What Size is an ID Card: All You Need To Know

You have probably noticed that ID cards come in a variety of sizes. What are the particular dimensions, though?

If you are wondering about the size of an ID card, it probably means you have an interest in the ID card printing business.

Read on to learn all about ID card sizes and various use cases for different ID card sizes.

The CR80 Card Size is the Standard

Being three-dimensional objects, ID cards have a length, width, and thickness.

Officially, the size of an ID card was codified by ISO (International Organization for Standards) in the document ISO 7810. The document referred to the card type as ID-1 and defined its dimensions in inches as: 3.375 (length) x 2.125 (width) x 0.030 (thickness).

This ID-1 card type is more commonly referred to as the CR80 card. Practically all financial cards and most common cards fall under the CR80 size. The type is so common that most card printers and card production software packages are primarily built to handle CR80 cards.

Other Card Sizes

1. CR-50

The dimensions in inches are 3.5 x 1.75.

CR-50 cards may be used in hotels to control access to the rooms.

2. CR-79

The dimensions in inches: 3.303 x 2.051.

CR-79 cards are only slightly smaller than CR-80 cards and a common use case is as clamshell proximity cards.

3. CR-100

Dimensions in inches: 3.88 x 2.63.

These cards are larger than the CR80 cards and they come in handy in situations where visibility of card information is of utmost importance.

They are, for instance, commonly used at trade shows and conventions.

When Other Sizes are Preferable to CR80

CR80 card size is, as we have said, the standard. However, there are certain situations when other sizes may be a better option. Below are some examples of such situations:

1. Smaller-sized cards make better key cards.

2. Smaller-sized cards are great as identification tags which you can attach to a key ring. For instance, loyalty cards, grocery cards, video rental cards, and gym membership cards are usually 2 x 1 inches and smaller.

3. Larger-sized cards make better name badges – for instance, for a seminar or conference.

Card Thickness

There is a variety of card thicknesses, but the most commonly used is 0.030 inches.

0.030 inches is 30/100 of an inch, and a card of this size is often referred to as a 30-mil card.

A normal-looking card but which feels like it has more flexibility is usually a 20 to 24-mil card. On the other hand, cards that are almost paper-thin have a 10 to 15-mil thickness.

Access control environments (like door entry and parking control) typically use cards that are thicker than 30 mil. Such cards typically have a single use/function – for instance, only used for door entry and nothing else. The main reason for that is that thick cards can’t easily fit into most card-reading equipment, ATMs, or other payment terminals.

Conclusion

The CR80 card is the most common card size, and is the standard set by ISO. As you have seen, though, for a variety of reasons, other card sizes are necessary too. For instance, key cards are better if they are small, and name badges at conferences are preferable at large sizes.

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