Validation of Passes
The holder chooses the day on which the validity of the pass
will begin. This date together with the last date of validity, can be entered
on the pass by the Issuing Office already when the pass is issued.
Alternatively, the pass holder has to present the unvalidated pass at a DB
ticket window for validation by DB staff before the first train ride.
An inspector on international trains may also validate a
pass when the holder of the German Rail Pass arrives in Germany in a train from
abroad. In that case, the starting date for validity to be shown on the pass is
the date on which it is inspected. The passenger is not allowed to validate
his/her pass by him/herself.
In the following, a "validated pass", is
understood to be a pass showing:
- the first and last day of the validity period,
- the number of the passport (or travel document
substituting a passport)
The pass must be validated in blue or black ink using a
fountain or ballpoint pen. The passenger may not begin his/her first
journey before 00:00h (0:00am) on the first day of validity of his pass.
The last journey must end at the latest at 24h00h (12:00pm) of the last
day of validity of the pass. The date and time taken into account are those
stated in the official timetables for arrival at the destination station.
A passenger who has not entered the date of travel in the
box provided on the calendar on his/her pass before beginning is/her journey
may be liable for a fine or asked to leave the train.
Using the Pass
The German Rail Pass entitles the holder to travel
throughout Germany on trains operated by DB and other private train operating
companies. Check on the website www.diebefoerderer.de for the validity of the
German Rail Pass on the lines of private carriers.
All German Rail Passes, with the exception of the
"Youth" offer (see Article 4) may be issued for travelling in 1st or
2nd class. A pass issued for 1st class allows free travel also in 2nd class.
All German Rail Passes and Twin Passes issued for 2nd class
and the Youth Passes are valid for travel in 2nd class only. If a holder wants
to travel in a higher class, he/she must pay the difference between the price
of a 1st class ticket and that of a 2nd class ticket at the full fare for the
journey concerned before the trip starts.
Holders of German Rail Passes may choose the days of travel
at their own convenience. The passholder must enter the date of each travel day
on the pass before boarding the first train of that day. This date must be
entered by the traveller in inerasable blue or black ink or with an
inerasable blue or black ballpoint pen in the corresponding box on the
Dates must be inserted in sequential order in the following
manner, for example: May 27 = 27/05. Passholders can travel from midnight
until midnight on the selected day. If the trip starts on board a direct
overnight train departing after 19:00h (7:00pm), the next day's date must
be entered; travel between 19:00h (7:00pm) and 24:00h (12:00pm) on the
day of departure is then included.
However travel can never begin before 00:00h (0:00am) on the
first day of validity and must be completed at the latest by 24:00h
(12:00pm) on the last day of validity.
Use of high speed and quality trains / Excluded trains The
German Rail Pass exempts the holder from paying a surcharge on German high
speed and quality day trains such as ICE*, IC or EC. Pass holders have free
access to these trains, reservations are however recommended during peak travel
*) Exception: ICE Sprinter trains with compulsory
reservation and supplement for special on-board service.
The German Rail Pass offer is not valid on DB Autozug (Car
carrying trains), chartered trains, private steam trains, narrow-gauge railways
and museum railways.
Payment of additional
The holder must pay other charges and supplements, in
particular, those levied for:
seat reservations (sometimes including services routinely
offered and/or compulsory) the use of overnight accommodation, i.e. City
Night Line trains (sleeperettes, couchettes, berths), other services offered on
board trains (meals, beverages, etc.). With regard to the transport of luggage,
holders of a German Rail Pass are subject to the same conditions as holders of
German Rail Pass holders do not have access to DB Lounges.
All requests for refunds for passes must be made in writing
by the pass holder. This request, accompanied by the pass in its cover, must be
submitted, either by the holder him/herself, or by the retail agency or sales
outlet, to the Issuing Office stated on the front of the pass, within a period
of one year from the date of issue. No request can be accepted after this
period. When a request for a refund is agreed, the sum refunded is 15 % less
than the cost of the pass.
The Issuing Office is authorised to reply directly to these
requests under the following terms:
Passes showing dates
If the pass is presented before the starting date of its
period of validity, the refund is granted.
If the pass is presented during or after its period of
validity, the refund is granted if it has been rendered NOT USED before the
first day of validity by a DB official or a DB station ticket counter or
service point. This is done by drawing two diagonal crossing lines across the
front of the pass and writing on it "Nicht benutzt - Not used",
signing it and datestamping it.
Partially used passesAny pass is considered to be partly used when the holder
requests its cancellation after the first day of validity. In principle, the
passenger has no claim to any refund. However, the Sales Agent may contact DB
for a partial refund, if the pass could not be used completely for compelling
reasons (e.g. death of the traveller, serious illness of the traveller or
accident). The client must present the application with all necessary proof
e.g. death certificate, medical certificate, proof of repatriation or advanced
return flight. These cases have to be submitted to the following address of DB,
always together with the original pass:
International Rail Ltd
PO Box 153
Partial refund for a
German Rail Twin Pass:
If one of the two persons listed on a German Rail Twin Pass
decides not to travel prior to the validation of the pass, the Issuing Office
has to issue a new individual pass. If the application is submitted too soon
before the departure to Europe the travel agent has to cross out on the pass or
on the control voucher the name of the person who will not travel, sign and
stamp the date.
Upon return, an application for refund for the person who
did not travel must be submitted within one year from the date of issue to the
Issuing Office, which sends the request to the above mentioned address in order
to obtain a partial refund. The same procedure is adopted by a DB Aid Office if
the change occurs in Germany.
Passes not used /
partly used due to 'force majeure' (e.g. strike or natural disaster):
A traveller who could not (or only partly) use his/her
German Rail Pass due to a rail strike or natural disaster in Germany ('force
majeure') must submit an application for refund to the Issuing Office. The
Issuing Office sends the request to the above mentioned address of DB,
submitting all necessary information and/or documents. DB will investigate the
validity of the claim and, in the case of a positive result, grant a partial
refund to the traveller.
DB will calculate the amount to be refunded according to the
number of days of the validity used.
Passes lost or stolen
No refunds are made for lost or stolen German Rail Passes.
The same applies to tickets of any sort purchased to replace lost or stolen
Travel in a lower
The passenger has no claim to any refund for travelling in a
In situations not accounted for in the terms above the
Issuing Office must submit the application to DB for decision.