What Are ID Cards? Types, Sizes, Materials, And Usability of ID Cards

What Are ID Cards

An ID is basically a card that bears your identification data. It can include your name, age, date of birth, location, the organization you work for, and much more. The aim is for you to have a card that clearly identifies who you are for proper verification, depending on the situation.

Different countries and organizations would have various ways of getting the IDs. It comes down to how they are used and why you need them. We give you more details on the types of IDs, their components, the use of ID cards, and much more.


Types of ID Cards

Types of ID Cards

The need for identification is likely to happen anywhere. That is why you should really understand what kind of ID cards exist and their purpose. You can expect to come across ID cards issued by the government to its citizens or even IDs from organizations to identify their employees. Let us learn more about them in detail.

1. Government-issued ID Cards

The first one under government-issued cards is the national ID card. These are what the government issues to the citizens as a form of identification within a particular country. They include information such as the full name, photograph of the wonder, a unique identifier number, and more.

Expect such cards to mostly be used for administrative purposes, even accessing government services and enforcement of various laws.

Driver’s licenses are another type of card you should know about. In this case, they are showing proof that someone is competing to operate a vehicle. Expect the driver’s license also to include the category or type of vehicles you can actually drive.

We find the driver’s license vital for road safety so that only qualified drivers are allowed on the roads.

Passports are also a form of ID. These are internationally recognized IDs, but they are still issued at the national level. The passport is the form of ID you need to travel across different countries. They will have critical information about you, including your name, nationality, photograph, and unique passport number.

2. Organization ID Cards

Various companies will have ways to identify their workers, and that is how you end up with Employee ID cards. These cards help a lot with the security team being able to verify that you actually work at a specific company. So, only authorized personnel would be allowed into the company premises.

You also get student ID cards falling in the same category. Educational institutions have to find a way to identify their students and make sure only students can access the campus facilities. This includes borrowing library materials or even getting student discounts.

The student ID will have information such as the student name, admission number, institution’s name, logo, and more.

A number of organizations, such as clubs and many others, can also issue membership cards. They are simply an ID to show your affiliation to a certain organization. Having such a card would open you to enjoying additional benefits or services associated with the organization.

3. Specialized ID Cards

One such card is the access control card. In addition to helping identify you as the rightful owner, they also help improve security and determine who has access to a certain space. You will come across options such as magnetic stripes, RFID, or smart cards as access control cards.

In the healthcare sector, you can also find health insurance cards. The insurance companies usually provide them to the policyholders. Such cards have key information, including the policy name, number, and group information. This is key in identifying the patient when the need arises.

The loyalty cards are worth checking out, too. These are IDs issued by businesses as a way of identifying and awarding their customers loyalty points. The points are then used to redeem various products depending on the exchange rate. This also provides the business with critical information about their customers’ spending.


Components of an ID Card

Components of an ID Card

Identification cards can serve many purposes, which is why they always need to have the right information. This kind of information may vary from one type of ID to another, but most of the data is consistent. Below is what you can expect to see on an ID card.

Personal Information

Personal information includes details such as the name, date of birth, address, photograph, and more.

The name is quite important so that someone can easily recognize who you are. It also serves as the link between you and the ID being presented for verification.

Of course, the date of birth is important. It helps verify the age of the cardholder and makes sure that you can access some services with age restrictions.

The address is another key information that is included on the ID. It can be good for official communication and any additional verification that might be required. Not all IDs will have a person’s address, but expect it for the national IDs.

The photograph cannot miss. Once someone has your ID card for verification, they can always check it against you physically after looking at the ID photograph. IDs would mostly have a high-quality and recent photograph for better identification.

Unique Identifiers

These are the unique features of the ID holder. In that case, options such as social security numbers come into place. This is a unique and irreplaceable identifier for a person. The SSN for a country like the US is very important for identification, tax filing, employee verification, and more.

In other countries, you will have the ID number rather than the SSN. It is the same thing, only the format is different. Depending on the country, expect a certain format to be followed. The ID number in hand can help with the precise identification of a person, especially when the names are the same.

We expect there to be more features depending on the card issuer. Ensure you always have your ID whenever necessary to avoid inconveniences in case you cannot be verified.


What Are ID Cards Used For

What Are ID Cards Used For

The biggest reason someone would need an ID is for identity verification. It is a tangible proof that what you are claiming is true. So, expect such cards to be used for legal requirements, security, access control, and a lot more.

Legal and regulatory requirements

The reason you have to get a national ID when you are an adult is to comply with government regulations. There will be guidelines on what type of information to provide to get the national ID. This includes details such as your name, SSN, and more.

If you comply with all the requirements, then you will be issued a national ID with all the important information about you.

Security against fraud

The ID cards can also contain additional features that help improve security to prevent unauthorized use and fraud. Examples of such features include watermarks, microprinting, and holographic overlays. There can be more features if you check out the modern ID cards.

Complements other technologies

In addition to having an ID, you can find that the cards can complement other existing security features. A good example is using ID cards in addition to facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.

So, before you are allowed to access a building, you need to pass ID verification and biometric scanning. This generally makes the access better utilized, and only those authorized will have access.

Access control

Different businesses have different authentication needs. One way of working with ID cards is to ensure that they help with access control. Only those with the right ID cards are allowed to go past the security checkpoint.

This is why more companies are always investing in tools to help with access control, including ID cards.

Streamlining processes

ID cards can also streamline the identification process. One glance at the ID card can easily help know if the person has access or not. Also, you can get access to different services simply because you have the right ID.

Let us say it is in schools; the ID cards will be key in improving how students access and use the facilities in the institution. So, there is improvement in every way you can imagine.


What Size Are ID Cards

What Size Are ID Cards

ID cards can come in many sizes. We have the standard sizes, and there can be custom sizes depending on the needs of the organization.


This is the standard size for an ID card. Its dimensions are 3.374 inches by 2.125 inches. For context, this is what you get as the size of a regular credit card. This type of size is the standard and widely accepted. Because of this, you get a convenient and easy-to-use ID card.

As for the thickness, it will be around 0.030 inches, which is still good in terms of portability, durability, and flexibility. As such, you end up with a robust card that can handle regular use without getting damaged easily.

Since the size is the standard, you can find it easy to integrate with card printing equipment. As such, the production process is generally cost-effective and efficient. There are printers and laminators in the market already. As such, you can always find the right equipment to process IDs for your company.


What Are ID Cards Made Of

What Are ID Cards Made Of

ID cards can be made of many different materials depending on the application. Below are the most common materials you can expect the ID cards to be made of.

  • PVC or polyvinyl chloride:This is definitely the most common material for ID cards. It is good in terms of being sturdy and durable. Even with daily use, the material can still be good. The surface is also smooth for high-quality printing of images, text, and security features.
  • Teslin: This is a synthetic material that is good in terms of water-resistant features and flexibility. It can be used as an alternative to PVC, especially where the ID cards may be exposed to water or need more robust ID cards.
  • Polycarbonate:It is a common material for government-issued ID cards and passports. This is because they can allow for the incorporation of high-security features such as laser engraving and holographic overlays that prevent counterfeiting.
  • Composite materials: You may get some IDs having such materials too. An example is having a PVC core for durability and rigidity and then Teslin on top for additional protection against wear and tear.


ID cards remain an essential part of how we access different services, spaces, events, and many applications in our lives. This is more reason to consider getting the right ID if you do not have one. Make sure the ID card is well stored and only used when necessary, as sometimes the process of getting a new one is hard, and this also enhances the overall security.

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