That Metro card in your wallet may not work when you scan it this summer.

The next time you visit a Metro station, it might be a good time to switch out your old SmarTrip® card. This summer, WMATA is installing new fare gates across the system that will render some old SmarTrip cards unusable. Riders with old SmarTrip cards will have to transfer balances at a station or mail the card in to get a replacement. To help with the transition, Metro will be giving a $5 promotional credit to customers that mail in old cards for replacement. You may be able to transfer old balances to your mobile wallet via your smartphone.

Old cards made before 2012 are slated to be phased out as fare gates are replaced with newer, more efficient gates. Fare gates will be replaced station by station, starting in June of 2021. If you don’t transfer the balance, you won’t be able to use the old card to enter the turnstiles. So how do you know if your card needs replacing? Use the diagram below to identify the number sequence on your card. All cards with “0167” in the sequence are up to date and do not have to be replaced.

Courtesy WMATA

If your card needs to be replaced, you must visit a Metro station to scan the new card through a fare gate. Due to the pandemic, WMATA understands that many people have stopped using the Metro, so they are offering a mail-in program to replace the cards. Now through October 7, 2021, you can mail in your old SmarTrip cards and Metro will mail you a new one with an extra $5 of promotional credit. For more information on how to replace your cards, go to

How old is your Metro card? Let us know in the comments.