Card FAQs

ID Card Issue, Reissue and Replacement:

Q: What do I do if my card is lost / stolen?

Please Note: Everyone has the ability to disable their card (removing all building clearances and removing access to meal plan and Crimson Cash) by using the "Card Deactivation/Reactivation" feature in the ID Card Web Application at https://idcard.huid.harvard.edu.

Students

  • Division of Continuing Education – Summer School and Extension School students must first obtain a replacement ID card form from the Information Services staff at 51 Brattle Street before having a lost or stolen card replaced.
  • Medical School, School of Public Health, and Dental School students can process their card replacements at one of three places:
    • The schools' Registrars' Offices
    • The Longwood ID Office (677 Huntington Ave, Boston)
    • The main ID Office (Campus Service Center; 807 Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), Cambridge)
  • Business School students can process their card replacements either at HBS Dept. of Operations (Shad Basement, 020), or at the main ID Office (Campus Service Center; 807 Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), Cambridge)
  • Other Students - Come to the Campus Service Center at 807 Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), Cambridge, at any time during our normal business hours. Your card will be reissued on the spot. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes.

Charges:

  • Lost card charges: There is a charge of $25.00 for a lost photo ID card.
    • Students reporting a lost card after the closing date of their final termbill must pay by cash or check. All other students may charge it to their termbill.
    • Students at the Division of Continuing Education must pay the fee at the Student Financial Services office at 51 Brattle St, Cambridge before coming to the Campus Service Center.
  • Stolen card charges: ID Services will waive any replacement charge for a stolen ID card if the student presents us with a copy of a police report that lists the ID card as one of the stolen items. Otherwise the same charges apply as for lost cards. Students may submit a police report for a full termbill credit within 30 days.
  • Broken card charges: There is no charge for replacement of broken cards; however, the broken card must be returned to the Campus Service Center, and we must be able to determine that it is your current card. Otherwise, we must consider it lost and subject to the same replacement charges as lost cards. Do not throw away broken cards.

Note: For your protection, once a card is replaced, it cannot be reactivated.

Employees

Regular employees, extended part time, or temporary employees:

  • Cambridge area: Please go to the Campus Service Center (807 Smith Campus Center, formerly Holyoke Center). Business hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.
  • Longwood Medical Area: Please go to ID office located in the School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston. Business hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 4:00 pm.
  • Business School: Please go to the HBS Operations Center located at Shad Hall lower lever, (617) 495-6814. The HBS Operations Center has a messenger service between the HBS campus and the Campus Service Center and this office will process your card replacement from start to finish if you wish.

Employees using iris scan to access a laboratory: When you have had your ID card reissued, please contact Harvard University Police Department, (617) 495-1212 to have the iris scan issued on your new card as well.

Charges:

  • Lost card charges: There is a charge of $25.00 for a lost photo ID card.
  • Broken card charges: There is no charge for replacement of broken cards; however, the broken card must be returned to the Campus Service Center, and we must be able to determine that it is your current card. Otherwise, we must consider it lost and subject to the same replacement charges as lost cards. Do not throw away broken cards.

Notes: For your protection, once a card is replaced, it cannot be reactivated. If you find the original card and then lose the replacement, you cannot use it. You should bring in the original card and get another replacement.

SAO Staff and Affiliates

Please go to the Harvard Campus Service Center (807 Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), Cambridge). Business hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Charges:

  • Lost card charges: There is a charge of $25.00 for a lost photo ID card.
  • Broken card charges: There is no charge for replacement of broken cards; however, the broken card must be returned to the Campus Service Center, and we must be able to determine that it is your current card. Otherwise, we must consider it lost and subject to the same replacement charges as lost cards. Do not throw away broken cards.

Notes: For your protection, once a card is replaced, it cannot be reactivated. If you find the original card and then lose the replacement, you cannot use it. You should bring in the original card and get another replacement.

Other

Other cards are issued by request only. Many facilities or departments have a central office responsible for handling card requests. See one of the following for information on how to replace your lost card.

Affiliation Contact

Widener Library Special Borrowers

Go to the Widener Library Privileges Desk, Widener 130. They will update the HOLLIS circulation system with the lost card information and then send you to the Campus Service Center (807 Smith Campus Center, formerly Holyoke Center). A $10.00 replacement charge may apply. For more information, contact Widener Privileges at (617) 495-4166.

