University of Wisconsin–Madison

Online Photo Submission Information

The University has implemented a new online photo submission process for issuing a Wiscard. This option is currently available to all new students and we hope to extend this service to other campus populations in the future. Once a student has enrolled in classes an email will be sent with information on how to submit a photo online. More information about the photo submission process is available in the frequently asked questions provided below. If you have other questions, please email:


How does online photo submission work?

All new enrolled students are sent an email invitation if they have never received a Wiscard. Click on the “Submit Your Photo” button and provide a picture of yourself. You can send a recent photo or take a selfie of yourself. You will also be prompted to upload a picture of a passport or U.S. drivers license for authentication purposes. That’s all there is to it!

What are the photo requirements?


  • Current color photo taken in past 6 months
  • Light colored background
  • Proper lighting with no shadows
  • Individual should be centered, face directly into camera with eyes open
  • Crop photo from just above the top of head to just below shoulders
  • Wear clothes that you would normally wear at school


  • Hats, sunglasses, or other items that obscure the face
  • Shadows on face or behind head
  • Other visible people, pets or objects in photo
  • Inappropriate expressions
  • Blurry photo
  • Black and white photo
  • Professional photos
  • Tilted or turned head

When do I receive my Wiscard?

Information on when and where you can pick up your Wiscard will be provided in the photo approval message. All cards need to be picked up in person and you MUST present a physical government ID to receive the card. Copies or images of an ID are not accepted.

How can I set a preferred name?

You can identify yourself within the University, including in some official records, with a preferred first and/or middle name (not last name) that differs from your legal name. This is completely optional. Examples of when students might choose to use a preferred name include:

  • You prefer to be called by a nickname instead of your legal name name (e.g., “Jackie” instead of “Jacqueline”)
  • You would rather not have your middle name display as part of your commonly used campus name
  • You have chosen a name that reflects your gender identity
  • You are an International student who prefers to use a specific name while studying in the United States

As long as your preferred name is not used for misrepresentation, it will appear instead of your legal name in many university systems and documents—except where your legal name is required for a business or legal need. Click here for instructions on how to specify a preferred name.

What if I don't have a government ID card to submit?

You will need to come to the Wiscard office to obtain your ID so we can properly authenticate you before issuing you the University ID. Information about alternative forms of ID that can be accepted is available on the Wiscard web site under “How to get your Wiscard”.