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Q and A

Q and A

Your King County employee ID/ORCA card has three purposes:

  1. Identity. The card identifies you as an employee of King County. It tells other employees and security personnel that you are authorized to be in locations related to your job. Your workplace may require that you wear your ID visibly at all times while on the job.
  2. Workplace access. Your card serves as electronic access to your work locations where electronic access is in place. Learn more »
  3. Public transit. If you are a benefits-eligible King County employee, your ID/ORCA card covers your fare on public transportation services. Learn more »

If your workplace requires electronic access, tap your employee ID/ORCA card against the card reader to unlock the door.

If you tap your employee ID/ORCA card on your building access card reader and it does not allow you in, please try again, making sure to tap your card on the center of the card reader and hold it there for several seconds. Also make sure you separate your employee ID/ORCA card from any other cards you may have that include radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, such as other ORCA cards. If that does not work, please try another building access card reader.

If the readers still do not recognize your card, check with your administrator or a member of your Human Resources staff to verify your permission status for access to the building.

If you determine that your access problem is not related to permission or to the card reader, please contact ID and Access Control to request a replacement card:

ID and Access Control Office
King County Administration Building
Room 312
500 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday

Your employee ID/ORCA card looks different from a standard ORCA card because it is integrated with your King County employee ID/acess card.

See the Employee Transportation Program main page for a current list of services that accept your employee ID/ORCA card as fare payment.

“Tap” your employee ID/ORCA card on an ORCA reader on the bus, at the train or rail station, or at the ferry terminal. The card reader will recognize your card for full fare payment on all regular services covered by the King County employee ID/ORCA card program.

Bus: Tap your card on an ORCA reader as you board the bus. If you’re riding Metro’s RapidRide or Community Transit’s Swift service, you may be able to tap at the station before you board.

Sounder train or Link light rail: You must tap your card on the platform card reader before you board—and again as you exit. Show your employee ID/ORCA card to the conductor or fare inspector when asked. The fare inspector may use a mobile ORCA reader to confirm that you have tapped your card to “pay” for that trip. If you have not tapped before your ride, you may be subject to a fine.

King County Water Taxi: Tap your employee ID/ORCA card on the handheld reader before boarding.

Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry: Tap your employee ID/ORCA card on the reader before boarding (Port Orchard-Bremerton and Annapolis-Bremerton routes only).

Your employee ID/ORCA card does not cover Washington State Ferry fares. However, you may purchase a monthly Washington State Ferries pass through pre-tax payroll deduction through the Employee Transportation Program. Learn more »

No. Your ID/ORCA card is yours alone as a King County employee. You may not let someone else borrow it. Your card could be confiscated by a transit fare inspector if it is being used by someone other than you, and you would be held responsible for the penalties involved.