 4, of the form. License must be issued by the State of California.
- Licensed physicians with an M.D. or D.O. degree, licensed physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners may certify in all categories in which they are licensed to diagnose
- Licensed chiropractors, categories 1, 2, 3 and 4
- Licensed podiatrists, disabilities involving the feet under categories 1, 2, 3 and 4
- Licensed optometrists (OPT), category 9
- Licensed audiologists (AU), category 10
- Licensed clinical psychologists (PSY) and licensed educational psychologists (LEP), categories 15, 16 and 17
- Licensed Marriage and Family Counselors (MFT), and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), category 17
The medical certifier’s address and medical license information are required as part of the Medical Certification form. The certifier will be verified with the California Medical License Board, and recorded in the RTC database.
Attendants qualify for a discount fare when traveling with RTC cardholders who have been certified as eligible for attendant assistance. A RTC cardholder may apply for an “Attendant Supplemental” RTC/Clipper card that can be used to pay the attendant’s fare when accompanying the RTC cardholder. The “Attendant Supplemental” card is issued to the RTC cardholder who is responsible for its care and proper use. The card may not be used by anyone other than the attendant and may be used only when traveling with the RTC cardholder. Any misuse of this card will result in the permanent loss of the attendant card privilege. Misuse of the attendant card may constitute fare evasion and result in a citation and fine.
Rules for Use of Supplemental Attendant Card
- RTC cardholder is solely responsible for care and appropriate use of attendant card.
- Card may only be used by the attendant to pay for trips when traveling together with the
eligible RTC card.
- Travel history of both cards may be monitored to ensure appropriate use, that is, every trip
taken using the attendant card corresponds exactly to a trip taken by the RTC cardholder. NO EXCEPTIONS!
- The attendant card privilege will be revoked permanently if the card is misused.
Renewing a Card
If you applied or renewed your RTC card before January 2020 OR your disability is not permanent, your card has an expiration date. When it expires, you will need to renew and receive a new card. A renewal notice will be sent to you two months prior to the expiration date on your card. It is your responsibility to ensure that the transit agency has your current address.
If you have applied or renewed using the Medical Certification form after January 1, 2020 and your disability is permanent, your card does not have an expiration date. These cards do not need to be renewed. The RTC program will contact you to update your photo and preferred communication method every five years.
If you are a Senior who has been using an RTC card, you will be asked to apply for a Senior Clipper card when your RTC card expires.
If you do not receive a mail reminder,
- Download the Renewal Application (PDF)
Or, you may call your transit agency and request a renewal application.
- Mail your completed application to the RTC Central Processor:
RTC Central Processor
P.O. Box 70040
Oakland, CA 94612-0040
Or you may bring your completed application to your transit agency.
Replacing Lost or Stolen Cards
First, check with your local transit agency to see if the card has been returned. If so, you may reclaim your old card at no cost.
If not, download the Lost Card Application (PDF). You can also have the transit agency mail you the form, or you may go to your nearest transit office to fill one out and pay the $3 fee.
You can also mail the application or a written request for a replacement directly to:
RTC Central Processor
P.O. Box 70040
Oakland, CA 94612-0040
Be sure to include your name (as it appears on your card), card identification number (if you have it), date of birth and current address with a written request. You must include the $3 payment in the form of a personal or cashier’s check. Do not send cash.
You will receive a replacement card by mail within 7-10 days. We are not able to issue a temporary card in the interim.
Be sure to take good care of your RTC Discount ID Card! We will only replace your card up to three (3) times within a 12-month period at a cost of $3.00 for each time. You will not be issued another card within that period. However, if you feel that your disability is such that you are prone to losing personal items, you may submit a “Disability Justification” form for additional replacements. This form can be requested at the time of your 4th replacement application. Your doctor must complete this form and mail it directly to the Central Processor.
You will also be charged the $3 replacement fee if the card is damaged due to poor care.