The PIV-I Advantage

Federated Trust


It is widely known that hardware-based digital credentials provide a higher level of assurance than software-based digital credentials do. PIV and PIV-I credentials are hardware-based digital credentials that raise the high-assurance credential bar. Because they are hardware based, these credentials include a mechanism to ensure that the individual holding the hardware credential and claiming to be the subject of the credential is the individual to whom the credential was originally intended and issued. Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 201 dictates standards for the PIV hardware token and a set of requirements for how it is populated. For the first time, the emphasis is on interoperability. Personal Identity Verification Interoperability (PIV-I) for Non-Federal Issuers guidance was developed in order to extend the FIPS 201 standard to non-federal organizations and individuals.

PIV-I: One Credential, Any Application

Due to its trustworthiness and interoperability with the federal PIV infrastructure, PIV-I represents a major breakthrough in accelerating cybersecurity improvement and reducing security program costs in public-private partnerships and interagency efforts. These credentials support public key enabled applications, such as secure email, desktop login, website authentication, VPN access, and Physical Access Control Systems.

The success of the PIV and PIV-I programs is driven by a common infrastructure and sharing of the same technical standards:

  • Standardized card and interfaces
  • Standardized card application
  • Standardized data model
  • Standardized PKI credentials
  • Standardized issuance processes
  • Standardized interoperability and testing programs

…for every card issued.

This broad standardization of high-assurance identity credentials using PIV technology enables any public key enabled application to participate. CertiPath is the only commercial bridge approved to certify PIV-I credential providers. View the CertiPath Certified PIV-I Provider page for more information.