College Identification Cards (NOVACard) :: Northern Virginia Community College

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College Identification Cards (NOVACard)

Policy Number: 309

Categorized: Administrative Policies

Responsible Office: Parking and NOVACard Services

Subject: Requirements for obtaining and using a NOVACard

Related Policies: NOVACard Debit Accounts (ACE$)


Additional Information: NOVA Card webpage

Effective Date: 09/10/2019

Last Reviewed Date: 08/01/2019

1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and contractors who are granted a NOVACard.

2.0 Policy Statement

The NOVACard serves as proof of status for employees, students, and others associated with Northern Virginia Community College and is required for access to many services and resources throughout the College including, but not limited to, libraries, gyms, music rooms, computer labs, and some classrooms. In addition, the NOVACard is required for electronic access to certain campus facilities.

The NOVACard can only be used by the person whose name appears on the card; lending or altering a card may subject the owner to disciplinary action.

The NOVACard and its database shall be regarded as official college property.

All policies related to your NOVACard Debit Account (ACE$) may be found in Policy 310.

3.0 Definitions

Affiliate: visiting scholars and interns that are not NOVA students.

Contractor: an individual who is an employee of a firm that has a formal contractual relationship to perform work for the college and whose daily work site is on a campus or at one of the college’s administrative offices

Emeritus: status that may be awarded to faculty and classified staff who have retired after five years’ full-time service to the College and a minimum of ten years of service in the Virginia Community College System and who have made meritorious and significant contributions to the College.

FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Official Mail: Correspondence from a bank, utility company, cell phone company, landlord, mortgage company or other business with the student’s name and address that matches the information in the student records system.

Volunteer: Any person who, of his/her own free will, provides services without any financial compensation, to the College.

4.0 Procedures

4.1. General Care

By accepting and using the NOVACard, the cardholder agrees to abide by all rules, regulations, policies, and procedures specified by Northern Virginia Community College.

A NOVACard is non-transferable and each individual is responsible for the care of his/her NOVACard to ensure it remains in good working condition. The College reserves the right to cancel the NOVACard in the event an individual violates any rules, regulations or policies.

The NOVACard’s magnetic stripe and embedded proximity chip cards can be easily damaged. Cardholders must not punch holes, wash, bend, expose to excessive heat, or otherwise tamper with the card, as these actions render the card unusable for its intended purposes. A NOVACard will be confiscated if it has been damaged, altered, or defaced and the user will be charged a replacement cost. A NOVACard with a magnetic stripe or proximity chip that is malfunctioning not as a result of damage, alteration, or defacement will be replaced at no cost.

Any misuse, alteration, or fabrication of the NOVACard subjects the cardholder to disciplinary action by the college. Violation of this policy, including lending a card or using another person's card, results in referral to the appropriate authority for disciplinary action. The use of an ID card to gain access to a benefit or service by an individual other than the person to whom the card was issued is considered theft and results in referral to the appropriate authority for disciplinary action.

4.2. Personal Information

Personal information that is available to NOVACard staff via the ID card software must be used solely for the purpose of conducting regular College business. A cardholder may only request information about his/her NOVACard record in person and with a proper form of identification.

Northern Virginia Community College complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy ACT (FERPA). Under FERPA guidelines, photo ID's and NOVACard account information is only shared with Northern Virginia Community College officials with a legitimate educational interest.

All requests for the release or review cardholder records shall be directed to the Chief of College Police or designee. Requests shall be approved or denied in accord with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and in consultation with College Counsel as appropriate.

4.3. Card Issuance

Student and Faculty/Staff NOVACards can be obtained at any Campus Card office. Presentation of a valid form of identification is required. An individual’s official name, as it appears in the College records, is printed on the NOVACard.

Affiliate, Contractor, and Emeritus NOVACards will be provided by the Central College Card Office with the proper forms (see below).

Requirements for specific categories:

  • Students: Must be a currently registered student (it may take up to 24 hours from registering for that information to be updated in the NOVACard system) and present a valid primary form of identification and an acceptable registration document. (See section 4.4 below)
  • Faculty and Staff: ID Card system must have the individual’s account in the system. This information comes from Human Resources.
  • Contractors and volunteers: Must complete the NOVACard Special Affiliate or Contractor Card Request (Form 105-036) approved by their supervisor.
  • Affiliates: Visiting scholars and interns: the ID Card system must have the individual’s account in the system, otherwise use the NOVACard Special Affiliate or Contractor Card Request (Form 105-036).
  • Emeritus: NOVACard is issued at the annual Service Awards luncheon.
  • Guest Cards (non-photo): Can be purchased from any of the deposit terminals for a fee.

