Electronic Access Services

Brief Overview of Electronic Door Access

Since 1994, Hokie Passport Services (HPS) has administered the university's centralized Electronic Door Access (EDA) Program. The same integrated, robust system that manages all Virginia Tech ID Card-based financial transactions also manages centralized EDA for the Virginia Tech campus. The result of this efficient integration is a convenient card that can serve a multitude of functions. There are currently over 6,300 interior and exterior campus doors in the HPS EDA Program. HPS has EDA in both residential and academic buildings on campus as well as off campus locations and provides 24/7/365 support to the program. This program continues to experience a great deal of growth and could potentially encompass the School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia as well as the new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. HPS utilizes magstripe, proximity, smart chip and smart phone-based technologies as well as biometrics. HPS is currently in the final phases of converting the campus community to smart chip-based cards.

In simplest terms, access to the various electronic doors on campus is dependent upon need. Some access is granted automatically based on the individual’s status within the university and other access is based on the requirements set in place by a given area or building. While HPS provides a centralized means of controlling access, each division within the university still maintains access authority over their designated areas. Requests for access to certain areas on campus will need to flow through the hierarchy of each division with consultation from key stakeholders such as the Virginia Tech Police Department.

How Electronic Door Access Works

The basis of EDA centers on the individual. Each individual is assigned access according to how they are enrolled into the centralized database (Banner) and based on their individual needs. All access rights and privileges are maintained within the centralized system and not contained on the card itself. The card serves as a simple and efficient means of identifying the individual to the centralized system. An individual's access information is accessed at Virginia Tech by the use of the card, smart device, or biometrics. Once an individual presents their "credential" to the reader, a request is electronically communicated from the reader to the centralized system. The centralized system checks the individual's account to determine if they have access rights for the designated door. If the individual has been provisioned with access for that location, a signal is sent to the door to unlock. If the individual has not been approved for access, the door will remain locked. All approved and denied requests for access are recorded by the system. The entire process beginning with presenting the credential to the reader and ending with the unlocking of the door is typically completed in a few seconds.

Access is customizable and can be granular or broad. An individual's access rights and privileges can change over time based on their status within the university and/or requirements set in place by departments/buildings. Access will be terminated once the privileges are no longer needed or the individual is no longer affiliated with the university.

It is important to note that EDA can contribute to a more secure environment, but by itself does not equate to security. Individuals "tailgating" in a line through a door, propping doors open, and holding the door open for a stranger as a simple act of kindness are all reasons why EDA by itself does not constitute a complete security system. Patrons play an important role in ensuring that the areas in which they live and work are protected. This can be accomplished by simply being aware of their surroundings when using doors that are managed by EDA. If patrons see any suspicious activity, they are encouraged to alert the Virginia Tech Police Department. Patrons should exercise extreme caution if they decide to confront someone regarding access. Patrons are advised to contact the Virginia Tech Police Department for tips and more information on campus security.

Information for Students

Residential Hall Access

The main exterior doors to all Virginia Tech Residence Halls are locked 24 hours per day 365 days per year. Students that reside in one of the on campus residence halls will utilize electronic door access to gain entry into their assigned building and to their room. All access is authorized by the Hokie Passport ID Card or the Mobile ID app. Residence Hall Advisors will know the areas that utilize electronic door access and will be able to answer questions regarding how the system works. On-campus students that lose their ID card after hours should contact their Residential Advisors for assistance.

Residential Hall Technical Support

If you reside in a residence hall and are experiencing issues with an electronic door reader please contact Housing and Residence Life. If this is an emergency contact the Virginia Tech Police Department at 540-231-6411.

Information for University Departments

VT Departmental EDA Service Requests

Email us at accesshokiepassport@vt.edu or call us at 540-231-5121 if you are experiencing any issues with your existing door access equipment. Please state the location, reader name/number, issue, and your contact information. For access emergencies after business hours, contact the Virginia Tech Police Department at 540-231-6411.

VT Departmental Installation Requests

Hokie Passport Services offers a broad selection of solutions to address departmental electronic door access needs. Email us at accesshokiepassport@vt.edu or call us at 540-231-5121 so we can schedule a meeting to discuss your request. The Hokie Passport Electronic Door Access Program is only available for university departments and affiliates. HPS does not provide service to the general public.

Departments should contact HPS at accesshokiepassport@vt.edu if access must be removed immediately for terminated employees.