A self-authenticating identification card includes a fingerprint sensor for authenticating the identity of a user. An ID card memory permanently stores information related to a fingerprint of the card user. An on-card authenticator compares information related to a sensed fingerprint with the stored fingerprint information and produces an authentication signal if the sensed fingerprint information matches the stored fingerprint information. An audio generator is preferably included in the card for transmitting a predetermined audio signal to a speaker if a match is sensed. A second memory, in the form of a programmable magnetic stripe, may be included on the card for storing account information related to the card user. A magnetic stripe programmer is then used for loading predetermined account information into the programmable magnetic stripe if the sensed fingerprint information matches the stored fingerprint information. Account information is automatically cleared from the programmable magnetic stripe after a predetermined elapsed time.