Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about your Panther Card or Panther Funds? Look for the answer below. Or contact Panther Central. We're at your service.

When can I get my ID?

Registered students are eligible for cards one month prior to the start of a given term (for Spring - December 1, for Summer - April 1 and for Fall - August 1).

Staff must be currently employed by the University and Faculty must have an active contract.

When does my Panther Card expire?

As an active student registered for the fall or spring term, your card will remain valid for a predetermined amount of time, based on the department or program you are registered with. The expiration date will be printed on your Panther Card. If you are a registered summer student only, your card is valid through August of that year.

For faculty, your Panther Card will remain active per your departmental contract and will expire upon your contract end date. For staff and tenured faculty, your Panther Card will remain active for five years pending active employment.

Your card’s expiration date will be amended based on your change of relationship with the University such as, change in enrollment status, graduation, expiration of contract and or termination from the University.

Do I have to have my card with me all of the time?

You should always have your Panther Card with you while you are attending the University. Your card identifies you as a current student, staff or faculty member, and it gives you access and privileges to libraries, computer labs, your residence hall, your Meal Plan, buses, and shuttles.

If I lose my Panther Card are my Panther Funds safe?

Because your picture is on your Panther Card, no one except you can present your card for a Panther Funds purchase.

You should, however, report a lost or stolen card to Panther Central immediately at the Panther Central Community at Click here for instructions. Your card will be automatically deactivated.

How can I get into my residence hall if I lose my Panther Card?

If you lose your Panther Card, Panther Central will issue you a temporary Panther Card. This temporary ID will give you access to only your meal plan. Panther Central will provide you with an emergency lockout code to enter your building and room.  When you find your Panther Card, return the temporary card to Panther Central. If you don't find your lost card, we will issue you a new Panther Card. You must pay a $20 replacement fee each time you receive a new Panther Card.

Can I use Panther Funds to purchase a meal or snacks in on-campus dining locations?

Yes. Panther Funds are accepted at all University dining locations, including Starbucks coffee carts and Einstein Bros. Bagels. When you present your Panther Card, inform the cashier whether you wish to use a Dining Pass (accepted only at Market Central, Market To-Go, or The Perch at Sutherland), Dining Dollars, or Panther Funds.

Can I withdraw cash from my Panther Funds?

No. Panther Funds can only be used for purchase of food, beverages, merchandise, and services at participating locations on campus and in Oakland.

Why must I turn in my expired ID in order to receive a new ID at no charge?

All faculty, staff and students must turn in their expired ID in order to receive a replacement ID at no charge. Expired IDs will be treated in a similar fashion as lost IDs. If the expired ID is not turned in at the time of reissue the replacement will cost $20. The reason for this policy is that renewed IDs will have the same identification number as the expired ID. If we do not retrieve the expired ID, we must assume it is lost and therefore must issue a new card with a unique 2P number.

Why is there a charge to obtain a new ID if one is lost?

There are internal costs for manufacturing University ID cards. The University does not charge you for your initial ID, however, any IDs that the University has to replace due to loss or damage is charged to the customer.

Can I punch a hole in my ID card?

No. Do not punch a hole in your Panther Card. You will damage the wiring inside the card, potentially deactivating the bus chip, the proximity chip, and/or the magnetic charge. If your card has been intentionally damaged, you will have to pay a $20 replacement fee.

What if my Panther Card is confiscated?

If your ID is confiscated, Panther Central can work to obtain the confiscated ID card. If a replacement ID is needed immediately, a new card will need to be purchased for $20.

What if my Panther Card does not work on the Port Authority Transit?

The customer may be required to pay for that ride. The customer should come to Panther Central with the 4-digit bus number and route number to complete a Port Authority Refund Request form. Panther Central will review the claim and if warranted, refunds will be given in the form of Panther Funds. Refunds may take 5-7 business days. NO Cash Refunds will be issued.

Find the answers to commonly asked questions about Panther Cards and Panther Funds. Can't find the answer to your question? Please Contact Us. We're at your service.

Panther Card Self Service Photo Upload

Where do I submit my Panther Card photo?

Your photo can be uploaded via

Who is eligible to use the Panther Card photo submission application?

All students, faculty and staff are eligible to submit a photo. However, only newly admitted students and newly hired faculty and staff will have their Panther Cards preprinted prior to pick-up. Remember to wait to receive a confirmation email from Panther Central before coming to pick up your Pitt Panther Card. Your confirmation email will explain if your photo was accepted and verify your status with the University.

Newly admitted students who will begin taking classes in the Fall, can submit their photo on or after August 1. If you are an incoming freshman and registered for a summer Pittstart program, you can submit your photo two weeks prior to your scheduled session. You will receive your card on Day 1 of your session.

Newly hired faculty members must have an active contract with the university in order to submit a photo and receive a Panther Card. Panther Central cannot preprint your Panther Card prior to your contract being activated.

Newly hired staff members can submit photos on or after their hire date.

Do I need to follow up with Panther Central once I submit my photo?

There is no need to follow up with Panther Central after you submit your photo.  You will receive a confirmation email from Panther Central once your photo has been reviewed.

How will I know if my photo has been accepted?

Panther Central will email your University account once your photo has been accepted or if your photo has been rejected.

Where and when can I pick up my Panther Card?

Your Panther Card typically will be ready for pick-up within 24 hours of receiving your “accepted” email from Panther Central. Panther Card pick-up is in Panther Central, which is located in the Litchfield Towers Lobby. If more time is needed to print your Panther Card, you will be emailed directly at your Pitt email account.

Please Note:
Only newly admitted students and newly hired faculty and staff are eligible to have their Panther Cards preprinted. All other customers can submit their photo, but will have their Panther Cards printed upon arrival at Panther Central. Remember, all customers should wait for a photo confirmation email from Panther Central prior to going to the office.

Can anyone else pick up my Panther Card for me?

No. Only YOU can pick up your Panther Card.

Can I have my Panther Card mailed to me?

Panther Cards can only be mailed if you are willing to pay for certified mail with signature. Please contact Panther Central directly with this request prior to completing the Panther Card Self Service online form.

Can I change my picture at a later time?

Yes, you can certainly upload a new photo at any time, but keep in mind that there is a replacement fee and you will need to exchange your old Panther Card for your new one.

Is there a cost to have my Panther Card preprinted?

Please understand that your first Panther Card is free, as well as a required reprint (i.e. Panther Card has expired), but all other reprints of your Panther Card will cost $20. You will also need to exchange your old Panther Card in order to have a new one printed (unless your card was lost/stolen). 

Find the answers to commonly asked questions about Panther Cards and Panther Funds. Can't find the answer to your question? Please Contact Us. We're at your service.

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