Personal Identity Verification (PIV) is a common credentialing and standard background investigation process required by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12). A PIV card is a United States Federal smart card that contains the necessary data for the cardholder to be granted to Federal facilities and information systems and assure appropriate levels of security for all applicable Federal applications.

The criteria for PIV cards was established by Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201, which was formally entitled Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors. FIPS 201 was developed to satisfy the requirements of HSPD 12, which requires a common identification standard for all Federal employees and contractors.

FIPS 201, which is intended to be a living document, specifies the interface and data elements of the PIV card, the technical acquisition and formatting requirements for biometric data on the smart card and acceptable cryptographic algorithms and key sizes.

 

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