ID Card Accessories

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Employee ID cards are an important part of an organization's security plan, but they are only effective if employees display them as instructed. With so many options available to display an ID card, it's difficult to know what the best solution is for your organization. In this month's Identify, we examine the four most popular ID card accessories to help you find the best fit.

  • Badge reels
    If your employees use their ID cards to get into the building or as part of a time and attendance system, badge reels are a functional option. Most badge reels come standard with a retractable 36 inch cord that gives employees easy access to their ID cards. Badge reels are also popular for employees who need to carry keys. Because a badge reel is usually worn on a belt, keys are never left out of the employee's sight.
  • Lanyards
    If visual identification is important at your school or organization, lanyards are the best way to encourage employees and students to keep their ID cards in plain sight. Lanyards are a safe ID card display option, too, thanks to the breakaway function. If a lanyard were to be caught, the breakaway point would allow the lanyard to separate. Lanyards are completely customizable and great for organizations trying to promote identity as well as safety.
  • Strap clips
    If you're on a budget but still find ID card display important, strap clips are an economical way to keep your organization identified. An ID card with a strap clip can be attached to anything, such as shirt pockets, belts, even key rings, and various strap clip lengths are available.
  • Badge holders
    To prolong the life of your ID cards, use badge holders as protection. Badge holders protect an ID card from natural elements and wear and tear, allowing ID cards to last much longer. As a result, you won't have to make nearly as many ID card reprints and will save your organization money in the long run.


IDGuards were developed by IDville's identification experts to protect the most vulnerable part of an ID card, its edges. A simple addition to any PVC ID card, translucent IDGuards snugly fit ID cards to protect them from every day wear and tear.


When designing your ID cards, consider how they will be displayed before the batch printing begins. How a card is going to be displayed, whether on custom lanyards, using a badge reel or within a badge holder, will influence your card design. For instance, most badge reels and lanyards cause ID cards to flip, displaying the back side of the card. If visual identification is a top priority, consider printing information on both sides of the card.


Each year, Northeast Middle School (NEMS) in Clarksville, Tennessee prints around 1,600 ID cards for its students, staff and visitors. When Bruce Hester, Media Specialist and Librarian for NEMS upgraded his identification system, he experienced a significant time savings.

"The old process was multi-step using the laminating pouches and the cards," said Hester. "When we decided to upgrade we were looking to produce IDs with ease, and we wanted better looking and more durable cards for the students."

The speed of the new system has helped move registration lines along and has saved the school labor costs. "Using the barcodes on the cards speeds up library checkout and helps staff identify the students," added Hester. "We also make ID cards without a photo for substitute teachers and visitors." This badge system increases building security, leaving students, staff and parents feeling more secure.


Over the course of a year, an organization with 250 employees averages 5-10 ID card reprints a month. Each ID card costs $0.61 to print, and all those damaged and lost cards quickly add up. Save your organization the time and money that is invested in ID card reprints by supplying employees with ID card accessories. Badge holders, lanyards and badge reels can prolong the life of the card and prevent cards from getting lost.

If you have ID card or ID printer questions, email me at I'll answer your questions directly. Plus, your question may be featured in the next issue of our Identify Newsletter.

David, IDville ID Specialist