Secure ID Card Lamination

While modern ID cards are more secure than their cut past and laminate cousins of yesteryear, they are vulnerable to counterfeiting.

For many applications, the concern of ID card duplication is not great, and the risks of someone possessing a fraudulent card do not outweigh the additional expenses or processes required to eliminate it. However, there are applications where the security of an ID card is vital and can help prevent damage to property and people.

Benefits of Overlaminate

  • Increase Card Durability
  • Increase Card Security
  • Improve Card Appearance
  • Little Impact on Card Legibility
  • Deters Fake Copies
  • Allows Detection of Fake Cards

Secure Laminated Cards

Card Lamination can deliver many benefits and can be achieved in a few different ways.

Some card film manufacturers use the word “varnish” to refer to a top-coat that goes over the card, no matter what the material is, though traditionally a varnish layer on a product is typically applied wet, requiring drying, unlike the card lamination process. The more accurate terms to use are; Overlaminate (Overlay) which describes an “Outer Layer of Lamination”, with Lamination being the process of joining thin layers of a substance together.

Secure ID Card Overlamination

One way to combat ID card fraud is through Secure ID Card Overlamination.

ID card overlamination is a conventional technology used to secure ID cards across the world as it provides the options of high security features, like holograms, latent images and hidden text. ID card overlamination also increases the durability of the printing on a card and protects it from fraudulent modification.

Overlamination is used in many applications such as; Drivers licenses, Law enforcement, Corporate ID’s, and Secure facility access.

The Difference Between Patch and Film

There are two common type of laminates used on ID cards, they are;

  • The Overlaminate Film (Overlay Film),
  • and the Overlaminate Patch (Overlay Patch)
An Overlay Film is a thin, 2.7-micron layer similar to the clear layer that is used by most standard colour card printing processes. While less durable than the Overlay Patch, it is applied “over the edge” of the card with no visible border between it and the edge of the card.  Overlay Film is also so thin, that after lamination it is very difficult to remove the layers without destroying the film.

An Overlay Patch is a pre-cut piece of PET (i.e. patch) rolled onto a film, which is laminated via heat and pressure onto the card. The patch comes in 15, or 25 microns, 5-10 times thicker than an Overlay Film, providing significantly increased durability of 5+ years. However, as a pre-cut piece, it needs to be placed and centred on the card, and therefore is smaller than the card, creating a 1-2mm  border between the lamination and the edge of the card.