ID cards (PolarExpress)

PolarExpress card sample

New students:

You can add Bear Bucks from this site and be ready to purchase your books, snacks, and other items on campus.

The PolarExpress card is the official UAF photo identification card used by students, staff and faculty to access UAF facilities and to make purchases. The card includes your name, photograph and UA identification number. A central database holds information to identify the buildings and rooms you may access, meal plan type, some account balances, library check-outs, computer lab access, and other activities.

Your PolarExpress card lets you ride the MACS Transit bus system for free with ID card, check out library books, vote in student elections, as well as access to the Health Center and other student services. The card's magnetic stripe holds a unique key that may provide secure access to residence halls, laboratories and the Student Recreation Center. You can deposit money into your Bear Bucks account, which can be used at all Dining Services locations, photocopiers, the Wood Center counter and the UAF and CRCD Bookstores.The PolarExpress card is a permanent card, valid for two years after the holder's last affiliation with the university. All privileges expire upon departure from the university, with the exception of Bear Bucks and Munch Money accounts. Holders who return to the university system within two years and no longer have their PolarExpress Card must purchase a replacement card. For more information on current PolarExpress card benefits and discounts, check out the Student Government Perks Program at

You can also enjoy optional banking convenience through a second magnetic strip with your PolarExpress Card when you link it to a Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account. This allows you to use it for free access to cash at Wells Fargo ATMs nationwide and for purchases using your Personal Identification Number (PIN). 

(c) 2016 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC

How do I get a card, and how much does it cost?

You must be a currently registered student or an employee to get a PolarExpress card. There is no charge for your first card.

Bring a government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver's license, military ID, passport) to the PolarExpress office in Signers' Hall.

Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Closed 8-10 a.m Wednesdays.)

I've lost my PolarExpress card or need to replace it. Help!

If you lose your card, immediately call 474-7384. If you call after business hours, the card will be deactivated the following business day.

You can also deactivate your card immediately on Blackboard e-accounts. In all cases, your card will be deactivated until you stop by our office to get a replacement.

If you find your card, reactivate it on Blackboard e-accounts or bring it to the Bursar's Office to have it reinstated. We cannot reinstate ID cards over the phone.

Come by our office to replace a damaged, lost or stolen card. You will be charged $20 for a replacement. If you are replacing the card due to a name change, be sure to notify the Office of the Registrar of your name change. We cannot print out a card with your new name until the change has been made in the Banner database.

Never surrender your PolarExpress card to anyone as a deposit or collateral for any reason. However, your PolarExpress card remains the property of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and must be presented or surrendered upon demand by any authorized personnel.

Bear Bucks is an account linked to your PolarExpress card which allows you easy access to spending at a variety of campus locations. You deposit money into the account to be spent on a variety of goods and services on campus, including food, vending, copying, printing, school supplies, and computers and computer accessories. Bear Bucks can also be used to purchase textbooks online.You can deposit money into your Bear Bucks at any account management center, at the PolarExpress System POS devices listed below, and at the Office of the Bursar. We do not process refunds for any balances on your Bear Bucks account.


Add Bear Bucks online anytime on Blackboard eAccounts!

Account management center locations

Store locations

By mail

Checks should include the name and student ID number and specify the funds are for Bear Bucks. Mail it to:

UAF Office of the Bursar
First floor Signers' Hall
P.O. Box 757640
Fairbanks, AK 99775


You can access your account balance and add money to your PolarExpress card through eAccounts, a secure way to check all your stored value accounts (Bearbucks, Munch Money, copy card, etc.), add money to your card, view your transaction history, deactivate a lost or stolen card, and more.

You can use your Bear Bucks at the following on-campus locations:

  • Wood Center front counter
  • UAF Bookstore
  • The Pub (age restrictions apply)
  • Dining Services locations:
    • Wood Center
      • Dine 49
      • Arctic Java
      • Southern Tsunami (sushi)
    • West Ridge Cafe
    • Library Book and Brew (fall and spring semesters)
    • Campus Cache, including Subway (fall and spring semesters)
    • CTC Polar Perk
    • Museum cafe (summer)
  • Copy pool copiers
    • Rasmuson Library
    • Biosciences Library
    • Arctic Health Research Building
    • Wood Center
    • Duckering
    • Eielson
    • Gruening
    • Harper
    • O'Neill
    • Signers' Hall
  • Laser printers
    • Bunnell computer lab
    • 24-hour lab (Rasmuson Library)
    • Rasmuson Library print stations on 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floors

Checking Account Options Available From Wells Fargo

University of Alaska Fairbanks and Wells Fargo have teamed up to offer you optional added banking convenience with your linked PolarExpress Card. This program offers you choices – you can choose to open an account and you can choose to link that account to your PolarExpress Card for banking access. Both optional services are available for your convenience.

For information about the major features and common fees of checking accounts offered through this program, please click on the links below:


Wells Fargo Account disclosure