When you start college, you may know that you need to get a student ID (even most online students). Knowing how to get your student ID is a different story…
To get a student ID card, a person has to be enrolled at a college. Students will need to present a photo ID and their current class schedule. Then, they can either get their pictures taken or send in a photo. After, their student ID will be sent to them.
Students are responsible for getting their student ID cards.
Important: Make sure that you check with your college about how to get a student ID, what you need to get the ID, and how much it will cost. This can usually be found on their website, but if you can’t find it, you can ask your advisor or call the college.
Let’s go over the typical ways where students get their ID, who is eligible, what you need to get the student ID, how much it will cost, and how to get a replacement.
Check out my favorite way to carry your student ID: small card slots that stick on the back of your phone that are leather or silicone.
Why do I need a student ID?
Students need a student ID to access the resources on campus, including the cafeteria, library, school events, and bookstore. Student IDs are also used for financial aid and registration.
Where to get a student ID card
In general, students get their student IDs at the college’s ID center, student services, enrollment services, or bookstore.
The college will either take the photos on campus, or the student can take them at home and upload them.
Learn more about How to Take a Student ID Photo (Requirements and Tips).
Who is eligible for student ID?
In general, all students that are enrolled at a college are eligible to get a student ID. However, some colleges require students to be full-time. At others, only in-person students are eligible to receive a student ID because they are the only ones who need to access resources on campus.
Check with your school about if you are eligible for a student ID.
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Are you required to have a student ID?
Most colleges at least require student IDs when a student is on campus or needs to access their facilities. Many colleges require all students to have a student ID, even online students, and some colleges do not require student IDs.
For example, I was an online-only student at ASU and was required to get a student ID. My local community college also required me to have a student ID. However, the University of Illinois does not require students to have or carry a student ID.
What do I need for a student ID?
To get a student ID, students need to show a valid photo ID (such as a Driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport) and a copy of their current class schedule.
The name on the ID must match the name in the student record.
When will I get my student ID card?
Students typically can get their student ID card as soon as they are registered for classes.
After you get your picture taken or submit your photo, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (normally sooner) for the school to send you your student ID or for it to be ready to pick up on campus.
How to replace student ID card
Students can replace their student ID card if it is damaged, lost, or stolen by requesting a new student ID. Students generally have to show a valid photo ID and their current schedule. They typically have to take a new ID photo and pay for the replacement student ID card.
If their student ID card is lost or stolen, students should report this to their college immediately so they can deactivate it.
Learn more about the dangers of what someone can do with your student ID.
It can take a few hours for the new student ID to become active for door access and other on-campus resources. Until your new student ID is active, have another form of ID available and know your student ID number.
How much does a student ID cost?
Student IDs are often free for the first card, and then the college charges if the student requires a replacement student ID. However, some colleges charge around $5-$25 for all cards (including the first one).
At some schools, the price of the replacement IDs will go up with each new card. For example, the first card is free, the first replacement card costs $5, the second replacement card costs $10, and the third replacement card and above costs $15.
If there is a charge, the cost will be added to your account with your tuition and fees, and you should pay at the Cashier’s or Bursar’s Office or using the school portal.
Now you know how to get a student ID card and how you can replace a student ID card, now it’s time to decide the best way to carry your student ID.
My favorite products for student IDs
Thank you for reading this article—I hope you found it helpful! Here are some of my favorite products for taking student ID photos and carrying student IDs that I hope you’ll also find helpful.
Ring light for taking student ID photos: Use a ring light to have your photo well-lit and help make you look good.
Card slots: I think the easiest way to carry your student ID is using card slots that are leather or silicone. They stick on the back of your phone so you will always have it with you and won’t lose it.
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations for tools and products for students, check out this resource that I made for you!