Free Shipping on orders over $99

Printing HID Cards

Need Help
Finding What You Need?

Get fast answers from
an ID expert

Printing HID Cards


HID technology cards contain embedded electronics within outer layers of PVC finished with a printable glossy surface. There are a number of factors that help to ensure HID proximity cards and contactless smart cards are printed properly.


It’s important not to scratch the cards, as any imperfections could negatively affect the way they’re printed. Cards should be kept clean, and in order, and should be handled by the edges. Try not to touch the card face before it’s printed. Lint free gloves are also advisable, as fingerprints and oil from the hands can result in distortion.


Embedded chips and antennas within HID technology cards can cause uneven surfaces that need to be taken into account when creating your print designs. For instance, it’s important to avoid placing a photo portrait over the smart chip location or opposite the magnetic stripe edge. It’s a good idea to print some test cards before finalizing your design. This will enable you to ensure that the design prints properly.

For design that must be printed over the uneven surfaces caused by internal chips or antennas, reverse-transfer printers are recommended. High-definition, reverse-transfer printers first print the design on a special film which is then fused to the card. This technique delivers consistent, high-quality results on any card surface.


  • Check cards for visible debris before printing.
  • Set up the printer in a clean, controlled environment.
  • Clean the printer roller consistently (every 50 cards or so) in order to ensure consistent prints.
  • Printing pre-punched cards is not recommended.
  • If your cards do require a slot punch, print them first, then slot punch them. HID cards feature slot punch indicators which present the only appropriate slot punch location for the card.

Not sure how to choose
an ID card printer?

  1. Approximately how many cards will you
    print per year?
  1. Do you need to automatically print on
    both sides of the card?
  1. Do you need a magnetic stripe?

The Complete Card
Printer Buyer's Guide

With such a wide range of ID printers, evaluating the options can be overwhelming. This FREE 7-step guide will walk you through choosing the perfect card printer.


Get Help from an ID Expert

How many ID cards do you want to print per year?

or call (800) 717-8080