Student Life

ORCA Card Information

Update Due to COVID-1 9:

How can I get a replacement while schools are closed due to COVID-19?

Due to COVID-19, our normal ORCA card procedures are adapting to continuing building closures. Seattle Public Schools buildings are not serving as distribution centers as they normally would during the school year. 

  • If you need to request a replacement card during the closures and during the summer, please e-mail and include the following information:
  • Student’s name
  • Student’s Seattle Public Schools ID#
  • Student’s current mailing address
  • A current phone number or e-mail address that you have access to during the daytime
  • A reason for the replacement: Lost/Stolen/Damaged

NOTE:  Only provide your address if you absolutely have no way of picking up your card from your school of attendance.

Replacement fees still apply. $5.50 for the first replacement card, and $25.00 for any subsequent replacements. Transportation will confirm the fee owed when requesting replacements. 

The replacement fee owed will need to be paid via School Pay. Proof of payment must be provided in order for a replacement ORCA card to be processed.

ORCA cards will be delivered to your school or placed in the mail on Tuesdays only.

ORCA cards are provided to students in 6th-12th grade, who meet eligibility criteria in the Transportation Service Standards.

For the 2021-2022 school year, ORCA cards will also be provided to Seattle Public Schools students in 9th-12th grade who meet the requirements of the City of Seattle’s ORCA Opportunity Program.

ORCA cards distributed through the Transportation Department cover youth fare for unlimited travel on the following providers:

  • Bus: Community Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap transit, King County Metro Transit, Pierce Transit, and Sound Transit
  • Rail: Sound Transit, Link light rail, Sound Transit Sounder train (including Rail Plus partnership with Amtrack Cascades), Seattle Center Monorail
  • Streetcar: Seattle Streetcar
  • Ferry: King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Local Ferries and Fast Ferries
  • Access Transportation: Metro and Kitsap Transit Access Transportation (eligible riders only)

ORCA cards expire every year at the end of August.

To claim your new ORCA card for the 2021-2022 school year, please contact your school of attendance to make arrangement’s to pick-up your card. The  ORCA card Conditions of Use form does not require a signature for 2020-21 in order to receive an ORCA card.  Students and parents should review the form to understand the expectations for using an ORCA card on public transportation. 

ORCA Opportunity Program

The City of Seattle is partnering with Seattle Public Schools to provide high school (9th -12th grade) students who are not eligible for transportation from the district with ORCA cards. They are also providing funding so that all cards issued through the District to Seattle Public Schools students are available for use through the summer.

The ORCA Opportunity Program is a program funded through 2022-2022 school year. In subsequent school years, the program will be subject to funding availability.

For more information about the City of Seattle’s ORCA Opportunity Program, please visit their  Youth Program website.


ORCA Card Summer Extension FAQ

For the 2021-2022 school year, the City of Seattle is providing funding so that the ORCA cards issued to Seattle Public Schools students, during the school year, are available for their use during the summer. Cards will continue to be active after the regular school year ends, until approximately the end of August. Below are some answers to questions asked most frequently about the program.

If you have additional questions, please e-mail


If my student already has an ORCA card, will they need a new card for the summer?

  • No, students should continue using the ORCA card that they were issued during the school year until they are blocked at the end of August. Students will not need to obtain a separate card for the summer.
  • Cards for the next school year will be issued in September at the start of school, unless otherwise noted.

If I’m a graduating senior, will I be eligible for the summer extension?

  • Yes, however you must claim your ORCA card before the end of the current school year.
  • You will not be able to claim a card after the school year ends, to use just for the summer.


What happens after the summer with my student’s ORCA card?

  • All cards distributed during the 2022-2022 school year should work through Aug. 31, 2022. Any card issued during the previous school year (2020-21), including replacements ordered during the summer, will be deactivated/blocked the day after August 31, 2021.
  • District Eligible Students
    • High school and middle school students who are eligible for an ORCA card based on the Seattle Public Schools’ Transportation Standards will automatically be issued a new card at the start of the school year.
  • City of Seattle Program Students
    • High School students who are enrolled at an eligible Seattle Public Schools (SPS) school or program, who do not qualify for the district- issued cards, will automatically be issued a card at the start of the school year, if program funding continues to be provided.
    • Middle school students who were issued an ORCA card through the Seattle Youth Program will be automatically re-enrolled and do not need to reapply as long as they continue their enrollment at the same school in which they initially were issued a card and as long as funding for the program continues. New applicants should visit the  City of Seattle’s Youth Program website.

My student is currently in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade and doesn’t currently have ORCA card, will my student be eligible for the summer extension since they will be a 9th grader next school year?

  • No, only students who were eligible for an ORCA card during the 2021-22 school year are eligible for the summer extension. Your student will be eligible the first day of 9th grade.