Administrative Policies

AD24 Identification Cards for Students, Faculty/Staff, Affiliates, and Retirees

Policy Status: 

Under Review

Subject Matter Expert: 

Amy Perryman, 814-867-3895,

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff


  • Purpose
  • Definitions
  • Responsibility for Issuance of Photo Identification Credentials
  • Types Of id+ Cards
  • id+ Card Issuance
  • Use Of the id+ Card
  • id+ Card Replacement
  • Use of Digital Photos
  • ID Card Advisory Board
  • Cross References

    To govern the provision of University Photo Identification Credentials for students, faculty/staff, retirees, emeriti and affiliates of the Pennsylvania State University (“Penn State” or “University”).


    A University Photo Identification Credential is defined as any type of ID card, badge, or other photo-based credential issued by a University department for the purposes of visually identifying a unique individual. The University Photo Identification Credential would contain the individual's photo, name, and, most likely, other unique identity elements, such as a PSU ID number, card number, and/or departmental information. In addition to the visual elements, the University Photo Identification Credential may include data stored in a digital form that can be interfaced with automated systems. Data may be stored on a magnetic stripe, embedded memory, or other technology. Cards that are issued for door access and food service meal plans, which do not include photos or information unique to an individual, are not considered photo identification credentials and are not covered by this policy.

    The Penn State id+ Card is the official photo identification card of Penn State. All id+ cards are photo cards with a magnetic stripe on the back. Only authorized University ID Offices are permitted to produce and issue id+ cards.


    The Penn State id+ Office has central authority over the issuance of any University-issued photo identification credentials. It is the goal of this policy to minimize, reduce, and ultimately eliminate the practice of issuing multiple University-issued photo identification credentials to the same person. Toward that end, whenever possible, the Penn State id+ Card, as the official University identification card, shall be used for photo identification credential purposes. Any department wishing to issue photo identification credentials must be authorized to do so by the id+ Office.

    The production of all University photo identification credentials shall employ person identity information from the Penn State Central Person Registry (CPR) which, under University Policy AD80, is the University's "sole authoritative source" for person identity information. The photo used for the Penn State id+ Card will be stored in the CPR, as part of the Person Biographical Record (Person Bio Record), under practices and procedures developed under the authority of IAM Governance by the cross-unit Person Bio Record working Group. The id+ Office is the data steward for the digital photo images.


    There are six types of Penn State id+ Cards:

    Student id+ Cards - This card is issued to students during their scheduled New Student Orientation visit, or to students who have consented to the terms and conditions of the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement and are enrolled in LionPATH for one or more classes at any Penn State campus at the time of card issuance. World Campus students are issued non-photo identification credentials, which may be exchanged free of charge for an id+ card by visiting any of the campus' University ID Offices.

    Faculty/Staff id+ Cards - This card is issued to full-time employees (regular, limited-term or supplemental) and postdoctoral appointees of the University.

    Faculty/Staff/Student id+ Cards -This dual-status card is issued to full-time employees (regular, limited-term or supplemental) of the University, who are also enrolled in LionPATH for one or more classes at any Penn State campus at the time of card issuance and have consented to the terms and conditions of the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement.

    Retiree id+ Cards - This card is issued upon request to full-time employees (regular, limited-term or supplemental) of the University who have retired with benefits.

    Emeritus id+ Cards - This card is issued in lieu of the Retiree id+ card to retirees with Emeritus rank upon request of the retiree.

    Affiliate id+ Cards - This card is issued to individuals with the following affiliations:

    • Wage Payroll
    • Adjunct Appointees
    • Visiting Professors
    • Visiting Scholars
    • Interns
    • Board of Trustees

    If an administrative area has an affiliation other than those listed that requires an id+ card, that area must contact the University Park id+ Office, 814-865-7590, for authorization to issue an affiliate card.

    The Penn State Hershey Medical Center issues a special version of theid+ card to employees and students of the College of Medicine. The governing body for these ID cards is the Hershey Medical Center Security Department at(717) 531-8521.


    All Penn State id+ Cards are issued by the ID-issuing office located at each University campus. The first card is issued at no charge.

    One of the following forms of valid photo identification must be presented to obtain an id+ card:

    • State Driver's License
    • Passport
    • US Military ID
    • State-issued Photo ID
    • Government-issued Photo ID
    • Permanent Resident Card
    • High School ID and Social Security Card
    • College ID and Social Security Card

    ID Office personnel will verify card eligibility based on enrollment and/or employment status in University systems at the time of card issuance. Newly-hired employees and affiliates must also present an Authorization for Penn State id+ Card form, obtained from their area Human Resource representative.

    The nine-digit PSU ID number will be displayed on the id+ card. It is the cardholder's responsibility to safeguard the confidentiality of the PSU ID number. If an assigned PSU ID has been compromised and used fraudulently, the cardholder should contact the id+ Office immediately.

    The photo for the id+ card is stored digitally and may be used for other approved academic and administrative purposes at Penn State. The photo is not considered directory information and will not be made public.

    All id+ cards remain the property of The Pennsylvania State University and are non-transferable.


    Penn State id+ Cards should be carried on campus at all times. Presentation of the card may be required to access University services, such as meal plans, library services, admission to events, and building access. Access to University facilities or cardholder's account(s) may be denied if an account is suspended by the University for administrative reasons, deactivated by the cardholder, or if the card's magnetic stripe is damaged.

