University of Wisconsin–Madison

How to Use Your Wiscard

Your ID should be carried at all times and presented upon request.

New or Re-Entry Students

If you are issued a card prior to the start of the term/semester in which you have enrolled, you may not be entitled to use the card until the first class day of that term/semester. Please check with the specific facility listed below if you have questions.

Issue Code

Some campus applications may request an 11-digit ID number.  This 11th digit is the issue code and the number is located in the lower right hand corner of your ID.

After you obtain a new or replacement ID, it may take a few days for your card to be recognized by various departments across campus.  The following is a list of the primary service providers along with information related to their service.  Please read this information carefully to avoid problems using your ID card.

Bus Passes

(Students enrolled for the current term can go 15 minutes after their card is issued to pick up a bus pass. Faculty and staff members must wait until the next business day.) For more information on how to obtain your bus pass, click on one of the following links.

UW Employee Bus Pass Program

UW Student Bus Pass Program

Door Access

(Files update at around 8 AM and 2 PM Monday – Friday. Access does not transfer automatically to a new or replacement card and you will need to contact your building manager before the card will work.) Access to campus buildings is granted to individuals who have business within a certain UW building. This access is granted by UW Police or the building manager for each facility.


(files update every Tuesday night) Your UW-Madison ID card must be presented to borrow materials from campus libraries. Your ID card is not transferable to another user. If you lose your card, you are responsible for notifying the UW-Madison Libraries of the loss. You will be held financially responsible for materials borrowed with your ID prior to you reporting its loss. If you wish to check books out from the libraries prior to the next update the staff at the library will need to be informed of your new card number. If you received a replacement card, your issue code number will have changed and staff still will need to update their database. You can update your ID status in person, by calling the Memorial Library at 608-263-7360 or emailing

Recreational Facilities

(Files update nightly)  If you plan to use recreational facilities prior to their update, let the Recreation Sports Staff know you have a new card. The date of issue is printed below your picture.  Valid Wiscard is required to enter Recreational Sports facilities.
[Ogg Hall Fitness Center 608-262-8244; NAT 608-262-3742; SHELL 608-263-6566; NIELSEN 608-262-0410]

Computer Labs

(Files update within 4 days)  For access prior to the database update inform the computer lab staff that you have a new card. If you have problems gaining access to labs, please contact the DoIT HELP desk at 264-4357.


To gain access to various campus services such as My UW-Madison, WiscMail, and WiscCal, the first step is to activate your NetID at  If you have problems accessing any of these services, please contact the DoIT HELP desk at 264-4357.

Wiscard Account

(System updates within 15 minutes after your card is issued.) Your Wiscard can be used to make purchases at over 50 locations across campus.

If you lose your card, you are responsible for its use until you have reported it lost or stolen online or by contacting the Wiscard Office in Union South at (608) 262-3258.