Do you want to make your ID cards last longer, which helps you save time and money (printing replacements and using up cards and ribbons) and creates less hassle for your cardholders? You’ve got three options, allowing your organization to choose the one that best fits your unique card program – consider lamination, adhesive laminates, or badge holders.

Overlaminates vs. Adhesive Laminates vs. Badge Holders

A tranditional overlaminate is added during the card printing process by the card printer. An adhesive lamiante is added by hand after the card is printed. While both add a layer of protection to the card, there are many reasons you would want to pick one or the other:

  • Lamination requires a printer upgrade, adding several hundred dollars to the cost of a printer – organizations on a tight budget may choose an adhesive laminate
  • Lamination is a hand’s off process – if you have hundreds or thousands of cards, the time you save by not manually placing the adhesive laminates on each card will be significant
  • Adhesive laminate works with old cards – if you don’t want to reprint and reissue all of your cards, adhesive laminates can be applied to the cards you already have printed

Alternatively, another way to protect cards from damage and extend their lifetime is to put your card in a badge holder! Holders come in a wide range of styles and create a physical barrier between your card and dirt, dust, debris, liquid, and rigid holders even prevent them from bending.


Overlaminates are applied to your cards as part of the printing process. Lamination is a printer upgrade, and will increase the cost of your card printer. But because the printer laminates the cards, it is a faster and easier process compared to applying an adhesive laminate to the card yourself. Overlaminates also protect your cards from daily wear and tear from scanning them, along with making it harder to tamper with a card.

Shop overlaminates by brand:

Adhesive Laminates

Adhesive laminates are applied to the front (or back) of an ID card after it has been printed. This allows you to apply them to cards you’ve already issued to cardholders, instead of needing to take the time and resources to reprint all of your current cards. Adhesive laminates protect your cards from daily wear and tear from scanning them, along with making it harder to tamper with a card.

Choose from:

ID Card Badge Holders

Standard badge holders come in a wide range of styles and colors, designed to hold either a single ID card or multiple cards. Holders have a pre-punched slot for attaching to lanyards and reels.

Proximity card badge holders are designed to secure your card into the holder so it won’t fall out, keeping your access control card safe and protected from scratches and other damage. Rigid-style holders also help prevent prox cards from bending and breaking.

Clip-on badge holders have a built-in clip on the back of the holder to clip into clothing, making them extremely easy to use for temporary visitor ID cards and passes.

Rigid plastic badge holders, also called molded plastic holders, are made from thicker plastic that prevents cards from bending and snapping (which can often happen with a card stored in a wallet that is sat on every day).

Convention badge holders are designed to hold larger-format cards (compared to the standard credit card size of a CR80 card) and often have space for multiple badges or additional items.


Contact our ID experts at (877) 868-0012 for help finding the right products and supplies for your ID card system! We’ll make it easy for you!

ID Card Group offers a price match guarantee, provides free shipping on orders over $100, and accepts purchase orders.