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The latest on Cal 1 Card specific COVID-19 updates.

FAQs for Parents

Students must present a valid (i.e. not expired) government-issued photo ID (e.g. State ID, Drivers License, Passport) in compliance with applicable identity verification requirements when obtaining their Cal 1 Card -- See Getting a Card for more details. If a student does not already have a valid government-issued photo ID, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles prior to the start of the term. Incoming undergraduate students will receive their Cal 1 Card during the Golden Bear Orientation (GBO) as long as they have successfully completed the online photo submission step in their admitted student check-list on Cal Central. Compliance with this step is imperative to ensuring a smooth start to their GBO experience. If a compliant photo is not submitted by the corresponding deadline, the student may incur delays in access to key events, locations, and activities.

The Cal 1 Card debit account is an optional feature of the Cal 1 Card.  The Cal 1 Card debit account is not a bank account but rather a declining balance stored value credit account that allows students to pay for goods and services at various locations on and off campus without having to carry cash or use a credit / debit card.   Students are able to use Cal 1 Card debit funds to pay for:

  • Laundry services in all residence halls
  • Scanning, printing, and copy services at various campus library and computing center locations
  • Meals in all Cal Dining locations
  • Books, school supplies, and other products at the campus bookstore
  • Goods and services at various additional merchant locations on and off campus (

The debit account contains money that you deposit either online, by check, or in person, that can be used to pay for laundry in all residence halls, as well as for goods and services at these participating merchant locations.

A meal swipe is how students living in residence halls pay when they eat at the dining commons. One meal swipe per meal will be used each time a student enters the dining commons. The number of meal swipes available depends upon the meal plan you choose.

Flex dollars function like cash dollars, but they hold greater value because you can purchase them at a discount. The number of flex dollars depends upon the meal plan, and it’s easy to add-on flex dollars at any time.

  • For students living in residence halls, meal plans include a combination of meal swipes and flex dollars. Flex dollars can be used at campus convenience stores, restaurants, late night, concession stands, or at the dining commons if meal swipes run out for the week or to pay for guest meals.
  • For students living in off-campus housing or university-owned/affiliated apartments, and graduate/extension students, meal plans include flex dollars and work on a declining balance. Flex dollars can be used at the dining commons to pay for yourself or for guest meals, at convenience stores, campus restaurants, late night, and concession stands.

When you add funds to your student's debit account, you ensure that the money is used for essentials such as school materials, personal care items, and food (alcohol and tobacco purchases are prohibited). Your student benefits by having a convenient, safe, and cash-free method of making daily transactions. Because every student already has a Cal 1 Card, you do not need to sign up for any extra accounts, and there are no maintenance fees, minimum balances, or transaction charges.

Making a deposit of stored value credit onto the student's Cal 1 Card debit account constitutes acceptance of the corresponding Cal 1 Card Debit Account Terms and Conditions ( The most convenient way of making a deposit of stored value credit on the Cal 1 Card debit account is by using a credit or debit card as this option is available 24 hours a day / 7 days per week.  Deposits of stored value credit to student Cal 1 Card debit accounts can also be made by check or in person. Read more details on all available deposit options.

To make an online deposit of stored value credit onto the student's declining balance Cal 1 Card debit account:

  • Select the "Make a Deposit Onto Someone Else's Account" option
  • In the "Cardholder's Name" field, enter the student's name in all capital letters exactly as it appears on their Cal 1 Card
  • In the "Cardholder's ID" field, enter the student's student ID number exactly as it appears on their Cal 1 Card
  • Enter the billing information associated with the credit / debit card being used to make the deposit and select the amount to be deposited
  • Select the "Process Payment" button
  • You will then have to acknowledge an informational notification about the secure Cybersource payment processing platform to which you will be taken for submitting your credit / debit card information
  • A successful deposit will result in a confirmation email being sent to the email address that you provided when you entered your billing information

If you encounter any problems with this process or have any questions, please send an email to

You may only access this information if your student chooses to provide it directly to you. We cannot share this information.

Students are responsible for immediately reporting / deactivating a lost or stolen Cal 1 Card. The most convenient way for the student to report / deactivate their lost or stolen Cal 1 Card is for them to log into their Cal 1 Card account ( and deactivate their card online -- this option is available 24 hours a day / 7 days per week.  Reports can also be made in person at the Cal 1 Card Office or by calling 1.866.2UCBCARD (Monday - Friday 9am - 4:30pm). Once a card is reported lost, you assume no further liability. All accounts will be reviewed and the account credited for any unauthorized activity that may have occurred after the card was reported lost or stolen.