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If you are having issues with your MavCard or access card, please see these descriptions and troubleshooting tips below. Each issue discussed also suggests a remedial course of action. If you think you need to submit a work order, a link is provided at the bottom of the page.


Your access may be expired

On the main ATLaS page, please see the Card Access Expiration Dates accordion for exact expiration dates. Expiration dates are determined by cardholder disposition (Student, Faculty/Staff, etc.). If you think your access is expired, do not go to the MavCard Office. The MavCard Office does not modify campus access, they only encode current access the card. Each department has a centralized point of contact (Designee) for access-related updates and requests; often the departmental professional staff assistant. Please contact the Designee for your department. Access granting is not automatic, it needs to be processed. Especially during busy times, processing may take up to seven days. If you are an on-campus resident, seek your RA.

Your card may be damaged

If you put your MavCard in the same pocket as your keys, or scrape it while retrieving it from a sidewalk, it can easily be damaged and destroyed. Damage can vary greatly and still remain functional. MavCards get worn with use. Inspect the stripe on your MavCard for damage. Visible damage can include gouges, light scratches, and any white areas. See the image to the right. Invisible damage can also occur in the form of demagnification. With name tag magnets or certain cell phones, the magnetic strength of the card can be compromised.

If your card was working one day, and stopped the next, and your access has probably not expired, it may have been damaged since you last used it. Also, if your card works in some readers, but not others, your card may be damaged. Finally, if your card does not work, but others' cards do, your card is most likely damaged.

Check your swiping form

First, make sure your card is oriented correctly. You should always swipe your card at an even, moderate pace. Going too fast or too slow will cause the reader to miss parts of information, or time out. Also, make sure you are not bending the card with your grip. Cards need to be virtually straight when swiping so the reader can see the entire striped. Different readers have different tolerances, but they are usually quite forgiving. Your grip can put a bow/bend in your card, causing the reader to miss part of the mag stripe. You will learn the temperament of the readers you use most.

The card reader may be damaged

Occasionally, the card reader may be the culprit to failed access. The best way to identify a failed reader is if nobody's card works, not just yours. If someone's card does work, however, the card reader is likely not the problem.

Lock Type Breakdown

Offline locks explained

Offline locks are battery powered, and require the MavCard to be encoded at the MavCard Office for access to be granted. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • 10 rapid red blinks + 1 green blink (after swiping) = the battery is low. Submit a work order.
  • 10 rapid red blinks (after swiping) = the battery is too dead to unlock. Call 970-248-1075.
  • 2 rapid red blinks (after swiping) = your card does not have access. See your department Designee or RA.
  • 3, 4, or 5 rapid red blinks (after swiping) = other issues. Call 970-248-1075.

Sometimes the reader may break. You can tell this by feeling if the reader is "grabbing" or not. If it feels loose, and takes five or more swipes to unlock, Please submit a work order and include the appropriate details.

If you swipe your card and the lock does not blink or beep, it is either completely dead, or did not read.

  • Step one: Push a button on the front of the reader, if it lights up, it is not dead.
  • Step two: If someone else's card works, check yours for damage.
  • Step three: If it takes many tries to read/unlock, and the card feels loose in the reader, the read head may be damaged. Submit a work order.

Online lock explained

Online locks are connected to external power and the Internet. This means encoding is not required after access has been granted. If your card is not reading, but other cards are, your card may be damaged. Just because the lock flickered green does not necessarily mean the attempt worked. A solid 3+ second green light means it did work.

Sometimes the air pressure in the building pushes on the door, keeping it from unlocking properly. After swiping and seeing a solid green light, lightly pushing on the door may relieve pressure, allowing it to unlock. If you need to employ this tactic, please submit a work order.



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