​​​​​For Applicants & Employees - Services​

Renewing Digital Certificates and ID Badges

Why Do I Have to Renew My Digital Certificates?

All PIV card holders are required to renew digital certificates that are tied to their badge in order to continue logging in, using email encryption, and/or digitally signing documents. You may be asked to renew your digital certificates due to one of the following reasons:   

    • ​They are about to expire. 
    • They need to be replaced because HHS switched certificate vendors. 
    • The information in the certificates needs to be corrected.

Renewing digital certificates should be done before their expiration date. HHSIdentity will automatically contact any PIV card holder with an email alert requesting them to renew their digital certificates before their expiration date. 

​How Do I Renew My Digital Certificates?​

Here are three options that PIV card holders can choose from to renew their digital certificates:

    1. Access Card Utility (ACU): The ACU is a desktop application that allows PIV Card holders to renew digital certificates on their own (before they expire) without the need to visit a Lifecycle Work Station or NIH badging location. The ACU is the easiest and most recommended method to renew digital certificates. For more information on how to use the ACU, please visit the NIH IT ServiceNow website here (NIH login required). Please note: the ACU software is only available on NIH-issued Windows laptops or desktop computers.
    2. Lifecycle Work Station (LWS): If PIV card holders are unable to renew their digital certificates through the ACU, then they may use their IC’s LWS to renew their digital certificates (before they expire). LWSs are also used to do PIN resets and to recycle ALT cards. For the full list of LWS operators, please refer to our website herePlease note: Given the impact that COVID-19 is having on ​NIH operations, DPSAC has been continuously working to verify if each LWS location is still operating. The listing on our website will continually be updated as we hear back from these contacts. If the information under your IC needs to be updated, please contact DPSACnews@mail.nih.gov to provide the most updated POC(s), location, hours and/or availability.
    3. NIH Badging Locations: PIV card holders can make an appointment at an NIH Badging location to renew their PIV Card certificates. NIH has badging locations in Maryland, North Carolina and Montana. PIV card holders can visit either our NIH Bethesda Main Campus or view this list of other Badging Office locations. Appointments can be made by calling the number listed under the location you would like to visit.

If a PIV card holder chooses to renew their digital certificates after they expire, then the PIV card holder will be required to visit an NIH badging location to get them renewed. PIV card holders can visit either our NIH Bethesda Main Campus or view this list of other Badging Office locations.

Please note: These digital certificates need to be renewed even if the PIV card holder does not regularly use their card to log in, encrypt email or digitally sign documents. Digital certificates frequently have an earlier expiration date than the date printed on the PIV Card. All PIV card holders should renew their digital certificates whenever they receive the email notifying them that their certificates are about to expire.  

The digital certificates on your PIV card are only valid for a fixed period of time and have an expiration date, after which you will no longer be able to use them to access NIH information systems, digitally sign documents or receive encrypted email. Please note that the digital certificates on your PIV card may have an expiration date that is earlier than the date printed on your PIV card.

Why Do I Need to Go Through a Badge Renewal?

The HHS ID Badge renewal process begins 42 days before your existing badge expires. In special cases you will be required to renew your HHS ID Badge ahead of schedule. At that time your Administrative Officer (AO) will receive a task in NED to renew your HHS ID Badge. Individuals who are eligible for this badge include Employees, Contractors and Affiliates.

Once your AO has sponsored you for your HHS ID Badge renewal, you will be sent an e-mail from NED 'PSAScheduler@mail.nih.gov' asking you to log on to the appointment scheduling system via the provided link. Please do so as soon as possible to allow yourself time to complete all the steps in the renewal process before your HHS ID Badge expires.

​​​How Do I Renew My Badge?

A current employee/individual who is completing a badge renewal must travel to an NIH Enrollment & Issuance Facility to pick up their new badge once the badge renewal is processed and approved by DPSAC. This cannot be done at a remote Field Print location and NIH does not have remote Enrollment & Issuance centers. Individuals can find NIH Enrollment & Issuance Facility locations under our Contact page.

Unlike individuals that utilize the Field Print service to complete the fingerprinting portion of their prescreening for a new badge, individuals completing a badge renewal will not need to submit fingerprints at a Field Print location first. Instead, these individuals will need to complete either the Enrollment (if required) or Issuance for the renewal at an NIH Enrollment/Issuance facility when prompted by the system. New fingerprints are usually not required for badge renewals. 

New fingerprints are typically only required for the following situations:

    1. Prescreening/new badge requests, 
    2. Replacing lost/stolen badges,
    3. Badge Update for legal name changes, 
    4. Designation Change from non-FTE to FTE status,
    5. Position Designation change requiring a new higher level background investigation,
    6. Background Reinvestigation requirement,
    7. Security clearance requests,
    8. Position change that requires the individual to work with children

Please note if a badge renewal task expires, the servicing AO will need to resubmit a new badge request in NED, and the individual would be required to complete Enrollment at an NIH Enrollment Facility before they can pick up the new badge.​​