SmarTrip® Q&A

SmarTrip® Card Basics

What are the advantages of using a SmarTrip® card?

 SmarTrip® cards have the following advantages:

  • Save Money
    • Free Metrobus to Metrobus transfers with unlimited Metrobus connections (including round trips) within a two-hour period.
    • A 50¢ discount when transferring from Metrobus to Metrorail or vice versa within a two-hour period.
  • Convenience
    • You can pay fares for several transit systems with just one card: WMATA Metrorail and Metrobus, DC Circulator, Maryland Transit Administration Local Bus, Light Rail and Metro Subway, Alexandria DASH, Fairfax Connector, Fairfax CUE, Arlington ART, Loudoun County Transit, PRTC OmniRide, Prince George's County TheBus, Montgomery County Ride On, and registered van pools.
    • You may add up to $300 in stored value on a SmarTrip® card, or better yet set it up for Auto Reload, so you can spend less time waiting in line at fare vending machines.
  • Safety
    • You can register a SmarTrip® card to protect its balance. For the cost of a card, we'll transfer your card balance at the time it was lost, stolen or damaged to a new SmarTrip® card.
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The survey started on October but I haven’t received a form yet. When will you survey my bus route?

We appreciate your interest.  However, to ensure that the survey results are statistically representative of all Metrobus riders, we cannot disclose the survey schedule to the public in advance. For instance, if customers knew in advance when we were surveying a particular bus route, they may choose to ride a bus that they do not normally ride – thus distorting our survey results. 

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Where can I buy a SmarTrip® card?

You can purchase SmarTrip® cards online, by mail, at select CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food stores in the region that display the SmarTrip® sign, Metro Sales Offices, SmarTrip® dispensers at Metrorail stations, and regional transit stores. Click here for a list of sales locations.

IMPORTANT: A SmarTrip® card must be purchased for each Metrorail rider. However, up to two children under age five may travel free with each fare paying adult.

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I don’t commute during the normal peak periods. Should I expect to be surveyed as well?

Yes! This survey covers every hour of the day.

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What Metrobus and Metrorail passes are available on SmarTrip®?

See Pass Products and Student Fares 

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I got a survey form last week and today I got another one. Should I fill it out?

Yes!  This is a survey of trip making patterns, not of individual riders.  As such, every time you are handed a survey you should fill it out and submit it either to the surveyor on board the bus, by mail, or complete the survey(s) online. 

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Can I receive a refund for the remaining balance of my SmarTrip® card or for product purchases?

All smart card purchases are final. If you experience problems retrieving stored value or with product delivery or you find that you were charged incorrectly for your product, contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 so that we can review your order and address any problems. If you live outside of a 100-mile radius of the Baltimore or DC area, you may be eligible to request a refund of the value on your smart card. Please contact SmarTrip® Customer Service to discuss.

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Isn’t that double-counting?

No, it's not.   We are interested in every trip that is taken.  We want an accounting of each of those trips, so we ask that you fill in the form each time one is handed to you. 

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What is the difference between a SmarTrip® Card and a CharmCard®?

The primary difference is that the SmarTrip® Card allows a maximum stored value of $300, while the CharmCard® maximum stored value is $200. Both are smart cards and may be used interchangeably on participating transit systems including WMATA Metrorail and Metrobus, Maryland Transit Administration Local Bus, Light Rail and Metro Subway, Montgomery County RideOn, Prince George's County TheBus, Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission OmniRide, Alexandria DASH, Arlington Transit (ART), Fairfax Connector, Fairfax CUE, and Loudoun County Transit.

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Why do you need my street address?

The primary purpose of this survey is to determine how much each funding jurisdiction (DC, Maryland, and various counties in VA) should pay to subsidize the cost of Metrobus services for its residents.  To achieve this, we need to measure the numbers of Metrobus riders who live in each jurisdiction.  If we could achieve our goal just by asking for your zip code, we would.  Unfortunately, many ZIP codes cross jurisdictional lines, so we must ask for your street address. We assure you that this information will not be used for any purpose other than what we explained above. 

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Ordering SmarTrip® Cards Online

How do I purchase a smartcard online?

SmarTrip® and CharmCards® can be purchased by visiting the Online Fare Purchases page or by clicking on the link for "Online Store" from within your SmarTrip® Account.

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Why does the survey ask about income and race?

