pxpcardimageUAF uses PolarExpress cards, courtesy cards, and badges as the official photo identification for students, faculty, staff, and all affiliated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The card includes your name, photograph, and UA identification number. The card is an electronic key to access many campus services and locations such as dorms, the SRC, movies, concerts and all venues on campus. The card holds any Bear Bucks and Munch Money (meal plan) accounts, which a cardholder can deposit money into and use for purchases at all dining service locations across campus. The card will only allow you to make purchases if money is available in the Bear Bucks account.

The PolarExpress card is a permanent card, valid for two years after the holder's last affiliation with the university. All privileges expire upon departure from the university, except for Bear Bucks and Munch Money accounts. Holders who return to the university system within two years and no longer have their PolarExpress Card must purchase a replacement card.

Obtaining a PolarExpress card:

Attention Students: The PolarExpress cards for the upcoming 2024 Fall Semester will commence printing on August 1st, 2024.

To obtain a new PolarExpress card, a potential cardholder must be a registered student or employee with a valid government-issued ID. After submitting a request form, an email stating we have received the submission will be sent. Once the form has been reviewed for required information and processed, another email will be sent after the card is printed and ready for pickup.

Cards request forms will be processed within 24 hours of submission. If a card request form is returned, an email will be sent explaining of the reason for the return.

Cards can only be picked up by the cardholder to whom they were was issued to.

Students must be enrolled in classes in the current semester to receive a card.

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Current passport
  • State identification card
  • Tribal card
  • Plain, white background
  • No hats
  • No sunglasses
  • Color photo
  • Neutral facial expression
  • Directly facing camera
  • Taken within the last 6 months
  • Face centered with no filters
  • Must include from clavicle to top of head
  • 1st: no charge
  • Replacement: $10
  • Courtesy Card annual renewal: $20

Bear Bucks is the currency used for the PolarExpress cards. You can add money to your Bear Bucks account using eAccounts

Cardholders will need to present a valid government-issued ID to pick up their cards.

UAF Campus:

Office of the Bursar
Signers' Hall first floor
1810 Salcha Street Fairbanks, AK 99775


UAF Community & Technical College
Student Advising and Registration Center
Room 110
604 Barnette Street
Fairbanks, AK


If you reside outside of Fairbanks and would like to receive your card by mail, submit a request via email to the Bursar's Office using your alaska.edu account. Include your UA ID and mailing address in your email. Cards will be mailed within two business days of printing.

Replacing cards:

If you lose your card, immediately call (907) 474 - 7384 and let us know. If you call after business hours, please leave a voicemail and we will deactivate your card the following business day.

If a card is lost, damaged, or stolen, a new request form must be submitted for a replacement. A replacement fee of $10 will be placed on the cardholder’s account.

If the cardholder is an employee or student worker, and their department will be paying the fee, the fund and org for the department must be included on the form.

You can also deactivate your card immediately on Blackboard eAccounts. In all cases, your card will be deactivated until you get a replacement.

If you find your card, reactivate it on Blackboard e-accounts or email the Bursar's Office to reinstate it. We cannot reinstate ID cards over the phone.

Card Access:

When students enroll in the current or upcoming semester, general access is added once their card is printed. Staff or faculty will have general access added and any access requested and approved by their Access Approving Authority (AAA).

The cardholder must contact their department's AAA for any additional access.

If you are unsure who yours is, please contact the Key Shop at (907) 474-6778 or uaf-fs-keyshop@alaska.edu.

PolarExpress Card Effectivity:

The card is permanent and is valid for two years after the cardholder’s last affiliation with the University. Most privileges expire upon departure from the University. You can still use your Bear Bucks during this valid period.  Using these cards by anyone other than the person to whom it is issued is prohibited. Cardholders who permit others to use their cards are responsible for the charges resulting from such use.

Cardholders who return to the University system within two years and no longer have their ID card must purchase a replacement card.

Dining dollars placed onto your Munch Money account expire at the end of each academic year regardless of affiliation with the University. Up to $250 of Munch Money remaining on accounts at the end of the Fall semester will roll into the Spring meal plan. All unused Munch Money is non-refundable and expires after the last day of the Spring semester. Any remaining Munch Money at the end of the Spring semester can not be rolled into the following semester.

Courtesy Card Effectivity:

Courtesy Cards are valid for one year from the date of purchase. An annual renewal fee of $20.00 must be paid each year after that to allow accesses to be renewed on the card. Courtesy Cards function like a regular PolarExpress ID card except for automatic accesses loaded. 

Emeritus cards will be issued as Courtesy Cards, and are exempt from the $20.00 annual renewal fee.

The cardholder must contact their AAA to grant or renew access. If the cardholder is unsure who their AAA is, they can contact their department or affiliated department. Their AAA will then notify the Bursar's Office of the renewal.