What is the difference between a PIN and a password?


The one time use system password is typically sent to the applicant in an e-mail that notifies him or her that the credential has been delivered and is ready for pickup. The password is in the body of the e-mail and is used to activate the applicant¬źcredential for the first time. The Self Service Password Reset Portal is ONLY to reset the one time use system password it does not reset the credential holder PIN.

The Self Service Password Reset Portal e-mails the applicant a NEW one time use system password required for some of the Unattended Credential operations. A new password would be useful to an applicant who did not receive the Credential Delivered e-mail, lost or deleted the e-mail, or forgot to bring the e-mail or password to the activation appointment.

The password is used for the following operations for applicants/credential holders who have successfully enrolled fingerprints:

1. Unattended Activation.
2. Unattended PIN Reset (for a Credential with a previously locked PIN).

The PIV credential PIN is created by the credential holder during the activation of the USAccess PIV credential. The credential PIN is six to eight digits long, and is used to protect the private information on your USAccess credential.

The credential holder uses the PIN for the following operations:

1. Performing transactions, such as digitally signing an e-mail with the credential.
2. Completing a certificate update using an Unattended Activation Station or Light Activation Station.
3. Changing a PIN (where the current PIN is known and the credential is not locked).

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