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Your Guide to Plastic ID Card Printing in 2023

24 Jul Your Guide to Plastic ID Card Printing in 2023
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Table of Contents

1. Your Guide to Plastic ID Card Printing

2. How Do Plastic Card Printers Work?

3. Buying a Printer vs Outsourcing to a Print Service

4. Simplex vs. Duplex Printers

5. ID Card Security Features

6. ID Card Printers for Healthcare

7. ID Card Printers for Education

8. ID Card Printers for Government

9. Technical Support for ID Card Printers

10. Accessories for ID Cards and Printers

icon of person holding an ID card

Chapter 1: Your Guide to Plastic ID Card Printing

Although printed plastic membership and ID cards are crucial to organisations across a range of industries, producing them is a daunting prospect for those with little experience in plastic card printing.

Efficient staff ID checks

In the modern workplace, staff ID cards for security and protection are used when working both on-site and remotely. Staff ID attached to employees’ clothing or a lanyard instantly identifies staff and verifies that they are who and where they are supposed to be.

Printing encoded intelligent ID cards

Access control can be reinforced using encoding to create intelligent plastic ID cards. Your staff can use their plastic printed passes to enter rooms and other special zones within your building. Access control systems enable you to limit access to areas containing sensitive information. Permission-based access control allows you to differentiate between departments within your business, ensuring that people can only access certain areas at predetermined times. For example, you can set access control cards for cleaners to grant access only outside office working hours.

How printing staff ID cards helps your staff and customers

If you work in a large organisation, ID cards can also help to embed your company culture. It may be difficult to remember all your colleagues’ names and roles, especially if you don’t work with them regularly, so having staff ID will help to build relationships. 

Staff ID cards

Printing your business values on staff ID cards helps with sales and marketing by constantly reminding the user to uphold the company’s ethos while they are representing it.

Name badges are essential in customer-facing roles. Having the ability to identify someone helps speed up the development of trusted, lasting relationships between a customer and members of your team.

How to go about plastic ID card printing in-house

To print plastic ID cards, you must use a dedicated printer that is designed for printing onto PVC or other specialised materials. These printers are made by a range of manufacturers, including Evolis, Magicard, Zebra, IDP, Datacard and Matica, and offer a range of capabilities. We can make recommendations based on your requirements.

Printer models range from entry-level machines for businesses that only need short print runs to high-production-volume printers that are capable of printing thousands of cards with high-security features, including built-in access control encoding.

Desktop plastic card printers have a small footprint, making them ideal for transporting between locations. They look smart and fit comfortably on reception, event or office desktops.

Outsource your ID card printing

If you only need a small number of printed ID cards or you don’t need to print them regularly, you can outsource your ID card printing to a dedicated service, such as ID Card Centre’s in-house printing department. We provide full photo ID card printing, or we can pre-print your design onto a card, saving you time when you print superimposed, personalised data for new recruits and contractors.

We offer a range of options that can help you to achieve the result you desire, and they can be achieved by purchasing a printer or by outsourcing your printing to an ID card printing service. 

In our plastic card printing guide, you will find a host of useful information, including how printers work, the types of printing that are available, and how to maximise the use of your ID cards.

Icon of a printer with cog

Chapter 2: How Do Plastic Card Printers Work?

A plastic card printer is straightforward to use and understand, but most work differently from standard inkjet or laser printers that are commonplace in offices. The most common plastic card printer available on the market is a direct-to-card printer which is ideal for those who will be printing high volumes thanks to its high print speeds. 

There are different types of plastic card printers available on the market, which can provide you with different results depending on your requirements. Unlike office printers, most plastic card printers work with a dye ribbon. 

Ink ribbon for ID card printer

These ribbons consist of different coloured panels which combine to make the colours used in your design. These are then applied to your design. Some ribbons also have an overlay panel, which locks in your colours and protects the design from wear and tear. 

It’s important to remember that you should produce your design in CYMK colour mode, high-quality and using block colours, when possible, as opposed to gradients or faded colours. This will ensure a bolder and more vivid print.  

There are also other types of ribbons available such as UV, laminate, and holographic ribbons, which all add another layer of security to your design and card. 

