Follow this link to go to the text only version of
HQ Information Technology and Communications Division

 + Notices

 + FAQs


* Accessible to NASA only
 + Agency Smartcard-Only

 + Agency A&A Initiatives *

+ ITCD Home > Projects & Initiatives >Smartcard Early Adoption

The Smartcard Early Adoption project has moved to the deployment phase. This project page will remain active for reference only. For details on the Smartcard-Only program, visit:

Smartcard-Only Web page



To comply with Federal mandates and to improve security, NASA is moving toward the exclusive use of the NASA Personal Identification Validation (PIV) smartcard (the NASA “badge”) for login and other authentication to systems, networks, and applications. This will be accomplished using a phased approach.Image of NASA smartcard

Smartcards confirm your identity and provide authentication when used to login to your computer and applications. It is easy to use and it's secure. Just insert your smartcard into the smartcard reader and enter your PIN, the 6-8 digit code you selected when you first received your NASA badge. For details about functionality, PINs, maintenance, and lost or stolen smartcards, see Documentation.

NASA’s goal is to have 10 to 20 percent of employees using PIV smartcards on their desktops and laptops by the end of FY 2013, with increased participation continuing through FY 2014. Follow-on initiatives will add Macintosh and other operating systems, and provide solutions for mobile devices and all remaining enterprise applications.

What to Expect

ITCD has implemented an early adoption program at Headquarters to begin the requirement of using smartcards as the sole method for logging into the NASA network. This will lead the way for all Headquarters' users to easily convert from using NDC credentials to smartcard only.

The first phase begins with Windows 7 computers. Users participating in this program will be configured for "smartcard only" which means your smartcard and PIN are required for login. You will no longer be able to use your NDC credentials (Agency User ID and 12-character password) to log in.

To prepare for this transition, see Smartcard–Only Login.

This first phase does not impact any mobile device or other NASA applications and services that users may be using.  The smartcard-only configuration is placed on the actual machine, not on the user's account. Therefore, users who have access to more than one Windows computer may place one in the early adoption program while leaving the other with username/password login still allowed at this time.

Basic Requirements

  • You must have a NASA-issued smartcard badge
  • You must know your smartcard PIN
  • You must have a NASA-issued computer with Windows 7 and a smartcard reader
  • You must have successfully tested smartcard login on your computer


All Federal Agencies are mandated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through OMB Memo M-11-11 to use PIV credentials as the common means of authentication for access to their Agency’s facilities, networks, and information systems. 



Early adopters will receive an IT Notice informing you of the date your Windows 7 computer will be configured for smartcard-only login. To ensure continued access to your computer, review the following information:

Test your smartcard PIN:

Prior to your transition date, test your smartcard PIN to ensure you know it and that it works. If you cannot remember your smartcard PIN, you must visit the NASA HQ Badging Office, located inside the HQ Security Office (Suite 1V63) in Room 1U66. The hours for walk-in customer service are Tuesday through Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Important things to know:

  • The first time you log in using your smartcard, make sure you are connected to the network so that Windows can synchronize your smartcard credentials. You will then be able to login with your smartcard when working remotely.

  • Windows always prompts you to log in the way you did the previous time. Therefore, the first time you log in with your smartcard, you must select Switch User and then select Smartcard login. On subsequent logins, it will become your new default login mode.

  • You must maintain your NDC credentials (Agency UserID and password) in order to access Webmail and other systems or applications that require username and password. You will continue to receive e-mail notifications every 60 days when your password is about to expire, reminding you to change it.

  • You must maintain your smartcard. Follow through with badge reissuance actions and smartcard certificate update e-mail notifications.

  • If you forget your smartcard, or if it is lost, damaged, or stolen, you must have your computer configured back to its original state temporarily (login option of using either your NDC credentials or smartcard). To do this, contact the Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) and identify yourself as a user who has smartcard-only login enabled.

    Note: The temporary change-back process requires that your computer be physically connected to the NASA network and cannot be performed remotely.

  • For added security, remove your smartcard after logging in and return it to your badge holder

  • Although your login on your computer requires smartcard use, you may log in to other NASA computers (e.g., Go-To workstations) without your smartcard.

HQ Smartcard User Guide
+ View PDF

+ View PDF



For questions, contact Marion Meissner, Headquarters Center PIV POC, 358-0585.

For support, contact the Enterprise Service Desk (ESD): Submit a ticket online or call 358-HELP (4357).


+ Freedom of Information Act
+ Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
+ Privacy Policy and Important Notices
+ Inspector General Hotline
+ Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant
to the No Fear Act

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Content: Marion Meissner
NASA Official: Mary Shouse
Site Curator: Christopher Brunner
+ Contact ITCD