Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please note that some answers to FAQs have changed during the current Covid-19 University closure. Check the home page of our website to learn more about what has changed about TCards and the process to activate UTORids.

Overview

What is a TCard?
Your TCard is your identification for academic purposes. It includes your photo, UTORid, student number and a barcode. It provides access to services and facilities such as libraries, athletic facilities, exams, meal plans, online learning portal, printing services, and more.

Who needs a TCard?
Anyone with a relationship with the University; including students, staff and faculty. Your TCard serves as the official card on campus for your entire University career. If you leave the University and then return, you will continue to use your TCard.

What is the difference between TCard and TCard+?
The TCard is the physical card, TCard+ is an online program for adding value to your TCard. The value can be used to make purchases at participating food locations & the UofT Bookstore. See the following websites for details:

Downtown Meal Plan

Scarborough Meal Plan

Mississauga Meal Plan


Getting Your First TCard

When do I have to get my TCard by?
There is no deadline to obtaining your TCard other than you must have current registered status.

What does it mean to have legal status in Canada?
According to the Government of Canada, having legal status means you are authorized to enter and remain in Canada as a temporary or permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as a Canadian citizen under the Citizenship Act or as a Registered Indian under the Indian Act. Temporary resident status is valid for a specific period of time and you must ensure that your status as a temporary resident remains valid while you are in Canada.

Why does U of T need to verify my legal status?
To begin your studies at the University of Toronto, we need to verify your identity and legal status. Verification means that we check your documentation matches the personal information (e.g., legal name, date of birth) and legal status you provided when you applied to the U of T. We do this for the following reasons:

  • It ensures our record keeping practices are accurate and meet the reporting requirements for Immigration Canada and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
  • It supports safety, security and identity management at the U of T. Our identity management process remains a reliable source for other U of T authorities and departments. Having your identity and legal status validated means that you are who you say you are.
  • It confirms that you are paying the correct tuition fees.

I don't have my student number; can you look me up by name?
The TCard office can only use your student number or UTORid to locate your record. Your student number will be located on your offer of admission or you can contact your Registrar.

Can I use a photocopy or scan on my phone of the required documents?
The TCard office can only accept original documentation. Electronic or photocopies are not accepted.

How much does the TCard cost?
There is no charge for your first TCard. If you have lost or damaged your TCard, a new one can be issued at the cost of $20. If you are a returning student who has been away from the University of Toronto for more than two years and no longer have a TCard, upon verification the replacement fee is waived.

Can I get my TCard at one of the other campuses?
As long as you qualify and provide the required documentation, you will be able to obtain your TCard at any of the three campus offices.

I have been re-admitted to U of T and I still have my old TCard. Can I continue to use it at the libraries, etc. or will I need to obtain a new card?
If you have re-enrolled, bring your card to the TCard office and we will check that it is active, and if needed, a new photo/card will be issued. You will need to present valid government issue photo I.D. To learn about appropriate identity documentation visit Documentation Required.

I was told by the Library, my TCard is expiring on October 1st. Do I need to get a new TCard?

No, the TCard does not expire. However, privileges associated with the TCard can expire. If you’ve been told your TCard is about it expire, visit your registrar to assure your current status as a student is up to date. If there was an issue with your status, & the registrar has updated your record, you can expect to see your privileges updated after approximately 24 hours.

Can head/face coverings be worn in TCard photos?
For identity purposes your TCard photo must show your full face. Hats or head coverings are acceptable only for medical or religious reasons and must not in any way obscure a full view of the face.

A full front view of the face must also be clearly visible in all government-issued photo identification and legal status documentation presented to our office.

If you wear a face covering, you will need to remove it for the photo. Individuals who wear a head/face covering for religious beliefs who prefer can come to the TCard office where they can have a female staff member photograph and verify the individual’s identity in a private setting. To ensure that a female staff member is available, please contact the TCard office to schedule an appointment in advance. Please visit tcard.utoronto.ca for contact information.

For disability related reasons, I will have difficulty waiting or standing in the TCard line during the September rush. How can I get my TCard?
Please contact tcard.office@utoronto.ca. We will book a specific time for you to come in and get your TCard so that you can be served right away. You can also speak with staff at the TCard Office front door if you have arrived without making a specific appointment beforehand.