Holographic laminate

Direct-to-card printers

To print your ID card or pass, simply feed a blank plastic card through the print head or place your card on the input hopper. Plastic card printers use different types of ribbons, many of which consist of various colour panels. For example, a standard ribbon is a YMCKO which is made up of (yellow, magenta, cyan, black and overlay) with the overlay providing a protective coat for your design. You can also get monochrome ribbons if you only need to print one colour. 

When you feed your blank plastic card through, the printer’s print head will heat your ribbon to varying temperatures, transferring the colour to your card. The temperature variances are very sensitive, enabling the printer to print around 16 million colours up to every 24 seconds, allowing for more accurate shades in your design or logo.

Direct-to-card printers generally have a print quality between 300dpi and 600dpi (dots-per-inch), making them perfect for printing clear photo IDs, and for a high-speed turnaround for businesses who need their cards to be printed quickly.

Retransfer card printers

Another type of plastic card printer available is the retransfer ID card printer. Though slightly more expensive to purchase and run, retransfer printing is perfect for edge-to-edge printing, with a low error rate and the ability to print onto cards that aren’t 100% flat, such as embossed cards.  

Another key difference with retransfer printers is that they have the option to use a laminate overlay ribbon to print a more durable ID compared to what you would have with a direct-to-card printer. The print head uses the printer ribbon to print on the laminated overlay rather than the card itself, where it is then securely adhered to the card using a mixture of heat and pressure. 

By using an overlay ribbon, you end up with an ID card that can withstand wear and tear far longer than an average ID card. By the nature of the printing process, retransfer printers are also perfect for printing on access control smart cards, such as those from MIFARE® or HID.  

Retransfer printers are ideal for businesses who need additional security features for their cards or those who use printed ID cards with their access control systems.

Inkjet printers

A relatively newer introduction to the market is the inkjet plastic card printer. Much like a printer you would use at home, these printers use a printhead and ink cartridge to print your design.

In the past, it was challenging to use inkjet printing for cards. This was mainly due to the high temperatures needed to bond the ink to multiple card types, resulting in lesser quality than that you would find with the direct-to-card or retransfer printers.

This is no longer a problem, thanks to the introduction of printers like the Fargo Ink1000, specifically designed to tackle technological issues which prevented ink from adhering to the card surface correctly. The result is a printer with easy-to-install cartridges, which are far more reliable than traditional ribbons, and full card coverage. 

Inkjet printers are perfect for producing photo ID cards, membership cards, or student IDs for universities and schools. 

Buy vs outsourcing your printing

Chapter 3: Buying a Printer vs Outsourcing to a Print Service

There are different options when it comes to having your staff ID cards printed, and it all depends on your requirements.  If you own a printer, you can print as and when you need, providing convenience for your company. Alternatively, if you outsource your ID cards using our in-house ID card printing service, we will do all the work for you and deliver your ID cards to your doorstep. 

When choosing which option is more suitable for your business’s plastic ID cards, it is essential to learn the advantages and disadvantages in order to make an informed decision about your plastic card printing.

Buying an ID card printer

If ID card printing is a regular necessity for your business or establishment, you may benefit from purchasing an ID card printer. There is a variety of printers available for printing plastic cards, and you can choose from a range of specifications to suit your needs. From affordable, compact options to high-end, high-quality ID card printers, we have a range of models available for your business. Our desktop ID card printers have a small footprint, perfect for use within a reception or office environment.

The HiTi plastic card printer bundle – which includes encoding technologies and also comes with accessories you need to get started – is one of our recommended affordable printer options. The IDP Smart 31 offers fast, full-colour prints in under 30 seconds and is a great option for purchasing a low-cost, high-value colour ID card printer, ensuring you can print your plastic cards on a budget. 

If your budget stretches that little bit further or you have more complex requirements, the Magicard 300 or 600 are excellent options for getting your ID cards printed on demand. Magicard printers benefit from HoloKote®, a special feature that allows you to print transparent watermarks onto your plastic printed cards to improve security and reduce the risk of cloning or replication of your ID cards.

We have a range of high-end printers for those with high-volume complex requirements, such as the Evolis Primacy 2. The Evolis Primacy 2 includes many useful features, such as encoding options, perfect for producing contactless smart technology cards that can be used with access control systems. Another handy feature is Evolis’ Kineclipse®. This feature erases all data from the ribbon to eliminate the risk of a data breach and ensures your business’s ID card printing stays within GDPR regulations.

