Credential PIN

Credential PIN Overview

Credential holders create a Personal Identification Number (PIN) during the activation of their USAccess Credential. The PIN is six to eight digits long, and is used to protect the private information on the USAccess Credential. The PIN may be required for unlocking private information to verify the credential holder’s identity for physical and logical access, to digitally sign documents, to encrypt email, and to perform unattended credential update operations.

Do You Know Your PIN?

Do you remember that 6-8 digit PIN you created when you activated your credential? If you do not remember your PIN, now is the time to reset your PIN to something you can remember. Your PIN can be tested and changed at any one of three places:

  • USAccess Credentialing Center Activation workstation,
  • Either Light Activation Service or Light Credentialing Solution work station
  • Any computer with ActivClient software installed and enabled and a card reader

Test and Change Your PIN

Use this method to test and change your PIN:

  1. Go to any computer that has a card reader and the ActivClient v6.1 (or later) software installed (can be done on any USAccess Credentialing Center Activation workstation or Light Activation Station).
  2. Insert your PIV credential into the card reader.

    ActivClient Icon
    ActivClient Icon

  3. Locate the ActivClient icon in the computer system tray, bottom right corner of your computer screen (where the time is displayed). 
  4. Right click the icon and select the PIN Change Tool.
  5. Enter what you think your PIN is in the "Enter your PIN" field.
  6. Enter a new PIN in the "Enter New PIN" and "Confirm New PIN" fields.
  7. If the PIN you entered in the "Enter your PIN" field was correct, the change to a new PIN is successful. If you want to return to your previous PIN, you can change your PIN again now.
  8. If the PIN you entered in the "Enter Your PIN" field was incorrect, you will be prompted to enter your PIN again. If you guess too many times, your credential will become locked.

If you cannot remember the correct PIN or if your credential becomes locked, you will need to reset your PIN as soon as possible.

PIN Reset

If the PIN is not known or the credential is locked the credential holder must visit a USAccess Activation station to reset the PIN. To reset your PIN at a USAccess Credentialing Center, make an appointment using the GSA Online Scheduling System. Visit the Credential Appointments page in this section for more information.

A more convenient location may be available if your agency uses Light Activation or Light Credentialing Solution (LCS). Contact your HSPD-12 or Identity Management Office for more information.

If the fingerprints were successfully captured at enrollment, the credential holder can reset the PIN at an Unattended Activation workstation using the one-time Activation System Password and biometric authentication. Please review this Credential Holder PIN Reset Guide for complete instructions before visiting a credentialing center or Light Activation station.

If fingerprints were not successfully captured at enrollment, the credential holder must visit a USAccess credentialing center or Light Activation station where an activator is available to reset the credential holder’s PIN. Contact the nearest Center to determine whether an appointment is required for Attended PIN reset. If an appointment is required, use the GSA Online Scheduling System to schedule an appointment. Visit the Credential Appointments page in this section for more information.

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