As a recipient of federal funds, WMATA must comply with federal regulation such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Title VI of the act and its implementing regulation and associated executive orders require that we ensure meaningful participation in transportation planning processes by minority and low income populations in our service area, and distribute transportation costs and benefits equitably among all populations. We ask demographic questions on all our surveys to help us meet these requirements. 

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I did not receive a confirmation email, did my order go through?

You should receive a confirmation email if your order went through, however, it is possible that the confirmation email could not be delivered or was sent to your junk folder. You can check your order status by clicking "View Order History" on your online account home page. If your order went through, it will be listed with status of "Submitted". Once your order begins the fulfillment process, it will show as "In-Process", and after it has been shipped, the status will change to "Shipped".

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Can’t you get all of the survey data you’re asking for from the SmarTrip usage data?

No, we can't.   The primary importance of this survey is to gather data on jurisdiction of residence from a representative sample of our ridership.  This data cannot be gleaned from SmarTrip usage, even if we were to look at registered SmarTrip card holders, as that wouldn't be a representative sample of our ridership.  Secondarily, but also very important, data on income and race are required to ensure compliance with federal regulations (see previous questions), and that data cannot be gathered from SmarTrip card usage.   For example, trip purpose is a very important data dimension captured by the survey that is otherwise unavailable. 

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How can I view information on my smartcard order after it has been placed?

Click on "View Order History" once you have logged into your account. Smartcard orders from the Online Store will include a circular blue icon in the list of orders. Click on "Details" for information on a specific order.

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This is a survey but there’s no place for me to add my thoughts. Why not?

The purpose of this survey is to gather data for planning and funding purposes.  Comments about customer satisfaction can be directed to our customer comment form, and we conduct other surveys that collect customer opinions.  For other ways to contact Metro, please visit the Contact Us page of our website

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How will my smartcard order be shipped?

All smartcard orders are shipped via USPS first class mail. They are shipped within two business days of us receiving the order.

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Are Metro employees handing out the survey forms?

No, our survey contractor has a dedicated and experienced staff of survey distributors who are passing out the survey forms to riders on the bus.  While they may appear as WMATA employees because they are wearing safety vests with the Metro logo, rest assured that no essential work is being delayed due to this survey.  Metro has employees from the Office of Customer Research who are supervising the survey team on a daily basis. 

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Can my smartcard order be shipped to someone other than me?

Yes, as a part of the online checkout process, you can specify a shipping name and address for an online smartcard order that is different from the address in your online account.

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What does the survey cost cover?

The survey contract covered development of the survey form, determining the sampling selection, implementation planning, staffing the survey distribution, gathering and encoding the data, summarizing the data and producing cross-tabulations and reports. 

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Can my smartcard order be shipped to an address outside of the USA?

We are unable to ship fare media to addresses outside of the USA.

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How can riders with visual disabilities take the survey?

Survey respondents can ask the survey staff who provided the form for assistance in filling it out. Otherwise, the respondent can fill in the form online.  We have verified that the online version of the survey is compatible with BrowseAloud, Metro's licensed reading assistance software. 

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When will pre-ordered smartcards be shipped to me?

About two-weeks after the Scheduled Release Date. The online product description will indicate the Scheduled Release Date, which is the estimate of when the product will be available to fill orders. Your order status can be viewed in your account, under "View Order History". The status will show as "shipped" when the product is on its way to you.

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What if I don’t speak English very well or prefer to take the survey in another language? Are there any alternatives?

Yes! The paper survey has questions in both English and Spanish on it. Online options are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, French, and Amharic. Instructions to access the online survey are on the paper survey. 

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Why don’t you ask whether the rider is disabled?

While it could be useful to have that level of knowledge about our disabled riders, the word "disability" covers a wide range of meanings. It would be difficult to gather detailed data on riders with disabilities on a survey of this magnitude with such a constrained survey form. 

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I did not receive my order yet. What should I do?

Log into your online Account and click on "View Order History". If the status of your order is "Submitted" or "In-Process", it will typically ship the next business day.  Please allow 5 business days for delivery. If additional information is needed, please contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 888-762-7874.

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How long will it take to receive my order?

Please see information above under "I did not receive my order yet."

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How do I cancel my smartcard order?