To ensure your colour ID printers continue working in optimal condition, we also offer a range of consumables such as genuine ribbons and cleaning products. Using branded consumables will increase your printer’s lifespan and improve printing quality. 

Technical support for ID card printers

Additionally, if you need assistance with your printer, we offer technical support through our annual technical support plan, IDAssist. When you purchase IDAssist, you can have access to priority support over email, and phone, as well as a whole range of additional benefits.

Printing consumables

You may also want to source some plastic cards to use with your ID card printer. Here at ID Card Centre, we have a wide variety of plastic cards.

Rewriteable plastic cards are for use with rewritable printers. These cards can be pre-printed in full colour and then personalised in black or blue using a thermo-sensitive material that turns visible or vanishes depending on the temperature applied by the printer. These are ideal for use with visitor management systems.

You can also use printable access control cards to provide your staff with ID whilst allowing them access to managed areas. These cards can be disabled from the system if they are lost, stolen or not returned when someone leaves the company. Access control gives organisations the security and flexibility they need. Access can be restricted by area or even by time – only allowing access to users during certain hours.

Standard PVC plastic cards are made to last indefinitely, so if you are looking to remain sustainable, a more eco-friendly ID card option are biodegradable FOTODEK cards. Biodegradable cards perform in exactly the same way as a standard white card but will decompose into compost over a period of three years. Suitable for any type of printing, you can print your own ID cards or for a professional look, ID Card Centre can pre-print your background design for you to personalise - or if you only need a small print run, we can print and personalise the whole lot. 

Whilst there are many benefits to purchasing a printer for your business, if you only need a small number of ID cards printed on an ad-hoc basis, you may find it more beneficial to outsource your printing to an ID card printing service.

Outsourcing your ID card printing

For those who do not regularly require plastic card printing or who only need a small volume of cards, outsourcing your printing to a dedicated ID card printing service reduces any unnecessary costs. Here at ID Card Centre, our in-house printing service is run by an expert bureau team who combine experience with knowledge to produce ID cards suited to your requirements – and we can also encode your cards for use in access control systems or contactless technology. 

To place an order, all you need to do is contact us with details such as the number of printed plastic cards required and a few other details. Our team will then get to work on printing and encoding your cards ready for use in your building. We are a genuine and authorised supplier of all major manufacturers of smart cards.

Or, if you already know what you need and are ready to place your order, all you need to do is visit our online card builder. Once you have put in all the details and uploaded your artwork, we can provide you with an instant quote, and your freshly printed ID cards could be with you in as little as 1-2 working days. 

If your requirements are a little more complex, get in touch with a member of our expert team who would be happy to assist and advise you. 

For those who do not have a design, you can provide our expert bureau team with branding and a vision for the artwork, and they will work with you to produce a professional ID card design that suits your business.

We understand that bulk ordering isn’t the best option for every business. Here at ID card centre, we’re pleased to offer a printed card call-off option which allows you to place an order for cards and then simply call them off as and when you need them – improving efficiency whilst saving you money by being able to issue new employees or members with cards much faster. 

Accessories for ID cards

When it comes to displaying your printed plastic cards, we can help you select some suitable products from our wide range of accessories. From personalised lanyards to cardholders in a range of colours, you can choose from many products to compliment your ID cards and give your business a professional look. 

We have a variety of lanyards, including plain lanyards, available in a range of colours for a simple and affordable option. You can also choose pre-printed lanyards with noticeable printing, such as ‘staff’ or ‘visitor’. Alternatively, you can give the lanyards your company’s own personal touch by printing your logo onto them. Bespoke printed lanyards contribute to the professional look of your ID card.

We have many options for cardholders, ideal for attaching to lanyards. We sell plastic rigid cardholders in a variety of colours, including open-faced card holders and enclosed ones, so that you can match your branding perfectly. If you would use a clear pouch to display your ID cards, we sell a variety of soft vinyl wallets. If none of these options suits you, you can attach slot-punched ID cards directly to your lanyards.

Whether you decide to purchase a printer or outsource your printing for your requirements, ID Card Centre can ensure you get the printed plastic cards you need. With a range of high-quality ID card printers and a speedy ID card printing service, we will work with you to provide professional ID cards with a suitable design to meet your company’s needs. If you require more advice or would like to contact a member of our team, please do not hesitate to get in touch. One of our friendly team members would be happy to assist you with your options.

