United States Patent 3755935

An identification card is disclosed which consists of a laminated plastic structure having a double-sided photograph embedded within it. The card includes identification information as well as a pattern or design, printed on the back or inner surface of transparent overlay panels which are laminated over either side of a core panel carrying the double-sided photograph. The use of the double-sided photograph together with the printing on the inner surface of the overlay panels provides the completed card with a substantial resistance to tampering.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Maran Plastic Company (Baltimore, MD)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
283/77, 283/109, 283/112
International Classes:
B42D15/10; (IPC1-7): G09F3/02
Field of Search:
40/2.2,152,100,158,159 283
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3245697Information card1966-04-12Nugent
3048697Method of identifying a person1962-08-07Cavanaugh et al.
2984030Identification card1961-05-16Hannon
2780015Tamper revealing identification card1957-02-05Whitehead
2588067Identification card1952-03-04Whitehead
2506509Picture holder1950-05-02Kratkowski

Primary Examiner:
Michell, Robert W.
Assistant Examiner:
Contreras, Wenceslao J.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is

1. An identification card comprising:

2. An identification card as in claim 1 wherein:

3. An identification card as in claim 2, wherein: said ink is magnetic ink.

4. An identification card as in claim 2, wherein: said ink is flourescent ink.

5. An identification card as in claim 2, wherein: said ink is radioactive ink.

6. A process for producing an identification card including the steps of:


1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to identification cards, and more particularly to an identification card including a double-sided photograph.

2. Description of the Prior Art

As modern society becomes more and more complicated, the use of identification cards both for the purpose of gaining admission to various restricted areas and for use in making credit purchases has become extremely widespread. Due to the resultingly widespread reliance on identification cards as a means of identifying their users, a need has developed to construct identification cards so as to prevent dishonest individuals from altering them. This need has been felt increasingly strongly in recent years due to the large number of fraudulent purchases which have been made with altered identification or credit cards.

At present, nearly all identification cards include a photograph as the chief means of identifying the individual who is rightfully entitled to carry the identification card. Thus, the prime object of dishonest persons in altering identification cards is to remove the photographs of the legitimate holders of the credit cards and substitute photographs of themselves. Such alteration of previously available identification cards has not been a particularly complicated procedure. The dishonest person or thief ordinarily cuts through the overlay portion of the credit card around the photograph, removes the photograph, inserts a photograph of himself and replaces the overlay portion. When this procedure is completed neatly, it is very difficult for an ordinary individual to determine whether or not the card has been altered. Consequently, there is a need to provide a photograph bearing identification card structure which cannot be altered without total mutilation or destruction of the card, or at least without so severely damaging the card that observation of the fact that the card has been altered would be obvious.


Accordingly, one object of this invention is to provide a novel structure for an indentification card bearing a photographic likeness.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a novel identification card structure including a double-sided photographic likeness.

A still further object of this invention is to provide an improved identification card structure which cannot be altered without total destruction of the card.

Yet another object of the instant invention is to provide a plastic identification card which is highly resistant to tampering.

Briefly, these and other objects of the invention are achieved by mounting a double-sided photograph in a plastic core structure. Transparent overlay panels having information and a special printed pattern printed on the inner surfaces thereof are then laminated to the core structure containing the photographs such that the printed information and the printed pattern are juxtaposed to the surface of the photographs. The entire structure is then laminated together to form a higher tamper resistant identification card.


A more complete appreciation of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded side view of the identification card of the present invention; and,

FIG. 2 is a top view of the identification card of the present invention illustrating the manner in which printed information is applied to the card.


Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and more particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, the instant invention is shown as including a core panel 10 which may be made of a conventional plastic, such as polyvinylchloride. The core panel 10, which is preferably opaque includes a rectangular or similarly shaped aperture or well 12 into which the identifying photographs are to be placed.

