BVG Subscriptions – your questions, our answers

What is the difference between the fahrCard and the Startkarte? Where and how can I buy, change, or cancel a subscription? These and many other questions regarding BVG subscriptions are answered here.

All BVG subscription regulations and conditions can also be found in Appendix 5 of the VBB tariff.

What subscriptions are there and how do I know which one is right for me?
Check out our subscription overview to get an idea of what's available. The individual product pages will tell you everything you need to know about the prices, requirements, and duration of the subscription in question. From there you can also go directly to the "Order subscription" option.

How long does a subscription last?
A subscription runs for 12 months and is automatically extended for another year if the contract is not cancelled by the deadline according to the VBB tariff. 

How can I make changes to my subscription?
If your address or bank details have changed, you can change your subscription accordingly. You can also change your tariff area at any customer center / sales outlet. 

When and how can I cancel my subscription?
A cancellation is possible at any time, if necessary with subsequent calculation of the number of days already used. You can easily cancel your subscription via our contact form.

What is the Start Card (Startkarte) and how does it work?
Your subscription always starts on the first of the month. The Start Card bridges the time between ordering and the start of your subscription, so that you can travel immediately at the low subscription price. You can buy the Start Card at any BVG customer center. Just bring your order confirmation (printed or in digital form) with you, which indicates your subscription order number. You will receive this confirmation via e-mail after completing the order online.

What is the fahrCard?
The fahrCard is an electronic chip card on which your subscription is stored. It serves as a ticket in the event of an inspection. And the best thing is: If you lose it, we'll give you a new one.

Can I use the fahrCard everywhere in the Berlin-Brandenburg transport network (VBB)?
In principle, yes, but there may be restrictions. You can find out what restrictions apply to the individual subscriptions on the corresponding subscription detail page.

Can the fahrCard also be used for mobility providers other than BVG?
Unfortunately, this is currently not possible. However, our Jelbi app does support the use of multiple mobility providers! 

Which transportation companies in the Berlin-Brandenburg area issue a fahrCard?
The following transportation companies issue a fahrCard to subscription customers:

  • Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe AöR (BVG)
  • DB Regio AG Regio Nordost
  • Havelbus Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH (HVG)
  • NEB Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (NEB)
  • Oberhavel Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH (OVG)
  • Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH (ODEG)
  • S-Bahn Berlin GmbH
  • Schöneicher-Rüdersdorfer Straßenbahn GmbH (SRS)
  • Stadtverkehrsgesellschaft mbH Frankfurt/Oder (SVF)
  • Strausberger Eisenbahn GmbH (STE)
  • Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam GmbH (ViP)
  • Verkehrsbetriebe Brandenburg an der Havel GmbH (VBBr)
  • Woltersdorfer Straßenbahn GmbH (WS)

What do I have to do if I am traveling to an area for which the fare on my fahrCard is not valid?
In this case, you need a connecting ticket before you start your journey. Connecting tickets can be obtained via our BVG apps or in paper form at a ticket machine.

How do I use the fahrCard?
In buses, the check takes place at the front of the bus. The card is held for about one second at a maximum distance of 5 cm from the permanently installed card reader. The area provided for this purpose is marked by a blue symbol. A visual signal indicates whether a valid travel authorization is present: green LED light = valid, red LED light = invalid. On trains (subway, commuter trains, streetcars, regional trains) and ferries, as well as on some city buses, nothing changes for the passenger: ticket checks are carried out, as in the past, by ticket inspectors, who are equipped with mobile hand-held devices.

Why is there a QR code on the fahrCard issued by the BVG?
The QR code is the machine-readable version of the chip card number. It is used to quickly record the card number with a computer in case it cannot be read electronically due to a defect.

What should I do if my card does not work during boarding checks on buses or during ticket inspections?
If your fahrCard does not work during an inspection by BVG control personnel, there may be a technical defect. In such cases, the fahrCard will be confiscated by the control personnel in exchange for a receipt and sent to the BVG subscription service for examination. The receipt entitles you to continue your journey until you leave the vehicle. However, you will need to buy a ticket to continue your journey with any other vehicle.

If your chip card has a technical defect, you will receive a refund for the period of inspection in the proportional amount of the price of the fare you used or – if you submit the tickets for refund – in the amount of the additional ticket(s) you purchased. A new card will of course be issued free of charge. If your fahrCard is not recognized by bus readers (no optical signal appears), the driver will ask you to contact a BVG customer center. Your fahrCard will be checked there and you will receive a new card if necessary.

What can I do if I lost my fahrCard or it was stolen?
If you lose your fahrCard, you should immediately visit one of our customer centers with subscription service. There you will be issued a new fahrCard and the old one will be blocked. A fee of €10 will be charged for the replacement. If you need another replacement card within 24 months of the first one being issued, you will have to pay €20. Note: loss of a free Berlin AB student ticket can only be reported online.

What advantages does the contactless chip card offer me?

  • You don't have to buy a new ticket every month.
  • If you lose your card, it can be blocked immediately and you will promptly receive a replacement.
  • The chip card does not wear out as quickly as a paper ticket.
  • Above-average card security prevents fraud and forgery.

Which chip cards are used?
Chip cards with the current specification for user media from (((eTicket Deutschland are used, which include or exceed numerous industry standards (e.g. ISO 14443A). The chip cards can only be read over a very short distance. 

How secure is the chip card system?
The cards and the overall system are encrypted to the highest security standard in accordance with the specifications of (((eTicket Deutschland. The system has been in operation since 2006 and no cases of misuse have been reported to date.

Is your question more specific and not addressed here? Then feel free to contact our chatbot or head to one of our customer centers.