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Comments Sought on Revision of Federal ID Standard

The National Institute of Standards and Technology would like comments on proposed changes to a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) issued in February for a smart-card-based form of identification for all federal government departments and agencies. The proposed changes to FIPS 201, Standard for Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors, will make it consistent with guidance issued on Aug. 5, 2005, by the Office of Management and Budget (see M-05-24) concerning the identity proofing and registration process that departments and agencies should follow when issuing identification credentials.

In short, under the proposed FIPS revision, if an agency does not receive the results of a background check known as the National Agency Check (NAC) within five days, the identification credential can be issued based on the FBI National Criminal History Check. Information stored electronically on the identification credentials issued to individuals without a completed NAC or equivalent must be distinguishable from that issued to individuals who have a completed investigation.

The proposed changes to FIPS 201 are available at Comments concerning the proposed changes should be sent to fips.comments [at] (fips[dot]comments[at]nist[dot]gov) or Information Technology Laboratory, ATTN: Proposed Changes to FIPS 201, Mail Stop 8930, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Comments must be received by Oct. 11, 2005.

More information on FIPS 201 and the personal identity verification program is available at

Released September 9, 2005, Updated January 23, 2023