– Policy 1050: Photo Identification Cards

Date Originally Issued: October 21, 2019

Process Owner: Associate Vice Rector, Student Life

  1. General


The official form of University identification is the University photo identification card called the Owl Card. Owl Cards are issued to University students, faculty, full-time and part-time regular staff, emeritus faculty, retirees, and other eligible individuals such as students in special programs and volunteers. Owl Cards are issued with the individual’s photo taken by the University Owl Card Office. Owl Cards are the property of the University and must be returned upon request.

The Owl Card is issued once and is valid immediately.

The expiration date is determined by the individual’s relationship to MTU and assigned by the Banner system, and the card is deactivated:

  • when a student is no longer registered at MTU (student Owl Cards are re-activated for subsequent enrolment activity if within four (4) semesters of issuance date);
  • the termination or end date indicated on the employee’s Faculty Contract or Personnel Action Notice (PAN); or
  • in the number of days determined by the specific affiliate role assigned to an individual, contractor, or guest student authorized according to Section 2


Each student is required to have an Owl Card and returning students are required to keep their cards. There is a replacement fee for lost cards. Employees are not required to have an Owl Card; however, an Owl Card may be necessary to obtain certain University services or benefits and/or access to buildings and parking facilities. If required for operational needs, individual departments may require employees to have an Owl Card. University Health Sciences Centre employees receive identification badges printed by the MTUH Security Office. These cards will be encoded to function as their Owl Card.


  1. Assignment of Cards


The Owl Card Office, located in the Student Union Building (SUB), will issue Owl Cards to eligible individuals. Proper identification, including a government issued photo IDis required. At specified times, satellite sites may be set up at other locations for the convenience of students and employees. Individuals with special needs should contact the Owl Card Office for assistance.

A department wishing to request an Owl Card for an individual who is not a regular student, faculty member, or regular staff employee should submit appropriate paperwork to the office or individual tasked with Banner General Person data entry for that department.  Once properly entered into Banner General Person, the individual should be assigned to the appropriate affiliate role.  Once the individual has been assigned to the correct affiliate role with a valid expiration date, the Banner system will generate a record for the Owl Card database.  At that point the individual can, by presenting proper, government-issued Photo ID, received an affiliate Owl Card.

2.1 Lost or Stolen Cards


Employees must immediately report lost or stolen cards to the appropriate dean, director, or department head and the Owl Card Office. Students must immediately report lost or stolen cards to the Owl Card Office. The Owl Card Office will deactivate the cards. Anyone finding an Owl Card should turn it in to the Owl Card Office.


2.1.1. Lost Cards


Each person will be charged a fee to replace a lost card.  The lost card fee must be paid at the Owl Card Office.  A University department may not waive this fee for the individual.  To obtain a replacement card, the individual must bring a government-issued picture ID to the Owl Card Office.


2.1.2. Stolen Cards


Employees and students must report stolen cards to the MTU Police Department. To obtain a replacement card, the individual must bring a copy of the police report to the Owl Card Office. There is no charge for replacing a stolen card; however, anyone filing a false police report will be subject to discipline and/or criminal charges.


2.2. Damaged or Incorrect Cards


There is no fee for replacing a card with a malfunctioning mag stripe.


  1. Disclosure of Information


Owl Cards issued will display the individual’s name, photograph, status, and MTU ID number, along with the Owl Card number.  Faculty and staff employees who are also students may have two (2) status designations listed on their Owl Cards.  For security reasons, multiple cards will not be issued.  The individual’s name, MTU ID number, and Owl Card ISO number will be imbedded in the mag stripe data.

This information is used to process the card and will be treated as private, confidential information to the extent permitted by law and will be used only for official University business. The information will not be disclosed to outside organizations without the explicit written consent of the individual.

  1. Owl Card Activated Benefits and Services


The Owl Card allows eligible individuals to use certain University services and benefits as defined by University policy. The Owl Card is unique to each individual and will allow only those services or benefits the individual is entitled to, such as allowing library services but not access to a particular building or parking structure.


4.1. Benefits


Benefits may include, but are not limited to:

  • use of MTU libraries, Student Union Centre, and other recreational facilities;
  • discounts given by University organizations, including Athletics and Pope joy; and
  • OwlCa$h declining balance account access.


In addition, a number of merchants in Northern Cyprus (TRNC) offer University students and/or employees discounts.


4.2. Electronic Key Cards


The Owl Card may allow specific individuals access to certain buildings and parking facilities. Electronic key cards must be authorized by the cognizant dean, director, and department head.


  1. Fraudulent Use


Re-touching or alternation of card photographs is prohibited. Unauthorized possession, use, or reproduction of an Owl Card is prohibited and may constitute theft. In such cases, the individual(s) involved will be prosecuted. Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action.


  1. Change in Employment or Affiliation with MTU


6.1. Separation of Employment


6.1.1. Staff Employees


A staff employee, who separates from the University, must turn in his or her Owl Card and any other University identification to the Division of Human Resources. The Division of Human Resources must sign off on the Separation Check-Off List in accordance with UAP 3225 (“Separation of Employment”).


6.1.2. Faculty – Main Campus


A faculty member, who separates from the University, must turn in his or her Owl Card and any other University identification to the Faculty Contracts/Services Office. The Faculty Contracts/Services Office must sign off on the Faculty Termination Checklist. Checklist forms are available from the Faculty Contracts/Services Office.


6.2. Change in Employment Status or University Affiliation Other than Separation


If the status designated on an individual’s Owl Card changes, the individual should turn in the card to the Owl Card Office. The Owl Card Office will replace it with a card appropriate for the new status. An individual whose affiliation with the University ends must return his or her Owl Card to the department or unit where the individual was affiliated. The department will return the Owl Card to the Owl Card Office.


  1. Revenue


Revenue generated by the Owl Card goes toward the operation of the Owl Card Office.