Renewing Your Smart Card Certificates

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) provides instructions on "How to Renew Your Digital Certificates" on its web page:

You will be notified by e-mail when your HHS ID Badge (a.k.a. PIV Card or smart card) certificates are coming up for renewal. Once notified, you can select from one of four options to renew your certificates.

  1. Use the Access Card Utility (ACU) software installed on your Windows computer
  2. Use a self-service ACU workstation located in your IC
  3. Make an appointment with an LWS operator in your IC
    Should none of these options be available to you:
  4. Make an appointment with a  specialist at one of DPSAC's Badge Issuance stations

After you successfully renew your certificates, there are a few steps you will need to take to update your computer to use the new certificates. Please follow the link below for instructions on what to do after you get new certificates:

  1. Use the ACU software to renew your certificates

    Many ICs have deployed the Access Card Utility (ACU) software to individual Windows computers that allows users to renew their digital certificates at their computer IF the certificates are within 42 days of expiration and not yet expired. The user does not have to be connected to the NIH net, either internally or via VPN, to use the ACU. A connection to the Internet is all that is required. 

    How to determine whether the ACU software is on your computer
    Please refer to:

    How to use your ACU software
    To learn more about the ACU software application and how to use it to renew your digital certificates, visit the NIH Knowledge Base using the link:

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  2. Use a self-service  ACU workstation located in your IC

    If the ACU tool has not been installed on your Windows computer, some ICs have installed self-service ACU workstations that you can use to renew your certificates.

    To locate an ACU workstation in your IC, or to learn how to use the ACU software, please refer to:

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  3. Make an appointment with an LWS operator in your IC

    If neither of these ACU options is available to you, most ICs have purchased one or more Lifecycle Work Stations (LWS) to enable their staff to conveniently update their digital certificates and reset smart card PINs "on site" rather than making a trip to one of DPSAC's Badge Issuance stations on the NIH Campus

    To locate an LWS near you, use this link:

  4. Make an appointment with a specialist at one of DPSAC's Badge Issuance stations.  

  5. If none of the options above are available to you, or if you encounter a problem during the certificate renewal process, you should contact a specialist at NIH Access Control for assistance: or 301-451-4766.  

Plan on 20 minutes to complete this procedure. 

Note: ORS offers LWS services on site in Building 31, Room 1B03 to assist with renewing certificates or resetting PINs for anyone needing these services. Please contact the Access Control helpdesk at 301-451-4766 or to make an appointment. No walk-ins. Special needs can be accommodated with 24 hours advance notice.

Use the online self-service system to set up an appointment.

Many individuals whose certificates will be expiring soon will want to choose this convenient way to arrange an  appointment with the DPSAC badging office.

Instructions for using the self-service system are provided in the e-mail that HHS sends to individuals whose certificates are about to expire. You will be directed to copy the provided link [ ] into your browser to schedule an appointment.

Note: you do not need to be connected to the NIH network to access the appointment scheduler; however, you  will need to appear in person for your appointment at the NIH Badge Issuance location you select. Those working at satellite locations should check with their local security offices for information on updating their badge certificates. The HHS notification does not apply to the renewal of software certificates/tokens (i.e., certificates NOT stored on the smart card). Individuals who need to update their software certificates should follow the instructions posted  at:

For additional assistance, customers should contact the NIH IT Service Desk:
301-496-HELP  or

For information on using your new certificates to log in to your computer, to read secure e-mails and to send and receive secure e-mails, visit:

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