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

Access to specific campus buildings is granted by UW Police or the building manager for each facility. It can take up to 24 hours for the door access system to update with your new/replacement card information. If your access rights do not transfer automatically, you may need to contact your building manager or supervisor to inform them you have a new ID. Students living in a residence hall should contact their front desk.


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 in addition to inactivating your card on the Wiscard web site. You will be held financially responsible for materials borrowed with your ID prior to you reporting its loss. If you received a replacement card, your issue code number will have changed and staff will need to update their database. The database is updated automatically at midmorning each business day. If you wish to check books out from the libraries prior to the next update, contact Memorial Library to inform them of your new card number. You can update your ID status by emailing, by calling Memorial Library at 608-262-3343 or by visiting Memorial Library in person.

Recreational Facilities

If you plan to use recreational facilities prior to their nightly update, let University Recreation & Wellbeing staff know you have a new card. The date of issue is printed below your picture. A valid Wiscard is required to enter Rec Well facilities.

Rec Well phone: (608) 262-9244

Computer Labs

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 (608) 264-4357.


To gain access to various online campus services such as MyUW, email or calendar services, 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 (608) 264-4357.

Wiscard Account

The system updates within 15 minutes after your card is issued. Your Wiscard can be used to make purchases at over 60 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.