The Dartmouth ID

I was researching some aspects of RFID technology, when I wondered how the Dartmouth ID cards worked. They clearly have some sort of RFID tech in them, because they open up the doors to the buildings just by holding it near the reader. However, they also have a magnetic strip that's used for DA$H (meal swipes) and DBA. So I googled, and found ONE article from "The Dartmouth" in 2005 that shed some light, an article written during the resistance to putting RFID chips into US passports.

The article has a lot of information about the actual passports, but the key facts are the quotes from the Director of Operations for Facilities Operation and Management. Apparently,

The only information stored on the RFIDs in student ID cards is the account number printed on the lower right backside of the cards. When an ID is issued to a student, that number is linked to the student's account which contains a list of buildings the student can access. When the card is held near a reader, the RFID transmits the account number to the reader, the reader sends the account number to the central system, and the system checks the card owner's account to determine whether the owner has access rights for that building.

This is interesting. I was also curious as to what the magnetic strip was (seeing as it was most likely HiCo, it had three tracks of data...what where they?)

Prior to adopting the technology, student IDs used only magnetic stripes with three "tracks." Each track holds only one type of information. Initially the tracks were used for Dash, DDS, and building access. The College decided to remove building access from one of the tracks to free up room for BbOne, according to Roberts.

However, BbOne is no longer active, after being discontinued in November, 5 months after the article was published. I couldn't find any other information regarding what the track is used for. However, the article had one other piece of key information.

Dartmouth ID cards are DuoProx-model cards manufactured by HID.

Now there's a specific card in play. Hmm. I wonder how hard it would be to make your own card.


  • Collin

    Were you able to clone the smart cards?

  • Alex

    No, I unfortunately wasn't. It's definitely possible, it's just a project on the back burner for me.