Tips for Using Your Clipper Card
What do you do if your Clipper card doesn’t work? Will your pass still work when you change addresses or affiliation? These are important questions that may affect your transit experience and eligibility. Check out these tips to help you avoid confusion and expenses when using Stanford-issued transit passes on your Clipper card.
1. What to do if your card isn't tagging properly
If tagging on is unsuccessful, your cash value could be deducted or you could be subject to citation. To avoid this, don't assume your tag was successful at a Clipper card reader. Pay attention, and make sure the card reader says "TRAVEL OK, PASS USED." If it doesn't, here's what you should do:
First, make sure that you present your card or mobile device flat against the screen and hold it there for a few seconds.
Second, try another Clipper card reader and make sure to hold your card flat against the Clipper logo on the reader. Watch our video to learn how to tag on and off with your Clipper card.
Third, if you are still unable to tag on successfully, remove it from any plastic holder and ensure it isn't next to another card, such as your Stanford ID, then try to tag on again. Do you have a new Clipper card and wonder if the passes are active? When you receive a Clipper card directly from Stanford Transportation, your transit passes are active when you receive it. However, if you purchased your Clipper card from a retail location, please allow three to five days for passes to be activated after Stanford Transportation uploads the passes. You may also want to confirm that the provider or Clipper activated the card when you purchased it. You can call Clipper at 877.878.8883 to confirm.
2. Your Clipper card continues to be valid as long as you remain eligible
As long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the Stanford transit pass programs, your pass(es) will remain active. The Caltrain Go Pass is reactivated every four months (April, August, December) to avoid Clipper's 180-day deactivation policy. The VTA SmartPass and AC Transit EasyPass are renewed each calendar year.
You can confirm your eligibility and transit pass status at any time through the Transit Pass Eligibility and Status Checker.
Even if you are not commuting, you do not need to take any action. If and when you are riding Caltrain, please remember to tag on and off to avoid a citation.
3. Request a new Clipper card if your Stanford affiliation has changed
Changes in affiliation can result in a deactivation. Here's what you need to know:
- If you switch affiliations (e.g., postdoctoral scholar to employee or hospital employee to university employee), the Stanford-issued pass(es) on your Clipper card will be deactivated even if you continue to be eligible for Stanford-issued transit pass(es).
- It is your responsibility to request new passes and a new card if you wish to continue using your transit pass(es), since we do not have a way to identify your change in status.
- To request your new transit pass(es) after a change in Stanford affiliation, please fill out our request form.
- Your pass(es) must be preloaded to a new card. We are unable to put your pass(es) on your original Clipper card.
If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Consider loading cash value to your Clipper card
In the event that the transit pass(es) on your Clipper card do not work when you tag on, we recommend that you have cash value loaded onto your card as a backup and to avoid a potential citation.
Please note that your transit pass(es) automatically supersede any cash value loaded onto your card. Cash value should not be deducted when you tag on with a Clipper card that has active transit pass(es). However, it is a good practice to check your charges in case your tag-on was unsuccessful.
To check your transaction history in the Clipper portal:
- Log in to the Clipper portal. If this is your first time using the Clipper portal, you will have to register your Clipper card before logging in.
- Select "More Options" under the relevant Clipper card.
- Click "View Activity."
- Select the date range that you would like to review.
Please note that if you plan to use it to pay fares on Bay Area Transit services for which you do not have an associated transit pass, your Clipper card must have cash value loaded.
Benefits-eligible employees may use pre-tax dollars through the payroll deduction program to help reduce out of pocket expenses for transit fares.
If you have verified your transaction history and found that your pre-loaded cash value is being deducted, please contact us within two weeks of the erroneous charges at email@example.com or 650.736.9923.