How to fix a card jam in your ID card printer

No matter the make, model or the type of ID card printer you’re using, one thing is for sure: at some point, you’re going to have to deal with a card jam.

It’s one of the most common issues that all ID card printers suffer from and, if it keeps happening, can become extremely inconvenient. 

In most cases, it will be down to something really simple. However, unless we know the specific make and model of your card printer, telling you the best way to solve the jam isn’t really feasible. For specific guidance and troubleshooting, you should check out our technical support section.

What we can do, however, is give you an overview of how to remove the card and best practices when trying to un-jam your machine. 

1. Identify where the jam is located

Card printers are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, which means they communicate any problems to the user as errors. When a card jam occurs, you’re likely to know about it via an error light on the printer or, depending on the make and model, an error message that flashes on the printer’s LCD screen. 

2. Let the machine attempt to eject the card itself

Some printers will also attempt to solve the card jam without you even having to lift the printer’s lid. For example, on Magicard printers, you simply need to press the corresponding button as directed by the printer and the printer will attempt to eject the card. A simple fix indeed.

3. Solve the card jam manually

If your printer cannot solve the card jam on its own, the first thing you should do is consult your printer’s user manual. More sophisticated printers have error codes that let you know the exact location of the jam, and these will be listed in the manual. Some jam locations are more obvious than others. 

For example, if your printer has an input hopper, it’s common for the rollers that allow the card to move freely into the printer to block the card’s path. To solve this, simply remove the hopper and remove the jammed card. 

On the other hand, if the jam is located in a deeper module of the printer, you will need to use the manual advance wheels located in the printer to move the card along its path and eject it. 

The process for this will again vary depending on the make, model and type of your printer, and you should refer to your user manual or find more details in our technical support section for further advice on how to do this without damaging your printer. 

4. Remember to clean your printer... and your cards

Card jams are probably the most common problem ID printer users will encounter, but if it continues to happen, there are certain things you can do to try and solve the issue. 

First, clean your printer, paying particular attention to the card rollers. These are located throughout the printer, and allow it to move efficiently through the card path during printing. If one of these is contaminated, it can cause repeated jams.

Secondly, ensure your cards are clean and are not contaminated with dust. They can also pick up static electricity, causing them to stick together. This can cause multiple cards to jam as they enter the printer through the input hopper.

 

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