Proper Card Handling and Loading Recommendations

Article ID: 59233436




This article explains proper card handling and card loading into Zebra printers

Applies To

  • All card printer models
  • All Zebra and non-Zebra cards



Cards should be handled as little as possible. Touching the surface of the cards can contaminate them with oil and particles from your hands. The surface of the cards must remain clean and dust free. Always store cards in an enclosed container. Ideally, use cards as soon as possible.

Improper card handling may result in:

  • Poor print quality - See a Technical Bulletin on contamination effects Read More>>
  • Damage or accelerated wear to your printer


Cards must be handled by their edges. We recommend taking the cards directly from the manufacturer's packaging and install them directly into the printer:

  1. Remove the wrapping from the card stack.
  2. Holding the card stack by the sides, hold it vertically against a flat surface such as a desktop. If the stack is too thick for your hand to hold it comfortably, use about half a stack at a time.

User-added image

  1. Push the stack back and forth to an angle of about 45° from vertical, so as to separate all of the cards.

User-added image

Note: Static charges and edge burrs from the card die-cutting process can render individual cards stuck together with significant adhesion force. These cards must be physically separated from each other before inserting into the feeder; if not separated, feeding or printing problems may occur.

  1. Restore the card to its original squared-off condition.
  2. Place the cards into the printer's card feeder.