New Government ID Card Standard Finalized

GAITHERSBURG, Md.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently issued the final specifications for standardized Personal Identity Verification cards required for all federal employees and civilian contractors by Oct. 27 of this year. The cards, which use biometric identifiers, are under development in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, an order issued by President Bush in 2004 that requires standard government IDs.

“The standards are in place. Several vendors have developed cards which are now being tested for compliance with those guidelines,” says Curt Baker, manager of the PIV program at NIST. According to Baker, the production timetable is in the hands of the General Services Administration (GSA).

David Corcoran, spokesman for the Identity Alliance, a private Indiana-based security firm, says the new smart PIV cards are a personal information vault that incorporates holograms, bar codes, microprinting and encryption. Included are the user’s signature and demographic information.

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