Multi-Factor Authentication Hardware Token Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Table of contents

What is a hardware token?

A hardware token is a small key fob device that is used to generate passcodes at the press of a button. The passcodes are used to complete the multi-factor authentication (MFA) process.


How do I purchase a hardware token?

You can buy a hardware token for $20 USD (plus tax) as a personal purchase or as a departmental purchase. We have an article outlining accepted forms of payment and off-campus purchases.

A personal purchase means the token is your property, but you are spending your own money to get it. Visit the Terrapin Technology Store on the ground floor of the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center (ESJ) to buy one. You'll need a form of payment and your university ID card.

Departmental purchases require the assistance of a department business manager or other purchasing agent, and uses the university's funds to purchase. The token is then lent to you by the university for use.

  1. Let your business manager or purchasing agent know you need a hardware token and how many.
  2. The department business manager or purchasing agent will email the Terrapin Technology Store to request a price quote for the number of tokens needed.
  3. The Terrapin Technology Store will provide a price quote and delivery options to the department business manager or purchasing agent.
  4. The department business manager or purchasing agent will provide a Kuali Financial System (KFS) number for payment and will select a delivery option.
  5. The Terrapin Technology Store will confirm the purchase and provide a tracking number for the shipment.
  6. Hardware token(s) will be delivered to the Terrapin Technology Store.
  7. The hardware token(s) is picked up or delivered as decided in step 4.


How do I register a hardware token in Duo?

Your token needs to be associated with your Duo account before you can use it. 

if you already have a mobile device enrolled, you can register your token by visiting the UMD Multi-Factor Authentication Profile. Click Manage next to Hardware Tokens, then Register Your Hardware Token. If you are registering your hardware token prior to enrolling a mobile device, visit the Self-Enrollment page.

For further instruction on registering your hardware token, visit How To Register Your Multi-Factor Authentication Hardware Token.

In addition, any ID Notary can assist you with assigning your hardware token. If you need assistance with registering your hardware token or locating an ID Notary, contact the Service Desk at 301.405.1500.


Is there a warranty for my hardware token?

Yes! Tokens purchased at Terrapin Tech have a six-month replacement warranty. 

Contact if your token needs to be replace, or visit Terrapin Tech.


What is an ID Notary?

An ID Notary is a staff member who has been trained and verified to perform ID verification activities.

The ID Notary has been granted Duo Administrator access in order to assign hardware tokens to users and Multi-Factor Authentication Bypass Codes when requested.


Where can I find an ID Notary?

ID Notaries are located on and off campus in various departments. If you need assistance with finding an ID Notary, you may visit the Terrapin Tech FAQ: Where Is Terrapin Tech Located and What Are Its Hours of Operation? located on the ground floor of the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center (ESJ), by the Campus Drive entrance.

If your department or unit does not have an ID Notary, a request can be submitted for access. The request should be submitted to via an email that includes the applicant's directory ID, name, and phone number. A form and additional instructions will be sent to the applicant once the request for access has been processed.

IMPORTANT: ID Notary requests should only be submitted by HR Staff, Business Managers, or IT Support staff.


How do I use a hardware token?

To use your hardware token, you will press a button to generate a passcode that you will use to log into the Duo Authentication Prompt on your computer. If there is a problem with your token, you can call or visit the Service Desk.

For an example of how a hardware token is used, check out Duo's article on Using Duo with a Hardware Token.


Can I share my hardware token with a colleague?

The Division of Information Technology (DIT) does not allow you to share your hardware token, as sharing a hardware token will lead to diminished security and effectiveness of the multi-factor authentication process associated with your account.


How many hardware tokens do I need?

You only need one hardware token. The hardware tokens are portable and may be carried with you wherever you are working.


What about non-University of Maryland College Park Kuali Financial System (KFS) users?

DIT will coordinate with departments to train and authorize ID Notaries who can perform the functions vital to multi-factor authentication (such as assigning hardware tokens and printing bypass codes) and establish a process so that departments can order tokens.


What happens to my hardware token when I am no longer employed by the University of Maryland?

If you are no longer employed by the University of Maryland, system access and authorization will be revoked as part of the normal off-boarding procedure. Department staff must collect hardware tokens before separation from the university.

The department should contact the Service Desk Hours and Contact Information at 301.405.1500 to have these tokens removed from your Duo account.

NOTE: Hardware tokens run on a battery and have an expected life span of five years. After they no longer function, total replacement is of the hardware token is necessary.