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Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12)

On August 27, 2004, President Bush signed Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors.  Based upon this directive, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) developed Federal Information Processing Standards Publication (FIPS Pub) 201 including a description of the minimum requirements for a Federal personal identification verification (PIV) system. HSPD-12 directs the implementation of a new standardized badging process, which is designed to enhance security, reduce identity fraud, and protect the personal privacy of those issued government identification. 

Only those who have been officially appointed as Sponsors—and have completed the required training—can initiate this process.  Within the Department of Commerce, Sponsors will be comprised of HR personnel and Contracting Officers/Contracting Officer Representatives.

  • Everyone issued a PIV Card must have a favorable background investigation, including a FBI fingerprint check; for most people, this will mean a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI).
  • All personnel must be “identity-proofed,” that is, they must present two forms of identification.
  • No one person can be the sole official that requests, authorizes, and issues a badge.

Those facilities that create the new PIV Cards will be called PIV Card Issuing Facilities (PCIFs).

Major Roles

The individual to whom a PIV Card will be issued.

Validates an Applicant’s requirement for a PIV Card.

Ensures background checks have taken place and has final approval authority for issuance of a PIV Card.

Remote Issuer
Serves as a Sponsor proxy by performing identify-proofing for Applicants located remotely from the Sponsor or Registrar.

HSPD-12 PIV-1 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is HSPD-12?
    • Presidential requirement to have a Government-wide standard for secure and reliable identification for Federal employees and contractors.

  • What will be the difference between the current and new procedures?
    • Standardized identity proofing and registration procedures will be required throughout DOC.  (HSPD-12 mandates a Government-wide standard.)
    • All procedures will be certified and accredited and subject to audit.
    • Only trained Federal employees (HR specialists and CORs) designated as Sponsors may perform identity proofing and submit to the Registrar completed background check forms and applications for the credential. 
    • Only trained Federal employees (Office of Security or appointed administrators) designated as Registrars may authorize the issuance of the credential.  The Registrar must verify identify proofing, ensure initial background check is favorable, and direct the issuance of the credential.
    • Only trained personnel (not the Registrar) designated as Issuers may issue the credential. 
    • For areas without a nearby card issuing facility, only trained Federal employees designated as Enrollment Officials may verify the identification of the applicant and forward by registered mail, this documentation and the photo and fingerprint card of an Applicant to the Registrar.
    • A Privacy Act certification must be completed for the storage of personal information.

  • What will be the difference between the current badge and new card?
    • The card will be standardized and represent a minimum background check has been completed to permit use in other agencies.

  • Who is responsible for implementation of HSPD-12?
    • The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), leads the effort through the HSPD-12 Task Force that includes Bureau representatives.

  • How will all these HSPD-12 officials be trained?
    • Web-based training is available on the OSY web page for all personnel in the process (Applicant, Sponsor, Registrar, Remote Issuer).
    • Training will take less than 10 minutes.

  • How will I be notified when it is time to enroll for PIV-II?
    • Once you have been sponsored and your information has been entered into the GSA system, you will receive notification from the Security Service Center Division (SSCD) at HCHB or for field employees, your Servicing Security Officer.

  • What do I need to bring to enrollment?
    When you arrive for your appointment, there are three actions you should take before you arrive..
    • Bring proper identification to your appointment
    • Verify your information was entered correctly
    • Verify your ID documents have been properly captured and entered

  • What documents do I need to bring to my appointment?
    There are two forms of ID you must bring.

Primary ID

Secondary ID

U.S. Passport

U.S Social Security Card

Driver’s license or state issued ID with photo

Birth Certificate (original or certified copy)

Military ID

ID card issued by federal, state, or local government agency

Military Dependent ID

Voter’s registration card

    • If you do not have at least one form of Primary ID and another Secondary form of ID, you will not be able to enroll/register for your card.
    • Your ID documents must match the name entered in the USAccess database. If it does not match when you arrive to your appointment, you will not be able to enroll and will need to reschedule your appointment for a later date.

  • How do I verify my information was entered in the USAccess system correctly?
    During enrollment, you must verify that your information has been entered correctly. If your information does not match what is in the system when you arrive for enrollment, you will not be able to enroll until your sponsor corrects the information in the USAccess database correctly.

    Some examples of mismatched information that will require correction are:
    • Typo or transposition of letters in the name (ex. James vs. Jmaes)
    • Mismatch between a given name and an alias, nickname or derivative name (ex. Jim vs. James)
    • Mismatch between maiden name in one record and married name in the other
    • Mismatch of the suffix
  • How do I find a center and check the availability of scheduling dates?
    To find the closest Center to an employee’s duty station that is outside of the agency headquarters steps below log onto:  If a Center is marked “For use by Agency personnel only” and is open to employees and contractors of that agency, and you are not affiliated with that Agency, you will need to select another Center located near you or you will need to expand your range.
  • How can I find out the status of my card?
    If you have questions as to the status of your card, please contact the Service Center where you enrolled.

  • How long will it be before I receive my card?
    The PIV-II credentialing process can take between 2 to 6 weeks. This includes the time that you were sponsored, enrolled, the card being printed, delivery and when you pick up the card.

  • How will I know when my card has been delivered?
    Once your card has been delivered to your enrollment Center, you will be contacted by the Enrollment Official to schedule an appointment to activate and pick up your card.

References and Additional Resources

PIV Privacy Impact Assessment
Rights and Responsibilities
GSA Federal Identity Management Implementation Handbook
NIST SP 800-76 -1
NIST SP 800-79-1
Appeals Process
Department of Commerce Personal Identity Verification Request CD-591
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification


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