Lost/Replacement TCard

What do I do if I find a lost TCard?
Bring the card to the TCard Services office in the Koffler Student Services building, or send it to the office via campus mail.

Do I need to have my TCard to write my midterm or final exam?
A TCard is required to write your exam, however, if you have lost your TCard, and are unable to get a replacement TCard in time, you will still be able to write your test. Be prepared to present alternative Canadian government-issued photo identification or passport, and your department/exam invigilator will advise you on what you need to do next.

If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact your Registrar or department for additional information.

I've lost my TCard but I need to show proof that I am currently enrolled at U of T. How do I do this?
You are able to generate a Confirmation of Enrolment Letter on ACORN. This letter can be used to verify your status as a student at U of T.

If I deactivated my online account for TBucks or meal plan money, do the funds automatically transfer to my new replacement TCard?
Yes, Any TBucks or meal plan money that has been deactivated will automatically transfer to your replacement TCard and you can begin using the funds the day after you get your new card.

Can I reactivate my lost TCard after I had already replaced it with a new TCard?
No, we are unable to reactivate a TCard once it has been replaced. If you have lost your active TCard, then you will have to pay a $20 replacement fee for a new TCard. Please note that you may only hold one TCard at a time, as per the TCard Terms and Conditions.

My TCard is damaged, do I have to pay for a replacement?
If your card is damaged, there is a $20 replacement fee. If it is defective, the fee is waived. This can only be determined by visiting our office with your TCard for assessment. You will need to present one piece of valid Government issued photo I.D when you obtain a replacement TCard. To learn about appropriate identity documentation visit Documentation Required.

I want my picture retaken, can I get a new TCard?
We will replace a TCard at request. A $20 replacement fee will be charged and we will take one picture only. You will not be able to see the image prior to our printing the new TCard.

If I lost my TCard and it had a Service Animal indicator on it, how can I get that replaced?
You would first get your TCard replaced at the TCard Office and afterwards, notify the department you picked up your Service Animal sticker from that you will need a replacement. For additional information Service Animals & Support Resources, please visit the University of Toronto AODA office website.


Using Your TCard

Do I need to have my TCard to write my midterm or final exam?
A TCard is required to write your exam, however, if you have lost your TCard, and are unable to get a replacement TCard in time, you will still be able to write your test. Be prepared to present alternative Canadian government-issued photo identification or passport, and your department/exam invigilator will advise you on what you need to do next.

If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact your Registrar or department for additional information.

Can I have more than one TCard?
No, students may only hold one TCard at a time, as per the TCard Terms and Conditions

My TCard is flagged. How do I get it fixed?
If you are located on the St. George campus, the Reader Registration Desk (located within Robarts Library) or the TCard Office can unflag your card. Please visit the location that is closer to you.

At UTM or UTSC, if the TCard office is closed visit:

  • UTM Library: Information and loans desk on the main floor
  • UTSC Library: Information and reference desk on the main floor

What is the Service Animal indicator and Where do I get the sticker from?
The Service Animal indicator is a sticker that is placed on a TCard that identifies individuals who are accompanied by service animals on University of Toronto campuses.

For students, you may register your service animal and pick up your sticker at the Accessibility Services Office.

For staff and faculty, you may register your service animal and pick up your sticker at the Health & Well Being office.

For additional information Service Animals & Support Resources, please visit the University of Toronto AODA office website.

How can I enroll in courses if I don’t have my TCard?
New students can access ACORN if they have enabled their JOINid. If you haven’t received your JOINid or instructions please contact your Faculty or College Registrar or the School of Graduate Studies.

How can I get a student discount for Go Transit?

To learn how to apply online for your GO Transit Student ID and get your discounted pass visit Go Student ID.

How can I get a student discount for TTC?

A Post-Secondary Monthly Pass is available on PRESTO. This pass costs the same and provides the same unlimited travel as a Post-Secondary Metropass. You must have your TTC post-secondary photo identification card to get your post-secondary student fare type on your PRESTO card and carry it with you when travelling on the TTC.

You can obtain a TTC Post-secondary Photo ID card at Sherbourne subway station or when TTC photographers are on campus during scheduled TTC Post-Secondary photo ID school visits.

Post-secondary students must bring the following when getting a photo ID:

  • Proof of full-time enrollment* as a post-secondary student in a recognized degree or diploma program located in the City of Toronto
  • One piece of photo ID
*Proof of enrollment: Your TCard will not work as verification of student status. You will need either 1) a printout of your current timetable, 2) a printed statement from ROSI, or 3) a receipt of paid tuition.

