University of Wisconsin–Madison


ID Card FAQs

Who is eligible for a Wiscard?

Students, faculty, staff, retirees, emeriti, and people affiliated with the University are typically eligible to obtain a Wiscard. This population includes UW Hospital employees as well as UW System and UW Extension employees who work in Dane county.

When can I obtain a Wiscard?

Students are eligible to obtain a Wiscard once they have enrolled for classes or when they are on campus for their orientation date. Faculty and staff are eligible beginning 14 days prior to their start date.

Where do I obtain a Wiscard?

Visit the Wiscard Office located on the first floor of Union South. Normal hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5 PM.

What type of identification do I need to provide to obtain a Wiscard?

A valid passport or U.S. driver’s license is required. Additional information is available on the How to Get Your Wiscard page.

Is there a fee to obtain a Wiscard?

The first Wiscard is provided at no cost. A Wiscard can also be replaced for no cost if there is a change in name, status, or your card is about to expire. In each of these situations you will need to surrender you current ID. A $25 replacement fee will be assessed to replace any lost or stolen card.

What should I do if I lose my Wiscard

Immediately go to the Wiscard account management site and suspend your card. This will disable your card at most locations across campus. You can also contact the Wiscard Office at 608-262-3258 or stop by any University Housing residence hall front desk. If you do not suspend your card online, you will also need to contact UW Police, the Library and Rec Sports. Once your card is deactivated, no one else will be able to use your card. A new ID can be obtained at the Wiscard Office in Union South. There is a $25 fee to replace a lost/stolen card.

How do I reactivate a lost card?

If you find you lost card, you will need to reactivate the card in person for Wiscard account usage at the Wiscard Office in Union South. If you live on campus, you can also reactivate your card at a Housing residence hall desk. Door access, Library and Rec Sports services will need to be re-activated separately at each department.

How long is my Wiscard valid?

A Wiscard is valid for 5 years from the date of issue. Within this 5 year period, the card will remain valid as long as a person is enrolled or has a valid appointment. If a person leaves and later returns to campus, that same card will become active again.

What happens when my Wiscard expires?

You will begin receiving email notifications that your card will expire beginning 60 days prior to the card expiration. You will need to come in to the Wiscard Office at Union South and replace your card within this period of time. If you fail to replace your card then you will lose access to in-person services including Recreational Sports facilities, campus libraries, Wiscard account, University Health Services, and door access. Click here for more information about the renewal process.

Can I punch a hole in my Wiscard?

You should not punch any holes in your Wiscard. Doing so might make the card not work and there will be a $25 fee to replace the card.

When are campus services available after I obtain a new Wiscard?

Different campus services update their systems at different times. For example, Wiscard accounts will work within 15 minutes of obtaining your ID, however, door access services will not work until you contact your building manager. Please carefully review the information available under How to Use Your Wiscard for more specific information.

Wiscard Account FAQs

How do I obtain a Wiscard so I can participate in the Wiscard account program?

Your University of Wisconsin-Madison ID card is your Wiscard.

Who can have a Wiscard account?

Any student, faculty, staff, or affiliate who has a valid Wiscard.

How can I start using my Wiscard to make purchases on campus?

Go online and make a deposit into your Wiscard account.

How much money should I deposit in my account?

You can deposit as little as $15, however, we recommend between $50 and $100 to get started. For students living in the Housing residence halls, the recommended amount to begin with is $300-$350. If you plan to purchase textbooks, school supplies, and course packets, we recommend you deposit an additional $400-$450 to cover these expenses.

What if I use up all the money in my account?

Additional deposits can be made at any time online.

Will I receive any discounts using Wiscard?

All Wiscard users (students, faculty, staff, and affiliates) will receive a 5% discount on most purchases at Babcock Hall Dairy Store, University Housing and Wisconsin Union dining locations. University Housing Residence Hall students will save 30% off of prepared food and 20% off pre-packaged food items in Housing locations instead of the 5% discount. Enrolled students are also exempt from sales tax per Wisconsin state statute and will save an additional 5.5% on food purchases at most campus dining locations.

How do I know how much money is left in my account?

Each time a purchase is made the receipt and customer display will show the remaining account balance. You can also review your balance online.

Is there a way for me to review my transaction history?

Six months of transaction history is available online. The information available shows the date, time, location, and amount of each purchase. If you will need any of this information for tax purposes, you should plan to periodically print the transaction history. You may also need to retain your receipts from each purchase to clearly identify the items purchased. Please consult a tax specialist for more information.

Can I withdraw money from my account?

Funds deposited in a Wiscard account are only redeemable through the purchase of goods and services. If you wish to no longer participate in the program, please see the question on closing an account below.

What happens to the balance in my account at the end of the school year or if I leave school?

The Wiscard account automatically carries forward from semester to semester or until a Close Account and Refund Form is submitted to the Wiscard Office (see below). The Wiscard program reserves the right to close any account that has been inactive for a period of 12 months.

How do I close my account?

A Wiscard account will remain open until a Close Account and Refund Form or request in writing is submitted to the Wiscard Office. All account cancellations are subject to a $10 administrative closing fee. No refund will be issued if the account balance is less than $5 after the administrative fee has been deducted. Partial refunds are not allowed. A University check will be mailed to the participant within 2-3 weeks after receipt of request. The Close Account and Refund Form can be filled out at the Wiscard Office or found online on the Wiscard Account Management site.