Get Your BisonCard

There is no charge for an initial BisonCard for students, faculty and staff; however, there is a $10 replacement fee if a BisonCard is lost or stolen.

Howard students, faculty and staff who previously had a BisonCard issued and are requesting a replacement card must visit the BisonCard office for a replacement photo and card. A valid photo driver’s license, passport or state-issued photo ID is required to receive a BisonCard.

The BisonCard contains a photograph of the individual. Individuals may submit their own photo however, headshots may be taken at the Bison One Card Office.


iLab Building
2301 Georgia Ave NW
Lobby Level
Washington, DC 20059

Phone: 202.806.2109

Monday – Friday
9:00am – 5:00pm
Days and times may vary. Please refer to the Howard University Academic Calendar.

Where to Submit Photos Online

  • Review photo requirements on this page.
  • Prepare your photo.
  • When ready...
Go To Upload Form

Expiration Dates 

When your BisonCard is issued, it is issued with an expiration date. If your BisonCard is near or past the expiration date, please visit the Bison One Card Office location to validate your card.


As a student arrives at Howard for the first time, they receive a BisonCard, the official University ID card. The BisonCard will be used daily throughout a student’s time at Howard, including for building access and dining plans thus, it should be maintained by the student and stored in a safe location. There will be a $10 replacement fee for a lost card.

Faculty and Staff

Howard University and Howard University Hospital faculty and staff are eligible for a BisonCard after onboarding paperwork and orientation is completed by Human Resources. Employees may submit their photo online or visit the Bison One Card Office to have a photo taken. Upon receipt of the BisonCard, new faculty/staff will receive access to email, PeopleSoft, and other University systems for required access. There is a $10 replacement fee for a lost or stolen card.

BisonCards are used by one person. If you are taking courses while employed by Howard University, you will receive a BisonCard with the designation of your primary status with the University. In most cases, this primary status is Faculty or Professional Staff and not Student.


Contractors and other University-affiliated personnel who require identification and/or access to University buildings while conducting business on a Howard University campus, may be issued a BisonCard.

Non-Employee includes the following:

  • Contracted employees through a master University contract*
  • Ad-Hoc contractors
  • Non-Employee Affiliates*
    (including temporary employees, visiting faculty, visiting researchers, staff volunteers)
  • Interns and Co-ops

*Contract employees and Non-Employee Affiliates must first be processed by Human Resources before a BisonCard can be issued. To request a BisonCard for Contract and Non-Employee Affiliates, Click Here: (link to .pdf Standard Volunteer Agreement Form)

Submit Your Photo

The key requirement for online photo submission is the photo should clearly identify the cardholder. In general, all photos must be a color photo with a frontal view of just head and shoulders on a solid white, light-colored blue or gray background. Please see the information below for additional description of the requirements.

The following tips will help you take an acceptable photo for your BisonCard:

  • No hats, sunglasses or scarves (religious head coverings are permitted)
  • Do not use any filters to alter the photo
  • Do not stand outside
  • No Selfies

Online Photo Submission

Howard students, faculty and staff who have never had a BisonCard will need to submit their photo online or may visit the BisonCard Office to have a photo taken. In order to obtain a card for which the photo was previously submitted online, the individual must come to the BisonCard Office in person and provide a valid government issued identification. Photos submitted to the Bison One Card Office becomes the property of the University; will be used for official and administrative purposes only and; are not returned. 

Howard students, faculty and staff who previously had a BisonCard issued and are requesting a replacement card must visit the BisonCard office for a replacement photo and card.

Submission Requirements

Photos submissions must meet the following criteria to be accepted for official use on your BisonCard:

  • Color photos only
  • Must be current (taken within the last 6 months)
  • Background must be solid, smooth, and white, light-colored blue or gray
  • Must be forward-facing, showing the head and top of the shoulders, like a passport photo
  • A natural or neutral expression/smile
  • Position the subject and lighting so that there are no distracting shadows on the face or background
  • Features, including eyes and face, must be clearly visible
  • Frame subject with full face, front view, eyes open 
  • Make sure the photo presents full head from top of head to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 1 – 3/8 inches (25mm to 35mm) 
  • Center head within frame (see figure 2 below) 
  • Make sure eye height is between 1 – 1/8 inches to 1 – 3/8 inches (28mm and 35mm) from bottom of photo.
  • The maximum size of the photo is 1MB