University of Minnesota  Procedure

Obtaining and Maintaining the U Card

Obtaining the First U Card

Eligible individuals must:

  1. Present an official form of government issued photo identification to determine identity. Approved primary forms of identification include:
    1. US Passport
    2. US Passport Card
    3. Foreign Passport
    4. US State or Territory Driver’s License
    5. US or State Agency Identification Card
    6. US Military Identification Card
    7. US Military Dependent’s Identification Card
    8. US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Card
    9. Tribal Card
  2. Have a photo taken at the U Card Office for the U Card or, if applicable, submit a photo using approved photo upload procedures as designated by your campus.

U Card photos must meet the following specifications:

  • Digital color photo with no filters (600 pixels by 600 pixels or 2” x 2” photo in JPEG format)
  • Use a plain or neutral background
  • Photo appearance must present an unobstructed view of the full face and shoulders with eyes open
  • Photo may not include accessories that obstruct the view of the face including, but not limited to, hats, sunglasses, hand symbols, or headphones (religious head coverings are acceptable per US Passport and Real ID guidelines)
  • Must be a recent photo (less than 6 months old)

Obtaining a Replacement U Card

  1. Present one official form of government issued photo identification to determine identity (see approved primary forms of identification listed above) OR two forms of secondary identification
    1. Secondary identification can include:
      1. High School Photo Identification
      2. Mail with your name and address (information must match what is on file in the University system)
      3. Social Security Card
      4. Certified Birth Certificate
      5. Evidence to sign into the MyU website
  2. Have a photo taken for the U Card or, if applicable, submit a photo using approved photo upload procedures as designated by your campus.

For security purposes, a new photo will be required for a replacement U Card if the previous photo was taken 6 or more months prior.

Large Groups Receiving U Cards

Departments with large groups of new staff or students requiring U Cards should contact the U Card Office in advance of orientation dates to ensure adequate staffing and support will be available.

Name Changes

  1. Legal Name Changes

    When an individual has completed a legal name change with the University, they can exchange their old U Card for a new U Card reflecting that name change without a replacement fee. Updated identification reflecting the name change needs to be provided at the time of replacement. The previous U Card must be surrendered at this time or a replacement fee assessed.

  1. Preferred Name Changes

    If an individual changes their preferred name on the My Info page via the MyU website, a new U Card can be produced reflecting this change. Once the name has been changed on MyU, wait 24 hours before visiting the U Card Office. If the individual already has a U Card when changing the preferred name, obtaining a new U Card will be subject to the replacement fee unless it is over 5 years old.

    Degrees and credentials cannot be printed on 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. You may also visit the U Card website to review the options for submitting your own photo. If you are unable to attend orientation, you may visit the U Card Office during operating hours to obtain your U Card.

All Other Students (except visiting)

  1. After matriculating or registering for day or evening classes, students should allow a minimum of one day for processing before visiting the U Card Office to have your photo taken or before utilizing the Photo Upload site, if offered by your campus.
  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 into the HRMS 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 website.

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 Available Types of Internet Accounts 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 cost of the U Card (currently $30).
  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 U Card issued.

Exception Process (Twin Cities Campus Only)

  • If you are a staff or faculty member and work more than 50 miles from the metro area, contact your departmental liaison to initiate the U Card process. Your departmental 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 departmental liaison for distribution.

Maintaining and Retaining a U Card

U Cards must be kept in a secure location and should not be loaned or used by 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 webpage. Some helpful tips include:

  • Do not punch a hole in your U Card nor bend it
  • Store your U Card in a protective sleeve or case to prevent the U Card's magnetic stripe from being scratched by sharp objects, such as keys or coin edges
  • Never leave the U Card in extreme heat such as dashboard, prolonged sun exposure, microwaves or dryers
  • Avoid exposing the U Card to magnets and magnetic sources

Deactivation of a Lost or Stolen Card

Visit your campus U Card Office to deactivate a lost or stolen U Card. 

Twin Cities and Duluth campuses offer an online option for card deactivation. Online U Card deactivation is immediate and permanent. Once you deactivate your U Card, it cannot be used by anyone and it cannot be reactivated. Deactivated cards may be subject to a replacement fee (currently $30.00).

To deactivate the U Card online:

  1. Go to the deactivation and replacement page for your campus:
    1. Twin Cities: deactivation and replacement
    2. Duluth: deactivation and replacement
  2. Click on Deactivate your U Card
  3. Login with your internet ID and password
  4. Click on the "Deactivate My Card" button

To obtain a replacement U Card, visit the campus U Card Office during hours of operation posted on the U Card office website, bring a government issued photo ID, be prepared to have your photo taken and note that you may be subject to a replacement fee (currently $30.00). 

Replacement Fees

Replacement U Cards are subject to a replacement fee unless they are over 5 years old or the individual has changed status within the University. An example of a change in status is changing from student to staff. Transferring to a different department is not considered a change in status. 

Individuals with a valid police report for a stolen U Card may receive a free replacement. A copy of the police report must be presented at the time of card issuance to receive a free replacement.

Revised: February, 2022