5+ Best ID card Printers with Brands, Prices and Features


Need an easy way to run your business? ID CARD PRINTERS Is all that you need. Normally called as bank card format cards which get printed upon the ID CARD PRINTERS. They are usually the desktop printers with card feeders which print and give a personalised feel to plastic cards. The dimensions of the card that can be printed upon this are 85.60 × 53.99 mm. These dimensions are usually used to print EC cards , telephone cards , credit cards , driver’s licence etc. Every ID Card Printer needs specific software for ID making and designing. The most interesting features of these printers are that they are equipped with laminating , striping and punching functions. The point of differentiation that lies between normal printers and card printers is that the cards printed here are made of PVC and require punching and laminating.

id card printer
ID card Printer

What Process an ID Card Printer Uses?

Normally the process for a card printer is the same as it goes through a thermal scan print with the data being transferred through a colour ribbon. The standard performance of a card printer is 300 dots per inch but it keeps on varying.

  • Thermal transfer – it is used to give a personalised effect to the pre printed cards in the same colour tone. By the process of dye sublimation the card passes through print head several times in turn each colour is diffused upon the card that produces a high depth of colour range. Over it a topcoat is placed which makes the card UV resistant.
  • Reverse image technology – For the smart chip cards this technology prints images onto the card with great heat and pressure . This process basically helps in transferring colour and dye over the flexible film therefore the printed surface is left unharmed. This technology makes even printing on the edge possible.
  • Thermal rewrite process – Under this process the card is personalised several times through activating a thermal sensitive foil inside the card . The significant use of it is where student id cards are made in which the records change every semester.

What traits you should look, to find the Best ID Card Printer?

 To access that one’s investment has gone in the right direction while choosing a printer. They must look into the following factors:

  • COST – The cost may vary from printer to printer , ranging from $1000 to $10000 to which the user shall decide upon the use of the printer and the model to select from.
  • VOLUME – It totally depends on the user that in what quantity the user needs to print the documents to which the printer which can bear a greater load shall be opted for.
  • TYPE – There are basically 3 types of printers: single side , dual side and laminating. The single side prints on one side , dual side prints on both sides and laminating prints on both sides and even provides lamination to the card . Therefore the type must be selected according to the suitability.
  • SIZE – Any machine at your workspace which occupies a lot of space shall not be carried. To minimise the space aspect one must choose the device accordingly.

List Of ID Card Printers

ID Card PrinterMain FeatureLink
Alpha Card Pro 550All in one solutionLink
Magicard Pronto 100Pocket friendlyLink
The Fargo Ink 1000High User FriendlyLink
Data card SD460Good ID Badge Printing QualityLink
IDP SMART 31Low maintenanceLink
Entrust Sigma DS3Lots of color customization options availableLink
Tabular Features List of top ID Card Printers

Top 6 ID Card Printers

1. Alpha Card Pro 550

Alpha Card Pro 550
Alpha Card Pro 550

The master of all printers , comes with everything you need from single to batch printing of cards. The 4 year warranty makes it run longer in the market from other manufacturers. This printer lets you have a personalised watermark of their brand to affix extra security features. This watermark makes the card harder and difficult to tamper. It even includes in-built software which is compatible with Windows and Mac. It even comes with a technical support bundle called the Alpha card plus. The service of the device is included for the 1st year in this bundle. This device has a medium print volume, with price starting at $ 1500.

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Pros of Alpha Card Pro 550

  • All in one solution
  • Nice security features

Cons of Alpha Card Pro 550

  • Not upgradable
  • Software can be refreshed

2. Magicard Pronto 100

Pronto ID Badge Printer
Pronto ID Badge Printer

Trusted as the most economical printer the pricing starts from $ 1000 . Its interesting feature is its size which is so small that one cannot not even recognize it being tucked anywhere at a work space. Manufactured in UK it is an upgraded version of the magic card legacy which comes up with new design and high speed. The size of this printer makes it the most portable printer. Yet another cool feature is that it reads the badge printed after use. Impressing fact to hold upon is that this printer is packed and manufactured with 75% recycled material.

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Pros of Alpha Card Pro 550

  • Economical
  • Environment friendly

Cons of Alpha Card Pro 550

  • Not upgradable
  • Software can be refreshed

3. The Fargo Ink 1000

The Fargo Ink 1000
The Fargo Ink 1000

Believed as the most innovative printer with a low print volume and price ranging from $ 1500 , with fargo expanding into the recent market leaving behind the ink jet printers into the world of ID cards. It offers affordable printing modules while lowering the cost of ownership. The ink dries instantly at printing. One last feature to look into is the snap and go feature of this printer. It is nothing less than a new way of card printing.

