Did You Know Ventra Cards Expire?

Nearly four years ago, the CTA launched Ventra, a modern, account-based fare payment system allowing Chicago transit customers the ability to conveniently purchase fares and ride CTA, Metra and Pace.
The first Ventra Cards issued at launch will begin to expire on December 31, 2017, and continue to expire on a rolling basis now through 2022. The expiration date can be found on the front or your Ventra Card as shown here. Your Card will work through the last date of the month.

So How Do You Get Yours?

As a valued transit customer, we want to make sure your transition to the new Ventra Card is seamless without any disruption to your transit service.


Whether your Card is registered or unregistered, we’ve outlined just how easy it is to keep moving with your new Ventra Card.


Is Your Ventra Card Registered?

If your Ventra Card is registered, simply log in to your account to confirm the mailing address on file is correct. Then, we will mail you a free, new replacement Card prior to your Card’s expiration. Once you activate the new Card, any passes or transit value will be automatically transferred to the new Card. And you’re good to go!

There’s no need to set yourself a reminder. In the months leading up to your Card’s expiration, you will receive emails reminding you to update and confirm your mailing address, ensuring your new Card will arrive right when you need it.

Note, if you do not update your mailing address and your replacement Card is shipped to an incorrect address, you may have to purchase a new Ventra Card and call Customer Service to transfer any unused (inactive) passes or transit value.


Not Registered, No Problem!

If your Ventra Card is unregistered, simply register your Ventra Card and you will be mailed a free replacement prior to your Card’s expiration. Registering your Card creates a personal account that makes your transit experience safer and more convenient by providing benefits such as balance protection if your Card is lost or stolen and account management online, by phone or via the Ventra app. Learn more.

If you choose not to register your Ventra Card, that’s fine too. You will need to purchase a new Ventra Card and add passes or value to continue riding transit. New Ventra Cards will become available later this year and will be sold at rail station vending machines, more than 1,000 local retailers and online.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do Ventra Cards have an expiration date?

All current silver Ventra Cards have two accounts – a transit account and an optional Money Network MasterCard Prepaid Debit Account. The prepaid debit account means the Ventra Card acts as a bank card. Per banking industry standard, expiration dates are used for fraud protection, and to anticipate when a card may be worn down and need replacing – allowing for uninterrupted use. The new replacement Ventra Cards will not feature the debit side, allowing for a much longer expiration date – up to 20 years!

How do I know when my Card is expiring?

All current silver Ventra Cards have an expiration date printed on the front. Cards will function as normal until the end of the month printed on the front of the Card. Once a Card expires, it can no longer be used for transit and a new Card must be purchased.

How soon can I replace my Card?

Registered customers can wait until their Card expires and receive a new one in the mail free of charge. Additionally, all customers have the option to purchase a new Card at any time as they become available later this year wherever Ventra Cards are sold.

Where can I buy a new Card?

If you choose not to register your Card or do not update your address in time and need to purchase a new Ventra Card once yours expires, there are a number of options. You can purchase a new Card:

How much does a new Card cost?

Customers who register their Card and have their correct address on their Ventra account will receive a new Card in the mail free of charge prior to expiration. Unregistered users or users who wish to purchase a new Card prior to their Card’s expiration may purchase a new Card for $5, which can be refunded as transit value if the Card is registered within 90 days of purchase.

Why is it important to register my Ventra Card?

Customers with a registered Ventra Card will receive a new Card in the mail, free of charge, prior to their Card’s expiration.

However, registering your Card offers many other advantages, including the ability to manage your account online and with the Ventra app, balance protection if your Card is lost, stolen or damaged, reminders about account balances, and upcoming dormancy and Card expiration reminders. Learn more.

What about passes and transit value on my Card?

We are committed to making the card replacement process as painless as possible. If your Card is not registered, several safeguards have been put in place in order to protect your balance. You will not be allowed to purchase a pass within twice the pass duration from expiration. And two weeks prior to expiration, you will only be allowed to add $5 of transit value at a time.

  • A 30-day pass cannot be purchased in the 60 days prior to expiration.
  • A 7-day pass cannot be purchased in the 14 days prior to expiration.
  • A 3-day pass cannot be purchased in the 6 days prior to expiration.
  • A 1-day pass cannot be purchased in the 2 days prior to expiration.

Once you register your Card or purchase a new one, add passes and transit value as usual. Then you're ready to ride! 

Do Ventra U-Passes expire?

If you are a continuing student, you will receive notice of card expiration from your school U-Pass administrator. The U-Pass administrator will receive the new, replacement U-Passes at the school prior to card expiration. Any passes or transit value on a continuing student's U-Pass will be transferred to the replacement U-Pass automatically and available to use upon activation.

If you are no longer enrolled in school but your U-Pass is registered, you will receive emails altering you to the upcoming expiration and detailing how to get your new Ventra Card. Graduating students who will no longer be enrolled full-time will not receive a replacement U-Pass. If their card is expiring, they will need to purchase a new, regular full fare Ventra Card to continue travel. If you have a balance of unused funds or unused passes and if your card is registered, you may transfer your balance to your new card by calling Ventra Customer Service. If you need to transfer an active pass to a full fare Ventra Card, please visit the Ventra Customer Service Center located at 567 W. Lake St, 2nd Floor.

Will new Cards include a prepaid debit option?

The new Ventra Cards are transit only and will no longer include prepaid debit card functionality.

Since Ventra launched four years ago, we’ve had the opportunity to analyze customer preferences and habits and have determined there wasn’t significant demand for this underutilized feature. But not to worry, riders currently using the prepaid debit option will be mailed a new, transit-only Ventra Card and options to transition to a new prepaid debit card completely separate from Ventra to which any funds in their accounts can be automatically transferred.

If you have any questions or concerns about your Ventra Prepaid Debit account, feel free to call Ventra Money Network Customer Service at 1.888.824.8802.

We’re Here for You!

If you have questions regarding your Ventra Card, we’re here to help! You can reach us on Facebook, on Twitter, at ventrachicago.com  or by calling 1.877.669.8368.