There are many different security features that should be considered when printing text on a blank ID card doesn’t provide sufficient security. Some of these ID card security features can be implemented at a user-level, while others must be added before purchasing the ID cards.

Here is a breakdown of the various ID card security features:


One of the most widely used forms of encoded ID cards and are easy to create, as the information in a barcode can be encoded onto an ID card during the regular ID card printing process.


If your cards don’t already include the user’s photo, consider adding them. Photographs are the most basic security feature that you can add to your ID card, because they offer an easy way to quickly confirm a person’s identity. While photos help reduce the possibility of fraud, they are not foolproof as photographs can be replicated using optical scanners and copiers. They are a good first line of security, nonetheless.

Magnetic Stripe

Also known as magstripe cards, are PVC ID Badges containing a band of magnetic material embedded in the resin on the back of the card. Magnetic stripe ID cards store updatable information on a magstripe, which is read when the card is swiped through a magnetic stripe card reader.

Proximity/RFID/Smart Card

These use radio frequency transmit/receive electronics (integrated circuit technology) to transfer data. This data transmits securely from a distance. When considering id card security features, keep in mind that proximity cards are unique in that they do not have to be swiped through a magnetic stripe card reader, so they are a convenient solution for secure door access control, as well as for use with time and attendance applications. When in use, a card reader sends out a field that activates the antenna coil which lies within a proximity card, and charges the capacitor. Card information is then transmitted via this antenna coil to the card reader and if the information is found to be accurate access is granted, be it door entry or a monetary purchase.

Fluorescent Overlay

This allows you to create highly secure and durable identification cards in one printing cycle without the added cost associated with lamination or overlay varnish. Some key id card security features include reduced risk of counterfeiting, increased durability, unparalleled flexibility, lower costs, and improved efficiency.


Commonly used today for visual security and authentication features on a variety of identification cards that provide value for the cardholder. Rainbow transmission holograms are formed as surface relief patterns in plastic film, incorporating a reflective aluminum coating that provides light to reconstruct a holographic image. Holograms from Advantidge are virtually impossible to copy because of their unique visual effects. They cannot be replicated by computer scanning/alteration or with color copiers or standard printing equipment, making them a highly secure defense against the threat of fraud or theft by counterfeiters.


Considered as one of the most difficult to reproduce, micro text printing is commonly used in passports and currencies. ID card security features like microtext are used on highly secure ID cards. Upon visual examination, micro text appears as a regular thin line on an ID badge, but when inspected using a microscope or magnifying glass, the lines are actually repeating text that say authentic, genuine, or valid. Unlike most add-on security features, micro text printing requires industrial equipment to produce, which limits this option to pre-printed cards.

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is a highly secure method of monochrome card personalization that etches features into the card body itself. This provides tamper-proof and highly durable personalization, making forgery and manipulation virtually impossible. Attempts to alter engraved information will result in visually evident card damage.

To learn how ID card security features can support your business, request a consultation today. We will help you find a better way.