Frances Loeb Library Special Borrowers

Contact Robert Angilly, (617) 495-9162

Countway Library Special Borrowers

Contact circulation desk, (617) 432-2136

Business School special cards

Contact the HBS Department of Operations, Shad Basement, (617) 495-6814

Longwood Area special cards

Have your department administrator submit a request through the Longwood Area ID office, SPH-119, 677 Huntington Ave., Boston (617) 432-0389.

House Resident cards

Contact the Assistant to the Masters of your house.

Faculty Club cards

Contact Faculty Club Front Desk, (617) 495-5758 x0

Dining Services meal pool / conference cards

Contact Crimson Cash Office, (617) 496-6600

Special program non-photo cards

Contact the administrator for your special program.

Temporary Access cardholders: including contractor, vendor, family, tenant, consultant and all POI’s

Contact the Staff or Faculty Member who originally requested your card. He/she needs to fill out a new "Temporary ID Card Request form.  A $25 replacement fee will be charged at all ID service locations: Campus Service Center, HBS Operations, Longwood ID office.  Check in advance to find out the form of payment taken at the office you are going to.

OTHER: Security

Contact HUPD, (617) 496-0155

Q: I have Crimson Cash on my card. What happens when the card is replaced?

There is no financial information stored on your card. Your balance is tracked by the Crimson Cash database; the encoded magnetic stripe simply provides the system with the information needed to access your account.

When your card is reissued, the missing card is disabled. The encoded information is changed, and the change is passed to the Crimson Cash database within an average period of fifteen minutes.

The Crimson Cash system is operated by Harvard University Dining Services. If you have any questions about the service, contact them directly at (617) 496-6600.

Q: I've just had a lost/stolen card replaced. When will it be active in access and dining systems?

The following systems receive data from us on a regular basis. Please examine the list for the services or access you have, to see when your card will be fully active in those systems.

System:

Update Frequency:

Dining Services / Crimson Cash

Data is pulled electronically by Dining Services every ten - fifteen minutes.

Harvard Yard dorms / Undergraduate Houses access system

Electronic notification is sent to the system administrator's office within a few hours. Updates are sent for undergraduates and Summer School students only. Anyone else with access should contact Yard Operations (for Yard dorms) or House superintendents directly.

Libraries (Privileges) (except Baker Library)

Libraries receive a nightly update. If you have problems, contact Widener Privileges at (617) 495-4166, and they will manually update your record.

Widener Library Access

Widener access systems, as well as Lamont and the Quad Libraries, receive a nightly update. Contact Harvard College Library Operations for access issues.

HBS–Baker Library

Baker Library receives a weekly update on Sunday nights.

University Operations Systems (Parking, EHS training system)

Nightly update.

Longwood Area access system

Nightly update.

Law School Library access system

Nightly update.

FAS non-residential Access Systems (MCZ, DEAS, Science Center, William James Hall) access system

Nightly update.

Dept. of Athletics access system

Nightly update.

Division of Continuing Education access system

Nightly update.

Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center) access system

Nightly update.

If you have privileges on a system not listed above, have problems using your new card in a system, or need access to a system sooner than the times above will allow, please contact the superintendent of the building or the administrator of the system directly.

Q: My card is about to expire - what do I do to renew it?

  • Students - Contact the Campus Service Center at (617) 496-7827 or id_services@harvard.edu. Please note that if you received your card after May 20, 2013 you have no graduation date printed on your card, your card does not expire and you will not need a new ID Card if your graduation date has been extended.
  • Employees, Faculty, Medical Area Affiliates - Prior to May 20, 2013, employees with open-ended or long-term positions were issued ID cards with an October expiration date. If you have a card with a printed expiration date that is expiring, please come to one of the following locations to have your new ID card printed.
    • Cambridge area: Please go to the Campus Service Center (807 Smith Campus Center, formerly Holyoke Center). Business hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.
    • Longwood Medical Area: Please go to ID office located in the School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston. Business hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 4:00 pm.
    • Business School: Please go to the HBS Operations Center located at Shad Hall lower lever, (617) 495-6814. The HBS Operations Center has a messenger service between the HBS campus and the Campus Service Center and this office will process your card replacement from start to finish if you wish.

