PennCard at a Glance

The PennCard is the official University of Pennsylvania identification card for students, faculty, staff and other members of the University community. You can use your PennCard to access a variety of services at Penn. The PennCard is University property, and should be treated with the same care as a credit card or government-issued identification card. 

PennCard Care Instructions


  • Keep your PennCard with you at all times.

  • Report loss or theft immediately to Public Safety or to the PennCard Office.

  • Store your PennCard where it will be protected and not come in contact with anything that may damage or demagnetize the card's integrated chip or magnetic stripe.


  • Punch holes in the PennCard.

  • Surrender your card as collateral for services.

  • Apply stickers to the PennCard. They can damage the card and cause it to malfunction.

  • Lend your PennCard to anyone. You are liable for any misuse and replacement fees.

Understanding the Information on the PennCard:

PennCard Front

PennCard Back


1 Expiration Date PennCards must be renewed upon expiration
2 Name Name of the Cardholder
PennCard Number  (See details below)
4 University Status You will be issued a PennCard that is specific to your University status 
5 Contact Information for Lost or Stolen Cards Lost or Stolen Cards must be reported immediately
6 Financial Options You can choose to use your PennCard as a debit card
7 Magstripe  Used for backwards compatibility with older swipe reader technology. 
8 Contactless technology It houses information that enables transactions and access to University buildings, dining services, and library services. 

The number on your PennCard consists of 3 parts.

Sample PennCard Number: 123456 12345678 00

  • Part 1 (123456) -  is the BIN or Bank ID Number

  • Part 2 (12345678) -  is your Penn ID Number

  • Part 3 (00)  -  is the tracking code which represents the number of times your PennCard has been replaced. The sequence begins with 00, and is typically incremented by 1 for each new issuance (e.g., 01 means this is the second PennCard issued to a given person).

PennCard Photo Requirements

Important notice for those submitting a photograph to the PennCard Center:


  • Use full color and portrait orientation (tall and narrow)
  • Face the camera with your full front face in view
  • Use a plain white or off-white background
  • Use adequate lighting
  • Crop your photo from top of head to top of shoulders (face is centered)
  • Make sure your eyes are visible


  • Wear any non-religious head coverings
  • Wear glasses with dark lenses
  • Submit a photo with eye-glass glare
  • Use any filters that alter appearance
  • Obscure face, for example, with shadows, attire, or turning in profile
  • Use inappropriate expressions or gestures
  • Pose with people, animals, or objects

PennCard Front