Printed on: 04/21/2019. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

Acquiring and Use of the U Card

Responsible University Officer(s):

  • Vice President for University Services

Policy Owner(s):

  • Associate Vice President - Auxiliary Services Administration
  • Amy Keran

Date Revised:

Sep 8, 2014

Effective Date:

Dec 1, 1997


The U Card is the official University photo identity authentication card used on all University campuses and facilities for eligible members of the University community. The U Card is required for personal identification and may be required as certification of eligibility for University-related services and secured physical access to designated University buildings.

All individuals who have received a U Card must comply with the conditions set forth in this policy and the Administrative Procedure: Obtaining and Maintaining a U Card.

Individuals who are required to wear the U Card as a condition of employment must wear the card face up at all times when in non-public spaces, high risk areas, or mandatory use situations.  Departments are responsible for monitoring and addressing non-compliance of the individuals to whom this requirement applies. Employees in non-public or high-risk areas are encouraged to approach any individual seen accessing restricted work space without wearing a U Card and offer to provide assistance. Employees who are not comfortable approaching these suspicious persons should immediately call 911 to report the presence of suspicious individuals to local law enforcement.

University campuses, colleges, departments or units pursuing the establishment of using an identity authentication method to verify service eligibility or for secured facility access must use the U Card.

Units may not retain U Cards as collateral for departmental services.

The individual cardholder is responsible for the U Card. Departments cannot retain U Cards at graduation or upon termination or separation of employment. Cardholders should not give their U Cards to their former departments as collateral, nor should they return their U Card to the U Card Office. The U Card may continue as an active card if the card holder has added value to their Gopher GOLD value account, activated TCF Bank checking, or returns at a future date to the University.


Eligibility for the U Card is determined by an individual's relationship to the University, both role and status.

Student: Undergraduate, graduate and professional students must be currently admitted and/or registered for classes at the University of Minnesota to be eligible for the U Card.

Faculty/Staff/Regents: Faculty, staff, and University Regents must be entered into the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) to be eligible for the U Card. An indication that you have been entered in the Human Resource system is when you have received an official University e-mail address and/or are listed in the online directory.

Visitors: Affiliated academics, staff or students, and all other visitors must be sponsored by a University department to be eligible for the U Card. See procedure: Obtaining and Maintaining the U Card.


Physical access to designated buildings and eligibility to some campus services will be electronically authenticated via the U Card. Access and eligibility may change based on a change in an individual's role or status.

Requirements and Restrictions

Lost, stolen, or fraudulent use of a U Card should be reported to the UM Police.

The U Card office should be contacted to deactivate lost or stolen cards.

A new picture is required each time an individual replaces their U Card. The U Card holder is responsible for any applicable replacement fees.

Unauthorized and or fraudulent use of a U Card may result in confiscation, deactivation, disciplinary action and/or prosecution.

Many of the services associated with the U Card never expire. Therefore, U Cards may be retained by cardholders indefinitely. U Card holders must comply with all terms and conditions for the services used.


The U Card provides and promotes a user friendly, one-card identity authentication access system to campus goods and services by using state-of-the art card technologies and integrated software solutions to provide multi-authentication of identity, thereby eliminating the need for multiple forms of identification.






Primary Contact(s)
General U Card Inquiries
U Card Office, Twin Cities
U Card Crookston
9 Hill Hall
U Card Duluth
127 Kirby Plaza
1208 Kirby Drive
U Card Morris
205 Behmler Hall
U Card Rochester
Student Resource Center, Suite 369
University Square
U Card Twin Cities
Coffman Memorial Union, Room G22

Coffman Memorial Union, Info Desk

St. Paul Student Center, Room 32


Individuals who provide a service for the University but are not paid by the University. Also called "without salary" appointments.
Government Issued Photo Identification
Existing document that must be presented to verify identity when an individual applies for the U Card. Includes: driver's license, passport, state, military or tribal identification documents.
Sponsoring Department
University department sponsoring U Card eligibility for individuals in the following categories: Affiliated academics, staff, or students; visiting students; short-term employees; and others. Use of the term "sponsor" for the U Card indicates the relationship between the department and the individual and has no relationship to "sponsored projects".
Eligible Individuals for Sponsored U Cards
  • Students admitted to the University and all other students registered for day and/or extension credits.
  • Regents, faculty, academic staff, staff and retirees.
  • Visiting students, affiliated faculty, affiliated academic staff and affiliated staff, if sponsored by a University department.
U Card
The U Card is the official identity authentication card for the University. The U Card is comprised of the physical card, the data and the photograph printed on and/or encoded in the card. The U Card serves as a multi-authentication of identity, and verifies eligibility for discretionary campus services and building access, as may be required by a University department.


Card Holder
Provide a government issued photo ID and follow the process for acquiring a U Card (See also "Obtaining and Maintaining a U Card" Procedure). Read and adhere to the requirements for maintaining a U Card. Keep the U Card secure and report any lost, stolen or fraudulent uses.
Sponsoring Department
Complete and submit the online sponsored account application form in order for affiliated members of the University community to obtain a U Card. The applicant's legal name is required. Review, and as appropriate, renew the U Card for affiliated University community members associated with their department.
U Card Office
Determine eligibility requirements for providing U Cards (not services or access). Issue the physical U Cards. Set standards and determine picture quality for all photos (in-person or submitted) to be printed on U Cards. Annually generate and send list of visiting students and affiliated faculty, staff and academic staff to sponsoring departments for review and verification of continued eligibility for U Card.



September 2014 - The policy now includes language originally included in the Security ID Badge around the use of required identification badges, and specifies that departments are responsible for the monitoring and addressing of non-compliance with the requirement.
April 2013 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision: Title change and re-written to: specify required use and conditions for expanded use of the U Card; assign responsibilities of the user, sponsoring department, and U Card office; enumerate and define categories of eligibility; and revise the procedure for obtaining and maintaining the U Card.
December 2008 - Comprehensive review: Clarified policy statement; updated definitions; updated roles and responsibilities. Title changed in both policy and procedure.
March 2007 - Clarified U Card eligibility in Policy Statement; Updated Definitions and Responsibilities section.
January 2004 - Updated U Card Photo Specifications under Cardholder in Responsibilities section.
September 2000 - Policy completely written to reflect the business process change associated with Peoplesoft Implementation. Responsible University Officer has changed to Assoc. VP of Aux. Serv. Policy Statement has been changed to reflect the increased number of services associated with the U Card. Contacts have been reduced to only the U Card Office to correct out of date U Card contact info and eliminate HR contacts due to the PeopleSoft implementation. Special Situations has changed to reflect the number of services associated with the card, not just the financial component. Rates have changed for replacements and affiliate cards. Eligible Individuals have been updated to reflect the changes due to the PeopleSoft conversion. Responsibilities have been changed to delete Human Resources due to PeopleSoft. The Administrative Procedure: Applying for a UCard was changed as follows: Students were changed to delete Visiting Students section. All Other Eligible Individuals was changed to reflect the changes due to the PeopleSoft conversion. University Designated Locations were updated to reflect Morris and Crookston's new addresses.
February 1998 - Definitions section, hospital staff removed from definition of Eligible Individuals and Visiting Students definition removed, since visiting students do not need to be registered to qualify for a U Card, they only need to be departmentally sponsored.
December 1997
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