Chapter 4: Simplex vs. Duplex Printers

When it comes to choosing an ID card printer, it’s important to understand the requirements of your printed card. The first decision you need to make is whether a simplex printer or a duplex printer would better suit your plastic card printing.

Single-sided ID cards

You may find you only require printing single-sided ID cards. These would usually contain:

  • Name

  • Job position

  • Photograph

  • Logo

  • Branding that suits your company, such as recognisable colour schemes and fonts

Single-sided card printing is an easy, affordable option. Single-sided ID cards are ideal if you can fit all of the required information onto one side. It is, in fact, possible to print on the reverse of a card using a single-sided printer, so long as you manually flip the card. However, a single-sided printer can only use single-sided ribbons (YMCKO), which would half the yield of the ribbon when printing double-sided. This means a 300-print ribbon would only print 150 double-sided cards, and it is also a time-consuming process.

Double-sided ID cards

The alternative to single-sided ID cards is double-sided ID cards. These would typically have on the front:

  • Name

  • Job position

  • Photograph

  • Logo

  • Colours to match your branding

  • Expiry date

And on the reverse, they may have:

  • ‘If lost please return to’ message

  • Magstripe security feature

  • Signature panel

  • Company contact information

Dual-sided ribbons are different to single-sided ribbons because they have an additional black panel (YMCKOK) so that they can print monochrome text, barcodes, or line art on the reverse of the card. Single-sided ribbons (YMCKO) do not have this option.

Here at ID card centre, we offer both single-sided and double-sided ID card printing in-house, so if you do wish to outsource your printing to us, get in touch with a member of our team who would be happy to assist you.

Buying your ID card printer

To print double-sided ID cards, we strongly recommend that you invest in a duplex plastic card printer. It saves you time as these printers have built-in features that automatically provide a double-sided print.

If your requirements mean you need extra space for security features or extra information, duplex printers can give you additional flexibility for your printed ID cards. Although duplex printers are more costly than simplex printers, they are a cost-effective and time-saving option when compared to using a simplex printer for double-sided printing. Many duplex printers come with the added option to encode your ID cards for access control, cashless vending, and more, depending on your existing systems.

Some of our single-sided printers can be upgraded to a dual-sided printer for a small cost.

When it comes to buying a simplex printer from our more affordable range, we recommend the Magicard Pronto. It is an affordable option for a lower budget and is small, so it is suitable for an office environment. It only offers single-sided printing, so if you do not require any double-sided ID cards this may be a good option for you. The Pronto is suitable for smaller-scale ID card printing (around 100-500 cards per year), as it must be manually fed each card. The pronto comes with the Magicard HoloKote® security feature, which decreases the risk of cloning or forgery of your ID cards. We also have the Pronto available as a bundle, with all the added essentials to get you printing straight from the box.

For a mid-level ID card printer, we recommend the Magicard 300. This printer is available as a simplex or duplex printer, giving you more flexibility in your ID card printing. This printer is faster than printers with a smaller footprint, producing a single-sided full-colour ID card in as little as 23 seconds. This printer is suitable for printing larger scales such as between 500 and 5000 ID cards per year. We also offer the Magicard 300 as a bundle, with all the extra essentials you need. This printer also comes with the Magicard HoloKote® security feature.

If you have more complex requirements, the Evolis Primacy 2 is an excellent choice for printing ID cards. This printer is available as a single-sided or double-sided printer. There are many upgrades available (such as contactless encoding and lamination for greater durability) within your printing setup, so you can fulfil all your requirements easily. The Primacy 2 is extremely fast, printing single-sided full-colour cards in as little as 16 seconds. It is highly reliable for large-scale ID card printing of 5000+ cards per year and includes a 3-year manufacturer warranty.

Chapter 5: ID Card Printer Security Features

Visual security features for your ID card printer

Many ID card printers include options for printing visual security features onto ID cards. This is important as it can help prevent fraud and unwanted tampering.

Holographic ID card printer features are available for plastic cards. This is a common feature on driver’s licenses and other government official identity documents, but they’re also often used to increase the security of your staff ID cards. Hologram designs are applied to the card surface in a 2- or 3-dimensional appearance. They also feature special equipment that can only be read with special equipment, making them incredibly difficult to counterfeit.