Smartcard orders can be cancelled online the same day the order was placed by going to "View Order History", clicking on "Details", and clicking on "Cancel Order". After that, if your order status is "submitted", please call SmarTrip®/CharmCard® Customer Service at 888-762-7874 to see if your order can be cancelled. If your order status shows as "In process" or "shipped", the order cannot be cancelled. To return an order after it has been received, please call SmarTrip®/CharmCard® Customer Service.

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How do I return my smartcard order?

Contact SmarTrip®/CharmCard® Customer Service at 888-762-7874 to discuss the return of your order.

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Adding or Transferring Value to SmarTrip® cards at Metro and Retail Locations

What is "stored value"?

Instead of paying each time you use Metrorail, Metrobus, MTA, and local bus systems you can "store value" (transfer money) onto your SmarTrip® card(s). Unless you purchase a Pass product, your fare will be deducted each time you ride on Metrorail, Metrobus or other regional transit systems that accept SmarTrip® cards. If you purchase a pass product, your SmarTrip® card will work during the time period specified for that pass product.

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How do I add value to my SmarTrip® card?

For commuters, Auto Reload is the best option. Click here to learn more. Otherwise, follow the directions below. You can also watch this video about how to use SmarTrip®.


  1. Log in to your SmarTrip® online account.
  2. Select the card to which you want to add stored value or a pass.
  3. In the right menu under Online Purchases, click the link to either Add Value or Add Pass and follow the prompts to complete your order.

You will need to use a major credit or debit card to pay for your order.

On Metrorail:

  1. Go to a 'blue' Fare Vending or to a 'black' Add Value machine, located at the entrance of every Metrorail station.
  2. Tap your SmarTrip® card against the circular SmarTrip® target.
  3. Follow the prompts on the screen.
  4. Insert
    • A major credit or debit card ('blue' machines only);
    • Cash up to $20 bills (no pennies); machines give up to $10 in change;
  5. Touch the SmarTrip® card to the circular SmarTrip® target a final time. This updates the card and shows the new balance.

On Metrobus and most other regional transportation providers:

DASH customers click here for update.

  1. Before you touch your SmarTrip® card to the target on the farebox, push the ADD VALUE button on the left side of the target. If you're not sure where that is, ask the bus operator.
  2. Touch your card to the target.
  3. Put in your tokens or cash: any coins (except pennies), or $1, $5, $10 or $20 bills.
  4. Touch your card to the target again. The value is now loaded on your card. You'll hear a success beep.
  5. For Metrobus and all but PRTC and MTA riders: If you have sufficient fare after your add value transaction, then you'll hear a second success beep to indicate that your fare was automatically deducted. If you have insufficient fare, then you'll hear a rejection buzz, and you will have to repeat the add value process. You may also hear a low balance ringtone if the balance on your card has dropped below the regular fare. That's a reminder to add value before your next trip, preferably at (consider Auto Reload), Metrorail stations, regional transit stores, or select retail stores like CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food.
  6. For PRTC and MTA: Touch the card to the target a final time. The fare for your ride is now deducted from your card. You'll hear a success beep

On a SmarTrip® Point-of-Sale Device:

Available at commuter stores and hundreds of CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food stores. Click here for sales locations. Follow the directions of the employee assisting with the device.

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What's the maximum value a SmarTrip® card can store?

You can add up to $300 in stored value on a SmarTrip® card. Since the value on registered SmarTrip®cards is protected against theft and loss, save time by adding enough value on your card to avoid trips back to our website or vending machines.

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How do I transfer my SmartBenefits® to another SmarTrip® card?

SmartBenefits® cannot be transferred to another card automatically. If you are a SmartBenefits® user, contact your employer's SmartBenefits® administrator to reassign your SmartBenefits® to another card. If you need assistance, call SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874.

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Adding Passes to Your SmarTrip® Card

How do I add a rail pass to my smart card?

Add a rail pass to your SmarTrip® card online as well as at any Metrorail station. Note that you cannot load a rail pass if you have a negative balance on your card.

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How do I add a bus pass to my smart card?

Add a bus pass to your SmarTrip® card online as well as at any Metro sales office, regional transit store, and select CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food stores where the SmarTrip® card is displayed. Note that you cannot load a bus pass if you have a negative balance on your card. For more information on where to purchase a bus pass, see our sales locations.

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When does the pass period start?

For time-based pass products (e.g., the 7-Day Regional Bus Pass), the pass period begins the first day the pass is used.

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Can my smart card hold more than one pass?