TEMPORARY CARDS

Q: My department wishes to obtain a temporary building access card for one of our temporary contractors / consultants / vendors. What do we do?

Many areas of the campus maintain their own controls on the issue of access cards. If you wish to request a card for one of the following areas, please contact the indicated office for information specific to that area:

Medical School, Dental School
HMS Parking & Security, 180 Longwood Ave., Boston (617) 432-1366

School of Public Health
SPH Operations, SPH3-LL9, 677 Huntington Ave., Boston (617) 432-1152

Business School
HBS Operations, Shad Hall basement, Boston (617) 495-6814

For all other areas with temporary staff here for 10 or more days:

Temporary Photo ID cards are issued for the purpose of granting access to secured areas on University property. They are issued to anyone who is going to be on University property 10 or more days (i.e. for a relatively short period of time); these days do not have to be contiguous. Temporary Photo ID cards are issued by request only.

You may obtain Temporary Photo ID cards directly from the Campus Service Center using the Temporary ID Request form provided for these requests. The sponsor completing the form must be a faculty member, professional or administrator active at Harvard. The following information is required:

  • Name and date of birth of the person to whom the card is being issued.
  • Name, ID number and contact information of the Administrator or Faculty requesting the card.
  • Expiration date for the ID card being issued. The maximum value allowed for this date is the last day of the 15th month after the card is requested. For example, a card requested in January of 2013 may not be valid beyond March 31, 2014.
  • A brief description of the person's affiliation.

The card allows for two lines of 15 characters each.
Example: "Consultant" / "Harvard 375"

The description you choose should not, under any circumstances, correspond to a job title or other official designation used within the University. Consultant, Contractor, and Vendor are acceptable descriptions; Visiting Scholar, Research Fellow, Student, Officer, Staff and similar designations are not. Please contact us directly if you have any questions about the acceptability of the description you wish to use.

Extending Expiration Dates:

All persons whose roles are extended will require a new Temporary Photo ID Card Request form' filled out by their sponsor, extending the role expiration date.

If a temporary staff member has a card printed after May 20, 2013 they will continue to use their current ID card. Special ID Cards printed prior to May 20th will need to be reprinted if the expiration date is extended.

Please note: These cards do not give the cardholder access to any facilities such as the libraries, museums and athletic buildings that are considered a benefit of working for the University. Access needs to be granted by the individual building mangers or access system administrators. They will give access to those buildings only if the cardholder has a business function to perform inside. Temporary card issuance does not imply any benefits or privilege within Harvard.

Q: I run a special short-term academic program at one of the faculties. How do I obtain ID cards for program participants?

Participants in short-term programs are not eligible for regular Harvard ID cards. However, we can produce non-photo cards indicating the program name, the faculty's name and shield, the participant's name and the end date of the program.

These cards are intended for identification purposes only. No privilege or access is implied other than those which a facility wishes to extend to these participants.

Preparing the data
You may submit your order in an Excel file attached to an email. The data you submit to us should contain only the program participants' names, one per line, first name first. . They should not contain any punctuation other than hyphens or apostrophes. Alphabetic characters should not have any accent marks (e.g. é, ñ or ü). A mix of upper- and lowercase letters is allowed, but all cards print in uppercase only.

Example - good data:
DAN O'BRIEN
Courtney Thorne-Smith

Example - bad data:
John Hinckley, Jr. (comma)
BOND, James (comma, last name first)
Samantha (Sam) Micelli (parentheses)

Submitting the order
When you submit your order, include the name of your program, the date you wish the cards to expire, and a 33-digit billing code. There is a $1.00 charge for each card. Your cards will be ready in five business days.

Change of Status

Q: I am an undergraduate going on a leave of absence / withdrawing / graduating. What should I do with my ID card?

Students are issued permanent ID cards when they begin their first semester at the University.

If you were issued a card after May 20, 2013 there is no expiration date on your card and the card does not expire. You are expected to maintain possession of the card. This card will be your active card when you return. If you return and do not have the card in your possession it will be considered lost and subject to the $25.00 replacement fee.

If you have a printed expiration date on your card, you are expected to maintain possession of the card through the expiration date printed on it. If you return and do not have the card in your possession it will be considered lost and subject to the $25.00 replacement fee.