Another visual ID card security feature available for your printed ID cards is Magicard’s useful HoloKote® feature, which is essentially a watermark ribbon which is printed into the overlay of the card. It adds a design (either standard or custom) onto the surface of the ID cards to ensure they are harder to copy or fake. This ID card security feature is handy as you have the option to create your own design, whether that be an image or logo, and can be added when printing your cards in-house.

UV ID card printing is also available for many of the ID card printers stocked by ID Card Centre. UV card printing utilises ultraviolet ink, which is invisible under regular light and shows up when a UV light is shined onto the card. This feature is low-cost and helps to increase the security of your ID cards.

Another option for ID cards with more complex security requirements is a guilloche pattern. Guilloche is a pattern of subtle thin lines interwoven according to the rules of geometry. They are most often seen on banknotes or passports. This could be used simply to enhance the look of your ID cards, but it can also ensure your ID cards are not easy to replicate for fraudulent purposes, as the thin lines are incredibly difficult to replicate.

Why is ID card printer security important?

If you keep your ID card printer in an office environment or even an open reception area, you may need to increase your physical security. ID card printers often store personal information on your staff, and to ensure you are meeting GDPR regulations, it is your responsibility to keep this information secure.

A lot of people don’t dispose of their printer ribbons correctly, which increases the risk of a GDPR breach. In the UK, GDPR regulations are really important, and failure to comply with these means you could be fined. An identity data security breach could result in a fine of up to £17.5 million.

The Evolis Primacy 2 offers Kineclipse®, a handy security feature which ensures any personal information left on the printer ribbon is protected. This is done by masking, where the information on the ribbon cannot be read. This is crucial as it helps to ensure that you are following correct UK GDPR regulations and reduces the risk of a data breach.

Some Magicard printers, such as the Magicard 300 and 600, have a useful digital shredding security feature. This feature means once sensitive information has been used for ID card printing, the information is fragmented and dispersed, meaning the data cannot be recovered and get into the wrong hands.

Some ID card printers have a physical lock, and some may even have a Kensington lock as well for maximum security. For example, the Evolis Primacy 2 has a physical lock to prevent printer ribbon theft which ensures everything is secure and safe.


Chapter 6: ID Card Printers for Healthcare

For healthcare organisations, staff (and sometimes patient) ID cards are crucial. They allow you to ensure that vulnerable patients can identify trusted workers and reduce the risk of any unauthorised people entering areas of the building where they aren’t allowed.

care home nurse helping an old lady

Healthcare ID cards

ID cards for healthcare environments must be able to provide several features, such as:

• Name of the staff member
• Position of the staff member
• A photo
• Security features
• Durability

The design of the card will allow you to include the name, position, photo and more – like expiry date, logos, and other branding – and can help your patients to feel safe whilst being treated.

Security features help to reduce the risk of forgery or cloning by using a certain technique that is difficult to replicate. There are different techniques that can be used, but the most common and affordable option is by using a holographic overlay. This can be achieved by using an overlay ribbon that is applied to your cards after the print.

You can also increase durability with a transparent overlay ribbon. This protects the dye that makes up each element of the ID card and stops it from wearing or scratching away during daily use of the card.

receptionist at a dpctors surgery

Outsourcing health care and care home ID card printing

To ensure your staff and patients remain safe, you must provide adequate ID cards and accessories.

If you don’t have the time or resources to print your own ID cards, our expert in-house printing team can produce them to your requirements. With full-colour printing available, we can work with you to create a design, or you can provide us with ready-to-print artwork. All you need to do is send us the data you need printing!

With our easy-to-use online card builder, you can input your requirements, including whether you want single or double-sided printing, any encoding, and card thickness. Once you’ve filled everything out, you can get an instant quote and place your order immediately if you’re ready.

Our team will start working on your cards straight away and deliver them right to your doorstep.

If you don’t need to order your cards in bulk, we also offer a call-off service. This allows you to place a bulk order of cards and then call them off in any quantity as and when you need them. You won’t need to pay any extra for shipping, as that is included in the original payment.

This is ideal for those who only need cards on an ad-hoc basis – for example, for new starters.

ID card printers for healthcare

When printing your ID cards, you must be able to use a printer that is cost-effective, suitable for your printing volume, and can provide any security features you require. There are several different printers that can help you achieve the ideal printed cards.