You can purchase two unique passes, such as a 7-Day Regional Bus Pass and an MTA Pass. The card can also hold two copies of each unique pass. For each unique pass, one copy will be active; the second will be ready to activate when the first one expires. For example, this feature allows you to add your next 7-Day Regional Bus Pass before the current one expires.

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What if my smart card has both stored value and a pass?

The combination is fine. The bus farebox is programmed to read the pass products first and then stored value to deduct a ride. If there are no pass products on the card, the proper fare will be deducted. If there is a combination of pass product and stored value, the pass will be read first and the base fare will not be deducted from stored value. 

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What if I ride a Metro Express or Airport Express Bus with a 7-Day Regional Bus Pass?

On Metro Express or Airport Express (5A and B30) buses, the amount deducted from your card will be the difference between the appropriate express bus fare and a regular base fare. For example, if the Metro Express bus fare was $4.25 and a regular bus fare was $2.00, then $2.25 would be deducted from your card.

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Product Delivery of Online SmarTrip® Purchases

How are online products delivered?

When a smart card is used at a bus farebox, faregate or fare vending machine a product previously purchased online is "loaded" to the card. At faregates and fare vending machines, product delivery is typically available within four hours of online purchase. Allow two days for bus farebox product delivery. You have 30 days from the date of purchase to take advantage of your product delivery.

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What if I'm unable to load my products within the 30-day period following my online purchase?

After 30 days, the product delivery transaction will expire and will no longer be available for loading at bus fareboxes, faregates or fare vending machines. If this happens, your product delivery status will show as "expired" on your SmarTrip® online account. Please contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 to request that the product be resent to your smart card.

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What if I have problems loading my product purchases?

If you experience problems loading stored value or products through product delivery, contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 for assistance. However, please keep these key points in mind:

  • Smart card stored value and products purchased online will typically be available for pickup within one business day for faregates and fare vending machines, and three business days for bus fareboxes.
  • Smart card product purchases expire if they are not loaded to your smart card within 30 days of purchase.
  • The system delivers your online purchases to the rail stations and buses that you've used in the last 21 days. If you have not used Metro or regional transit in that time frame, you will need to touch your card to a SmarTrip® target at a faregate, fare vending machine or bus farebox to let the system know where to deliver your products. You must then wait one business day if you touched a target at a faregate or fare vending machine or three business days if you touched a target at a bus farebox. If you try to pick up your product at a rail station or bus, and it's not available for you yet, please try again at the same rail station or the same bus line the next business day. The system can store up to four product load instructions at a time for a single smart card. After those four products have been loaded to your card, the next group of up to four product load instructions will be issued and will be available to load to your smart card.
  • A product cannot be loaded to your smart card if doing so will cause the card limits to be exceeded; the status will remain as "pending" until the value of your card is low enough to allow the product to be delivered or until it has expired after 30 days.


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How much stored value can I add to my smart card from my online account?

The maximum stored value that may be added is $300 per 24-hour period.

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How many products can my smart card hold?

Smart cards can hold stored value, plus two unique products, such as time-based passes (e.g. 7-day pass OR Metro Select Pass). The card can also hold two copies of each unique product. One is active and the other is inactive. Once a product has been used, it is erased from your card.

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Understanding Auto Reload

What is an Auto Reload?

Auto Reload for SmarTrip® or CharmCard® allows you to have a pre-defined dollar value or pass automatically added to your registered card, using a credit card stored in your online account. This convenient feature eliminates the need to stop at stores or fare machines. To create a SmarTrip® online account and register your card, click here.

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When and how much will my credit card be charged for the Auto Reload?

Your credit card will be charged when you initially set up Auto Reload and complete your first purchase. The amount of your initial credit card charge will be the total value in your shopping cart. Your credit card will again be charged automatically when the minimum threshold of value or time is met for the SmarTrip® product (value or pass) selected for Auto Reload. Anytime your credit card is charged, you will receive an email confirming the dollar amount charged and stored value or pass added.

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When does Auto Reload happen?

Auto Reload is triggered when the value or pass on your SmarTrip® meets a pre-determined threshold.

Below are the values and/or times when your credit card will be charged and you can expect additional value or a new pass to be loaded on your card:

  • If you use stored value on a Full Fare, Senior, or Disabled SmarTrip®...
    When $10 remains on your card, Auto Reload will add your pre-set value to the card.
  • If you use a 7-Day Bus or Rail Pass...
    When 3 days remain on your active pass, Auto Reload will add a new 7-Day Bus or Rail Pass to the card.
  • If you use a Metro Select Pass...
    When 7 days remain on your active pass, Auto Reload will add a new Metro Select Pass to the card.


