Retransfer card printers use a reverse transfer film to print designs onto cards, resulting in a better finish than direct-to-card printers.

Businesses that require an exquisite finish and want to display clear images on their cards should seriously consider using these printers when creating their ID cards.

This article will explain retransfer card printers, how they work, and some benefits a business will get from using them. By the end, companies will be able to make an informed decision about whether this type of printing is for them or not.

What is a Retransfer Printer?

A retransfer printer is a particular ID card printer that uses a two-step method to transfer the design onto the card. It’s much more sophisticated than a typical direct-to-card printer.

A regular ID card printer transfers the design directly onto the plastic card with a printhead and color ribbon. However, this process is different for retransfer printers:

●         Firstly, the retransfer printer places the design on a clear film with the help of a printhead and resin ribbon. This film works as an intermediate transfer layer.

●         The film is then passed on to the card through the printer in the second step. The printer uses heat and pressure to move the design from the film onto the surface of the identification card, a process called thermal retransfer.

Benefits: Why Use Retransfer Card Printer

To get the best results, businesses should ensure they buy their retransfer card printer from a reliable printer provider or work only with trusted printing services.

Here are two BIG benefits of these printers:

  1. Ultra-Crisp Designs and Security

The thermal retransfer process gives card designs minute detail and color. The result? Designs appear much sharper and more vibrant than if done through direct-to-card printing.

Additionally, retransfer printers can incorporate high-level security features and tamper-proofing into the cards during the second step of the printing process (explained above).


These security features can be:

●         Micro-text: Ultra-tiny text only visible under a microscope

●         Guilloche patterns: Complex, swirling designs extremely difficult to reproduce

●         UV printing: Hidden images/text that only show up under UV light

●         Tactile impressions: Raised text/logos that you can feel on the card surface

  1. Increased Durability

The thermal retransfer process makes cards printed with retransfer card printers almost indestructible. Why? The design is under a real layer of thermal resin. It doesn’t peel off, get scratched, or fade away as fast as usually printed cards do.

Retransfer cards can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Their resin covering also makes them resistant to heat, dampness, substances, UV light, and other types of harm from the surroundings.

Who Needs Retransfer Printers?

Retransfer printers are helpful for organizations that need high-security printing on their cards. It can include government sector organizations, the defense industry, financial institutions, or large enterprises.


Retransfer card printers are also helpful in universities, healthcare establishments, and manufacturing industries. Businesses often require sturdy employee/student cards and IDs that can tolerate their harsh surroundings and regular wear and tear with everyday usage.


No matter which vertical a business operates in, a retransfer card printer will enhance the security of their cards more than regular ID cards printed via standard printing.

Obtaining a retransfer printer can be an essential investment for organizations that highly value data protection and controlling access to facilities. But remember to always go with a reliable ID printer provider so you know that you’re getting the best results.