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SF Bay Area, D.C. & Maryland commuter vendors

The IRS requires that you purchase transit passes with your pre-tax commuter card only at authorized transit vendors, which are vendors, kiosks, or machines that sell transit passes only. If you try to purchase your transit pass at Walgreens, Whole Foods, or any merchant that sells anything other than transit passes, it will be denied. For more on the IRS regulation, check out these resources: IRS Publication 15-B and Section 132(f) of Internal Revenue Code.  

San Francisco Bay Area

CalTrain and BART station machines are unauthorized vendors because you can also buy parking passes at these kiosks.

For BART, CalTrain, Muni and many other transportation resources in the Bay Area, we recommend that you autoload a Clipper Card online.

Washington D.C. & Maryland Area

Washington D.C.‘s WMATA SmarTrip and Baltimore’s Charm Card are unauthorized vendors because the funds loaded into those accounts can be used to pay for ineligible expenses, such as parking. If you need to use your commuter card in the D.C. or Maryland areas, follow the steps to submit a claim for an unauthorized vendor.


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