ID Cards Guide

Your ID card program starts with the right ID cards. Learn more about the different types of cards that are available to you to choose the ID cards that meet your requirements.

Types of ID Cards

We offer 3 different types of ID cards: PVC cards, proximity cards and pre-printed cards.

PVC cards

Commonly referred to as plastic cards, PVC cards come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses and colors. The most standard size is called CR80 - which is the size of your credit card (3.375" x 2.125") — but we also carry CR79 cards (3.303" x 2.051") that are a bit smaller and feature an adhesive back. Thicknesses vary from 10 to 30mil. As a reference, your credit card is a 30mil card. PVC cards can also include additional features such as magnetic stripes for multifunctional badges. If you want to create unique ID cards, browse our selection of color PVC cards.

Proximity cards

"Prox" cards have an embedded antenna that stores the cardholder data. This data can be read when the proximity card is passed within range of a reader. Mainly used for access control applications, proximity cards are also chosen in environments where crowd control is a factor.

Pre-printed cards

This option is ideal for membership cards, loyalty cards, or other ID cards where only a name, ID number or barcode might be added onsite. Let us print professional cards and if needed, personalize them on the spot in seconds.  You will get stunning results that will definitely impress your customers.

Choosing the Right ID Cards

Your card printer and card application will determine which ID cards are right for you.
Here are a few tips when choosing ID cards
:

Card thickness

ID card printers will only accept specific card thicknesses. Most printers are built to print 30mil cards (thickness of a credit card) so if you need to personalize thinner cards (10-20mil), check the specs of your printer.

Card size

Most ID card printers print CR80 cards (3.375" x 2.125"), CR80 being the standard card size. However, if you need to print cards of other sizes such as CR79 (3.303" x 2.051"), note that only a few card printers will allow it.

Card material

The most common type of plastic card is 100% PVC. However, it is recommended to use composite PVC/PET cards for retransfer and laminating printers. Composite cards are 60% PVC and 40% PET and are more durable than PVC cards. They are also heat resistant and won’t bend under high temperatures. Composite cards can be used with any card printer.

Technology cards

If your printer is equipped with a magnetic encoder and you need to store data into a magnetic stripe, you will have the choice between high coercivity (HiCo) and low coercivity (LoCo) cards. HiCo cards are very resistant, harder to erase and built to handle frequent usage. Choose HiCo cards for access control or time and attendance applications. Less expensive but also less resistant, low coercivity cards work best with short-term applications such as hotel room keys or event passes.  For advanced access control systems, proximity cards are a popular choice. Proximity cards are read-only devices: that is why the encoding is typically handled by manufacturers before shipping.

paypal
The ResellerRatings Elite Program
ID Security Online BBB Business Review
Accept credit cards