To register a SmarTrip card online, a user must login to the Washington D.C. Metro website and create an online account within their system, once an account is created, the card can be registered and funds can be added. The SmarTrip card is similar to a credit card and is used for transportation in the greater Washington D.C. metro area; users swipe it when boarding a train and receive a discounted fare; $1 each way on the Metrorail and 20 cents on the Metrobus.
While not required, registering a card protects the owner in case of loss, theft or malfunction. Cards bought online and received in the mail are automatically registered, but the Metro strongly suggests that each card is tied to an online account through their site. Once the registration process is completed online, it takes two business days for it to be processed.
Registering a card helps when it is lost or stolen, and it makes it easier for the owner to keep track of multiple cards and keep a record of the balance of each card in household.
Funds can be added to a SmarTrip Card by credit or debit card; currently Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards are accepted. There are also options to auto-reload a card once it reaches a certain dollar amount.