ID Cards for Schools: 5 Tips for Choosing a Printing Service


Schools all over the world have adopted the use of IDs. They aid in student tracking, safety, and management processes. School lunch programs, sporting events, and library checkouts exemplify how ID cards make life easier for students.

With that in mind, a quality school printing service is invaluable when creating ID cards for schools. If you’re a school administrator and have been looking for options, you’ve likely run across different concepts and materials. Here are five tips for choosing the exemplary printing service for your school ID cards.

1. Quality and Durable Materials

Look for a printing service that has experience in producing long-lasting cards. Check if they can provide digitally printed IDs made with durable materials. Here are some materials that you can consider:


Standard PVC

PVC is the most commonly used material for ID cards because it is durable, flexible, and cheap. PVC cards are resistant to water, chemicals, and wear, so they can be used for a long time. Direct-to-card or retransfer printing methods make it easy to print on them.

BioPVC and Recycled PVC

Some ID cards are made from recyclable or biodegradable materials. This is because the focus on the environment is growing.

Their quality is the same as standard PVC cards. The only difference is these are more environmentally friendly than regular cards.


Teslin is a synthetic material with a microporous structure that lets it absorb ink well. It has a good surface for printing on to produce bright and clear pictures. Teslin cards are known for being flexible, hard to tear, and showing signs of tampering.


Polycarbonate cards are more secure and last longer than other kinds. They are very hard to break, crack, or change in any way. Polycarbonate cards often have high-tech security features like holograms, laser engraving, or micro text built-in. This makes them a good choice for government-issued IDs or access control cards that must be very secure.

Mylar Adhesive-Back Cards

Mylar cards with a sticky back are often used to make ID cards, name badges, membership cards, and other adhesive-based IDs. They offer a flexible, easy-to-use way to make temporary or short-term ID cards. These cards can maintain high-quality prints.

Composite PVC/Poly Cards

Composite PVC/poly cards are a common ID card type that blends the best features of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and polyester. People use these cards when they need to be durable, strong, and have extra security features.

Be sure to ask about the ink they use. Many printers use sub-standard ink, which can cause the images to fade or smudge over time.

Request samples from the printing service to assess the quality of their previous work. Ask for references or testimonials from other schools who have used the printer’s services so you know you are getting the best quality and durability available.

2. Customization Options

A good printing service will provide many options for customizing the card design and features. There are several card sizes and thicknesses to choose from.

A “mil” is a measure of thickness used in ID cards. One mil is equal to.001 inches. The thickness of the card can range from 10 mils to 80 mils, the most usual thickness being 30 mils.

The card size is also important as you don’t want students to wear an ID that is too small or too big. In terms of size, there are four options:

CR79 (3.303 x 2.051)

This is a slightly smaller card than a credit card. They are usually used for adhesive clamshell proximity cards.

CR80 (3.375 x 2.125)

This is also known as the “credit card size.” The CR80 format is the standard card size and is the most used worldwide.

CR90 Card (3.63 x 2.37)

This is slightly larger than a credit card. This is the size used for driver’s licenses.

CR100 (3.88 x 2.63)

This is also known as the “military card size.” This is 42% bigger than a standard CR80 card, making it easy to see from afar.

If you want other ID card sizes than CR80, ensure that the printing company’s school ID card printers support the size you want. However, finding a service that prints on CR80 size should be easy.

The printing service should also ask for your school logo, student photos, names, and other relevant information. Customizable features will help create professional-looking IDs that align with your school’s branding and identity.

3. Security Features

A secure ID card should include holograms, watermarks, barcodes, secure laminates, or micro-text patterns to protect and authenticate the IDs. It should also be able to add advanced security features such as smart cards and RFID technology.

The highest level of encryption should be used to protect user data. Your chosen printing service should also be able to produce the highest quality cards and provide upgrades or repairs and customization of cards as needed.

Many printers offer additional services such as design help, customization, software installation, and training. Make sure to consider these when selecting a supplier.

4. Turnaround Time

If you need the ID cards quickly, ask potential providers how quickly they can produce them. Ensure they have the necessary equipment and technology to produce the cards promptly and efficiently.

Always check for any guarantees that they provide regarding the turnaround time. This will give you peace of mind that they deliver efficiently and on time. Enquire about any additional fees and services with a rush delivery to ensure you can meet your deadline.

5. Cost and Pricing Options

Cost and pricing options are a significant consideration. While many printing services are available, making the right choice for your school involves more than just looking at the end product.

Compare the prices of different printing services and think about their overall value. Look for an exact price that includes all costs, like set-up fees, design fees, and shipping costs. Find a balance between how much it costs, how good the IDs are, and how good the service is.

Get the Best ID Cards for Schools

Choosing the right card printing service for your school’s identification system is essential. This will benefit your school’s security and the safety of the surrounding community.

Use these tips to make an informed decision and ensure you have the best ID cards for schools. Determine the features you’ll need and ensure the company can meet this and all of your needs.

With these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating the best school ID cards. So, don’t wait to start researching today!