The 9 Best ID Card Printers

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in October of 2018. Whether you run a business or manage the student body at a large university, proper photo identification of all involved parties is important. With compact designs allowing them to fit almost anywhere, our selection of plastic ID card printers offers the customization, efficiency, and peace of mind needed to keep your buildings and personnel safe and secure at all times. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Evolis Primacy

2. Magicard Enduro3E

3. Zebra ZC100 LT

Editor's Notes

October 05, 2020:

ID card printers run the gamut from fully-featured, expensive machines that offer a host of security features, to simpler, less pricey models with single-sided printing for casual needs. You can rely on the former for ID cards that grant access to restricted areas, while the latter produce relatively simple photo IDs, loyalty cards, and similar.

For those who need a heavy-duty choice, we still think that the Evolis Primacy can fit the bill. Offering everything from edge-to-edge printing to a 100-card input hopper, it can be upgraded with various encoding kits, offered for separate purchase; this provides versatility and makes it perfect for many applications, including creating membership cards, motel keys, and more. The Magicard Enduro3E is also quite feature-heavy, as well as fast, producing full-color cards in 25 seconds and monochrome versions in less than 10.

Simpler machines still include the Badgy 100 and the Magicard Pronto, although neither is without small drawbacks. The Pronto, for instance, can't match the image quality offered by some other choices, while the Badgy isn't capable of edge-to-edge printing. Nevertheless, they are more affordable than many, so if you need cards only occasionally, they'll get the job done and leave room in your budget for all the other supplies your office needs, whether that's a Bluetooth printer or desk chair. We added the Zebra ZC100 LT as a simple, user-friendly model, as well. With it, you'll get a 30-day subscription to CloudBadging; this trial is free, but if you wish to continue, you'll need to invest in a paid subscription.

October 30, 2018:

Added Evolis Primacy due to its integrated Ethernet functionality, ease of customization, and extended warranty. Also included the Magicard Enduro3E because of its integrated watermark security functionality. Added Nisca PR-C101 for its intuitive interface and rotatable LCD. Included the environmentally-friendly Datacard SD260, as it is built with biodegradable and recyclable components.

Special Honors

Entrust SD460 When you have the Entrust SD460, you can encode, print, and laminate, and quickly, with a dual-sided, laminated card taking only 24 seconds to produce. A dye-sublimation model, it is on the pricey side, but the robust security features it offers, including a tactile impresser, and the time it saves make it more than worth it for busy organizations.

Evolis Avansia If you have high-security needs, the Evolis Avansia is a versatile machine that can deliver. It is compatible with all types of cards, from ABS to PET; provides multiple encoding options, including contactless smart cards; and can be locked by removing the RFID electronic key when it's not in use, for your ongoing peace of mind.

4. Evolis Zenius

5. Datacard SD260

6. Fargo Dual-Sided

7. Nisca PR-C101

8. Magicard Pronto

9. Badgy 100

Melissa Harr
Last updated by Melissa Harr

Melissa Harr is a language-obsessed writer from Chicagoland who holds both a bachelor of arts and master of arts in English. Although she began as a TEFL teacher, earning several teaching certificates and working in both Russia and Vietnam, she moved into freelance writing to satisfy her passion for the written word. She has published full-length courses and books in the realm of arts & crafts and DIY; in fact, most of her non-working time is spent knitting, cleaning, or committing acts of home improvement. Along with an extensive knowledge of tools, home goods, and crafts and organizational supplies, she has ample experience (okay, an obsession) with travel gear, luggage, and the electronics that make modern life more convenient.

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