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Can I adjust when Auto Reload is triggered?

No. The minimum threshold for Auto Reload cannot be adjusted.

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How do I cancel Auto Reload?

  1. Log into your SmarTrip® account and choose the card for which you wish to cancel an AutoReload 14 days before your reload date.
  2. On the summary page for the chosen card, there is a section listing all the products automatically set to reload.
  3. For the product you wish to cancel, click the "Details/Cancel" option. This will bring you to a new screen.
  4. Click the option to "Cancel Auto Reload" and then confirm the cancellation.
  5. Please remember to touch your SmarTrip® card or CharmCard® to a Metrorail station target, bus farebox or MTA TVM to initiate the cancellation. Cancellation will be complete in 14 days.

NOTE: You will be responsible for any Auto Reload amount charged to your credit card within five days of beginning the cancellation process. To avoid any unexpected, additional charges, remain mindful of the Auto Reload thresholds for fare products.

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SmarTrip® Card Registration

Is registration of my SmarTrip® card required?

No. However, we urge you to register your SmarTrip® card to protect it if it malfunctions or is lost, stolen, or damaged. If you purchased your card online or by mail, it is already registered; however, we recommend that you add the card to your online account.

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How do I register my SmarTrip® card and associate the card with my account?

If you purchase your smartcard online, we will automatically register your card for balance protection, and associate the smartcard with your SmarTrip® account. The most efficient way to register your card for balance protection is to associate it with your online account, by logging into your SmarTrip® account and clicking on "Add SmarTrip® Card". You can also register your card by faxing a note with the SmarTrip® card serial number, your name, address, and email address to 202-962-1035 or mailing the same information to:

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Attention: SmarTrip
3301 Eisenhower Ave
Alexandria, VA 22314

Note: This is a mailing address only and is not a walk up customer service location.

Note that if we mail a new card to you (e.g., to replace a lost card), we automatically register the card for balance protection, on your behalf. Please see the chart below to determine whether your card has been registered or associated with your SmarTrip® account:

Smartcard Sales LocationIs my card registered for balance protection?Is my card associated with my online SmarTrip® Account?
Online StoreYesYes (unless you select otherwise, during purchase process)
Fare Vending Machines in rail stationsNoNo
Metro Sales OfficeNoNo
CVS, Giant or other retail locationNoNo
In the Mail from SmarTrip® Customer ServiceYesNo



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How can I tell if my SmarTrip® card is registered?

Login to your SmarTrip® online account. If your card is listed under "Associated cards", then it is registered. If your card is not listed, then click "Add SmarTrip® Card" and follow the prompts. If you have any questions, you can e-mail us at or call us at 1-888-762-7874 and press zero to get an operator.

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I'm concerned about privacy. Will I have to give personal information to Metro to use the SmarTrip® card?

No. However, if you would like us to provide you with services such as replacing the stored value on lost cards, then we need to collect some personal information from you such as your date of birth. We use this information only to confirm your identity before fulfilling your requests. We do not lease, sell or otherwise release your personal information to outside companies for marketing purposes. For more information on how Metro uses personal information provided by our customers, please read Metro's Privacy and Data Use Policy. Back To Top

How long does it take for my SmarTrip® card to be registered?

Once you've entered your information on the registration website, it is registered to you in Metro's systems. If you've mailed or faxed your registration in, the registration will be completed two business days after we've received it.

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When associating my SmarTrip® card with my online account, I received a "Card Registration Failure" error message. What do I do?

Please call SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 and press zero to speak to an operator. Based on the information you've provided, we can't verify that you're the owner of the SmarTrip® card you're trying to register. Please remember when calling for assistance that we must speak to the registered cardholder. We will not give any information to anyone other than the registered cardholder.

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Using a SmarTrip® Card on Bus and Rail

When I use a SmarTrip® card, do I get a discount for bus and rail transfers?

When using your SmarTrip® card, transfers from Metrobus to Metrobus are free, with unlimited connections (including round trips) within a two-hour window. In addition, SmarTrip® card users receive a 50¢ discount when transferring from Metrobus to Metrorail and from Metrorail to Metrobus. 

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Can more than one person use a SmarTrip® card for the same ride?

