Choosing The Right Stock for Your ID Card Needs

Choosing The Right Stock for Your ID Card Needs

As of early 2020, various countries around the world are planning on implementing major changes to their national identification systems. Portugal and Guyana are considering the addition of biometrics to their national ID cards, Jamaica is looking for a way to authenticate digital signatures, and various jurisdictions in the United States are thinking about how they will comply with the provisions of the REAL ID Act. While these processes involve deliberation in terms of rule making and compliance, the issue of selecting the materials to be used for the physical ID documents is always crucial.

Choosing The Right ID Card Stock

Your choice of ID card stock will always have to match functional and security requirements above everything else; branding and styling can always be dealt with later. With polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cards, for example, you get the best in terms of durability and style, particularly when you select glossy black stock, but if you need to implement access control to physical spaces, you will be better off with cards that support programmable magnetic stripes, which can also be PVC. Explore our complete collection for card stocks here.

Quality Card Stock


All of our card materials are ideal for your ID needs, but some stock will be fancier and more durable than others. If you believe that employees or cardholders may end up getting their IDs wet, you will want special features and materials; your options include adhesive coatings, notches, slots, signature panels, rewritable magnetic cards, and more.

Card Stock Thickness

Heavy paper, pasteboard, plastic, or PVC stock materials for ID cards are measured by their dimensions and thickness. Unless you specifically plan on encasing paper ID cards in plastic holders, plastic and PVC are better stock. The most common size, CR-80, is about the size of a credit card or a driver’s license in the United States; the thickness is generally less than a third of an inch, also known as 30 mil. CR-50 cards are mostly used for physical access, and they tend to be larger and thicker. The CR-100 format is the largest and thickest; it is ideal for badges where the information needs to be scanned at a glance.

Printable ID Cards

Although we offer custom card solutions including blank card stock and ID Card Printer Ribbons so that you can do your own printing in-house. You should take control of your ID card program with a DataCard printer connected to a computer via USB or to a network via Ethernet. To this effect, the blank ID card stock we offer will allow you to get creative and retain custody of your employee and customer records at all times.

PVC Cards

PVC stock is often considered to be the “cream of the crop” of the ID card world. As previously mentioned, black and glossy cards are great not just for ID purposes but also for customer loyalty programs and special membership. A good example of PVC cards being put to good use would be an upscale fitness center at a boutique condo or resort.

ID Cards At Specialist ID

Specialist ID is committed to providing you with tools and accessories so that your company flows efficiently and in an organized manner. We also offer lanyards, badge holders and card printing gadgets so that your institution is equipped for success.
Whatever your ID card needs are, Specialist ID is ready to help you with high-quality materials and custom design options. Contact our representatives today to learn more about our ID card stock and design services.

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