How to Laminate ID Cards

Written by amie taylor Google
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How to Laminate ID Cards
Laminated ID cards last much longer and avoid wear and tear. (Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Since identification or ID cards are often used to gain admission or obtain membership perks, you want your card in the best possible shape. Unfortunately, regular use of nonlaminated ID cards can quickly result in wear and tear of the card. Cards not enclosed in plastic quickly fade, warp, become dog-eared and are subject to water damage. When you have a paper or cardboard ID that you'd like to laminate, it only takes a few simple steps to protect your card and increase its longevity.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Laminating machine
  • Plastic laminating sleeve
  • Small item carrier sheet (optional)
  • Roll of clear contact paper
  • Scissors

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    Laminating Machine Method

  1. 1

    Turn on your laminating machine and allow it to warm up. Watch for the indicator light to come on to indicate that the machine is hot enough for proper use.

  2. 2

    Insert your ID card into a plastic sleeve of the appropriate size. Push the card as far as possible toward the already-sealed edge to ensure a secure fit.

  3. 3

    Position the guide on the laminating machine correctly to fit the size of your card. Feed your card into the machine, sealed side first, to prevent bubbling. Always feed items in a straight manner. Use a carrier sheet for small items, such as ID cards, if your machine is not equipped to handle smaller pieces.

  4. 4

    Remove your ID card as soon as it emerges from the laminating machine. Lay it on a flat surface to cool.

    DIY Contact Paper Method

  1. 1

    Cut two pieces of clear contact paper about 1 inch larger than your ID card.

  2. 2

    Peel the backing from one piece of contact paper and lay the contact paper, adhesive side up, on a flat surface.

  3. 3

    Place your ID on the contact paper and press it firmly into place.

  4. 4

    Remove the backing from the other piece of contact paper. Place it on top of the ID card. Starting in a corner, slowly press the second piece of contact paper into place to avoid air bubbles and creases.

  5. 5

    Trim the edges down to size with scissors so that the contact paper extends slightly beyond the edge of your ID card.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a larger plastic sleeve when you don't have the appropriate size. Cut the extra lamination down to size after it cools.
  • Use a ruler or other flat edge to press out any bubbles when you laminate with contact paper.

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