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Purdue offers free ID card exchanges for one week

Andrew Hudson   ||   Sep 20, 2019  ||   ,

Purdue University will offer its students a week-long window to exchange their existing student ID cards for a new, voter ID compliant credential that features an expiration date for free.

According to an official university release, students wanting to trade in their current Purdue ID card for one with the newly added expiration date can do so at no charge from October 21-25.

Purdue first announced its intention to issue campus cards with expiration dates this summer -- a first for the university. In addition to the expiration date, the Purdue ID features the cardholder’s photo and legal name, which also help align the credential with Indiana voting laws as a valid form of identification.

“While Purdue does not issue identification cards for voting purposes, we understand there is a strong interest in the community for greater access to our new designs,” said Tim Riley, Purdue University bursar. “We want to be helpful to our students in every way we responsibly can.”

Plans for the grace week were developed based on a proposal from the university senate.

“I was able to sit down with university administrators and the ID card office to discuss the many nuances of the card update process,” said Cheryl Cooky, chair of the University Senate. “We came up with this solution together, and in my view, it fully satisfies the call from the University Senate to ensure that all students who need an updated identification card are able to get one without undue burden.”

Election officials in the state of Indiana have mandated that for a university photo ID card to meet voter identification requirements, it must bear an expiration date. That addition brings the Purdue student ID card in line with other forms of voter identification in the state including an Indiana driver’s license, a U.S. passport, a military ID or a free Indiana ID card from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

As is the case with many universities, Purdue has long covered the expense of an student's first issued ID card, with any subsequent replacements costing $25. That fee will remain in place for those with lost cards or cards damaged for reasons other than normal wear and tear. Only cards issued for the purpose of updating to one with an expiration date will have the replacement fee waived.

Once the grace week has ended on October 25, cardholding members of the Purdue community will still be able to trade in their existing ID cards for the updated version, but will have to pay a reduced replacement fee of $10. According to the release, card replacement fees cover the administrative and material expenses of developing, programing and printing new cards.

The new cards bearing expiration dates will be available beginning in October and will also introduce a new aesthetic. This all comes ahead of a lager card technology update that the university is planning for the spring. That move is expected to enable student IDs to be read by more electronic devices across campus and will "position Purdue for an eventual adoption of mobile credentials."

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