Ann Arbor academic building card readers don't read my Mcard?

Here are the steps to present your Mcard to Ann Arbor campus (non-Housing) card readers.

  • Be sure to specifically hold your Mcard stationary (not waving or moving) and flat against the right side of the card reader where there is a small rectangle indentation.
  • The card reader takes 2 seconds to read the Mcard when in the correct position. 
  • Once it reads the Mcard, the display will change as will the orange light.
  • A good card read will:
  1. change the light to green and display "Access Granted" if you have access.
  2. change the light to red and display "Access Denied" if you do not have access.


NOTE:  If you see "Access Denied" on building card readers, your Mcard is fine but there is an access issue.  Most building facilities departments can help resolve access issues.


If there is no change in light colors or display, then the Mcard is not in the correct position and/or close enough to the card reader.  Remember, the card has to be completely stationary, not moving.  


Here are two other potential card reading causing issues:

  • if you present your Mcard along with a contactless credit card or a smartphone, the card reader can be confused trying to read the Mcard and the other card/smart phone at the same time.  In those situations, the card reader would continue to just indicate "Present Card."

  • if your Mcard was with your phone on a wireless charger, it definitely can "fry" your chip inside of your Mcard.  Sometimes there are no visible signs of an issue but it can cause it to malfunction.  Do not keep your Mcard near a wireless charger or other charging device.

If you are an experienced user of building access and the card reader does not change when you present your card, your card may need to be replaced at a campus ID station.