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Paris Navigo Decouverte - does the card expire?

I have a Pass Navigo Decouverte that is no newer than 2009 - the last time I was in Paris - but it may be older (not sure if I got it on a prior trip). Can I still recharge it, or will I need to get a new €5 Navigo Decouverte before I can charge it with a 7 day pass? I'll be in Paris Tuesday through Monday morning, so I want one regardless, but it would be both cheaper and faster if I could just recharge my existing one.

Posted by
784 posts

I've heard that they are good for 10 years, but have also heard that older ones may still work. The best thing to do is to take it. If it works, you're all set; if it doesn't you'll need to buy a new one, so be sure to take a new picture, too.

Posted by
8173 posts

Several people have reported on line recently having to replace their cards which are now reaching 10 years. We are bringing new pictures and getting new ones this spring. So apparently they are beginning to expire. I fear they may stop issuing new ones to tourists so will feel better having one with another 10 years on it anyway. One person on another site mentioned that when they could not reload theirs and took it to the clerk, it was the first time the clerk had encountered an expired card.

Posted by
153 posts

We had to replace ours last May. They were over ten years old and when we tried to recharge them at the machine we had no luck. The clerk at the transit window cheerfully issued us new cards (€5) and was even kind enough to peel our old pictures off the expired cards and paste them on the new. You will find the new cards have a different color and design. They are still probably the only true bargain you will get in Paris. :-)

Posted by
2466 posts

They are good for 10 years, then they expire. You can pay 5 EU for the next one, and bring your photos with you.

Posted by
4154 posts

Congratulations , Sue and I are glad to hear this - When ?

Posted by
11294 posts

Thanks for the responses. I'll have my picture ready just in case, and Janet's point (that they may stop issuing new cards at some point) makes me think I should just get a new one in any case.

Steven - I'll be in London from April 26 through May 1, then I go to Paris through May 7. I realized I haven't been to Paris since 2009 and to London since 1999, so they will be like new cities!

Posted by
2349 posts

And don't forget the trip report! Yours are always so good.

Posted by
11294 posts

Just a quick update. My Navigo card had indeed expired. However, the ticket clerk called someone (she used the phone in her booth), and apparently was instructed to exchange my old card for a new one, for no additional fee. So, I didn't have to pay the 5 extra euros for a new card, but on the other hand she kept my old card. I was hoping to get it back as a souvenir, but no such luck.

For those who remember the system before the Pass Navigo, they used to have something called a Carte Orange. I got one of those in 1988, and another one on a later trip. I can't find the one from 1988, but I still have the later one. So, I was really hoping to get to keep my old Pass Navigo for my collection!

Posted by
423 posts

Do the pictures need to be in color? Or can you just make a copy of your drivers license and enlarge it?

Posted by
208 posts

I have read that it can be a photo copy in color or black and white. They just need to be able to identify that it is you using the card. The required size is 3cm x 2.5cm. We are printing our own photos at home and bringing them. There are also photo booths in some metros/train stations and the airport for the passes.

Posted by
3205 posts

Yes, I did mine with a photocopied or scanned picture.
I don't know if it matters if it's coloured or black and white, but I shouldn't think so.

Posted by
2466 posts

You can have it in black and white.
The Orange card expired long ago.
You can pay for 5 EU and get a new Navigo Decouverte.

There is a new system for using your smartphone. But it isn't in use, yet.

Posted by
15649 posts

Enjoy Paris. I'm just a teensy bit jealous :-) But very pleased for you.

Posted by
8173 posts

Ours expired; we just bought new ones. We printed pictures on our computer cropped from snapshots and trimmed them to size. The size is quite tiny much smaller than passport photos. 25/30mm.

Posted by
4011 posts

I'll have my picture ready just in case,

Harold, since you're in NYC, where did you get your picture taken? AAA isn't very helpful at least on the phone and I'm not as technologically savvy as Janet!

What good news that you didn't have to buy a new card...or maybe not as you wanted the old one for your collection? :-)

Posted by
2577 posts

Almost any métro or RER station will have photo booths where pictures are available at 5€.

Posted by
15649 posts

I photocopied a passport photo, decreasing the size. You could do that at an office supply store if you don't have a photocopier.

Posted by
5697 posts

If you're still at home, Costco does passport photos real cheap -- I think four for $4 -- and the quality is much better than the ones from Walgreen / CVS. Then just cut the extra space off for Navigo.

Posted by
8173 posts

for our first NDs 10 years ago we literally took printed snapshots and cut our heads out for the cards. Photo copy your drivers license -- that photo is probably about the right size. Or photo copy your passport reducing the size so it is roughly 25/30mm. There are photo booths in many metro stations; I don't want to waste 10 Euros for us for something so easy free.