Signs It's Time To Invest In An ID Card Printer

ID card printers play a role in many organizations. There are various uses for the printer, such as employee credentials, student IDs, and loyalty cards. So how do you know when it's time for your organization to invest in an ID card printer?  

1. You need to print professional ID cards for your organization.

This may be obvious, but for the first-time purchaser, this is a daunting task. Without knowledge of the options and technology available in the market, picking the right ID card printer can be a complicated process. Check out our helpful article Choosing the Right ID Card Printer to learn more about the options you need to consider when buying a new ID card printer. 

2. Your ID card printing needs to change.

If your badging program's needs are not satisfied by your current equipment, the money you may save in the short term by "making it work" may cost you in the long term. Reputable ID card manufacturers have done a great job producing products to fit the needs of their end users. Everyone's needs may be different, but 9.99 times out of 10 there is the right product for you. Some examples of your printing needs changing:

  • You were previously printing with single-sided capabilities, and now you need dual-sided capabilities.
  • You would like to add lamination capabilities to increase the durability of the card and extend the life of the card.
  • The design of your template changes, and now you need high-definition over-the-edge printing.
  • You need to encode un-programmed smart cards.

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Rule of Thumb: If you suspect your printing needs may change, consider a printer with upgradeable modules. These modules can add features such as lamination and dual-side printing. 

3. Your current ID card printer has a major failure and is out of its warranty period.

Card printers typically have a warranty length of 2-3 years. Unless you have a high-end printer, it may not be worth the money to pay for an out-of-warranty repair. 

Rule of Thumb: If a repair cost is more than 1/3 the value of your ID card printer, it may be better to replace rather than repair it. Some examples of critical printer failures are:

  • A blown printhead pixel/s. A white line across the card is an indicator of a blow printhead pixel.
    blown printhead pixel.png
  • A faulty motherboard 

The printhead and motherboard are typically the most expensive components of a standard ID card printer. In most cases, these critical failures outside of the warranty period will exceed the 33% threshold (not including labor costs).

Bonus Tip:

Most printer manufacturers offer trade-in rebates. Trade in your old printer, and get an instant rebate for upgrading to a new printer.


Think of your ID card printer like an automobile. With proper care, regular maintenance, and a trustworthy mechanic, your ID card printer can last above the industry average life span. When it is time for your ID printer's retirement, make sure you take advantage of the maximum trade-in rebate!

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