The IDP Smart 21S is an ideal printer for those who have small print volume requirements for single-sided cards.

It’s low-cost and simple to use, so all you need to do is plug your printer in and start printing. The IDP Smart 21s doesn’t compromise on quality, and with a frame size of smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, it’s perfect for use on a desktop in an office environment.

Featuring print speeds of up to 150 full-colour cards per hour, the IPD Smart 21S comes with EasyBadge Lite software for free, normally worth £145.

If you have mid-range printing requirements, the Matica MC310 ID card printer is perfect. Featuring an advanced print engine, this printer is capable of producing up to 180 full-colour cards per hour and 850 cards that only feature monochrome colours.

With an optional upgrade to dual-sided printing, you can print whatever artwork you require, along with any encoding (such as a magnetic stripe or contactless smart technology) with optional upgradable units. Encoding units can be added at the time of purchase or further down the line if you need the functionality in the future.

For more complex card printing requirements, the Entrust Sigma DS2 ID card printer is designed for cloud-based use. With the printer’s dashboard app, you can easily see the status of the printer, whether it needs cleaning or any firmware updates pending, and get assistance whenever you need it.

The DS2 offers a print resolution of up to 300 x 1200 dpi so that it can produce up to 225 single-sided full-colour cards per hour. It also offers extensive security features, ensuring any data sent between the card production software and the printer is fully encrypted and is not stored in the printing after the card has been fully printed. It also offers physical security features for the card, such as lustre printing, which protects from any potential counterfeiting.

All of these recommended ID card printers offer durable ID cards that are suitable for use within the NHS, private hospitals, care homes, dentistry, and more.

ID Card Printers for Education

Chapter 7: ID Card Printers for Education

One of the most crucial things for any organisation establishment to perfect is an ID card system.

No matter the level of education you provide and the age of your students, you must ensure that they are kept safe. Having an appropriate ID card solution in place can help achieve that, and it can even double up as an access control system with school ID card scanners.

There are some important factors that need to be considered when choosing an ID card system.

Card printing volume

When choosing an ID card printer for your school, you must estimate the volume of cards you are likely to print each year. Some printers are only meant for small, ad-hoc batches of printing, while others are built with robustness in mind for high printing volumes. 

If you only require ID cards for your staff, like teachers, assistants, and admin staff, a printer with a smaller print volume may be more suited to your needs. The IDP Smart 31 offers single- or double-sided card printing so that you can produce photo ID cards for your school’s requirements.

With a 5-year warranty, the IDP Smart 31 offers many features ideal for ID badges for schools, including UV printing for secure cards, full-colour printed cards in under 30 seconds, low running costs, and a range of upgradeable options.

It prints up to 1,000 cards per year so you can easily produce your staff ID cards and any replacements.

If you’re looking to print ID cards for your entire school – both staff and students – you may benefit from a printer that can produce a higher volume of cards. The Zebra ZC350 prints up to 5,000 cards per year, so you can meet your enrolment requirements and any other ad-hoc printing that may be required throughout the school year.

The Zebra ZC350 offers both single- and double-sided edge-to-edge printing, with an output of up to 150 double-sided, full-colour cards per hour. There is also a range of optional upgrades for card encoding, so they can be used alongside your school ID scanners.

Access control requirements

If you already have an access control system in place, we stock a range of cards that are compatible with different technologies. These can be printed with photo ID cards for your school, so your staff and students can only get into certain areas.

For example, any offices or staff rooms can be limited to access by a group, including all your staff, and students can only access the classrooms required. This is also useful for different year groups or key stage groups, as you can limit access to classrooms at break times for lower key stages while older students can visit their classrooms to study.

Many ID card printer machines have encoding features so you can ensure your cards are compatible with your scanners and readers.  

Enrolment period requirements

You may find it difficult to keep up with your enrolment requirements whilst remaining within your budget. It’s likely that you need more workforce from your printer, but buying another one isn’t cost-effective due to the lack of use it gets throughout the rest of the year. 

ID Card Centre offers a printer rental service where you can select your requirements and build a package that suits you. Available for as little as 7 days, you can boost your workforce without the need for any expensive outlay and then return the printer when you no longer need it.

To find out more about our printer rental service, please visit here.

ID card accessories

To easily display your school’s ID badges, we offer a range of accessories that are ideal.

