Boston University Identification card

Terrier Card | Boston University  December 24, 2012 – 06:59 am
Human Resources » Getting to Know Campus

The Terrier Card is the official Boston University student and staff identification card.

Continuing students with a dining plan or a Convenience Point plan will be issued new Terrier Cards for the 2012–2013 academic year. The new card is a contactless smart card which can be used in dining facilities, the Union Court, retail dining, City Convenience stores, Barnes and Noble at Boston University and campus vending machines.

Boston University students, faculty, and staff are assigned a nine-character, computer-generated ID number. This University ID number or “U” number is used for all University records including registration and class adjustments.

Terrier Cards for new students are issued at the start of their first semester. Photo identification must be presented to receive a new Terrier Card. Valid identification includes a driver’s license, state identification card, or passport. Terrier Cards are valid for on-campus identification only.

For information on obtaining a new or replacement Terrier Card, contact:


Charles River Campus
Terrier Card Office, George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Avenue, lower level
Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Medical Campus
Medical Campus Identification Office
710 Albany Street, ground level (parking garage)
Open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.; and 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Faculty & Staff

Office of Human Resources

Charles River Campus

Medical Campus

Questions and Answers

Q. What is the new Terrier Card?
A. The new Terrier Card is a contactless smart card with a magnetic stripe. The contactless feature allows “tap-and-go” deduction of meals, and Dining point and Convenience Point purchases.

Q. Why is the University changing ID cards?
A. To better protect students, faculty and staff from on-campus identity theft.
To comply with the Massachusetts standards for the protection of personal information the University will no longer use the Boston University Identification Number (BUID number) for certain financial transactions. A new number, assigned to your card, will be used for meal, dining point and Convenience Point transactions.

Q. Is there any change to “swiping in” to my residence?
A. Residence access has not changed. You will still swipe through the card reader at the front entrance of your on-campus residence.

Q. I heard that student fingerprints are being stored on the Terrier Card. Why?
A. Biometric technology is being introduced for student Terrier Cards in order to provide a higher level of security in University facilities. At the Fresh Food Company at Marciano Commons, fingerprint readers at the entrance will verify the algorithm of your fingerprint stored on the Terrier Card. The University does not have a record of your fingerprint, and there is no fingerprint database.

Q. What is the difference between the new card and the old card?
A. The new Terrier Card uses smart card technology for dining, vending and on-campus retail stores. Both the new card and the old card have the magnetic stripe on the back of the card for building access.


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Cambridge Mass police:

In Cambridge this time last year, a young black man was removing a lock from a bike on campus when a Harvard police officer pulled a gun and demanded identification, according to a six-member committee report on the practices of the police department ordered by Harvard President Drew Faust. The youth showed the officer his Boston Public Library card, began crying and said he was a high school student working at the university. (Harvard police were also called to Gates's home.)

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