The Essential Guide to School IDs: All You Need to Know

School ID's


From the days of carrying a student hall pass to now carrying a school-issued ID card, plastic cards have become an integral part of any school system. Plastic cards have brought an immense convenience to verifications and helped streamline the process of authorization. From providing identification to allowing access to certain areas, they are now an ever-present part of our lives.

Plastic Cards

Most school systems issue plastic cards to their students. These cards provide students many benefits such as:


Designated student identification

Access to school building and resources

Student tracking in terms of attendance and grades

Electronic transactions such as school cafeteria and library payments


Faster and easier identification process for students

Quicker school building access for students

Easier tracking of student data such as grade, attendance, and other vital information

Easier payment tracking for cafeteria and library resources

Pros Cons

The advantages of implementing plastic cards for student identification and access are huge, but there are also some potential drawbacks.


Low cost long-lasting: Plastic cards are very cost-effective and resilient, making them perfect for heavy use in a school system.

Quick efficient: Along with being easy to create, their use makes the identification and authorization process very efficient.

Secure: Plastic cards are harder to counterfeit than other material cards, making your school system more secure.


Maintenance: There are certain costs associated with upkeep and maintenance of the system and machines that accompany the use of plastic cards.

Theft: Theft of the card could mean compromised access for someone else, so extra attention must be given to the security of these cards.

Age-inappropriate: While savings and convenience are the norm with plastic cards, some student's age groups are not comfortable with the use of plastic cards, and therefore this could represent a challenge in terms of implementation.

Case Studies

Cardiff University:

Cardiff University was in need of streamlining its existing authentication process for its students. They chose to implement the use of plastic cards, which required the installation of a card reader machine. With the new system, students are able to use their cards to quickly enter the building and access the facilities. The university saw a 40% reduction in operational costs after making the switch to plastic cards.

University of Toronto:

The University of Toronto opted for a more sophisticated system incorporating their plastic cards with an online payment system. Allowing students to store funds within their school issued identification cards and make payments using that. This system was also able to track student spending and library-loan history.

Victoria University:

Victoria University also integrated with various other systems to enable more practical uses for their plastic cards. The university allowed its students to not only access school buildings and facilities, but enable electronic payments and access public transport.


Q: What does having a plastic card in school do?

A: A plastic card can be used to quickly identify and authorize students in a school system. It can be used for access control and payments based on the setup chosen by the school.

Q: Are plastic cards more secure than other forms of identification?

A: Yes. Plastic cards are more difficult to replicate compared to other material cards. This makes them better suited for situations where identifying the authenticity of the card is important.

Q: Can plastic cards be used for electronic payments?

A: Yes. Many schools have integrated their plastic cards with an online payment system, making it possible to make payments using the cards.

Mistakes People Make

When handling plastic cards, there are certain mistakes which can cause greater issues.

Not double-checking the authenticity of a card: Not double-checking the card before authorizing someone can result in giving access to someone who shouldn't have it.

Not installing the right system: Installing the wrong system can result in the wrong authentication process, wasting time and money and creating unnecessary obstacles.

Not getting a system that's easy to use: If the authentication system is too complicated for the staff to understand, the process of identification and authorization will take longer.

Best Practices

It's important to consider a few factors when implementing a plastic card system for your school.

Spend time understanding the requirements: What needs to be done? What kind of authentication system is necessary? Ones with biometrics, a pin or a password?

Develop a good support system: Make sure you have a good system and a backup plan in case something breaks or malfunctions down the line.

Get a system that's user-friendly: It should be easy to use for both staff and students alike.


Overall, plastic cards seem to be an obvious choice in this day and age for streamlining and improving the authentication process for schools and universities. Although there are some maintenance costs that go along with them, the advantages and convenience they bring greatly outweigh the disadvantages. With the help of plastic cards, schools can not only make the authentication process easier and faster, but also secure and reliable.