4.4. Acceptable forms of ID

One valid (unexpired) ID from the following:

  • State driver's license (including state-issued temporary or provisional license with photo)
  • State-issued or military-issued identification card
  • U.S. or foreign-issued passport
  • Resident Alien Registration Card (i.e. a green card, or a permanent residence card- Form I-551)

A student who does not have any of the above valid (unexpired) forms of identification may present any TWO of the following:

  • Any of the above forms of ID that have expired within the past 12 months
  • High school identification card
  • A piece of official mail with name and address that matches the information in the student record system

4.5. Photo Requirements

Photos may be taken at the NOVACard office or uploaded using GET, NOVACard’s online service. Photos uploaded using GET must be taken within the last six months. The online photo submission approval process can take up to 24 hours not including weekends and holidays.

  • The picture must be of the head and shoulders only, in color, with a white background (if uploaded using GET, Offices may use provided background)
  • Must be forward facing with all articles and objects out of view. Side or angled views are NOT accepted
  • Expressions must be natural, with both eyes open.
  • Sunglasses or other eye wear which distracts from the face are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (prescription glasses or an eye patch, for example).
  • Caps, hats, turbans, etcetera, may be worn for religious or medical reasons only.
  • Veils worn for religious reasons must be adjusted to allow a full-faced photograph. Any student who requires accommodations in order to be photographed with their face uncovered should email Please include name, College ID number, and College email address. Once approved, the Office will coordinate the accommodations.

Once an uploaded photo is approved, the individual will receive an email informing them they can pick up their NOVACard at any campus card office. If a photo is rejected, an email will be sent stating the reason for rejection and the individual can submit another photo.

4.6. Lost or Stolen NOVACard

Report a lost or stolen NOVACard as soon as possible to any NOVACard office or using online services. Stolen NOVACards should also be reported to College Police. When a card is reported as lost or stolen, a hold is placed on the card preventing its further use. Placing the NOVACard on hold does not affect College services that do not require the card (e.g., registration for classes).

Northern Virginia Community College is not responsible for any lost or stolen NOVACards or for any unauthorized use of the NOVACard prior to it being reported as lost or stolen. The cardholder is liable for financial transactions on the card until it is officially reported as lost or stolen.

Check Campus Police, the Campus NOVACard Office or Central NOVACard office for returned cards.

  • If the card is found, the cardholder must reactivate the card either online or at a NOVACard office.
  • If the card is not found or the student is certain that the card cannot be found, a new NOVACard will be reissued with proof of identification and payment of the replacement fee. The previous balance and account history is transferred to the new card.
  • If the cardholder presents a police report indicating the card was stolen, they will not be charged a replacement fee.

4.7. Reprinted ID Card

A reprinted NOVACard may be issued when the original card is damaged, the cardholder’s name has changed, or the card has expired, and the previous card can be returned.

Damaged NOVACard: Cards damaged due to normal wear and tear may be reprinted at no charge, provided that the damaged card is exchanged at the time of replacement. Cards damaged as a result of reasons other than normal wear and tear, such as hole-punching, bending, washing in laundry, etc., are subject to the standard replacement fee.

Name Change: Requests for changes or corrections to the cardholder’s name must be submitted first to the Student Services Center (for students) or to Human Resources (for employees). Upon completing a name change request, the cardholder must wait at least 48 hours before requesting a reprinted NOVACard. NOVACard staff cannot process name changes on a NOVACard account. There is NO charge for reprinting a NOVACard due to a name change as long as the above criteria are met.

4.8. Inactive Cards

When a NOVACard becomes inactive, all rights and privileges associated with the card cease.

Student NOVACards expire every two years and become inactive if the student is no longer enrolled at the college.

Employee NOVACards remain active as long as the cardholder is employed by the College and expire immediately upon their separation from employment from Northern Virginia Community College

Once the NOVACard has been inactive for 12 months or more in the NOVACard system, the account must be closed.

Guest Cards that have been inactive for 12 months cannot be re-activated.

5.0 Authority