How do I board the UTM Shuttle Bus?
Registered UTM students are eligible to board the shuttle bus at no additional charge if they produce their valid TCard for verification at each time of boarding.

Non-UTM students and other riders are eligible to board the shuttle bus by purchasing a Shuttle Bus Ticket ($6.00 each way).

Shuttle Bus Tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

U of T Mississauga Campus:

  • Info Booth in the Student Centre
  • I&ITS Service Desk, Lower Level CCT Atrium
  • IB Ticket Machine (located at the IB bus stop) Credit card or exact coin, 24/7

St. George Campus:

  • Hart House Hub

Visit UTM Shuttle Bus for more information.


MyPhoto

What is MyPhoto?
MyPhoto is the University of Toronto’s online photo submission system for student cards (TCard), that lets you choose your own picture and shorten your wait time. MyPhoto is currently open to newly admitted undergraduate and graduate students.

How long will it take to pick-up my TCard once my online photo is submitted?
For your first TCard, you will receive information about when and where your card will be ready for pick up. Replacement cards, however, must be picked up at the TCard Services office and the replacement fee would apply.

What are the photo dimensions and largest file size I can upload?
Your photo must be a minimum of 300 x 370 pixels (portrait photo) at 300dpi, in a JPEG format with a maximum size of 6 MB.

What photo file types do you accept?
JPEG and HEIC. JPEG is recommended.

What should the photo I submit look like?
Your photo should resemble a passport style photo with the choice of you smiling and your head centered to the frame of the photo. The photo should be taken against a white background and in a space that is well lit that properly shows your face to allow a strong contrast between you and the background. Don’t use social media photos, or digitally alter your face.

Check out our Detailed Instructions for more information.

Can head/face coverings be worn in the TCard photo?
For identity purposes your TCard photo must show your full face. Hats or head coverings are acceptable only for medical or religious reasons and must not in any way obscure a full view of the face.

A full front view of the face must also be clearly visible in all government-issued photo identification and legal status documentation presented to our office.

If you wear a face covering, you will need to remove it for the photo. Individuals who wear a head/face covering for religious beliefs may prefer to come to the TCard office where they can have a female staff member photograph and verify the individual’s identity in a private setting. To ensure that a female staff member is available, please contact the TCard office to schedule an appointment in advance.

If you are booking an online identity verification appointment, get in touch with us to make arrangements to have your appointed conducted by a female staff member.

Please visit tcard.utoronto.ca for contact information.

What happens if the photo I supply does not meet the requirements specified by TCard?
Your application for a TCard will be delayed. You will receive an email indicating the reason why the photo is not acceptable and will have to either re‐upload another picture or visit the TCard office to have your photo taken.

How do I get a replacement card?
If you would like to replace your TCard, then you must go to a TCard Office. We will only replace TCards for current students or staff and faculty, and your identity will be verified with Canadian government issued photo ID or a passport. The replacement fee is $20.00, and we only accept debit or credit.

What do I do if my name needs to be updated/changed?
We can only print a TCard with the name that matches the name you used when you submitted your application to U of T, which is now officially recorded in the student information system. When you pick up your TCard, we expect to see the name in your documentation, matching the name in our systems.

We can help you with misspelled names:
If your name is misspelled, and, the documentation you will be presenting to us has the correct spelling, then send us an email at tcard.photo@utoronto.ca. Include your Student # or JOIN/UTORid.

This includes things like:
Adding or removing a space in your name, adding a hyphen, changing 1 letter, and removing a second surname from your TCard.

You will have to visit your registrar if you have an official name change:
Changing your official or preferred name in the student information system is a very important aspect of your registration, and therefore you must visit your Registrar’s office to do this in person. To learn more about where to go, and what supporting documentation you need to bring, please visit your Registrar’s website, before applying for your TCard.

I don’t have access to apply online for my TCard, How can I submit my photo?
MyPhoto is currently open to newly admitted (2020) undergraduate and graduate students. Staff, Faculty, Librarians, Other students and Other staff, re-registered students (over 2 years), and students who require a replacement TCard, must visit a TCard office in person.

I have a question not listed here, who can I email?
Please email your questions to tcard.photo@utoronto.ca.