Getting A Badge

The HHS ID Badge (PIV Card)

In August 2004, the President issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) mandating a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors. This directive requires all Federal agencies to use a reliable, commonly accepted form of government identification that will enhance security, increase government efficiency, reduce identity fraud and protect personal privacy.

The new HHS ID Badge, or Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card, will serve as the common government identification for all HHS agencies.*  

The information on your HHS ID badge will include:

  • Your photograph
  • Your full name
  • Your Operating Division (NIH)
  • Badge expiration date
  • Badge serial number
  • Federal agency smart credential number (which uniquely identifies your OPDIV and you)
  • An authentication key
  • Two electronic fingerprints
This information will NOT be on your ID badge:
  • Social Security Number
  • Address
  • Phone number 

The NIH Badge (NIH Legacy Badge)

The NIH Badge (a.k.a. NIH Legacy Badge), not to be confused with the HHS ID Badge, is an identification credential issued to individuals who require physical access only to the NIH campus and/or facilities. 

Whereas employees, contractors and affiliates in a position lasting more than six months must submit to the personal identity verification process administered by the Division of Personal Security and Access Control (DPSAC) prior to being issued an HHS ID Badge/PIV Card, individuals issued the NIH badge are only required to undergo a specific name check administered through the NIH Division of Police.

NIH badges are issued to: Extended Visitors, NIH Residents, Special Government Employees, Service Providers and Construction Workers. Ground maintenance workers are issued a ‘Flash Pass’ which looks like a Legacy badge but does not contain the technology to open entry gates. An NIH guard will inspect the Flash Pass before allowing the holder to enter the NIH campus.   

[see also Getting a Restricted Local Access (RLA) Badge]


                                                              This page was last reviewed August 12, 2013