Plain lanyards are a cost-effective option and come in several different colours so you can match your organisation’s branding. These lanyards are made from RPET material, meaning the fabric is made up of recycled plastic bottles.

Pre-printed lanyards can help to differentiate between groups of people, such as staff, students, and volunteers. They are easy to see at a glance and therefore benefit your school in an emergency.

If you’d like a bespoke option, you can print your logo on lanyards, so your organisation is always represented by staff and students.

We recommend using plastic cardholders to display your ID badges on the end of your lanyards and protect the plastic cards from wear and tear. With a range of colours on offer, they can match your lanyards and your branding and easily clip onto your lanyards. Once they’re no longer needed, they can be recycled with your normal recycling collection.

ID Card Printers for Government

Chapter 8: ID Card Printers for Government

Government facilities, whether central or local, need to ensure that they have strict security controls in place to mitigate any risks.

With such a wide range of departments inside the offices of a local government or council, ensuring access is limited to only those who need it is crucial. Most departments have databases of confidential information, so implementing an identity and access control system can improve security.

Photo ID cards for staff and visitors

Firstly, to ensure your premises are secured, you must have an ID card system in place for all staff and visitors to secure areas. Photo ID is the most secure form of ID card printing and offers an easy way to check that each person is who they say they are.

There are different ways to print ID cards. 

If you only have a small number of cards that need printing, you can outsource to a plastic card printing service. ID Card Centre’s expert team has years of experience printing ID cards for a range of industries and can include a range of security features depending on your requirements.

We can also provide pre-printed cards that feature spaces for personalisation, including name, photo, and job role. This is ideal for new starters or visitors to your offices.

To print personalised information or create your own ID cards in-house, ID Card Centre offers a range of ID card printers to suit a range of requirements and budgets. 

Most ID card printers come with optional add-ons for encoding, so you can create smart cards for access control systems as you print your ID cards.

Door access control systems for government facilities

Implementing an access control system is key if you’re looking to improve security within your government or council office. 

Access control systems allow you to permit and deny access to certain areas by placing readers at entry and exit points. By handing out technology cards to your staff and visitors, you can group users based on their credentials and grant access to any number of door readers. 

This is useful when grouping by department, hierarchy, or contracts – such as permanent and temporary staff members. 

You can simplify the ID and access control process by creating an all-in-one system that suits your requirements.

If your requirements mean you would benefit from outsourcing your plastic card printing to a service like ID Card Centre, we can encode your cards to suit any access control system technology. This means all you need to do is provide us with the information you want to be printed, and we’ll deliver the final encoded cards to your doorstep. 

ID Card Centre also stocks a range of ID card printers from all major manufacturers, including Evolis, Magicard, Zebra, and more. Our printers are suitable for all budgets across a range of requirements, so you don’t need to break the bank to get what you need. Most of our printers also come with optional upgrades for a smart card or magnetic stripe encoding, which is ideal for use with access control systems.

As an industry leader for over 20 years, we understand that all government and council requirements are different. That’s why our team of experts can help you choose an ID and access control system that is flexible and scalable while you futureproof and expand your organisation.

IDAssist for printers

Chapter 9: Technical Support for ID Card Printers

For some businesses, an ID card printer is a crucial piece of equipment, and if you learn the correct installation, maintenance, and management method, it will be a reliable and vital part of your office equipment.

Our IDAssist technical support plan is designed to get you printing again quickly if you experience any technical difficulties with your direct-to-card printers. Technical support will be provided over the phone, email, or webchat – whatever suits you best.

Set up, installation and training for ID card printers

IDAssist offers bespoke staff training in setting up, running, and maintaining your printer. This will extend your printer’s lifespan. This training is vital in demanding, intensive usage environments.

We will help you install and set up your new printer and software, so you don’t need to become a technical expert yourself. After you’re up and running, we’ll check in with you to see how you’re getting on and if we can make further suggestions.

Same-day dispatch

It’s essential that you use genuine printer ribbons, clean your printer after every 1,000 prints, and use high-quality badges or passes. Failure to do so can invalidate your printer’s warranty. With IDAssist Pro, you can purchase all these with FREE shipping – saving you time and money while extending your printer’s lifespan.

