How to Renew Your Digital Certificates

You will receive an email notification when it is time to renew the digital certificates on your PIV Card (HHS ID Badge). You do not need to go to a badge issuance station to renew your certificates (see How do I renew my certificates below).

Do not attempt to renew your certificates until you are told to do so by email notification or technical support staff.

 

Why you need to renew your certificates

You may be asked to renew your digital certificates because:
  • They are about to expire.
  • They need to be replaced because HHS switched certificate vendors.
  • The information in the certificates needs to be corrected

The digital certificates on your PIV card are only valid for a fixed period of time and have an expiration date, after which you will no longer be able to use them to access NIH information systems, digitally sign documents or receive encrypted email. Please note that the digital certificates on your PIV card may have an expiration date that is earlier than the date printed on your PIV card. To check the expiration date of your certificates, please refer to the NIH IT Knowledge Base articles for Windows or Macintosh Computers.

HHS has changed digital certificate vendors. Prior to September 15, 2013, HHS digital certificates were obtained from Verizon Business Systems (VBS). Now, all new digital certificates are issued by Entrust. As a result of this change, VBS certificates will no longer be supported after August 1, 2014. Therefore, between now and July 2014, all NIH staff must replace their digital certificates, even if their certificates expire after July 2014.

Regardless of the reason, if you receive an email notice telling you to renew your digital certificate​s, please do so as soon as possible.

 

How to renew your certificates

The Access Card Utility (ACU) is the easiest and recommended method to renew your digital certificates. To go to the ACU information page and learn how to access the ACU within your IC, please click on your IC in the table below:

CC CIT CSR FIC NCATS NCCIH NCI
NEI NHGRI NHLBI NIA NIAAA NIAID NIAMS
NIBIB NICHD NIDA NIDCD NIDCR NIDDK NIEHS
NIGMS NIMH NIMHD NINDS NINR NLM OD

 

For more information about ACU pre-requisites and how to start the ACU, please refer to the ACU information page or the NIH IT Knowledge Base ACU video tutorial and detailed instructions.

If you cannot use the ACU, you must go to a Lifecycle Work Station (LWS) to renew your digital certificates. To find a LWS near you, please refer to the list of  LWS locations.

 

What to do after you renew your certificates

After you renew your certificates or replace your smart card, please see What To Do After You Get New Certificates for instructions on updating your computer to use your new certificates.

You can also test your new certificates and confirm your new certificate expiration date at: http://testmysmartcard.nih.gov.

 

Information and Assistance

For additional information, search the NIH IT Knowledge Base for tutorials, instruction sheets and user guides or refer to the appropriate How-To Guide.

For questions or user support, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk.​​​​