The Complete ID
Printer Buyer's Guide

This guide walks you through all the important considerations you'll need to know when selecting an ID card printer.

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Laminating Printers

Laminating Printers

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Laminating ID cards makes them more durable, so they can withstand wear and tear from daily use. This added layer of protection also makes cards harder to tamper with, protecting against counterfeit cards.

Most ID card printers use ribbons with overlay panels (the “O” panel in an YMCKO ribbon) which provide a standard level of protection without requiring any additional equipment or supplies. For higher levels of durability and security, some organizations laminate their cards with a laminating ID card printer. The lamination process works by adding a clear film to the card immediately after printing using a heated lamination module which is attached to an ID card printer.

Lamination is an upgrade option on many higher-level ID card printers, and some printers offer the option of single or dual-sided lamination. To laminate magnetic stripe cards, smart cards, or signature panel cards, specialized lamination ribbons are available which avoid laminating over those portions of the card.

Lamination Is Best For:

  • Programs Requiring Long-Lasting ID Cards
  • Payment & Access Control Cards That Are Swiped Frequently
  • Preventing Card Tampering or Duplication

In addition to the regular printer ribbon, laminating ID card printers require overlaminate supplies and heat resistant composite cards, so the cost-per-card will be higher than with a non-laminating system. Upgrading to lamination usually adds $1,200-$3,000 to the cost of the printer, and $.22-$.65 to the supply cost per card.

Three steps to laminating ID cards

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