No, you cannot share a SmarTrip® card; each rider must have his or her own card. However, you do not need a SmarTrip® card to ride. There are other ways to pay your fare, and this can be done once you get to the station or board the bus; however, most non-SmarTrip® fare options have surcharges. For more information on other ways to pay your fare, please see our Metro SmarTrip® and Pass Options or call Metro Customer Service at 202-637-7000.

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What do the SmarTrip® sounds mean when I tap the farebox on a Metrobus?

Beep = Fare Paid or Add Value Complete
Buzz = Fare NOT Paid
Ringtone = Low Balance (add value your next trip)

If you hear the low balance ringtone consider adding value at, Metrorail stations, regional transit stores, or select retail stores like CVS/pharmacy and Giant Food. For commuters, your best bet is to use Auto Reload. Although you can also add value at the bus farebox, that slows down passenger boarding.

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If I have multiple products on my smart card, which one will be used first?

Products will be processed in the following order:

  1. Free stored value transfers (the system will check to see if you are eligible for a transfer-based discount and apply it if applicable)
  2. Any Active Pass (Metro Select Pass, 7 -Day pass etc.) then
  3. SmartBenefits® (if you participate in the program) then
  4. Stored value

After processing stored value transfers, the system will use the order above to further process the product belonging to the agency on which you are riding, followed by regional products, and finally other agencies' products.

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Using and Managing Your SmarTrip® Online Account

Which payment methods are accepted for online purchases?

For online purchases, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards are accepted. We do not recommend using gift cards or prepaid cards, as we cannot guarantee that they will work, especially if they do not have a billing address tied to the card account.

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Why was my credit card transaction declined?

There are several reasons why the transaction may have been declined, including reaching the maximum limits on your credit card (as established by your credit card issuer), unsuccessful zip code verification or other issues with your credit card account. Be sure that your credit card has not expired. Please contact your credit card issuer for additional information on declined transactions, and to check whether your credit card supports AVS (Address Verification System). If your card does not support AVS, the card may not be accepted by WMATA online.

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Why did my credit card transaction fail?

There are several reasons why the transaction may have failed, including a communications problem or system error. This transaction can be researched by SmarTrip® Customer Service; if your credit card was charged in error, the charge will be refunded. Please contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 for additional information.

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Can I use the same email address for multiple SmarTrip® online accounts?


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How do I change the address that is registered to my SmarTrip® card?

You can update your address or any other information associated with your SmarTrip® card at any time by selecting the Update Card Information option after logging in to your account.

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Can I associate more than one SmarTrip® card with my online account?

Yes, you can. There is no limit to the number of cards you can associate with your account. To add a new card, log in to your account and in the right menu, select the option Manage Your SmarTrip® Account. On the next page, select the option Add a SmarTrip® Card from the right menu. Provide the requested information about the card. Repeat this process for each new card.

If the card has already been registered, you'll be asked to provide some information that will enable us to verify that you're the registered card owner. If the card you're adding hasn't been registered, it will automatically be registered when it's associated with your account.


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How can I tell what the balance is on my SmarTrip® card?

Every time you touch your SmarTrip® card at a faregate, at a fare vending machine or on a bus farebox, it will display your current balance. You can also check your balance via your SmarTrip® online account.

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Can I view my SmarTrip® card usage history online?

Yes, you can view your card usage history at any time by selecting the View Usage History option after logging in to your account. Your usage history is available online for the past 26 months. Recent bus transactions can take up to three days to post to your account.

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When verifying the ownership of my SmarTrip® card online, I received an "Ownership Verification was unsuccessful" error message. What do I do?

Please try again. The information you provided about your phone number and/or zip code doesn't match your current card registration record. You'll be permitted three attempts to enter this information. Remember that the phone number must be exactly 10 digits, and the first digit cannot be a 1. If you need further assistance, please call SmarTrip® Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 and press zero to speak with an operator. Please remember when calling for assistance that we must speak to the registered cardholder. We won't give any information to anyone other than the registered cardholder.

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How do I close my SmarTrip® online account?

You can close your SmarTrip® account at any time by logging into your account and selecting the Delete SmarTrip® Account option.

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Lost, Stolen, Damaged or Malfunctioning SmarTrip® Cards

How do I report my card as lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctioning?

Log in to your SmarTrip® online account and select the Report Card as Lost/Stolen/Damaged option and follow the prompts. To learn more, click here.

