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The Most Common ID Card Printer Faults and How to Fix Them

Common ID card printer issues and how to fix them

ID card printers can be complicated pieces of equipment and from time to time, you might run into some issues. Understandably, this can become pretty frustrating.

As the ID experts, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’re looking at the most common ID card printer faults and how to fix them. Let’s begin.

The most common ID card printer problems and how to fix them

how to fix white lines down cards id card printer

Poor print quality

Whether it’s white lines or bumps or spots appearing on your ID cards, seeing any defects can be extremely frustrating, not to mention expensive if you have to reprint cards. It’s important to note that streaky cards occur when the machine hasn’t been able to reach these areas and not because the printer is printing white ink down cards. There are various potential causes of poor print quality, including dust or debris getting stuck in your printer or using bad quality cards or consumables.

How to fix poor print quality:

  • Clean the ID card printer and printhead with a compatible cleaning kit
  • Check the printer power supply to make sure the machine is getting enough power
  • Only use high quality, compatible plastic cards and consumables with your printer

ID card jams

Just like regular printers can be prone to paper jams, ID card printers can be prone to card jams. A card jam can occur if dirt gets stuck in your machine, or if the cards you’re printing on are too big or too small for the printer.

How to fix an ID card jam:

  • Open the printer cover and locate the jam. Try turning the machine’s rollers to release the card
  • Clean your ID card printer to ensure there is no excessive build-up of dust or debris
  • Check which size cards are compatible with your printer. Most printers accept CR80 credit card sized cards, so if you’re using CR79 cards, your printer may not be compatible. You can check the printer’s specification sheet to see what size cards the machine accepts. Additionally, you can find out more about the size of ID cards here.

ID card printer not connecting

It can be pretty annoying when your printer doesn’t connect. Printer connection issues can be caused by a few things, including the wrong power supply being used or improper driver installation.

How to fix ID card printer connection issues:

  • Make sure you are using the correct power supply
  • Check that the ID card printer driver has been downloaded correctly

how to prevent ID card printer ribbon from breaking

Broken printer ribbon

If your printer ribbon breaks prematurely, this might be a symptom of another underlying issue. Before replacing the ribbon, you might want to consider doing the following to prevent any future ribbons from breaking.

How to prevent a broken printer ribbon:

  • Make sure the ribbon is inserted properly into the machine
  • Check that the ribbon you are using is compatible with your printer model
  • Only use genuine card printer ribbons
  • Regularly clean your ID card printer to stop dust or debris from building up in the machine

Faulty printhead

A faulty printhead can cause further print quality issues and can even lead to expensive repair costs. Follow the below tips to prevent a faulty printhead from occurring in the future.

How to prevent a faulty printhead:

  • Regularly clean the machine and printhead to prevent the build-up of any dirt
  • Only use a retransfer printer to print onto access control cards. The raised chip of these cards can damage the printhead of a direct to card printer if direct contact is made. You can find a more detailed insight into printhead issues and how to fix them here

Now that we’ve discussed the most common ID card printer issues and how to fix them, you should have an understanding of what to do if any of the above issues occur. You’ll also have an insight into how to prevent the above issues from happening.

Let’s have a quick recap.

In a nutshell, here’s how you can prevent most ID card printer issues:

  • Regularly clean your ID printer and printhead
  • Make sure you are using the correct power supply
  • Only use genuine, high quality cards, ribbons and consumables
  • Only use products that are compatible with your printer
  • Check that your printer driver and firmware have been downloaded correctly

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The Experts in Photo ID Card Printing Solutions

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Give us a call on 0800 988 2095 or email us at to speak to a member of our expert team today. Our experts have all the knowledge and know-how of our printing solutions and are always happy to help. We’ll speak to you soon.

Related: What is the Life Expectancy of an ID Card Printer?