    Only the cardholder may be in possession of the id+ card. Cards will be confiscated and destroyed if presented by someone other than the cardholder or if the card is involved in inappropriate or illegal use. Cardholders who have had their id+ card confiscated and are eligible for a replacement id+ card will be charged the currently-approved replacement fee. Fraudulent use of the card or violations of University policies and procedures when using the card may result in disciplinary action.

    Tampering with id+ cards and/or making color reproductions is prohibited. Labels or stickers may not be added to any of the cards since their presence would interfere with the electronic reading of the card. Punching holes (for hanging, etc.) and burning (branding) is also prohibited.

    id+ cards may not be collected and held as collateral for the temporary use of equipment, services, etc.

    id+ cards may be used for appropriate educational discounts and admission to facilities at other institutions. Additional uses of the card and information on the services and optional programs associated with the id+ card may be found on the id+ website at


    In order to prevent unauthorized use and charges, it is the individual's responsibility to report a lost or stolen id+ card. If an id+ card has been lost or stolen, it must be deactivated immediately online at or by calling 814-865-7590 during business hours. When a card is deactivated, the cardholder's residence hall access, meal plan access, and LionCash+ account will automatically be suspended. To suspend other features, such as those offered by PNC Bank or other departmental systems, the cardholder must contact the appropriate office.

    Cardholder's may obtain a replacement card by visiting their campus ID-issuing office with proper identification. An updated photo will be taken each time a new card is issued. There is no charge for replacing non-functioning id+ cards that exhibit normal wear and tear. Cardholders will be charged the currently-approved replacement fee for lost, stolen, or damaged id+ cards.

    If an individual's name or status changes (e.g., from Employee to Retiree or from Student to Faculty/Staff) a new id+ card may be requested. There is no charge for the updated id+ card if the previous id+ card is given in exchange at the time of issuance. Valid identification must be presented when requesting a name change.


    The digital images used to produce photo identification credentials are not considered directory information and the use of the photos is governed by FERPA and other applicable University policies.

    Requests for access to the digital images for purposes other than creating photo identification credentials must be made in writing and approved by the Manager of the University Park id+ Program.

    One-time Access to Individual Digital Images – Requests for single digital images can be made only by authorized offices. All requests should be submitted in writing to the Manager of the id+ Program in 20 HUB Robeson Center. If approved, images will be provided via email or a CD.

    On-Going Access to Digital Image Database – Access to digital id+ images for on-going use and/or for other application integration is provided through the Penn State Central Person Registry, upon completion of a Data Sharing Agreement approved by the id+ Office. Requesting departments may contact Identity Services ( with any questions, or for assistance with the request process.


    An ID Card Advisory Board has been established to guide quality improvement, assist with strategic direction, and assess the effectiveness of the University’s id+ card program.

    Multi-disciplinary task forces will be convened to accomplish special projects or specific objectives related to the immediate needs of the program.

    Questions or concerns for the ID Card Advisory Board should be addressed to the Manager of the id+ Program, University Park, 814-865-7590.


    Other Policies should also be referenced, especially the following:

    AD11 - University Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records

    AD53 - Privacy Policy (formerly Privacy Statement)

    AD80 - Identity and Access Management (IAM)

    AC25 - Emeritus Status

    Most recent changes:

    • June 2, 2021 - Editorial changes to update new naming conventions for staff and faculty job position types (fixed-term changed to limited-term, standing changed to regular).

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • August 29, 2016 - Major revisions have been made throughout the entire policy to reflect current operations, as impacted by LionPATH and other system changes.
    • March 24, 2005:
      • id+ cards are no longer issued with an integrated computer chip.
      • Only authorized University ID Offices are permitted to produce and issue id+ cards.
      • Hershey Medical Center issues a special version of the id+ card to employees and to students of the College of Medicine.
      • An individual may possess only one active University id+ card at a time.
      • The PSU ID number will be displayed on the id+ card.
      • Added restrictions on the use of the id+ card.
      • Added reference to id+ card website.
      • Revised instructions for dealing with lost id+ cards.
    • September 3, 2004 - The reference to the stored value on the id+ Card chip has been deleted since such use is being phased out.
    • November 21, 2002 - Editorial change: expanded upon/ made title changes to departments and committees referenced in the "ID Card Committee" section
    • June 25, 2002 - Editorial change: Changed Id+ Card website URL and Id+ Card lost card phone number.
    • May 22, 2002 - Faculty/Staff ID Cards may now be issued to postdoctoral appointees.
    • November 19, 1999 - Significant revisions;
      • Changed title of policy.
      • Introduction of the Penn State id+ Card.
      • Added Faculty/Staff/Student ID cards.
      • Added Retiree ID cards.
      • Major revisions to whom may receive the Affiliate ID card.
      • Added section "Card Issuance."
      • Deleted section "Responsibility for Issuing Card."
      • Complete revision of section "Use of the Card."
      • Complete revision of section "Loss of Card."
      • Title changes under section "ID Card Committee."
    • November 3, 1994 - Title " Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations" changed to "Senior Vice President for Business and Operations."
    • November 24, 1992 -
      • Excluded Hershey Medical Center from this policy.
      • Changed "Personnel Rep" to "Human Resources Representative."
      • Added reference to the Personal Access Code.
      • Clarified the Affiliate's role when an ID card is lost.
    • November 17, 1988 - Prohibited application of labels/stickers or other marks to ID card; added Affiliate use.
    • May 10, 1988 - Clarified the responsibility of the Office of Human Resources for taking the photos for faculty/staff ID cards.
    • April 8, 1988 - New policy.


    Date Approved: 

    August 29, 2016

    Date Published: 

    August 29, 2016

    Effective Date: 

    August 29, 2016