SmarTrip - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I report my card as lost or stolen?

Fairfax Connector logoThe most expeditious way to report your card lost or stolen is to send an email to For the lost/stolen card to be replaced you need to provide the following information:

  • SmarTrip card number (if known)
  • Name of registered cardholder
  • Address card was registered under
  • Current address (if different from address above)
  • Phone number
  • Where the SmarTrip card was last used (provide place, bus/rail/parking, date and time)
  • Approximate balance of SmarTrip card.

Using this information, your lost/stolen card can be made inactive in the system. Once made inactive, it cannot be reactivated. You will receive a replacement card that has the balance of the card that was lost/stolen (at the time you sent your email), minus the $5 card replacement fee, to the current address you have provided. The card will be shipped the next business day and will already be registered to you.

You can also call 888-SMARTRIP 1-888-762-7874. Please be ready to supply the information above.

My SmarTrip card has become unusable. How do I get it replaced?

First, the damaged/defective card will need to be returned. You can return it to any Metro attendant the next time you are at a Metro station. They will send your card back to SmarTrip RCSC in a "fare adjustment envelope". Make sure the envelope is completely filled out with your name, address, etc. or mail it along with a note to:

SmarTrip Regional Customer Service Center
PO Box 10063
McLean, VA 22102

Damaged cards cost $5 to replace which will be deducted from your balance. If you need a card immediately or if you have a damaged card with less than a $5 balance, you will need to purchase another card and register it right away. If the card you are turning in is determined to be defective, you will be reimbursed the $5 cost to purchase the new card. Please contact 888-762-7874 once you have your new card and provide the serial number to the SmarTrip RCSC agent. This will begin the process of getting the balance transferred from the old card to the new one.

You may also go to the Metro Center Sales Office and they will be able to exchange your card for you, as long as it is registered in your name. It will take three business days to have the funds transferred from your old card to your new card. Also, you may experience wait times at Metro Center of 30 minutes or more.

If you are a Smart Benefits customer, you must advise your employer or Smart Benefits administrator that you have a new card so that they may start sending transit benefits to that card.

Is registration required and can I do that over the phone?

The SmarTrip User's Guide states, Please register your card. It's the only way we can help you with any issues you have with your card. More importantly, if you lose a registered card, you don't lose the money on the card. For a $5 replacement fee, we'll issue you a new card with the value on the card at the time you notified us that it was lost. If you purchased your card online or by mail, it is already registered.

Unfortunately, you cannot register your SmarTrip card over the phone. The most efficient way to register your card is by going to the registration Web site at You can also turn in a completed SmarTrip card registration form to a sales associate at one of the sales outlets, to a Metro station attendant, by fax 703-620-8007, or by mail to:

SmarTrip Regional Customer Service Center
PO Box 10063
McLean, VA 22102

Please remember when calling for assistance, the caller must be the registered cardholder. Information will not be given to anyone other than the registered cardholder.

How can I get my SmarTrip ride history?

You must send a signed and notarized letter that requests your SmarTrip transactions for a specific date or date range. This letter must include a copy of a government-issued identification card bearing your name, address, and photograph. Include the SmarTrip card number in your letter and send it to:

The Office of the General Counsel
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Once your request is received and processed, the Office of General Counsel will send you the requested records via certified mail. WMATA intends to provide records within (20) working days from the date of receiving the request. If you have any questions, you may contact WMATA's Office of the General Counsel at 202-962-2058.

How should I care for my SmarTrip card?

The SmarTrip card is a reusable plastic card, similar in size to a credit card, with an embedded microprocessor and antenna. The microprocessor allows you to add value to the card. The antenna makes the card contactless. That is, you simply hold the card up to the card reader at a fare gate, fare box, or vending machine. The card is read without any physical contact with the card reader.

The embedded microprocessor and antenna also make the SmarTrip card fragile - more so than a standard credit card. You should not subject the card to any bending. Bending could cause the card to crack and/or the antenna to break rendering it unusable. It is recommended that you store the card flat when not in use. Many customers who use the card daily to ride to and from work store the card in a plastic sleeve attached to a lanyard that is worn around the neck. Our experience with cards stored in this manner is that they last at least 2-3 years or more. It is not recommended that you store your card in a wallet you keep in your pocket when not in use.

It is also recommended that you do not subject the card to temperature extremes. The card should be kept out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time where the heat may cause it to warp. It should also be kept out of extremely cold temperatures which could cause the card to become brittle and much more susceptible to cracking.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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