All About Renewing Digital Certificates on Your PIV Card

​​Have you received an email from HHSIdentity regarding renewing the digital certificates on your PIV card? Each PIV Card has a chip on it that contains digital certificates that must be renewed periodically (every year for contractors, every few years for federal employees).

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. 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. 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 visit the NIH ACU Information Page . 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). AnLWS is also used to do PIN resets and to recycle ALT cards. For the full list of LWS operators, please refer to our website . Please 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 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. 

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. To see a list of NIH badging locations, please visit the “Contact" section of the ORS DPSAC website.  
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.  


On December 5, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced an extension of the REAL ID full enforcement deadline to May 7, 2025. Learn more about the REAL ID Extension.​