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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Why You Can’t Print Fake IDs with an AlphaCard Printer

Why You Can’t Print Fake IDs with an AlphaCard Printer

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Government-issued ID cards have many visual security features built into the cardstock and the card design so they can be verified as valid ID. While a card printer available from AlphaCard can create high quality cards, they cannot replicate official ID cards because the technology in our printers does not meet the same standards as government ID card printers.

Using, possessing, and manufacturing fake IDs is illegal and AlphaCard does not support the use of ID card printers to attempt to create these cards.

Levels of Card Security

There are three levels to the visual security elements in a card:

  • Overt – these features are easily visible to the naked eye, like a color cardholder photo or signature
  • Covert – these features are visible with the use of additional equipment, like a black light to see UV printing
  • Forensic – these features are microscopic, making them hardest to see without advanced equipment and often used to spot fake IDs

Security Elements in Government Issued IDs

Government issued IDs, like a driver’s license or ID card, come with a variety of built-in security features designed to prevent illegal card tampering or counterfeiting. Although each state uses different security measures, all states are now required to include anti-counterfeit technology in their cards to meet the Real ID Act standards passed by Congress in 2005.

Some of those security features include:

  • Micro text
  • Ghosted images
  • Holographic background images
  • Laminates with holographic images
  • Embedded technology
  • UV text or images
  • Official seals
  • Thermochromic printing
  • Cardholder photo & signature
  • Opacity printing
  • Embossed printing

Our Printers are Good, but not That Good

The card printers we sell at AlphaCard are designed to print high quality, full color badges used for employee ID cards, volunteer IDs, retail rewards cards, event passes, and more. Some security features are available, including lamination, but our ID card printers are not designed to create IDs to the standards that states and the federal government must meet.

Some of those security features, like official state seals and holographic laminate designs, are even kept in secure locations so only the few individuals actually printing official IDs have access to them.

Because of this, IDs created on the type of card printer we sell often have telltale signs that they are fakes – the print quality is too low, official seals and designs aren’t accurately recreated, holographic images are not correct, embedded elements are missing, or UV-printed images and text have been skipped.

ID Card Printers for Government Agencies

There are specialty ID card printers designed to meet the standards of government-issued ID cards. Those printers are not available to the average business consumer to protect the security technology.

If you are a government agency and you need to print secure ID cards, please contact us for more information at sales@alphacard.com.