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Redesign Upgrade Eligibility

We are very pleased to unveil our newly designed University Wildcard. The updated card reflects Northwestern's brand and visual identity, and delivers enhanced security features. Recognizing that the new cards will look different than our current Wildcards, we want to ensure all members of our University community are aware of and prepared for this change.

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. "Smart cards" 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.

Determine Status of Your Current Wildcard

"Smart card" Wildcards are indicated by an HID logo in the upper righthand corner on the back of your Wildcard.

Yes, my Wildcard has an HID logo

You have a "smart card" Wildcard. Please continue to use it as it remains valid until it expires. Should you wish to replace your Wildcard before it expires, there is a $25 processing fee.

This is a smart card Wildcard

No, my Wildcard does not have an HID logo

You are eligible to upgrade to the new Wildcard beginning November 1, 2016, regardless of your existing card's expiration date. After November 1, please bring in your current card and you will receive a replacement at no cost.

This is not a smart card Wildcard


If you have any questions regarding the status of your current Wildcard, please contact the Wildcard Office.