High Security ID

High-end secure ID cards integrate a wide range of overt and covert security elements that enable laymen and professionals to quickly and accurately authenticate the cards. While many of these elements, particularly those classified as level 1 and level 2, are widely known in the industry, level 3 elements are generally based on proprietary and closely guarded technologies. Level 1 security elements serve as the front line of security control. They are easily detected by the unaided human eye or hand. Absence of or damage to these elements raises the possibility of fraud, which can be verified by examining level 2 and level 3 security elements.

Level 1 Security Features

These features include:

  • High Resolution Offset Printing
    Offset printing produces even inking and precise edges. Pitkit Zetes Smartech’s high-resolution equipment prints at resolutions of 4000 dpi, yielding results that can be distinguished from lower resolution images at a glance.
  • Guilloche
    Guilloches are intricate geometric patterns formed by fine, interlaced continuous lines. Pitkit Zetes Smartech’s advanced equipment creates guilloche lines as fine as 80 microns, which severely curtails the possibility of reproduction or duplication.
  • Rainbow Printing
    By subtly merging colours to create gradual colour changes, rainbow printing protects offset print documents from colour separation and copying.
  • Embossing
    During lamination, embossing the card using special designs and precise, sophisticated lamination plates creates an impression in relief, with areas that rise above the card’s surface.
  • Micro-text
    Extremely small text, printed in a specific location on the card, which is extremely difficult for thermal printers to replicate, due to resolution limitations. Pitkit Zetes Smartech’s ability to print letters as small at 200 microns is virtually unmatched.
  • Optically Variable Ink (OVI)
    Optically variable inks display strong, hard-to-replicate variations in colour, relative to the angle and lighting in which they are observed.
  • Hologram
    These optically variable image devices (DOVIDs) contain gratings which modify light through diffraction and can create two- or three-dimensional images with colour-changing effects.
  • Digital Watermark
    Hard-to-duplicate images or textures are created by subtly changing line thickness and direction.
  • Laser Engraving
    Pictures and text are engraved on smart cards by blackening laser-sensitive foils.
  • Tactile laser engraving
    Entails ablating material to engrave the surface of the card so it can be felt with the fingertip.

Level 2 Security Features

Level 2 security features are generally verified by enforcement officers using simple equipment such as magnifying glasses or UV lamps.

These features include:

  • UV Fluorescent Printing
    Lettering or images created using ink that fluoresces, or glows, when viewed under a UV lamp.
  • UV Fluorescent Guilloche
    Patterns printed using fluorescent ink. Pitkit Zetes Smartech advanced equipment prints hard-to-replicate guilloche patterns with lines as fine as 80 microns.
  • Anti-Stokes
    Images or text may be printed using security ink that fluoresces in the visible band of the spectrum when illuminated by infrared light.
  • Defect
    Deliberate “errors” that are integrated in a specific location in the card design and which a counterfeiter may not notice or be able to distinguish.
  • Changeable Laser Image (CLI)
    Two integrated partial pictures that are engraved into a transparent overlay that serves as a live screen and can be viewed at different angles. This feature cannot be reproduced without specialized, very high quality equipment.

Level 3 Security Features

Level 3 security elements can only be detected using laboratory-grade and/or proprietary equipment. In general, cards are only tested for level 3 features when there is grave doubt regarding the card’s authenticity. We closely guard specific information about these elements, but present the following as one illustration of a level 3 feature:

  • Taggants
    Taggants are specially designed inks that are incorporated into one or more graphic design elements and can be detected only through the use of a special proprietary tool that is provided only to a small number of selected officials. They serve as a forensic feature that is unknown to counterfeiters.