There are many different types of ID cards, in many different sizes. Yet the most common one among them is the "standard" CR80. It is the widely accepted card size across different industries and is used for printing photo ID cards, customer loyalty cards, credit and debit cards, gym cards, etc. In some cases, CR80 cards are also used for printing driver's licenses. CR80 measures 3.370 inches in width and 2.125 inches in height.
Another common ID card size is CR79. It is a little smaller than CR80 cards, measuring 3.303 inches in width and 2.051 inches in height. CR79 cards are usually adhesive-backed and are used on proximity cards for quick identification purposes. Sometimes, CR79 cards are also used as key cards or access cards for different purposes.
Some organizations also use CR100 cards for speedy security checks and identification, especially when issuing guest passes to an industrial plant. CR100 cards are around 42% larger than CR80 cards, and measure 3.88 inches in width and 2.63 inches in height. CR100 cards are commonly used in governmental installations, and are referred to as "military size" cards as well.
Blank cards are available in varying thicknesses too; however, the standard thickness for most of the cards is 0.030 inches or 30-mil. Some plastic ID cards are made a bit more flexible, and come in 20-mil thickness. Then there are very thin cards as well, which measure 0.010 inches or 10-mil, and feel like paper. Some cards are above 30-mil in thickness too; these are generally used for access control and door entry.
Choosing the Right ID Card Size and Thickness
To pick the best ID card size, you should be clear of the needs of your organization first. For instance, if your needs are general identification and access only, then you go with the standard CR80 card size. At the same time, you should also keep an eye on your ID card printer and software. Not all ID card printers and software editions can handle all card sizes. In fact, there are very few that can print on CR100 cards. So make sure that your ID card printer is capable of printing on the blank cards before you buy.
This is applicable to choosing the thickness of the cards as well. You should carefully check the specifications of your ID card printer and see to it that it can print on your blank cards easily. For instance, 10 mil cards are not recommended to be used with retransfer printers or for lamination. That is because the heat from the printer can melt the thin plastic cards.