How do I identify the PIK on a VandalCard?

In This Article:

What is a PIK?

A Patron Institution Key (PIK) is the unique identifier the University system uses to identify each person. The PIK correlates with the magstripe or barcode on their VandalCard so that the card can be used by the cardholder to access services, including building access.

Where is the PIK located?

PIKs are not printed directly on the cards. However, in the system the magstripe matches the PIK. You can also piece together other information from the card to determine the PIK. Due to the retirement of the Student ID project in summer 2018, that information depends on the card you are reviewing. See below for the possible combination you could see on VandalCards.


Newly printed cards (August 2018 and Current)

All cards printed after August 2018 have the digits of the magstripe printed just below the magstripe itself. For these cards, this must be used for the PIK as this number is how the card readers know to locate that specific card.

PIK located under magstripe on new cards



Older Cards (Prior to August 2018)

Cards printed before August 2018 may not have the PIK printed under the magstripe. If it does, than use that number for the PIK.  If it does not, the PIK can be determined by looking on the front of the card.  Below are instructions on how to determine the PIK.

  • Employee Cards

Employee cards show the V number on the front. This number will either be the format V01234567 or 901234567. If it has a V, that should simply be replaced with a 9, and that is the PIK. If it is a 9, the number itself is the PIK.

Employee card front with V number  becomes Employee vandal card front with 9

  • Student Cards

Due to the Student ID retirement in Summer 2018, there are several variants of student cards. These cards may have:

- A Student ID number (ex. 012-98765).

- Both a Student ID number AND a V number (ex. V01234567 on top and 012-98765 on bottom).

- Just a V number (ex. V01234567 or 501234567)

If the card shows a Student ID number, then the PIK can be found by adding a leading zero "0" to the left of the Student ID number, and removing the dash "-" from the resulting value. For example, the PIK for 012-98765 would be 001298765.


If the card has the V number and Student ID combination, ignore the V number and find the PIK using the same process as described above (by adding a zero "0" and removing the dash "-").

If the student card has only a V number (ex. V01234567 or 501234567), the V is simply converted to a 5 and the result (501234567) is the PIK.



Misprinted Information

If a card has incorrect information on it, or the PIK does not match the magstripe, please email with the PIK, what information is incorrect, and how it sould be corrected. The VandalCard Office will reach out to the individual to get the card corrected and reprinted if necessary.


Article ID: 1205
Tue 11/27/18 11:35 AM
Fri 5/8/20 9:35 AM