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Buying An ID Card Printer? Here’s Your Step-By-Step Guide

Buying An ID Card Printer? Here’s Your Step-By-Step Guide

An ID card printer is a key investment. With a variety of models and features, however, finding the right one can be a bit daunting. Our step-by-step guide below helps break down the process of buying an ID card printer.

Step 1: Assess the Cost

How much your ID card printer is going to cost will depend on what you’re looking for. For instance, single-side printers are more affordable, so if you’re a small business and new to card printing, they’re probably your ideal choice. If you need to increase visual security or add information to the back of your card as well, you’ll be better off with a dual-side printer. Assess your organization’s needs and determine what you’ll need on your card.

Step 2: Determine What Kind of Card You’ll be Printing On

Should you use a blank photo ID card, or an access control ID card? Again, this depends on your organization’s needs. If your needs are less complex and you only require a simple design, with no door access capabilities, a standard PVC card will suffice. If you need more complex security and design features, a composite PVC access control card would better serve your needs.

Step 3: Determine Which Printer Best Meets Your Needs

Now that you’ve determined what should go into your card, you’ll need to find a printer that meets these needs. What is the image quality and print volume you’ll require? What about the level of card security? There are many types of ID card printers, which include:

Step 4: Single- or Dual-Sided?

You will also need to determine whether you need a single- or dual-sided printer. For businesses looking to introduce visual security measures into the workplace, such as photo ID, a single-sided printer is a good beginner’s option. Dual-sided printers, however, give you greater flexibility by offering print on both sides of the card. Once again, it all depends on what you’re looking for.

Step 5: Determine the Volume of Cards You’ll Need to Print

Knowing the volume of cards you’ll need to print will be useful when you assess the following variables:

  • Print speed: a higher volume of cards will require a printer with a higher print speed
  • Input and output hoppers: the larger your hoppers, the longer you will need to go without having to unload and load your cards.
  • Print yield: the larger the ribbon, the less you’ll have to change it, which will make your costs cheaper in the long-term.

Step 6: Determine Your Card Security Requirements

Using elements such as UV ink and watermarks help to make your card more secure. UV ink makes identifying cloned cards easier, and watermarks make cards more difficult to clone. Many manufacturers now also offer printers that will delete data as soon as it is printed to enhance security.

Step 7: Ask About Warranty, Tech Support and Software Compatibility

Once you have a printer model down, you’ll need to make sure that it is compatible with your computer’s operating system. You should also enquire about the warranty and tech support covered by your purchase.  3iD lifetime remote support comes free with every new ID printer purchase.

Now that you’ve got a better idea about the process of buying a printer, why not start your search by perusing our ID card printers? If you need help, contact us at 1-(877) 749-4752 or send us an email

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