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.

Incoming Undergraduates -You will receive your first PennCards when you move into your residence.

Graduate students - Incoming graduate students should consult with their programs to see whether their cards will be provided at their school orientations or if they need to make an appointment to pick up their cards upon arrival to campus.

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.

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.