ID Card Size Chart: Detailed Guideline For 2021 (Updated)
Updated: December 28, 2020
ID cards may be small in size, but they carry pretty valuable data. It can be an employee’s professional details, a hotel room’s access code or someone’s membership information.
What the eyes of general public can easily miss is the card’s dimension. Ironically, this is exactly what sets them apart from the professionals!
Wondering how can just some measurements be of any value? Let us tell you that and more through our detailed guidelines on the ID card size chart!
Why Does Identification Card Size Matter?
Initially, it may not seem like a big deal. “Who cares what size I make my ID cards in?”
However, each size does have its own jurisdiction to play within. The subtle difference of a few micro-inches can seem much more prominent to the people you work with and the clients you serve. Adhering to the standard identification card dimensions prove your professionalism and represent the dedication of your company.
Additionally, manipulating the card measurements may draw unwanted attention from others on a larger scale. At public gatherings set in a professional environment, ID cards of your company should not look amateur. Any prominent figure of your industry will be able to sense the alterations.
Besides, all ID card printers are designed to follow these particular sizes in every task. So you must maintain proper sizes of these cards in any situation.
Different ID Card Sizes
The numerical part of these terminologies refers to the size of a credit card. Taking it as the standard measurement of ID cards, each category has been assigned a certain value. Being pretty small items, their length, width and thickness vary in close proximity.
While you may not be able to manipulate the first two aspects for proper printing, the thickness can be under your control. For ID cards, it is usually set between 0.01 to 0.03 inches.
This is the smallest size available for ID cards. It measures only 3.5 inches in width and 1.75 inches in length. You should keep at least 1/16 inch or 1.6mm on every side as the bleed area.
This will accommodate for the extended image portion or the accentuating color surrounding the main card.
Within this bleed area, there will be the main space where you will put in your company logo, the wearer’s essential information and more elements.
It is a standard practice to maintain a minimum of 1/16-inch distance between this central area and the card edge. Doing so will guarantee that any part of the logo or text printed on it will not get cut off.
Where It Is Used: The CR-50 cards are usually used in hotels. Guests residing there use these cards to access the rooms assigned to them. However, you can also utilize it for making ID cards of your employees.
Another popular size for access cards is CR-79. However, instead of hotel room access, this kind of card ensures the management of any professional access control system.
The standard measurements of CR-79 cards are 3.303 inches in width and 2.051 inches in length. It is the perfect size to be placed within a standard technology card’s inside edge.
CR-79 usually comes with an adhesive back. Some organizations use this feature to increase the thickness of other cards by applying this sticky side on their front. However, it is not compatible with many printers. So you will need to get an ID card printer that is capable of producing them.
Where It Is Used: Their most common application is the clamshell proximity cards. These are built to sustain daily wear and tear because of frequent use.
This is the most common size applicable to plastic ID cards. Another term for CR-80 cards is ID-1 format. Their measurements happen to be 3.370 inches in width, 2.125 inches in length and 0.03 inches in thickness.
It is set as the standard because these measurements are exactly those of a credit card - the base of categorizing all id card dimension.
Among other major reasons behind its popularity, one is universal compatibility. Any ID card printer will be able to produce these cards. No matter what model you choose - cheap or high-end - it can print out CR-80 cards. As a result, you don’t need to stress about bargaining budget for quality.
Where It Is Used: For all these reasons, you will observe its application in many industries. People use it for photo identification, access control, library membership, tracking attendance and more diverse functionalities.
You can make these cards in many varieties as well, namely - PVC, magnetic stripe, smart, combo, colored and more!
For those of you who are not satisfied with the sizes we have discussed above, there is something bigger coming!
The CR-100 category represents oversized cards which allow you more space to place all of your important information. That is the main purpose of making ID cards of such proportions - making the displayed data more easily visible.
Their exact measurements are 3.88 inches in width and 2.63 inches in length. You can think of it as the second most popular id card dimensions after CR-80.
Where It Is Used: Since it helps in highlighting necessary data to spectators, these cards are mostly used in trade shows, conventions and similar events. It applies to the audience members who attend such programs in a professional capacity or the employees who are associated with the organizations involved.
Another popular use of this huge size is on key tags. You must have come across one if you own membership at a grocery store or gymnasium. These cards stay hooked to the keychain like key tags.
5. Other Sizes
There are certain card sizes that are not in high demand anymore. They were used prominently when printers were not so easily accessible and only the commercial entities could manage to produce ID cards. Some of these less popular card sizes are CR60, CR70 and CR90.
Standard Identity Card Size Chart - At A Glance
Size Dimension (inches)
3.5 x 1.75
Hotel room access
3.303 x 2.051
3.370 x 2.125
Photo identification, Access control, Library membership, Tracking attendance
3.88 x 2.63
Public gathering events
2.21 x 2.87
As you can see, no matter how trivial it seems, size actually has a big role to play in how your ID card is perceived by others. Especially for business owners and the leaders of an institution, getting the size right is crucial to your brand image.
So remember to pick the right measurements from the ID card size chart before finalizing the print order.
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