Two small photographs 14 and 16 of the person to be identified by the card are then obtained. These photographs are preferably identical although they need not be, and are preferably in color, although they may also be black and white photographs. Photograph 14 includes a photographic image 18 on its upper or outer surface and a piece of photographic or backing paper 20 on its inner surface. Similarly, photograph 16 includes a photographic image 24 on tis outer surface and a piece of photographic or backing paper 22 on its inner surface. Once the two photographs 14 and 16 are obtained and cut to the proper size so that they can fit into aperture or well 12, they are glued together using a suitable adhesive or sufficient strength such that the two photographs cannot be separated without completely destroying both of them. The glue is applied to either photographic backing paper 20 or photographic backing paper 22, or both such that the two photographs are glued together back-to-back with the photographic image portions 18 and 24 facing outward. Once so assembled, the photographs 14 and 16 may be positioned in the aperture or well 12 of core panel 10. A pattern or design such as a signature guide line or some other suitable information may be printed on either or both surfaces of core panel 10 if so desired. An upper overlay panel 26 and a lower overlay panel 28 are provided for completing the card structure. The overlay panels 26 and 28 are preferably made of the same type of plastic as the core panel 10 although they are preferably transparent or translucent sheets which become transparent in the course of the laminating operation. The upper overlay panel includes an outer surface 30 which constitutes one outer surface of the completed card, and an inner surface 32 which abuts one surface of the core panel 10 as well as the surface of the photographic image 18. The lower overlay panel includes an outer surface 34 which constitutes the other outer surface of the finished card, and an inner surface 36 which abuts the other surface of core panel 10 as well as the photographic image 24.

A special printing technique is used to imprint additional information onto the card and to improve its resistance to tampering. This process involves printing in reverse on the inner surfaces 32 and 36 of the overlay panels 26 and 28 respectively. The printing is done in reverse so that it appears oriented in a normal, readable fashion when the card surfaces are viewed from the outside in the normal manner. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 2, information such as an individual's name and address, etc is illustrated at 38. This information may be printed on the lower surface 32 of the upper overlay panel 26, for example. Thus, when the card is viewed by an individual looking at the outer surface 30 of the upper overlay panel 26, the printing appears to be oriented properly as shown in FIG. 2. Similarly, a pattern, or a series of fine print lines may be printed over the entire lower surface 32 of overlay panel 26 and over the printing 38, or alternatively the pattern may be printed only over the area of the photographic image 18. These fine lines of printing, which may appear to have the nature of a watermark are illustrated at 40. Any type of design and/or word pattern may be used in the fine line or pattern printing illustrated at 40. The printing 40 is preferably light in color so that it does not render either the photograph unrecognizable or the other printing 38 unreadable.

The same type of printing as illustrated at 38 and 40 may be done on the inner surface 36 of the lower overlay panel 28. Thus, either a pattern or ordinary information may be printed in reverse on the inner surface 32 and 36 of both overlay panels 26 and 28 as the need arises.

The ink used in printing the fine or pattern prints 40 may be a special ink that is sensitive, for example to infrared or ultraviolet radiation, or some other suitable type of radiation. The ink may also be invisible such as magnetic ink, or it may contain small amounts of radioactive material that is detectable by suitable sensing equipment. However, the ink is preferably a type which will adhere to the surfaces of photographic images 18 and 24 after the laminating operation. Otherwise, a suitable transparent adhesive must be applied to the surfaces of the photographic images to make the ink adhere to them. Adherence of the ink to the photographic images improves the resistance of the card to tampering, since removal of the photographs then results in removal of a portion of the ink and the printed pattern. Thus, in order to effectively substitute his own photograph into the card, a tamperer would be required to duplicate the printed ink pattern, including the color, and type of ink, or both surfaces of his photographs. Naturally, this would be an extremely difficult task which would strongly tend to discourage tampering with the card of the present invention.

Once the overlay panels are printed and the photographs are properly assembled, the card is subjected to a more or less conventional laminating operation. For example, the card may be subjected to temperatures in the range of roughly 250°F to 275°F for a period of from five to seven minutes under pressures on the order of 2,000 p.s.i. In the laminating procedure the upper and lower overlays 26 and 28 are completely bonded to the core panel 10, sealing the combined photographs 14 and 16 within the completed card. Thus, to alter the completed card, both photographs must be removed, requiring a substantial amount of structural damage to be done to the card, further discouraging tampering with the card.

Obviously, numerous additional modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.