By Theo Schwinke

Nani Fudge prepares ID cards.
Nani Fudge prepares ID cards. New students who will live in residence halls are asked to submit photos for their IDs by Aug. 3. Sam O’Keefe/University of Missouri.

It’s less than two weeks before Mizzou students return to campus and the MU student ID office is buzzing, literally.

Two printers are steadily churning out ID cards. Office supervisor Nani Fudge and a student employee hop among three work stations, carefully maintaining six feet of distance between them as they do so. Boxes filled with cards, labeled for each residence hall, line the walls.

“It’s challenging,” Fudge said, “We’re trying to process several thousand new ID cards before the students even set foot on campus.”

The weeks leading up to the fall semester are always a busy time for the office, but the pressure is exceptionally high this year. Traditionally, students have picked up their IDs at Summer Welcome, but that couldn’t happen this year as Summer Welcome was online.

Fudge and her team are determined to avoid a situation in which the entire freshman class descends on her office at once.

To that end, they are advising new Mizzou students who are living in residence halls to send in their own photos for their IDs this year. The Department of Residential Life has already sent the message to incoming residents in an email.

Mizzou is expecting to welcome more than 7,000 new students to campus between Aug. 12 and Aug. 19. The ID office can only process a couple hundred each day, so time is critical.

“It’s in everyone’s best interests if new students take their own photographs and submit them by Aug. 3,” Fudge said.

New students who are not living in residence halls are not bound by the Aug. 3 deadline but are welcome to submit photos now. They can visit the student ID office to have their ID cards printed after they arrive on campus.

An official MU ID card is essential to Mizzou students from their first moments on campus. These ID cards serve as key cards, and most students need IDs to get into their halls and rooms.

Students can also use their ID cards to pay for meals using their dining plans, to check out materials from the library, and to charge academic expenses at The Mizzou Store.

Fudge emphasized that students don’t need a professional photographer. Cell phone photos will work fine, provided students follow the following recommendations:

  • Face forward, looking straight at the camera.
  • Stand in front of a neutral background (white, beige or gray).
  • Make sure your eyes are visible. Prescription glasses are acceptable but don’t wear sunglasses.
  • Don’t wear a hat or include your hands or other people in the photo. Any of these, or a unnatural facial expression, will result in your photo not being approved.

In addition to a photo, students need to submit a copy of another piece of identification (such as a driver’s license) that the ID office can use to verify their identity.

Learn more about your student ID and how to submit your photo.