Identification Photos; Identification and Access Control Cards

  1. General Policy on Identification Photo Use

    1. Mcard Photo

      It is the policy of the University of Michigan that all faculty, staff, students, retirees, and other persons acting on behalf of the University or gaining access to resources or services obtain and maintain a single, current Universal Identification Card (Mcard) which is issued by authorized ID Issuing Stations at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. The card will contain a photo. The photo will be stored electronically unless the individual requests that it be deleted. Stored photos will be used for security, identification and internal business purposes. Section II through V of this document provides additional details on the Mcard policy.

    2. Any Other Identification Photo

      It is also the policy of the University of Michigan that any individual or organization engaged in taking identification photos of any faculty member, staff member, student or other person(s) acting on behalf of the University outside of the central Mcard process shall obtain written/electronic authorization from the individual before using the photo for that specific purpose.

    3. Rights and Responsibilities for All Identification Photos

      The individual or organization taking the photo may release the photograph for other purposes only in the following cases: (1) in compliance with written/electronic authorization from the individual; (2) to comply with valid legal requests or orders to produce the photograph as approved by the Office of the General Counsel; (3) to otherwise comply with applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations as approved by the Office of the General Counsel.

      Individuals wishing to change their original authorization have the option to withdraw their authorization at any time. The individual or organization taking the photo needs to communicate this option and provide a process for individuals to withdraw their authorization.

      Concerns about misuse of identification photo should be directed to the Mcard Center at (734) 936-2273.

      In addition, the identification photo itself is considered an institutional data element and should be managed accordingly. Institutional data is governed by the Institutional Data Resource Management Policy (SPG 601.12). Please refer to that policy and associated references for more information on rights and responsibilities related to institutional data.

  2. Mcard Policy on Identification and Access Control Cards

    It is the policy of the University of Michigan that all faculty, staff, students, retirees, and other persons acting on behalf of the University, or gaining access to resources or services through the University, obtain and maintain a single, current Universal Identification Card (Mcard) which is issued by authorized ID Issuing Stations at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

  3. Policy Purpose--The University of Michigan has implemented this policy to:

    • Provide reliable and controlled identification of persons representing the University, acquiring services at the University, or accessing resources owned or operated by the University;
    • Provide a single, cost efficient and controlled document for access through the institution’s card readers;
    • Assist the University with management of physical and other assets, and maintain and enhance the University’s ability to control the costs associated with identification, access control, and asset management.
  4. Definitions

    1. Authorized ID Issuing Station--A physical station/room and personnel who have authority and procedures for creating and issuing identification cards for members of the University community. See www.mcard.umich.edu for a list of ID Issuing Stations, addresses, and phone numbers.
    2. Mcard--The single identification and access control device provided by the University for the exclusive purposes of identifying those who represent the University, acquire services, or access resources owned or operated by the University.
    3. Unique Identification Number (UMID number)--A unique identification number, assigned to each individual, when first associated with the University. Social security numbers or other tax identifying numbers are not used for identification purposes on the Mcard.
    4. Mcard Photo Use Policy--When a photograph is taken for the issuance of an Mcard, the digitized photo will be stored electronically for identification and security purposes. In addition, the photo may be used for approved, internal University business purposes (i.e., class rosters, seating charts, and business uses that may be approved in the future). Cardholders may withdraw consent by completing a form which will be available at any ID Issuing Station or at www.mcard.umich.edu/forms.htm. Once the form is completed and presented in person to the ID Issuing Station, the digital photo will be deleted from the ID Card database. In this situation, the University will have no photograph to use for purposes of reissuing an Mcard, for validating access to certain University buildings and events, or for approved University business uses.

      Mcard digitized photographs will only be released to University departments/schools/units without cardholder’s written/electronic authorization if the following conditions apply: (1) the photo is stored electronically in the ID Card database; and (2) the use of the photo is an approved, internal University use (i.e., class rosters, seating charts, and other approved business uses). Photographs used for these purposes will not be shared with anyone outside of the University without written/electronic permission from the cardholder except as required by law.

      Cardholders are automatically excluded from having their photos used for University community purposes (e.g., internal Web sites, Facebooks, Department rosters) unless the departments/schools/units obtain written/electronic permission from the cardholder for the intended use. In this situation, the Mcard digitized photograph will not be released from the ID Card database without the cardholder’s written/electronic authorization.

      Cardholders wishing to change their original decision will need to return to an ID Issuing Station to either have a new photo taken for electronic storage purposes or to delete their photo by completing a form which will be available at any ID Issuing Station or at www.mcard.umich.edu/forms.htm. Once the form is completed and presented in person to the ID Issuing Station, the digital photo will be deleted from the ID Card database.

