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ID Card Security Features

ID Card Security Features

Here is the final instalment of this trilogy of blogs on ID Card security and encoding options. 

Today we’ll take a look at some card security features that you may wish to consider for your ID cards.

Why would you add additional security features to the physical card itself? 

The best answer to this question is to stop forgery. 

Take out your driving license and have a look over the texture and background of the card. You will see numerous types of added security which are incredibly tricky to replicate effectively. 

Tilt your card in the light and you can see several different holograms along with patterns indented into the physical card itself and the words ‘United Kingdom’ in the top left where Mr Trotter has his UK symbol below, these are all part of the custom laminate applied to the surface.

These are all types of security added to prevent people from being able to replicate such cards and impersonate someone or steal their personal details. All important cards and documents will have these types of features in place.  Take a look at your passport, birth certificates and a £5 note and you will find some kind of security function established within. 

Driving Licence New 5 Pound Note

Let's take a look at the security options we can provide with various printing techniques which you may find beneficial:


These offer high security.  Holograms are layers of images, overlapped to give an illusion of depth. These are highly secure and ideal for larger security projects.  The drawback is that they are not suited to small runs and can be costly to set up.


Holoimages can produce patterns and images at near photographic quality within a diffractive or metallic foil.


A combination of diffractive and non-diffractive foils produce a 2D hologram-like effect with a low set up cost. Gold and silver foil are available for a high security, high quality finish.



Holokote™ is effectively a watermark printed onto the overlay of the card, which becomes visible when tilted in the light.  These are available with the Magicard range of printers and custom designs are available.

Guilloche printing:

Guilloche patterns provide a watermark style backdrop to your cards, similar to those used on banknotes and passports!  These are difficult to replicate accurately.

 UV overlay printing:

This covert feature involves printing a design in a clear ink which is invisible in natural daylight, but will be clearly visible when a UV light is used.  This can be done as part of the pre-printing process or during personalisation.

Guilloche Printing 1
Guilloche Printing 2


A technique used for creating a raised pattern onto a material. Often used in a bid to attract attention to a specific point of a card such as a card number or expiry date.  Once embossed there is no way of changing this.

Signature panel:

We can print a signature panel onto your card so that the holder can sign it for security purposes. Alternatively, you can write any important information onto the card using a signature panel.

Signature Panel

Micro Text:

Miniature text which can create a design or image which only reveals the text under very close scrutiny (eg. a microscope).

Inference Ink:

This is a diffraction image which is visible at a certain angle.

Scratch Panel:

Used to cover up certain information until the card has reached its keeper. Often used for data such as pin numbers and access codes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my mini-series on ID Card Security options and features.  I hope the information I have provided has been useful and if you have any questions or queries regarding security options then drop us a line. We will be more than happy to assist you and provide you with a quotation to fit your needs!

Alternatively, we can add some of the security features mentioned above; please visit our Bureau page to explore the possibility of having your own ID cards printed.

01604 422422

Nic Posted by Nic

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