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Pros of The Fargo Ink 1000

  • Innovative print technology
  • Ease of use
  • Attractive footprints

Cons of The Fargo Ink 1000

  • Unproven market acceptance
  • Ink could lead to smudging
  • Card longevity

4. Data card SD460

Data card SD460
Data card SD460

Known for its best laminating process with price ranging at higher end from $5000 . This printer provides both durability and strength to the laminated cards through its high end technology . Lamination not only provides durability but also a glossy finish over the cards and an attractive style to the cards. It comes with both single and both side lamination options. The printer has to be inserted with the lamination duct without which they cannot work in harmony. Its likeable feature is that it provides various textures to the card.

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Pros of Data card SD460

  • Texture impressor
  • Card longevity
  • High image quality

Cons of Data card SD460

  • Bulky
  • High print complexity



This desk friendly printer is not the newest one in the market; it simply requires a basic ID transfusion for printing. It has a smart print performance and easy badge id card software. It ranges from £ 715.

Pros of IDP SMART 31

  • 5 year warranty
  • Low maintenance
  • Environment friendly

Cons of IDP SMART 31

  • Needs upgrade
  • Less stylised option

6. Entrust Sigma DS3

Entrust Sigma DS3
Entrust Sigma DS3

Believed to be the next printer introduced in 2021 proves to be a great choice for printing large volumes . Being completely new it assures to keep the needs of organisations at par every in 2022 . It not only has great speed but also comes with great texture impressions. It even ensures sensitive data is not retrieved once printing is finished. Price ranges from £ 1000.

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Pros of Entrust Sigma DS3

  • Full color print speed
  • Variable light for customization

Cons of Entrust Sigma DS3

  • High in priceLess stylised option
  • Lacking few features from others

What are the benefits of ID Card Printers?

In today’s time various multinational companies, Schools and Corporates are incorporating the tradition to have ID scanners for having records of their employees which can be a step towards security and it even makes identification easier. To which the companies shall be at ease with in house printing which would not bring a third party into picture and will be a cost cutting factor for the companies.

Even the data which is personal for every company shall circulate within and shall not be disseminated. More than security there is a lot which these printers offer that is convenience where the cards can be printed at the nick of the time and the whole process is less cumbersome.

Different Types of ID Cards

A few popular ID cards which are commonly seen are listed below.

  1. PVC CARDS – As the name suggests they are absolutely made of 100% PVC. They are also called plain id cards as they do not have any data printed upon them . They are printed only via printers dedicated to printing them . Normal printers have no control over them.
  2. COMPOSITE CARDS – A mix of both 60% PVC and 40% PET. These are the commonly supplied cards which are better in quality and condition over the PVC cards.
  3. PRE PRINTED CARDS – As most of the companies have their employees who need ID’s on a daily basis , here it becomes difficult to issue fresh cards every time. Hence these companies issue such cards in bulk which have some desired fields pre fixed and can be changed accordingly.
  4. MAGNETIC STRIPE CARDS– All the credit and debit cards are striped cards and the most secured form of cards . There is a quick and safe information exchange.
  5. BIODEGRADABLE CARDS – also called the eco friendly cards which are most commonly used by MNC , who initiate to go green with their approach.

Paradox – Use Normal Printer V/s Id Card Printer

  • Essentially the most common difference that comes out is that normal printers simply print over paper whereas the ID printers print over substances and can handle functions like lamination and coating . 
  • Normally the printers print over paper which do not require huge amounts of heat and pressure whereas the id printers use the ribbon over technology and use heat to surpass data over the cards and its resolution is typically 300 dots per inch.


  1. What is an ID card printer?

    ID card printers are basically specific kinds of printers used to print plastic cards. They function similarly as the home based inkjet printers do.

  2. How much does an ID printer cost?

    Normally card printers cost between $ 1000 to $ 10000 , which basically don’t include add ons but only the basic features.

  3. How are ID cards made?

    ID cards are made of dye sublimation technique which includes heat being transferred onto the surface of the material for a clear finish.

  4. What type of printers are used for ID cards?

    Normally there are 2 main types of printers that are direct to card and retransfer printers used to print ID cards.

  5. What is reverse transfer printing?

    Under this technique the printer produces a mirror image of card design through a thin film and the heat pressure bonds the data onto the sheath.


As stated above ID card printers are the future of cost effectiveness and efficiency , it has been a great source through which printing for hardbound cards is made easier at the nick of time . These printers have been saving both time and operating cost to which was earlier an issue where organisations had to roam around places for bulk printing .

These printers have led to confidentiality of sensitive information for the organisation by not disseminating it at various places. This remarkable innovation in the field of printing is beneficial for schools , offices , NGO’S, and banking institutions. As all these branches in their respective fields need hard bound and laminated cards for their employees. All in all, the ID card printer is a complete package in itself.

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