It's something you'll see often if you're shopping for new ID cards: the letters "CR" followed by a dash and a two- or three-digit number.
Those unfamiliar with ID cards probably see that collection of characters and assume it's some kind of branding tool or the name of a specific product.
However, the CR numbers are actually something much more basic: they denote the size of the ID credentials to which they are assigned.
Similar to how an XL men's dress shirt will always have the same sleeve length and how you know exactly how many ounces of liquid are in your "venti" coffee, "CR-" is a way to inform shoppers about the exact dimensions of an ID credential.
There are several different sizes of ID credential, but this post will focus on the two most popular sizes:
CR80 and CR100.
Learn more about CR80 and CR100 ID cards
When used in the identification industry, the CR numbers are often applied to several different kinds of credentials. While the numbers are most often applied to standard ID cards, the CR numbers are also applied to proximity cards, smart cards and more.
Because they are simply a set of characters that represent a set of dimensions, any kind of card that meets those dimensions could have a CR number attached to it.
When you see "CR-80" or "CR-100", you don't have to assume it's referring to a standard ID credential. Also, note that CR80 and CR100 refer to the ID card's width and height, not necessarily to the card's thickness.
CR80 ID cards: Credit card size brings familiarity and convenience
CR80 represents the most common ID card size. CR80 ID cards are more commonly known as credit card-sized ID cards because, as you may have guessed, they are the same size as a standard credit card.
CR80 cards are used in a variety of common applications, including drivers' licenses, student ID cards and employee badges.
These cards measure 2.13" x 3.38", or approximately 54 mm x 86 mm. CR80 cards are a popular choice for ID credentials because their size is very familiar, as most people have some kind of credit card in their wallet or purse.
CR80 cards offer enough space for the basics, including things like a small user photo, a custom logo and some lines of text.
CR100 ID cards: A larger size offers more area for customization
Think of the CR100 card as the older brother of the CR80 card: they come from the same family, but one is just a little bit bigger.
The CR100 ID card is approximately a half-inch bigger than the CR80 card (on both ends), measuring 2.63" x 3.88", or approximately 67 mm x 99 mm.
In the identification industry, CR100 cards are often called government-sized ID cards, due to their popularity as government credentials.
The main benefit of a CR100 size is more space: the cards simply offer more options when it comes to designing a custom card, with space for a large photo, a logo, a bar code, text and more.
Since most government credentials are designed to be worn and displayed, not stuck in a pocket, CR100 cards are an excellent choice, providing visibility and a professional look.
We offer a wide variety of ID credentials of all kinds, from standard CR80 PVC ID cards to CR100 cards with a magnetic stripe, and everything in between. Browse our ID card offering below and remember: all online orders over $99 ship for free!