Prior to submitting an exemption (opt-out) request for the U-Pass program, it is important to consider the following.

The U-Pass has come into effect through SFUO and GSAED referendums and is mandatory for all full-time students at the University of Ottawa. Although the program is mandatory, there are some cases where you could be exempted.

Exemption criteria

The situations listed below are the only acceptable situations where an exemption (opt-out) request can be submitted, an exemption not listed below will not be considered.

1. I live outside of the OC Transpo or STO service area

You may be exempt if you live outside the transit service area. Consult the OC Transpo Service Area Map or the STO Service Area Map. In order to be exempted for living outside the transit service area, you must provide the following:

  1. A valid government ID (preferably a driver’s license) showing your name and address that matches the address provided on your tenancy agreement or utility bill, and one of the following two accepted supporting documents:
  • A utility bill (such as hydro, cable or land line) that has been issued within the past two months and matches the name on your government issued ID, or;
  • A tenancy agreement relating to leased premises that include your full name and address.Note: non-official documents or handwritten rental agreements will not be accepted.


If you provide documentation indicating that you’re living in another province beside Ontario or Quebec or in a city beyond the National Capital Region; such as Toronto or Montreal and that you’re not taking online courses, you will be required to provide further justification

2. I will be living outside of the Ottawa and Gatineau area for more than 60 days

You may be exempt if you are outside of the Ottawa and Gatineau area for a minimum of 60 days per term because of the following reasons:

Note: You will only be exempted for the term for which you are away.


A. I am participating in a coop work program

Supporting documentation required:

  • A copy of your timetable to demonstrate registration in the appropriate coop work, along with a signed copy of your contract showing the dates and location of your work term.

B. I am participating in an internship or an exchange

Supporting documentation required:

    • A letter from the department that is sponsoring your internship/exchange. The letter must state the period of time you are on internship/exchange and the location.
    3. I am a member of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)


    You may be exempt if you are a member of the Canadian national institute for the blind (CNIB).

    Supporting documents required:

    • Your CNIB pass number and a copy of your CNIB card.


    4. I am now a part-time or no longer registered as a uOttawa student


    You may be exempt if you are no longer a full-time uOttawa student.

    This includes MA and PHD students that have submitted their thesis before the deadline and are receiving a 100% financial credit for their university fees.

    If you are a graduate student, please note that the U-Pass fee is not automatically refunded once you graduate even with the guarantee of 100% refund given by your faculty. The fees mentioned by the faculty does not include the U-Pass.

    No supporting documentation necessary.

    5. I have a medical reason


    You may be exempt if you have a medical reason or an extenuating situation.

    These exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and approved by both the University and OC Transpo. 

    Supporting documents required:

    • An official letter from a medical practitioner that specifies that you cannot use transit, including Para Transpo.

    Note: A handwritten notice that cannot be read will be refused.


    6. I hold a U-Pass issued from another post-secondary institution in Ottawa

    You may be exempt if you already have a U-Pass from another institution in Ottawa.

    Supporting documents required:

    • Your student number from the other post-secondary institution, your timetable and a photo of your U-pass.
    7. I am conducting a research or completing my thesis

    Please note, to be accepted for this exemption, you must be outside of the Ottawa and Gatineau area for a minimum of 60 days per term.

    Supporting documentation required:

    A signed letter from your authorized supervisor who oversees the thesis or research. The letter should provide the start and end day you will be completing the research or thesis.

    How to opt-out

    If you are in a situation outlined above, you must submit an Exemption request along with the necessary supporting documentation to receive a reimbursement.

    Any request submitted without the required documentation will automatically be refused.

    If your U-Pass was picked up, it must be returned to the uOttawa Card Service (UCU 104).

    Submit my Exemption Form through uOZone.

    Important notes

    • Submitting an exemption request does NOT guarantee that your exemption will be approved.
    • Allow at least 15 business days for your exemption to be processed.
    • You will be notified by email of the result of your request.
    • Late, retroactive, and/or incomplete applications will NOT be considered.
    • You may be required to submit additional documentation if necessary.
    • You may be required to complete another exemption request for the following terms.
    • If you are unsure of what supporting documentation to provide, please email us before submitting an application.

    Opt-Out Deadlines

    To obtain a full refund, the deadline for each term are as follows:

    • Fall term or full academic year: September 14
    • Winter term: January 14
    • Summer term: May 14

    Passed these deadlines, the amount reimbursed will be pro-rated according to the date when your exemption request has been accepted. 

    Requests for exemption must be submitted before the end of the term for which you are eligible for an opt-out.

    Full & Pro-Rated Refunds

    Refunds will be issued to the student’s account.  Students who are exempted after the deadline or students who use their U-Pass will receive a pro-rated refund for the amount of time they had the U-Pass.

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