Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the PID (APID/ZPID/FPID) and student ID number?

    The PID and student ID numbers are unique identifiers assigned to each person. PIDs begin with a letter - A for students, Z for employees and F for affiliated persons - followed by 8 digits.

    We are transitioning to a new unique identifier for students known as a student ID number. This unique identifier is the same as the APID except that in place of the A, there is a 1. For example, a student whose APID is A01234567 would have a student ID number of 101234567. During this transition, some systems will require the APID and some systems will require the student ID number.

  • Who gets a Spartan Card?

    All current MSU students, faculty, staff and retirees are eligible to obtain a Spartan Card.

    Cards for MSU affiliates are done by request only.

  • When do I get my Spartan Card?

    Incoming students attending New Student Orientation (NSO) can obtain their cards when they move in. Please see the online photo submission page for more information.

    Graduate students and others exempt from NSO can come to our office to have their photo taken and obtain their Spartan Card.

    Lifelong students may come to our office to obtain their Spartan Card once the semester that they are enrolled in has begun.

    Employees are eligible to obtain their Spartan Card once their paperwork has been completed by Human Resources. We advise new employees to call our office at 517-355-4500 to ensure their paperwork has been completed prior to coming to our office.

  • Can I submit an online photo?
    Only undergraduate students currently attending New Student Orientation (NSO) are eligible to submit an online photo. 

    Graduate, lifelong and students exempt from NSO as well as all employees must come to the ID Office to have their photo taken.
  • Can I use a virtual ID?

    MSU Students and employees have access to a virtual ID, which can be found in the MSU App - available for iOS and Android. Students with photos on their records will have that photo displayed on the Virtual Spartan Card.

    This Virtual Spartan Card can be used for identification purposes, but does not have the ability to be used for meals or physical access to secured doors or elevators.

    Please note that Spartan Card photos for employees are not loaded onto the virtual ID at this time.


    For a quick overview on how to access your Virtual Spartan Card, please see the Virtual ID overview document.

  • Can my spouse get a Spartan Card?

    Spouses (or OEI) of students, faculty, staff and retirees may obtain Spartan Cards. The student or employee and spouse/OEI must both appear in person at the ID Office, present the employee or student's Spartan Card, proof of marriage, and the spouse/OEI's government issued photo ID such as a US driver's license, passport, state ID or military ID.

  • What if I don't have government issued photo ID?
    If you are an incoming student and do not have a government issued photo ID, please contact our office to discuss your options for obtaining your Spartan Card.
  • What if I change my name?

    Current MSU students and employees who legally change their names may come to our office and obtain a replacement Spartan Card.

    Prior to coming to our office, the following must be completed before we are able to issue a replacement Spartan Card:

    • Students must change their name with the Office of the Registrar*
    • Faculty and staff must change their name with Human Resources*
    • You will be required to provide a government issued photo ID or court document with your name change.

    *Please call our office at 517-355-4500 prior to coming in to verify that the name change has been updated in our systems as it may take a few days.

    There is a fee for having a replacement card printed.

  • Will you mail my Spartan Card to me?
    Because we must verify your identity, we are unable to mail photo Spartan Cards. If you are an offsite program or an online student, you can contact our office to discuss your options.
  • What is preferred name for students and how do I set it?

    A preferred name is a name that students can opt to have displayed on their Spartan Card in place of their legal first name. The preferred name can only be set by the student and can be done in their StuInfo account. The student's legal name is printed on the back of the Spartan Card.

    For more information regarding preferred names, please visit this site.

  • Where can I punch a hole in the card to attach to a lanyard?
    Sorry, nowhere. The Spartan Card is embedded with a microchip and antenna, both of which will be damaged by a hole punch. You should consider friction grip lanyards, a card wallet, or plastic ID holder.
  • What do I do if my replacement card does not work?

    Door and elevator access should update within 4 hours. If your access does not update:
       -Students living in residence halls will need to go to the front desk for assistance.
       -Employees will need to see their supervisor or department administrator.

    Students who checked out a temporary meal pass will need to return it to the dining hall before the dining plan will be reinstated.

    Parking gate access requires a phone call to Parking Services at 517-355-8440 to update your card information.

    Time clocks and IM facility access will take one day to update.