Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When can I pick-up my new U-Pass?
A. As soon as you see the U-Pass fee on your student account and the distribution period has started.
Q. I am a returning student and I have a U-Pass. Do I need a new card?
A. No. Don’t throw away your U-Pass; you must renew it at a recharging station if you are eligible.
Q. What if I become ineligible for the U-Pass after picking it up?
A. Students who become ineligible for the U-Pass after having picked it up must return their card to the uOttawa Card Service (UCU 104) in order to receive a pro-rated refund. Please see the prorated fee table to understand how the date of return will affect your refund.
If you cannot return your U-Pass in person, you may mail it at your own expense or have someone else return it on your behalf. Fee adjustments cannot be processed until the U-Pass has been received at the uOttawa Card Office (UCU 104).
Q: What happens if I am part-time, can I get a U-Pass?
A: No. The U-Pass is only available for full-time students. You can only get the U-Pass if you are part-time and registered with Access Services.
Q: I am a full-time student but I do not want the U-Pass. Can I be exempted from the program?
A: The U-Pass has come into effect through SFUO and GSAED referendums and is mandatory for all full-time students. Although the program is mandatory, there are some cases where you could be exempted. We cannot exempt you from the U-Pass program because you walk, cycle or drive to the University as it is not part of the exemptions.
Q: It is past the exemption date but I still want to get exempted. Is it possible?
A: Students who are exempted after the deadline will receive a prorated refund.
Q. My opt-out request was approved. What happens next?
A. Your Student Account will be adjusted within two business days. If you picked up your U-Pass, or renewed it for the current pass period, you must return it to the uOttawa Card Service (104 University Centre) before your account can be adjusted.
Q: What happens if I am only registered full-time for one part of the spring/summer term?
A: If you are not registered during the May-June period but registered full-time for July-August, you will be charged the full term amount of the U-Pass. We recommend that students obtain their U-Pass as soon as the charge is applied onto their statement of account.
Q: What happens if I register late as a full-time student, can I get my U-Pass?
A: If you happen to register late for your classes, your account will be charged the full amount. You will be able to pick up your U-Pass at the uOttawa Card Service (UCU 104). We highly encourage students to register early in order to benefit fully from the U-Pass.
Q. I lost my U-Pass; can I get a new one?
A. If you lost your U-Pass, you may replace it at the uOttawa Card Service (UCU 104). You will be required to pay a $25 non-refundable replacement fee. The replacement fee must be paid in person and cannot be charged on your student account. Once a U-Pass is replaced, the lost U-Pass will no longer work.
Q. My U-Pass does not work; can I get a new one?
A. Please bring your U-Pass at the uOttawa Card Service (UCU 104) and we will troubleshoot the issue. If possible, we would need to know the date, time and bus in which the U-Pass did not work.
Q: What if I am full-time but I am not charged for the U-Pass?
A: There are 4 scenarios that can explain why you weren’t automatically charged the U-Pass fees and would therefore need to opt-in. You will need to complete a request form in uoZone and provide the necessary documentation. See the opt-in criteria prior to submitting an opt-in request.
Q: Can I claim a U-PASS in my Taxes?
A: Due to the elimination of the public transit tax credit as of July 1, 2017, the U-Pass is no longer deductible for the public transit tax credit.
Q: What if I drive to campus?
A: Unfortunately, choosing to drive a personal vehicle is not one of the available options to opt-out of the program. We suggest you consider using Park and Ride service to save on gas and parking costs when travelling to campus.
Q. How does the U-Pass work with incoming student exchange?
A. If you’re a full time incoming exchange student, you should be automatically charged the U-Pass fee. If you are not, then you may opt-in the program. If you are only here for one term, you will need to complete an exemption request and return your U-Pass if you want a refund for the winter term.
Please note that if you are a sponsored students the U-Pass fee will be added onto your statement of account and it is your responsibility to pay that fee as it will not be covered by your sponsor.
Q. How does the U-Pass work with outgoing student exchange?
A. Officially, exchange students have until January 14, to return their U-Pass to get a 100% refund for the Winter U-Pass. However, since most exchange students are leaving to go back to their home country, the University recommends that students return their U-Pass by December 12. This ensures that exchange students can get a refund prior to the university’s holiday closure.
You must return your U-Pass in order to receive a full refund. If you fail to hand in your U-Pass and you return home, and still want a refund, you will have to mail in your U-Pass, and you may incur costs to have your refund transferred to your home country.
Once you return your U-Pass, you student account will be credited. If you have a credit balance on your student account, you can request a refund through student accounts.
Q. During the summer, I am not a full-time student. Is my U-Pass still valid? If not, what do I do?
A. Your U-Pass is only valid for the semesters that you are registered as a full-time student. If you are not a full-time student in the summer, your U-Pass is not valid. During this time, you can obtain a Presto card and load money onto it. For more information about how to get a Presto card, click here. You will be able to renew your U-Pass if you are registered as a full-time student, so make sure you don’t throw away your U-Pass.
Q. Does the Ontario Student Initiative allow me to opt-out of the U-Pass?
A. No, the Ontario Student Initiative does not allow you to opt-out of the U-Pass.