4

The website is confusing. As tourists we will purchase an anonymous OV-chipkaart. If I go to "counter services" in Delft at the end of my trip, can I receive a refund if I don't have a Dutch passport (and no Dutch bank account)? What if my balance is more than €30?

3

Confusing indeed. The terms and conditions page has four bullet points under "Three parties are involved in the use of the OV-chipkaart" (although the Dutch page has the expected three).

The page also has an explicit statement that bank transfers will be made only to Dutch accounts:

If your e-purse is more than € 30, you have to terminate your OV-chipkaart in order to reclaim your money. This will be transferred to your bankaccount (only Dutch bankaccounts).

The Dutch version agrees:

Saldo hoger dan € 30 wordt alleen uitgekeerd als je je OV-chipkaart beëindigt en vindt plaats naar het door jou opgegeven rekeningnummer. Teruggave van saldo kan alleen plaatsvinden op een Nederlands rekeningnummer.

As to the use of foreign passports, I suspect that this would be fine. They are certainly explicitly considered in the Dutch ID law, and I see nothing in the OV-chipkaart materials that imposes additional restrictions. One thing to consider is that they cannot refuse to accept Dutch national ID cards, nor those of other EU countries, nor passports of other EU countries. So we can assume that their mentioning Dutch passports only does not imply that these documents are excluded; it presumably also does not imply that non-EU passports are excluded.

The full terms and conditions document (pdf) bears this out; it says only "we may ask you for proof of identity" without discussing the acceptability of any particular document. For a non-EU national who does not reside in the Netherlands, the foreign passport is essentially the only option.

Futhermore, compare the Dutch and English versions of, for example, the questions and answers. The English version says

The employee will check your ID. This can be a Dutch passport, driving licence or ID card.

The Dutch version says only

de baliemedewerker vraagt om je legitimatie.

This means

The window agent will ask for your identification.

There's nothing about Dutch passports. I conclude that the English version seeks to clarify the Dutch ID law for any readers who are unfamiliar with it. Unfortunately, the clarification is woefully incorrect.

  • As far as I can see this answer only deals with the case of a balance above 30€, but as I read the question the OP is also (perhaps even mostly) interested in the case of a balance below 30€. – Henrik Sep 14 '18 at 22:44
  • @Henrik By implication it seems that you'll get cash back if the balance is below €30. I didn't see that mentioned explicitly, though. All they say is that you get a refund; they don't say anything about how it will be offered, but they don't say it will be transferred to a Dutch bank account as they do for amounts over €30. The site is indeed confusing, and although the screen elements look analogous in the English and Dutch versions, the navigation isn't quite. – phoog Sep 14 '18 at 23:01
  • Dank u wel / Thank you! I will just need to manage my balance so it's under €30 by the end of my trip, so I don't need to worry about the second part. – DZx Sep 15 '18 at 0:21
  • @phoog: That was my understanding as well, but maybe you or someone else had some experience. – Henrik Sep 15 '18 at 8:32
  • 1
    The refund went very smoothly. There was a minor service fee that was deducted from our cash refund. – DZx Feb 5 at 18:34

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