All currently enrolled students are eligible for a PennCard. There is no charge for your initial PennCard or renewals for expired cards; other fees may apply for replacement cards

Please note that a mask must be worn during your visit. For COVID-19 information and updates for the University, please consult

Important: To receive your first PennCard, students must present the following documentation:

  • Domestic students must present in person a valid Federal or U.S. state/territorial government-issued photo I.D. such as a driver’s license, photo ID card, or passport.
  • International students must present their passport in person.

No other documentation can be accepted other than those above. Unacceptable documents include, but are not limited to:

  • Reproductions or photographs of documents;
  • Expired or otherwise invalid documents;
  • International driving licenses;
  • Voting registration cards;
  • Visas or other immigration documents;
  • Photo identification from another educational institution.

Typically, all first-year students are eligible (and required) to receive a PennCard.  The card’s primary purpose is to provide a form of personal identification in order to allow members of the Penn Community to utilize services while on campus: building access, dining services, transit, and a variety of financial transactions. 

This year, in alignment with Penn’s announcement to transition to remote instruction, the decision was made at an institutional level to suspend the issuance of PennCards to first-year undergraduate students until the University is able to safely welcome them for an in-person campus experience.  

An exception to this policy was made for those students who, for a very specific and limited set of reasons (participation in clinical work, inability to return to their home country, and other hardship issues),  have received permission to reside on campus and thereby need access to the services that the PennCard facilitates. Those students should have received their PennCards at the time of moving in to their college house.

While the COVID emergency necessitates that Penn implement a series of unprecedented measures to ensure the health and safety of the community, the University recognizes that despite its guidance that students should not come to campus, there may be some instances where students living locally would require a PennCard for a specific academic need.

As a result, incoming undergraduates living locally may now get their PennCards providing the following criteria are met:

  1. If they have not already applied, they must do so on-line through Campus Express ( Individuals who have not applied on-line will not be able to pick-up their cards.

  2. Complete their required  COVID test at the testing center located in Houston Hall, Hall of Flags and schedule a second follow up test within 14 days. The scheduling of that appointment can also be done at the testing center.

  3. Have updated their information in Penn In Touch to include their Learning From address.

Once these steps are completed, students may then pick-up their PennCards at the PennCard Center.

To receive a card, the following identifications must be provided:

  • Proof of a current local address (driver’s license or copy of a lease or a utility bill clearly showing local residency).
  • Domestic students must present in person a valid Federal or U.S. state/territorial government-issued photo I.D. such as a driver’s license, photo ID card, or passport.
  • International students must present their passports. The passport is the only document that will be accepted Other documents, such as non-U.S. driver’s licenses or identification, cannot be accepted.

Students will also need to wear a facial covering and follow all established COVID protocols for physically distancing at the time of pick up.

Students who do not follow all of the steps outlined above, will not be in compliance with University guidelines and therefore will not be allowed to receive a PennCard and/or be subject to having their PennCard revoked if later found to be in non-compliance.

For non-local students, once it is deemed safe to return to campus, Penn ID cards will be issued at the time of move-in and access to those services will commence accordingly.

Please note that the access privileges normally provided by the card may be limited or otherwise restricted (e.g. access to campus buildings, dining transactions).

All students are reminded that they are required to adhere to the Campus Compact.

All currently enrolled and returning students of the University of Pennsylvania are eligible to have a PennCard using the following procedure:

There is no charge for your initial PennCard for new students; there is a $30 fee for all others.

  • You will then be issued a PennCard good for the length of your course of study as determined by your school.
  • There is no charge for your initial PennCard.


New students can apply for their PennCard at Campus Express Online. You’ll receive your card when you arrive on campus.

All other students may obtain their PennCards from the PennCard Center.


Students of the University of Pennsylvania who are not currently enrolled but have not yet completed their course of study are eligible to have a PennCard. Please use the following procedure to obtain your Student-on-Leave PennCard:

  • Contact the person or office in your School responsible for updating Student Account Adjustments (SAJ), and ask to be billed the Special Services Fee for students on leave. The fee is billed per semester.
  • Wait 24 hours.
  • Go to Student Financial Service (SFS), located in Room 100 of the Franklin Building, and ask for a copy of your bill showing the most recent transactions. This bill should show the Special Services Fee as a pending charge for the current semester. If this charge does not appear on the statement that you receive from SFS, please give your School office another few days, or contact them to see when your account will be updated.
  • Bring your receipt and a valid, government issued photo I.D. to the PennCard Center and you will be issued a Student-on-Leave card good for the number of semesters for which you have paid the Special Services Fee.
  • There is a $30 fee for this card. Once you reenroll as a student, turn in your unexpired Student-on-Leave card to obtain a new Student card at no cost.

All currently enrolled English Language Program students are eligible to have a PennCard. ELP program personnel will contact you for your photo for your PennCard. Please respond promptly to their request so your PennCard will be ready when you arrive on campus.

It can take up to two (2) hours for building access privileges to become available again after receiving a new PennCard. This applies for most campus buildings.

If you previously had access to Perelman School of Medicine or Health System buildings and recently received a new PennCard, you must contact PSOM Public Safety to have your access restored. Visit 109 Stellar-Chance Laboratories or call 215.898.0196.