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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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ID Card Size

ID Card Size

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Blank plastic ID cards exist in a variety of thicknesses, sizes, and formats, and each type has its own specific uses and functions. An ID card’s dimensions consist of three measures: the card’s length, width, and thickness. The length and width are available in four standard sizes: CR80, CR79, Xtended, or CR100. The thickness is measured in millimeters (thousands of an inch), and can range from 10-50mil.

The most common ID card size is a 30mil CR80card, and every ID card printer can print on this size. However, not every printer can print on less common card sizes, so make sure to read your printer’s technical specifications, or talk with an expert to learn which cards are compatible with your printer.

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ID Card Thickness

ID card thickness is measured in millimeters (thousandths of an inch), ranging from 10mil to 50mil. The standard card thickness which is used for almost all ID card and credit card programs is 30mil. Thinner 10mil cards are flexible and less expensive, but also less durable than 30mil cards.

The thinner 10mil cards are generally used for temporary badges and business cards. Not all printers can print on a 10mil card, so talk to an ID card expert if this is something your organization is interested in.

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CR80 (Standard ID Card Size)

The CR80 ID card is the size of a credit card and is considered to be the standard size for most industries. A CR80 card measures 3.375” x 2.125“. This is the most common ID card dimension and is used in a wide variety of industries for photo identification, cashless payment, access control, time and attendance tracking, student ID cards, library cards, and more.

CR80 cards come as standard PVC cards, PVC/Poly combo cards, magnetic stripe cards, smart cards, colored cards, and more.

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CR79 ID Cards

CR79 cards are slightly smaller than CR80 cards, and usually have an adhesive back. For organizations that want to personalize thicker technology cards that do not fit in a card printer, a CR79 adhesive back card can be printed and applied to the front of the card.

Measuring 3.303″ x 2.051″, CR79 cards fit perfectly within the inside edge of a standard technology card.

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Extra Long “Xtended” Cards

The Magicard Rio Pro Xtended card printer can print extra long cards that measure 4.3” x 2.125”. These cards are about an inch longer than a standard CR80 card and are the most affordable option for larger card printing. They are most commonly used for ticketing and passes at events, concerts, conferences, and more.

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CR100 ID Cards

CR100 cards are about 42% larger than the standard CR80 ID cards, measuring 3.88″ x 2.63″. These oversized cards are used much less frequently, but are commonly used for military applications and conventions so the badge should be seen from a distance.

There are very few ID card printers that can print on oversized CR100 cards, so talk to an ID expert if this is something your organization needs.

View All CR100 ID Cards

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Key Tag Cards

Made from standard white PVC materials, key tag cards are specially designed to fit on key rings. A popular choice for membership cards at gyms, grocery stores, and retail stores, these cards come pre-punched with key ring holes.

Key tags come in two varieties, 3Up and 2Up. 3Up key tags come three to a set, and measure 1.100” x 2.125”. 2Up key tags come in pairs, and measure 2.875” x 1.0625”. Not all ID card printers can print on key tags, so talk to an ID card expert if this is something your organization needs.

View All Keytag ID Cards