ID Card Printers

ID card printers are designed to print text, photo and imagery directly onto plastic cards and proximity cards.  You might be looking for card printers to help you create ID badges for staff, students and visitors. Or perhaps you wish to print your own membership card or access control cards.

Easily Find the Right ID Card Printer

Whatever the requirement, we offer a full range of printers, from the world’s best brands including Matica, Magicard, Zebra, HID Fargo, Evolis, Dascom, Entrust and many more, suitable for all markets and sectors. With such a wide selection of card printers available, the level of choice can be daunting. However, with over 10 years of experience in the ID card printing market, we are here to guide you towards the right model for you and your business.

Different Types of ID Card Printers:

Direct-to-Card ID Card Printers

All direct-to-card printers print directly onto the PVC card surface using a print process called dye-sublimation, this print process offers customers fast printing speeds compared to other print processes. Direct-to-card printers are ideal for anyone small to medium sized business looking to print short run ID cards for their students, staff or visitors. Direct-to-card printers are the most cost effective products you can purchase with a low hardware investment cost and ongoing consumable pricing offering customers a low cost per card print.

Take a look at our most popular ID card printers here.

Retransfer ID card Printer

All Retransfer ID card printers are also known as high definition ID card printers as they are the best printers for quality of print. The two step print process applies the colour image onto the retransfer film and then applies the retransfer film to the card body, means you can print "over the edge" of the card, which means no white borders around your photo ID cards. Also, because the printers head does not touch the card surface it means that you can print on to many different card types including PET. ABS, PVC and Polycarbonate, whereas direct-to-card printers are only able to print onto PVC cards. Retransfer card printers are more expensive than direct-to-card printers, but are ideal for all customers looking to print high volume production and are looking for the highest possible print quality.

Take a look at our most popular retransfer card printers here.

Still unsure? Find out more about the difference between edge-to-edge and over-the-edge printing with our complete guide.

How to choose an ID card printer?

Single or Dual Sided Card Printer?

When choosing your new card printing machine, it's important to think about the card design, and what you will need printing on the front and back of your plastic ID cards.

Single sided card printers will only allow you to print on one side of the card. This is a popular option for anyone using their ID card printer to personalise a pre-printed card, which may already have text or logos printed on one side of their ID cards.

Dual sided card printers give you more flexibility to add more data to both sides of your ID cards. Most card printer brands will allow you to upgrade to dual sided card printing, so you can always upgrade your ID card printer at a later date.

ID Card Printer Speed

All ID card printer brands vary in what level of print speed they offer, and the card printers speed will vary depending on many factors, including if you are printing on one or both sides of your ID card.

If you are printing full colour, half panel or monochrome, the printers speed will vary. It's important that you consider how many cards you need to print in a day, week, per annum or during peak seasons such as an enrolment period, or renewal of membership cards.

You may not need the quickest ID card printer if you are only printing a few ID cards a day, but a quicker card printer can make a big difference in peak times for you.

ID Badge Printer Security Features

Did you know that most ID badge printers are available with built in security features? The level of VSE's (visual security elements) can vary from a simple watermark or UV print, to a high secure multi level holographic laminate overlay. This is a common feature that you often find on government ID documents such as passports and driving licenses.

These overlays are either built in to your card printing machine already, or available as separate hardware know as card laminators. The most cost effective security features are the ones that are built in to the consumable used to print your ID cards, which are a static or variable watermark and/or UV print.

Edge-To-Edge Over-The-Edge Printing

Edge To Edge printing leaves a slight white line around the edge of all of the ID badges you are printing onto with your card printing machine. This is a limitation of plastic card printing technology, but very minimal on the most modern ID card printers in the market. Edge to edge card printers are also referred to as direct-to-card printers.

Over The Edge printing is a print process which can only be achieved using retransfer card printer technology, and leaves no white lines on the card type. Retransfer card printers are also know as high definition card printers, because of the two step print process involved, you are left with a much better print quality than direct to card printer technology.

MacOS Compatible ID card Printers

They are many ID card printers which are compatible with the MacOS operating system but there are also many that are not, so its worth checking the card printers data sheet before you make the investment to save you time and money. You need to also be sure that your ID card software is compatible with MacOS operating system.

Have a look here at all our MacOS ID card printers.

Still unsure? Have a read of our Top 20 ID Card Printers 2024 to help guide you to the best printer for your requirement, or call us on 0333 011 9992 and we'll talk you through the process.