United States Department of Veterans Affairs

How to Get a VA ID Badge

A resource for Applicants


Regardless of affiliation, everyone working within VA facilities or requiring access to VA information systems requires a credential. This page provides the necessary information Applicants need to successfully be issued a VA PIV Credential.



Has your PIV Sponsor initiated your PIV card request in the PIV Enrollment Portal?

  You must be Sponsored by an official PIV Sponsor in the PIV Enrollment Portal in order to be issued a VA PIV credential. PIV Sponsors are usually, but not always, an HR Representative, Contracting Officer Representative (COR), or Program Director. Speak to these individuals to confirm your enrollment in the system PRIOR to visiting a PCI Facility. You will not be issued a VA PIV credential if you have not been Sponsored.

Have you submitted fingerprints for a Special Agreement Check (SAC) within the last 120 days?

  If your receiving a PIV or Non-PIV card then you submit fingerprints to OPM for a SAC PRIOR to visiting a PCI Facility. If you are unsure where to do this, contact your local HR department. If you are unsure which type of VA PIV credential you'll be issued, contact your PIV Sponsor.

Do you have two forms of ID? (acceptable forms of ID listed on FIPS 201-2 and Identity Documentation Matrix)

  • Names must match on both identity documents
  • Name must be identical to what the PIV Sponsor has entered in the PIV Enrollment Portal.
  • All documents must be unexpired

Have you scheduled an appointment with a badge office?

  • See the list of PCI Facilities to find the closest one
  • You must bring two forms of ID with you to your appointment
  • Use the new VA PIV Scheduling tool. Click here to determine if your local PCI Facility is utilizing the tool.

Do you know your responsibilities as a VA PIV Card Holder?

  • Read through the PIV Card Do's and Dont's flyer to better understand your role and responsibility as a VA ID Badge holder.

Three Steps to Obtain Your VA PIV Card

Follow the three main steps below to ensure a smooth PIV card issuance experience.




The VA Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card is vital to protecting the security, identity and privacy of not only you as an individual, but of every single person at VA, VA as an organization, and most importantly the Veterans we serve.




A PIV Card Applicant is anyone who is eligible to apply for a VA PIV Card. To be eligible, you must:
  • Be an employee, contractor, affiliate or volunteer who will work with VA for more than six months continuously or more than 180 aggregate days in a given year.


  • Require unsupervised access to VA facilities or information systems.
Your PIV Sponsor- This is usually your supervisor, manager, program coordinator, HR representative or contracting officer representative (COR). Your PIV Sponsor determines which type of credential you need based on your job duties and duration of required access. If you are not eligible for a PIV Card, you must obtain either a non-PIV Card or Flash Badge. To determine what card you require, refer to the VA Card Types and Requirements matrix.





u  Coordinate with your PIV Sponsor to initiate or verify the status of your background investigation.

  • PIV Card – You Must:
  • Have, at minimum, a completed and successful recording of adjudicated Special Agreement Check (SAC) with no issues within 120 days of issuance – which includes a name and 10 fingerprint check – and an initiated National Agency Check with Written Inquiries (NACI) or higher background investigation. In addition, your VA email account must be established or in the process of being established.
  • Be employed with VA more than 6 months or more than 180 aggregate days in a one year period.
  • Require access to VA facilities AND/OR information systems.
  • Non-PIV Card – You Must:
  • Have at minimum a completed and successfully adjudicated Special Agreement Check (SAC)- which includes a name and 10 fingerprint check.
  • Be employed with VA less than 6 months or less than 180 aggregate days in a one year period.
  • Require access to VA facilities AND/OR information systems.
  • Have fingerprints taken.
  • Flash Badge– You Must:
  • Have at minimum a completed identity verification using one form of government-issued photo ID.
  • Be employed with VA less than 6 months or less tahn 180 aggregate days in a one year period. .
  • Only require common physical access.

u  Contact your PIV Sponsor to initiate your PIV card request.

Your PIV Sponsor determines the type of credential you need, approves your PIV card request, validates your identity and initiates your request in the PIV system. The PIV Sponsor is usually your supervisor, manager, program coordinator, HR representative,contractive officer or COTR.

u  Work with your Sponsor to complete the online application form.

The Registrar verifies your identity and verifies your background investigation status in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) database. To proceed with issuing a PIV Card, your Special Agreement Check (SAC) needs to be favorably adjudicated and your National Agency Check with Written Inquiries (NACI) or higher background investigation must be, at minimum, “initiated” in the OPM system.


u  Schedule an enrollment appointment at your local badging office once your background investigation status has been verified and you've been enrolled in the PIV .

  • Important note: Bring two acceptable forms of ID to your appointment to prove your identity. See FIPS 201-2 for a list of acceptable forms of ID. Both documents must be original (not copies) and current (not expired). You WILL NOT be issued a badge with out meeting this requirement.
  • Important note: Make sure your name on at least one of these documents is your current legal name and matches exactly the name entered into the PIV system.
  • The Registrar authenticates your identity, scans your ID documents, and captures your biometrics (photograph and fingerprints).

The Issuer approves the card request, prints and encodes the PIV Card, and informs you when it’s ready for pick-up.


u  Make an appointment at your local badging office to pick up and activate your PIV Card. Bring two acceptable forms of ID to your appointment.

During activation, the Issuer scans your fingerprint and makes sure it matches the information on the card, validates your identity, and loads the electronic credentials (certificates) onto the card’s chip. The Issuer then officially releases the card to you.

u  Set a personal identification number (PIN) that is 6 digits and meets complexity requirements. Then accept responsibility for the card.




What are the Benefits of Personal Identity Verification Cards?