All printers require consumables, and even the best of us can run out from time to time, especially if there is an unexpected busy spell. With IDAssist Pro’s FREE same-day dispatch from our central UK warehouse, you don’t need to worry. All orders for stock items placed before 3pm will be dispatched same day with no shipping costs and sent for next-day delivery with our courier.

Technical support and repairs

Don’t forget to prepare for the worst-case scenario. All technology can fail from time to time, and IDAssist is on hand to support you should your ID card printer have an issue. There is never a good time for your printer to fail!

If something doesn’t look or sound right, you can simply contact IDAssist for priority access to expert technical support with a same-day response on working weekdays (9am-5pm).

Every unforeseen problem needs a solution or backup plan in a live working environment. If your printer develops a fault, IDAssist Pro subscribers will receive a printer on loan while we inspect and repair your printer.

IDAssist costs only £150 a year – which is £12.50 a month or just 41p per day and provides you with the peace of mind that your printers will be working effectively and efficiently for the duration of their lifespan. 

Pay upfront with a lump sum or spread the cost with a monthly direct debit payment, and ensure you never have to worry about your plastic card printing again. 

IDAssist is designed for your peace of mind and to help you get the best out of your ID card printer, ensuring that your business and customers are not affected.

Accessories for printers

Chapter 10: Accessories for ID Cards and Printers

If you are involved in an organisation that requires ID cards for security, identification, or access control purposes, you will know that a reliable ID card printer is essential. However, the printer itself is just the beginning.  

To enhance functionality, improve efficiency, and elevate your card printing capabilities there are a range of accessories available to help you complete your identity solution and elevate your security to the next level. 

Accessories for ID card printers 

Output and input hoppers 

A hopper is the part of a printer that feeds blank cards and collects them when printed. They’re ideal for users who have a high volume of cards to print, as you don’t need to manually feed each card into the printer. 

Some printer models offer input and output hoppers as standard, but upgrades can be available to ensure your printing requirements are fully met. 

Lamination modules 

Lamination modules apply a protective polyester film on top of your printed ID cards to offer more durability when faced with general wear and tear, as well as UV radiation. This helps to prolong the lifespan of an ID card, whilst also enhancing security measures against forgery.   

For additional security features on your ID cards, lamination can be holographic or UV.  

Most ID card printers offer lamination modules as a field upgrade, so if you need to increase your security measures after you have set up your ID card printing solution, you can easily adapt it. 

Encoder options 

There are a range of different encoding options available for most printer models. These allow you to create ID cards with smart technology, used for access control systems, storing valuable information, cashless vending, and more. 

Travel casing 

For organisations that need to transport their printer from location to location, it can be difficult to find a way to do it safely. ID Card Centre offers a range of purpose-built travel cases that are designed to protect your printer throughout its journey. 

Spares and replacements 

If you lose a cable or have an issue with one of the components of your printer, we offer several different spares and replacements for several printer models. This is a cost-effective method of ensuring your printing solution stays in top condition. 

Accessories for ID cards 


For security purposes, you may wish to ensure the user of an ID card always keeps their credentials on display. Lanyards are an ideal solution and act as the perfect branding accessory. 

Plain lanyards are an excellent cost-effective and efficient option for ID display and are available in a wide range of lengths and colours. Each lanyard comes with a breakaway clip fitted as standard, and an attachment for an ID card. 

Pre-printed lanyards are extremely beneficial for organisations with a range of teams or departments and are a cost-effective way to allow people to identify different groups of alongside ID badges. Pre-printed lanyards are also ideal for education organisations, as they aid with safeguarding. 

Personalised lanyards allow businesses to advertise their brand. Alongside custom colour choices, you can print your logo, business name, or other visual assets. 

Cardholders and pouches

To attach ID cards to lanyards, you can either slot punch directly onto the plastic card or use cardholders and pouches

Plastic cardholders protect the card from wear and tear and are available in a range of colours to match any branding you already display. 

Vinyl pouches allow you to insert a plastic card or printed paper ID card, fully protecting the badge with its transparent plastic covering. 

Badge reels

If you use access control cards, badge reels are a useful tool that allow you to easily move your card to wherever it needs to be, such as wall-mounted proximity readers or swipe readers. These are available in a range of colours and durability levels and can be attached to a lanyard or to clothing. 

To find out more about ID card printing, please contact a member of our expert team. We will be happy to help.