Skip to main content

FAQs

General Information

What is the contact information, location, and hours for the Wildcard Office?

Please see the Wildcard Office Locations page.

How do I have my first Wildcard made?

New students are required to submit their Wildcard photo online by August 1. Please review the guidelines below and upload your photo on our Photo Submission page. We’ll have your Wildcard ready when you arrive on campus!

My Wildcard is lost/stolen, what do I do?

View procedures on the Replacing Your Wildcard page.

What services and accounts will I access with my Wildcard?

The overview of Wildcard features can be found on the About Your Wildcard page.

Redesign

When will the Wildcard Office begin issuing redesigned Wildcards?

The new cards will be issued beginning August 1, 2016 to all incoming freshmen students, new students, and new faculty and staff. Existing Wildcards will be transitioned to the new design over time as they expire or need replacement. While all Wildcards will provide the same level of access to the services you have today, some existing cards will need to be upgraded in order to take advantage of the Wildcard's new "smart card" technology.

Please refer to our Redesign Upgrade Eligibility section to determine whether you currently hold a "smart card" Wildcard.

Am I eligible to upgrade my existing Wildcard?

Existing Wildcards will be transitioned to the new design over time as they expire or need replacement. While all Wildcards will provide the same level of access to the services you have today, some existing cards will need to be upgraded in order to take advantage of the Wildcard's new "smart card" technology.

Please refer to our Redesign Upgrade Eligibility section to determine whether you currently hold a "smart card" Wildcard.

My existing Wildcard is not a "smart card" Wildcard. When can I upgrade to the new Wildcard?

If after reviewing our Redesign Upgrade Eligibility section you determine that you do not have a "smart card" Wildcard, you are eligible to upgrade to the new Wildcard beginning November 1, 2016, regardless of your existing card's expiration date. Simply bring in your current card, and you will receive a replacement at no cost. If you would like to update the photo on your new Wildcard, you may have a picture taken at the Wildcard Office or submit a photo online. Visit Wildcard Photo Submission to learn more about photo specifications and to upload your photo. Photographs on file more than 10 years must be updated.

  • We are asking those eligible to wait until November 1, as this will allow us to provide everyone with optimal service, while also meeting the immediate needs of our incoming 2016-17 students. We appreciate your patience. Should you wish to replace your Wildcard before November 1, there is a $25 processing fee.

What is "smart card" technology?

"Smart card" Wildcards are embedded with a computer chip that provides access to secured campus facilities. While a number of Wildcards currently in circulation are already equipped with this chip, others require an upgrade in order to benefit from the important security features.

Please refer to our Redesign Upgrade Eligibility section to determine if your Wildcard is enabled with this chip.

Why was the card design changed?

The Wildcard has been updated to reflect Northwestern's brand and visual identity and deliver enhanced security features.

Photo Submission

Where is the Online Photo Submission process?

The link to the online submission is on our Photo Submission page.

Who is eligible to use the Online Photo Submission process?

New incoming students are eligible to use the online photo submission process. In addition, faculty/staff with an expiring Wildcard will be able to submit a new photo within 60 days of the expiration date. (Note: photographs on file for more than 10 years must be updated in order to renew your ID).

How do I find my NetID and password?

You should have received your NU NetID and password from NUIT. For more information, visit the NUIT website.

What are the requirements for the photo submitted?

To see the list of requirements, visit the Photo Submission page.

Do I need to notify the Wildcard office once I upload my photo?

No, once you submit your photo, the office will be automatically notified. You should receive a response within two business days and your photo will take up to 10 business days to process.

How will I know if my photo was accepted?

The Wildcard Office will send an email to your @u.northwestern.edu email address to inform you if your photo was accepted or rejected. Your photo will take up to 10 business days to process.

Where will I pick up my Wildcard during Wildcat Welcome Week?

On move-in day, Undergraduate Students will pick up their Wildcard from their assigned Welcome Center. You must present a government-issued photo ID (e.g., your driver’s license, state photo ID, or current valid passport).

Can anyone else pick up my Wildcard for me?

No, you are the only person who can pick up your Wildcard and you must present a government-issued photo ID (e.g., your driver's license, state photo ID, or current valid passport).

How do I pick up my Wildcard if I don’t get it during Wildcat Welcome Week?

You can stop by the Wildcard Office during normal business hours. Please see the Wildcard Office Locations page.

Can I get a Wildcard if I don’t submit a photo online?

Yes, you can stop by the Wildcard Office during Wildcat Welcome Week and we will take your picture in the office.

Why do I need to pick up my Wildcard during Wildcat Welcome Week?

Your Wildcard is your official Northwestern identification, and you need your card for a variety of reasons, including accessing your meal plans and riding the Northwestern shuttles. For more information, visit the About Your Wildcard page.

Can I have my Wildcard mailed to me?

No, you must pick up your Wildcard in person at the Wildcard Office and you must present a government-issued photo ID (e.g., your driver's license, state photo ID, or current valid passport).

Can I change my picture later?

Yes, but you will have to pay a replacement fee.
Back to top