    5. Obtaining Approval for Additional Business Uses--In order to use the Mcard digitized photographs for any internal University business processes other than those mentioned above, a request must be made to the Mcard Administration office. The request will be directed through the appropriate channels, including the appropriate Data Stewards (see SPG 601.12) for approval. If the request is approved, the new University business use must be communicated to the University community so they will have the chance to withdraw consent to the use of the Mcard digitized photograph. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Mcard Center at (734) 936-2273.

      The University may release the photograph externally from the ID Card database only in the following cases: (1) in compliance with written/electronic authorization from the cardholder; (2) to comply with valid legal requests or orders to produce the photograph as approved by the Office of the General Counsel; (3) to otherwise comply with applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations as approved by the Office of the General Counsel.

    6. Authorized Signers--Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and/or their designees who are empowered to authorize the issuance or replacement of Mcards on behalf of the units they represent. Such signatures are required for issuance of all non-student Mcards.
  5. Regulations

    1. All regular and part-time faculty, staff, and students must obtain a University of Michigan Mcard as a part of their regular orientation to the University community. Each must maintain their Mcard as long as their affiliation continues with the University. Mcards remain the property of the University of Michigan and must be returned when the cardholder is no longer affiliated with the University.
    2. Mcards will contain, at minimum, the following information to adequately reflect the identification information of the cardholder:
      • Name (first, middle initial, and last). Text for names will be optimized so as to appear as large as possible on the card, minimally readable from a distance of ten feet.
      • Photograph of the cardholder.
      • Name of the department sponsoring the individual or an appropriate description that best describes the “affiliation” of the cardholder.
      • A unique identification number (UMID number).
      • An expiration date that shall not exceed five calendar years from issuance date.
      • An appropriate major campus logo where the identified person is appointed or is a member.
      • A bar code to access University library resources.
      • A magnetic stripe or other card technology (e.g., proximity, smart card, biometrics) to facilitate entry through the institution’s card reader controlled doors and University sponsored or supported services and resources.
    3. Mcards shall not be defaced or modified in any way or cardholder will be subject to a replacement fee. The use of stickers, pins, or other items affixed to Mcards is prohibited in order to preserve the useful life of the card, to avoid the introduction of foreign objects into the institution’s card readers, and to preserve the image of the University.
    4. Departments and units should develop specific procedures to assure that others (e.g., visitors, contractors, vendors) obtain their Mcards when first associated with the University.
    5. Since the Mcard can be used for financial transactions, cardholders should not be expected to relinquish their card. University departments that currently require the Mcard as deposit should consider another form of deposit, such as a driver’s license or other photo ID.
    6. The Mcard is to be used only by the person to whom it is issued and is non-transferable. Only the Mcard holder can present the card for access and other privileges (e.g., library, meal plan, building access). Use of the Mcard may be revoked at University’s sole discretion for violation of University policies and procedures.
    7. Departments and units are responsible for collecting and returning the Mcards to the Mcard Center when faculty or staff terminate their employment or relationship with the University. Faculty or staff that have linked their Mcard to a bank account may obtain a replacement bank card from the sponsoring bank.
    8. The University provides an original Mcard, and replacements as needed due to expiration, damaged by normal wear and tear, and department/name changes for faculty, staff, and students. Lost Mcards are the responsibility of the cardholder and should be replaced as soon as possible at an authorized ID Issuing Station for a fee. Cardholders should immediately report any Mcards stolen on campus to the appropriate Department of Public Safety and Security office (Ann Arbor: (734) 763-1131; UMHS Security Services: (734) 936-7890; Dearborn: (313) 593-5333; Flint: (810) 762-3335).
    9. In order to preserve the integrity and continuity of the Universal Identification Program, University units are explicitly precluded from issuing their own Identification Cards for local (unit) access or identification purposes.
    10. University units must seek approval in advance from Mcard Administration for any planned usage of the Mcard within their area, including but not limited to, usage of the Mcard magnetic stripe, bar code or proximity chip. This will enable Mcard staff to notify and coordinate technology changes/upgrades or re-cardings with those units using the Mcard.
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Printable PDF of SPG 601.1339.62 KB
Details Column 1
SPG number: 
601.13
Date issued: 
June 1, 1994
Last updated: 
March 17, 2006
Next review date: 
March 17, 2010
Applies to: 
Faculty, staff, students, retirees, and other persons acting on behalf of the University
Owner: 
Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Primary Contact: 
Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer