Polycarbonate is a type of thermoplastic with excellent thermoforming properties. Polycarbonate is employed for a variety of purposes, including the manufacture of indestructible eye glasses and protecting the surfaces of DVDs. In terms of identity documents, polycarbonate makes it possible to incorporate a significant number of additional security features, including Changeable Laser Images (CLIs); clear-windows-transparent windows inside the card body similar in effect to watermarks on banknotes; and positive and negative embossing, which are used for tactile recognition.

One property unique to polycarbonate is that it cannot be delaminated (Note: 100% polycarbonate only) It is impossible to separate layers of polycarbonate that have been fused together using temperature and pressure, rather than glue. During lamination, the constituent molecules in polycarbonate layers fuse together to form a homogeneous mass. The result is a single, solid card body. In identity documents, this solid card body serves to trap, and thus protect, all security features printed or positioned on its various constituent layers.

Polycarbonate documents contain special layers of carbon-enriched polycarbonate. When these layers are exposed to a laser beam, the carbon reacts to form a permanent black mark, trapped inside the material. Even at temperatures as low as -100°C or as high as +135°C, polycarbonate conserves its physical and optical properties, making it ideally suited to the normal conditions of use of identity documents.

Polycarbonate documents excel in extreme physical and chemical lab tests, but, more importantly, they stand up very well to normal, intensive, and even excessive use in real-life situations. Most new-generation identity documents, particularly driving licenses and electronic national identity cards, now use polycarbonate. Documents can be made of thick or thin polycarbonate structures.