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Printer Selection

In order to ensure you select the ID card printer that is right for you, we recommend you use the questions below to determine exactly the type of ID card printer that will meet your specific needs. If you need help, please contact our representatives for help answering these questions and choosing your printer.


1. Do you need to print on one side of the ID card or both sides?
If you need to print on both sides then you will choose a dual-sided card printer which will allow you to put information on both sides of the card. For instance on the front the card may have a photo, company name, logo, etc. and on the back a signature stripe and company information.

2. Do you prefer a certain brand?
We offer all the major ID card printer manufacturers and we supply continued support.


If you need help choosing a brand, contact our support representatives and we will guide you through the process.

3. Do you need your cards to be color (eg. photographs) or monochrome?
Monochrome printers print in black only and the cost is lower, while color printers create realistic photos and distinct and vibrant cards. Most printers print both but some of the entry-level printers only print monochrome so it is important to make that distinction.

4. Do you need a magnetic stripe on your cards?
A magnetic stripe is the black stripe on the back of your id card. The magnetic stripe stores data and is often used in time and attendance or access control programs. The magnetic stripe encoder is offered as an option on all printers, and if you know ahead of time you will need this feature include that when selecting features for your printer.

5. Do you need “smart” cards?
You may need contact smart cards which hold more data than the magnetic stripe. These cards have a memory chip embedded into them. If you need this option add a smart card station as an extra feature when ordering your printer. This should be ordered with your printer since it usually cannot be added after the printer has been set up.

6. What is the volume of cards you will be printing?
Most ID card printers print approximately 30,000 cards per year, if you plan to print many thousand at one time you need to have a high-volume printer that should include a large input and output card hopper with a greater than 100 card capacity.

7. What kind of durability do you need from your id cards?
You can extend the life of your cards by laminating them or applying an overlay, which protect the information and. Lamination applies a vinyl coating on the card and generally extends the life by 4 to 5 years and you need to choose a printer with this capability. If you choose to add this feature you will need composite PET/PVC cards instead of 100% PVC cards. The composite cards are made to withstand the heat generated by the lamination process.

8. What is your operating system?
Most ID card printers only support Microsoft Windows operating systems. If you are working on a Mac the Evolis printer line offers support for you.

9. What type of connection interface do you need?
While some ID card printers offer a parallel or Ethernet interface, most come standard with a USB interface. It is important to determine which interface you need before selecting your printer.

Contact Us today for help with all your ID printing questions.

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