Printed on: 04/20/2019. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

Obtaining and Maintaining the U Card

Administrative Procedure

Obtaining the U Card

Eligible individuals must:

  1. Present a government issued photo ID to determine identity (driver's license, passport, state, military, or tribal ID)
  2. Have a photo taken for the U Card or submit a photo through the Photo Upload

U Card photos must meet the following specifications:

  • Digital color photo with a neutral background
  • Photo appearance must present an unobstructed view of the full face of the U Card holder
  • Individual must be in normal street attire
  • Photo may not include accessories that obstruct the view of the face including, but not limited to, a hat or sunglasses
  • Image may not include any facial, hand gestures, or any foreign objects

For security purposes, a new photo will be required each time an individual replaces the U Card.

Steps for Obtaining a U Card, by Role

A. Students

First Year Students

Upon confirmation of admittance to the University of Minnesota, bring your government issued photo ID to one of the University designated locations during your orientation session to have your picture taken and U Card issued or submit a photo using the Photo Upload web page.  If you are unable to attend orientation, you may visit the U Card Office at any time to obtain your U Card.

All Other Students (except visiting)

  1. After registering for day or evening classes, students should allow for one day for processing and either utilize Photo Upload option or visit the U Card Office to have your photo taken.
  2. Bring a government issued photo ID to one of the University designated locations to obtain your U Card.

B. Regents, Faculty, Staff and Retirees

  1. Verify you have been entered into the Human Resources Management System (HRMS). An indication that you have been entered in the Human Resource system is when you have received an official University email address and/or are listed in the online directory. If you have not been entered into HRMS, have your departmental payroll administrator enter your information.
  2. Bring your government issued photo ID to one of the designated locations to have your photo taken and U Card issued. Designated locations, by campus, can be found at the U Card Office Locations web page.

C. Affiliated Faculty, Affiliated Staff and Visiting Students

  1. Your sponsoring department must complete the web-based process to formalize your sponsored card request. There are several types of sponsored accounts – please refer to the How-To Instructions web page for the various types of accounts.
  2. If you opt to request a Sponsored Account (most common), the process starts by requesting a username and password on the Sponsored Accounts web page.
  3. The person requesting the Sponsored Account will receive an email with a link to request a U Card. The requestor MUST follow this link and must provide an EFS number to charge the U Card (Currently $25).
  4. Once the U Card request is complete and 24 hours have elapsed, the person for whom you are requesting the U Card may bring a government issued photo ID to one of the designated locations to have your photo taken and the U Card issued.

Exception Process

  • In certain circumstances, a photo taken within the last 6 months may be submitted to the U Card Office. The recent photo must be presented on photo quality paper, a flash-drive, or as a file on a disc (a passport quality photo may be used). You may also be eligible to submit a photo via the Photo Upload
  • If you work more than 50 miles from the metro area, contact your department liaison to start the U Card process. Your department's liaison will work with the Twin Cities Campus U Card Office to assist in the production of your U Card. You must present a government issued photo ID to your departmental liaison and provide a recent photo as described above. Upon verification of your identity, the U Card will be sent to your department liaison for distribution.

Maintaining and Retaining a U Card

U Cards must be kept in secure location and should not be loaned or given to anyone other than the U Card holder.

To extend the useful life of the card, follow the complete U Card care instructions found on the About The U Card web page.  Some helpful tips include:

  • Never leave the U Card on the dashboard or in the sun
  • Prevent the U Card's magnetic stripe from being scratched by sharp objects, such as keys or coin edges and protect the card from magnets and magnetic sources.
  • Do not bend the U Card
  • Never punch holes in the U Card

Deactivation of a lost or stolen card

Online U Card deactivation is immediate & permanent! Once you deactivate your U Card, it cannot be used by anyone & it cannot be reactivated.

To deactivate the U Card:

  1. Go to the deactivation and replacement page
  2. Click on Deactivate your U Card
  3. Login with your internet ID & password
  4. Click on the "Deactivate My Card" button

To obtain a replacement U Card visit the campus U Card Office during regular business hours, bring a government issued photo ID, be prepared to have your photo taken and note that you may be subject to a replacement fee.

Document Feedback