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A Guide to Standard ID Card Sizes

ID card size might not be something you’ve considered before. But the length, width and thickness of ID cards are more important than you may have first thought.

If designing and printing the perfect ID card for your business is what you’re looking for, then you should make sure to keep the proper dimensions in mind.

In this guide, we’ll look at the various sizes of ID cards, what they can be used for and why size does matter when it comes to your cards. We’ll also see how Swype can take care of any custom-shaped ID cards you might want as an alternative to more standard shapes and sizes.

What size is a standard ID card?

The three ID cards which are considered the most common, and their respective dimensions, can be broken down as follows:

  • CR80 (86mm x 54mm) – The standard ID card size, and the most popular
  • CR79 (84mm x 52mm) – A slightly smaller ID card size, generally used for access control
  • CR100 (100mm x 70mm) – The largest ID card dimension, with plenty of room for extra information


The most popular size of ID card, you’re probably familiar with the CR80’s shape and size without realising it. At 86mm x 54mm, they’re the exact dimensions of a standard credit card, but the CR80 is used in a slew of different industries, including library cards, hotel key cards, student ID cards and more. They’re also very similar to the size of standard business cards.

In terms of the materials that they can be printed on, CR80 cards aren’t solely limited to plastic cards. It’s common to get CR80 cards in PVC, recycled plastic, biodegradable composite, paper, and even entirely natural and eco-friendly materials such as agave and eucalyptus.


Smaller than CR80 cards, CR79 cards measure 84mm x 52mm. As such they’re well housed in protective clamshells. In fact, many CR79 cards come with an adhesive back to help them nestle neatly inside.

CR79-sized cards are often used in access control cards equipped with RFID technology, although this is largely dependent on the manufacturer. More durable than their larger counterparts, such cards are often favoured for key cards that are frequently used throughout the day.


Measuring 100mm x 70mm, CR100s are the largest of the three main ID card sizes. Due to their large size, they’re well suited to conventions, trade shows, outdoor events, and concerts – essentially, anywhere that individuals need to be identified as quickly as possible.

And similarly, their bigger size often requires a lanyard so they can be properly displayed. The larger dimensions of CR100s also mean that more information can be displayed on them.

What about the thickness of ID cards?

Along with their size, ID card thickness should also be considered. Thickness is measured in mils (which is equal to a thousandth of an inch, or 0.001 inches).

The standard size, 30 mils, is used for pretty much all ID cards or credit cards, although 10 mil cards which tend to be more flexible and less expensive are available too. Where temporary badges and business cards need to be printed, 10mil cards are generally used.

However, you’ll often find that many ID card producers have adjusters that can alter the card by a few mils if you require a thicker ID card.

Why is ID card size important?

With each size of ID card suited to different purposes, their size is an important consideration.

Let’s say your business uses ID card holders. It’s vital that the size of your ID cards is compatible with ID card holders, whether you already have card holders or you’re looking to purchase a fresh set for your new cards.

Not only does the right size of card holder keep your cards safe and secure, it can stop ID cards from fading over time and protect them from wear and tear – a huge advantage if staff at your business frequently use their cards throughout the day.

Whether you choose to get your cards printed completely by an external specialist or finish them off in-house through your own printer, size is important.

The size of your ID cards is also important when it comes to printing purposes too. Your ID cards have to be able to fit into your card printer; checking if your photo ID card dimensions are compatible with your ID card printer is therefore crucial, especially if you’re printing on custom-sized cards.

Can my business get custom-shaped ID cards?

Speaking of custom-sized cards, Swype can help your brand stand out from the competition with a range of custom-shaped card options. With a range of 250 custom shapes and sizes available, from traditional business cards to large festival and VIP passes, we can produce hundreds of custom options from our bespoke UK-based production site.

Looking for a quote on our custom-shaped cards? Get in touch with us here.

Swype is one of the UK’s leading plastic card and print specialists, delivering first-class service and innovative solutions. For more information about our products and services, visit the homepage or call 01744 815475.

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