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Using SmartBenefits® "Transit Pass Benefits"

How do I sign up for SmartBenefits® Transit Pass Benefits?

Contact your employer to find out if your company offers SmartBenefits® "Transit Pass Benefits" and how to sign up to receive the benefits.

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Which smartcard passes can I purchase with my Transit Pass Benefits?

To determine which passes are available for your smartcard, log into your SmarTrip® account, click on a smartcard number to view the summary of that card, then click on the link to "Add Pass". Each pass description will indicate "Eligible for purchase using Transit Pass Benefits" if the pass can be purchased using Transit Pass Benefits. Stored value cannot be purchased using Transit Pass Benefits.

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Can I use my Transit Pass Benefits to pay for Auto Reload?

Yes. If you have Transit Pass Benefits, and wish to subscribe to Auto Reload for a pass that is eligible for purchase using Transit Pass Benefits, log into your SmarTrip® Online account, click on the smartcard number that receives Transit Pass Benefits, and sign up for Auto Reload for that pass. The payment for your initial Auto Reload purchase and all recurring loads will be automatically deducted from your Transit Pass Benefits, as long as there are funds remaining in your Transit Pass Benefits. You must provide a valid credit card, as a secondary payment method for Auto Reload, even if you intend to pay for the pass purchases using Transit Pass Benefits. Your credit card will be charged if your Transit Pass Benefits are not available.

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How can I see the balance remaining in my Transit Pass Benefits?

Log into your SmarTrip® Online account and select the smartcard number that receives Transit Pass Benefits. On the "Card Summary" page, under the "SmartBenefits®" section, you will see the detailed information on your Transit Pass benefits, including period end date and timing, initial value and remaining value.

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How can I see a list of my online purchases using Transit Pass Benefits?

Log into your SmarTrip® Online Account, and click on "View Order History," which will show you all online purchases along with the payment method (SmartBenefits® or credit card). Details of each order can be viewed by clicking on the order number.

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What happens to my Transit Pass Benefit if my card is lost or stolen?

In order to protect your card's value, including any passes on the card purchased with Transit Pass Benefits, you should report your smartcard lost/stolen by logging into your SmarTrip® Online account, clicking on the smartcard number, and clicking on "Report Cards as Lost, Stolen, Damaged or Malfunctioning" to complete the process. While in your SmarTrip® Online account, you can request the stored value of your lost/stolen card to be transferred to your replacement smartcard. For passes purchased using Transit Pass Benefits, the full value of any unused passes, or the pro-rated value of partially-used passes, will be returned to your Transit Pass Benefits. You must then contact your Employer to transfer any SmartBenefits® to your replacement smartcard.

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Understanding MyTripTime

How is MyTripTime measured?

MyTripTime tracks the minutes it takes a customer to go from an origin station (e.g., Cheverly) to a destination (e.g., Union Station). It is measured from the time a customer taps a SmarTrip® card to enter the system, to the time when the SmarTrip® card is tapped to exit. It includes the time it takes to travel from the fare gate to the platform, waiting for a train to arrive, traveling on the train, and walking from the platform to the fare gate at the destination station.

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What is the WMATA expected travel time range?

The expected travel time range is how long it should take a customer to travel between two stations if service is operating normally (without disruptions).

The low end of the range is equal to the number of minutes it takes the train to travel from the origin to destination station. This is usually the same as the travel time shown on WMATA's trip planner. It can vary depending on the time of day (for example, trains take longer on the Red Line during rush periods because doors stay open longer at busier stations due to the volume of customers).

The high end of the expected travel time range adds:

  • The maximum amount of time a customer could wait for a train (based on WMATA service standards: Wait times are between 3 and 20 minutes, and vary by line, day of the week, and time of day.
  • 1-3 minutes (depending on the station) for customers to walk between the platform and fare gates. At most stations, 1 minute is allotted to travel between the platform and fare gate. Two minutes is allotted at Fort Totten, Gallery Place, L'Enfant Plaza and Metro Center, while 3 minutes is allotted at Rosslyn and Wheaton.
  • 1 minute to complete transfers across platforms (not applicable for transfers on center platforms, like King Street).
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How is "MyTripTime" on-time score calculated?

The on-time score shows the percentage of trips made that were "on-time". You are considered "on-time" if you complete the trip faster than the higher end of the WMATA expected travel time range.

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