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Personal Identity Verification (PIV)

Close to five million PIV Cards today provide multifactor authentication to federal IT resources and facilities. The Standard behind these PIV Cards is Federal Information Processing Standard 201 (FIPS 201) titled Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors, which covers identity proofing and enrollment activities to issue a PIV Card as well as lifecycle activities to update, use and maintain the PIV Card.

Since initial publication in 2005, the Standard has gone through three revisions – each addressing:

  1. lessons-learned from federal stakeholders and industry,
  2. adaptations to changes in the environment/technology, and
  3. alignment to federal policy.


Today, the Standard is complemented by additional authenticators (i.e., Derived PIV Credentials) that are targeted for platforms/environments that lack smart card support. The expansion of Derived PIV Credentials is further details in PIV-associated Special Publications (SPs), namely, SP 800-157 R1, Guidelines for Derived PIV Credentials, while their interagency use is guided by SP 800-217 – Guidelines for PIV Federation. See PIV Project for further information about FIPS 201 and its associated Special Publication.

Roadmap: FIPS 201 Personal Identity Verification (PIV)

Created January 27, 2020, Updated March 20, 2023