Q: I am retiring soon. Is there anything I need to do regarding my ID card?

Once you qualify as a pensioned Harvard retiree you must first go to the Benefits Office on the 6th floor of Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center). They will fill out an authorization form for you. Please bring that form and your current Employee card to the Campus Service Center (807 Smith Campus Center, formerly Holyoke Center) and we will enter your new Retiree role in the Harvard data system. If you have an ID card issued after May 20, 2013, you will not need to have a new card issued and will use your Harvard employee ID card as your Retiree card. If you are unable to come to our office, please call us (617) 496-7827 and we will make other arrangements.

Q: I am the spouse of a Harvard affiliate. Am I eligible for an ID card?

Because Harvard University has approximately 50,000 students and benefits-eligible employees at any given time, the additional demands that would be placed on libraries, athletic facilities etc. by these affiliates' spouses would be impossible for the facilities to handle. Therefore there are no cards available to spouses that provide university-wide privileges. The only exception to this rule is beneficiaries of deceased Harvard employees receiving retirement benefits. Some facilities offer their own cards or access privileges on a fee-for-service basis. For more information, contact the facility you wish to use.

Q: I am a Harvard alumnus / alumna. Am I eligible for an ID card?

There are currently no cards available for alumni that provide university-wide privileges. Some facilities, however, offer cards to alumni on a fee-for-service basis. Examples are the Harvard College Library and the Faculty Club. These cards imply no access or privilege other than those specified by the issuing facility. For information on whether you are eligible for such a card, contact the facility you wish to use.

Q: I am a student at the Division of Continuing Education (DCE). Am I eligible for an ID card?

Whether you are issued a card and what your card entitles you to are based on your affiliation at the Division of Continuing Education (DCE).

  • Students who are admitted candidates in a degree or diploma program are eligible to receive Harvard ID cards.
  • Summer School students are eligible to receive Harvard ID cards for the summer term.

For questions on ID card eligibility or ID card privileges, please contact the Division of Continuing Education at (617) 495-4024.

Other

Q: Are Harvard ID cards transferable?

Harvard ID cards are not transferable. If you attempt to use a borrowed card on campus, that card may be confiscated by security or by the card checker at the facility where you are presenting the card. Borrowing a card to obtain access or services to which one is not entitled may result in disciplinary action by the University for both the lender and the borrower.

Many facilities around campus offer services on a fee-for-service basis (e.g. family plans for athletic facilities, Widener Library special borrower cards for spouses, cash payment for food in dining halls, etc.) Check with the individual facilities to find out if such services are available.

Note: Persons with disabilities may lend their cards to personal care attendants, who may use them to obtain services on their behalf. The personal care attendants are required to have a card of their own to indicate that their use of a transferred card is legitimate; special cards are available from the Campus Service Center for this purpose.

Q: What happens if I attempt to use an expired / invalidated card?

If you attempt to use an expired or invalidated card on campus, that card may be confiscated by security or by the card checker at the facility where you are trying to use it. Expired cards will not be returned. Furthermore, attempting to use an expired card to obtain access or services to which one is no longer entitled may result in disciplinary action by the University. If you have a current active affiliation with the university but have not received an ID card, please notify the Campus Service Center.

Q: What do I need to know about my ID card?

The official Harvard ID card provides you the ability to visibly identify yourself while you are on campus. You are responsible for having your ID card with you at all times while on campus and for keeping the card safe and in good condition.

The Harvard ID card has four different pieces of technology:

  • iClass chip (Building access for dorms and laboratories)
  • Thin magstripe (Meal plans, Crimson Cash, M2 Shuttle access)
  • Thick magstripe (Building access for most buildings)
  • Barcode (Library uses)

Q: How do I care for my Harvard ID card?

To ensure the life of your ID card, please follow these simple directions:

  • Do not punch holes in your ID card, bend it excessively, or use it for unintended purposes
  • Do not allow the magnetic stripe on your ID card to be scratched
  • Do not put your ID card on stereo equipment, computers, or near any magnetic fields
  • Keep your card on a lanyard, in a protective card sleeve or in your wallet
  • Keep your ID card out of direct sunlight and away from other heat sources such as a clothes dryer
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