Last spring, The University of New Mexico began implementing a proximity card, a new security effort designed to enhance student, staff and faculty security. Beginning Monday, Jan. 20, all faculty, staff and students must obtain a new UNM ID prox card for entrance into Johnson Center, which is securing its newly-renovated building with access available only through proximity credential cards issued by the LoboCard Office.

For security purposes, UNM has been using magnetic stripe technology for security since the late-1970s. Magnetic stripe technology was originally developed for the banking industry and has become less secure over the decades. For example, financial institutions now overlay bank cards with chip technology to provide a reasonable level of security. UNM also recognized this situation and began converting to proximity technology in the 1990s.

The new prox card will have embedded proximity technology as well as a magnetic stripe with coded track information that allows access to clearance-restricted buildings and rooms with access granted by department supervisors and building administrators. In a cost-savings measure, the migration to a proximity card has been one of attrition, as departments across campus added physical security devices. 

Now, in partnership with the Security Operations Task Force, Lobo Card Office, Facilities Management Lock Shop, UNM Police and ISS Capital Projects, officials determined the remodel project at Johnson Center was the best opportunity to ensure that UNM’s entire population of students, faculty, staff, retirees and alumni are converted and updated to the secure proximity technology.

Obtaining the new prox card is easy. Simply visit the UNM LoboCard office at your earliest convenience, turn in your old card and receive a new card with proximity privileges. To simplify this process, anyone who has currently been accessing Johnson Center with a red UNM ID card is eligible to receive a replacement proximity card at no cost unless they cannot produce the old card.  There is no change to the tender access on their card or the access granted on the old card. All previous clearances and tenders issued rollover to the new prox card. 

In anticipation of the new prox card system, the LoboCard Office has been issuing the new ID card since May 2019. Since then, all ID cards issued by LoboCard Office have been proximity cards. If a patron received an ID card from the LoboCard Office prior to May 2019, the patron needs to get a new ID card. There is no charge to obtain a new card as long as you have your old UNM ID card. A $30 replacement fee will be required if the old card was lost or stolen. 

The LoboCard office is open daily, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.