Understanding HID Card Formats

Understanding Card Data Formats

Wiegand™ Format

The term Wiegand is applied to several characteristics related to access control readers and cards. Unfortunately, the word
is used carelessly and can lead to unnecessary confusion. Here are the basics.
Wiegand is:
  • 1. A specifc reader-to-card interface
  • 2. A specifc binary reader-to-controller interface
  • 3. An electronic signal carrying data
  • 4. The standard 26-bit binary card data format
  • 5. An electromagnetic effect
  • 6. A card technology
For the purposes of this white paper, we will address items 2 and 4.
(NOTE: There are additional card/reader attributes that are also described by the term, Wiegand.)


When HID customers say, “Wiegand format”, they typically refer to the general concept of security card data encoding. But
be aware that the term, Wiegand format, is also often understood to mean the standard 26-bit format, which is a very specifc
arrangement of binary card data. Some basic facts:
   • A format describes what a number means, or how a number is used. The format is not the number itself,
   • The number of bits does not indicate the format except for standard 26-bit. For example, there are over 100
      different 34-bit formats alone.
   • Within a given bit length (34-bit, 37-bit, etc.), the size and location of each data element may change. For example:
      o One 34-bit format may have an 8-bit Facility Code starting with bit #2.
      o Another 34-bit Facility Code may be 12 bits starting with bit # 21.
   • The capability of the access control panel will dictate what formats will and will not work.


If I see a string of numbers, 19495981699 it may mean nothing. If you describe it as a phone number in the United States,
then it is immediately understood that 949 is the area code, etc. Knowledge of the format allows you to decode the data. It
always appears in the format, (xxx) yyy-zzzz, because telephone company switching equipment specifes it exist in this format.
The telephone company has maintained this format for many years and migrated to it slowly over the years adding numbers in
groups. Security equipment has similar format demands however the security industry does not want the format known and
they often change the formats to keep the changes confdential.


All specifc card formats are identical in both 125 kHz Prox and 13.56 MHz iCLASS
® cards. This ensures that any controller
capable of understanding data from 125 kHz cards and readers will also seamlessly work with 13.56 MHz cards and readers.

The Standard 26-Bit Format

The format in which a card is programmed is determined by the data pattern that will be compatible with the access control
panel. All HID credentials (card, fobs, tags, etc.) can be programmed with the standard 26-bit card data format.

The Standard 26-bit Format is an Open Format.


An Open Format means that anyone can buy HID cards in a specifc format and that specifc format description is publicly
available. The 26-bit format is a widely used industry standard and is available to all HID customers. Almost all access

control systems accept the standard 26-bit format. 26-bit originated with true Wiegand swipe card technology.

Wiegand 26bit HID format


Nubian-RFID had launched Proximity Credentials including 8 Formats will save your cost:


  • 26-bit H10301 comparable to HID®
  • 26-bit 40134 comparable to INDALA®
  • 26-bit Pyramind System
  • 26-bit AWID format compare to GR-AWID®
  • 34-bit Honeywell(Northern) Quadrakey®
  • 35-bit comparable to HID® Corporate 1000
  • 37-bit H10302 comparable to HID®
  • 37-bit H10304comparable to HID®
  • 40-bit C10106 comparable to GE CASI-RUSCO®
  • 50-bit RBH 50 comparable to AWID RBH-AW-PROXLINC

RFID Credentials Available:

  • Clamshell card
  • CR80 Printable PVC card & Composite PET card with or without Magnetic Stripe
  • Plastic Keyfob, Epoxy Keychain 
  • Silicone Wristband, Fabric Wristbands
Very short delivery  time.  Save up to 60% with our high quality products over other brands.With a commitment to excellent customer service, and the best prices in the industry, Nubian-RFID will help meet your Access Control and Security needs.

Contact sales@nubian-rfid.com for further inform.




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