Fare vending machines are in every station. A SmarTrip® card is required for each rider age 5 and older (up to two children under age five may travel free with each fare paying adult). The blue fare vending machines are your best choice if you need a SmarTrip® card.
The blue "Fare Vending" machines sell up to six SmarTrip ® cards at a time. You may add up to $300 in value to each SmarTrip® card to pay your fare as you go on Metrorail, Metrobus or one of Metro's Regional Partners, OR you may add a Metrorail pass. Metrorail passes include the One-Day Pass; 7-Day Short Trip Pass; 7-Day Fast Pass; and 28-Day Fast Pass. Just follow the prompts by the ABC buttons to purchase a new card with value or to purchase a new card with a pass.
If you already have a card, then just tap it to the white SmarTrip® target and follow the ABC button prompts to add value or a pass.
The Fare Vending machines accept cash and major credit and debit cards. Bills up to $20 are accepted; however, the machines only provide up to $10 in change. Change is returned in coins.
The black "Add Value" machines may only be used to add value to an existing SmarTrip® card. They do not sell SmarTrip® cards; they do not sell passes; and they only accept cash. Bills up to $20 are accepted. The machines provide up to $10 in change.
Tap your SmarTrip® card to the white SmarTrip® target; insert your money in the bill acceptor; use the white toggle buttons if you prefer to add less than the money you inserted; tap your card again to add the value; collect any change.
The "Express SmarTrip® Card Dispensers" are available in selected Metrorail stations. The dispensers sell SmarTrip® cards one at a time for $10: $2 for the card itself and $8 in fare value. The dispenser accepts all major credit and debit cards and $1, $5, and $10 bills. It does not give change.
Use the Express SmarTrip® Card Dispensers if you do not need a pass and you plan to spend $8.00 or more in fares on Metrorail, Metrobus, or one of Metro's regional partners.
The brown "Exitfare" machines are located near the Metrorail exit gates and only accept cash (coins and $1, $5 and $10 bills). If you were prevented from exiting because your SmarTrip® card or farecard had insufficient fare, then follow the instructions on an Exitfare machine to add the remaining fare. The machines provide up to $9.95 in change.
Please tap your SmarTrip® card to an Exitfare target only if the exit faregate instructed you to: "Stop - Take card Add value". The amount displayed by an Exitfare is the amount you owe, NOT the remaining balance on your card.
See the using Metrorail faregates page.