Getting Started

  1. Test Your PIVKey

    Before doing anything else, test your PIVKey. You can do this on your Windows computer without installing any software. Follow the step-by-step instructions in this article to learn how:

  2. Download the PIVKey Administration Kit

    Next, you’ll want to download the PIVKey Administration Kit so that you can manage the PIVKey and load certificates. The Admin Kit can be downloaded from:

  3. Important! Change your PIN and Admin Key

    Changing the default user PIN ("000000") and Admin Key (24 x "00" (hex)) are important steps to be taken before deploying your PIVKey. In addition, you must first map your certificates to make them available on the PIV interface.

    i. Change your user PIN and Admin Key

    You can change the default user PIN ("000000") with the PIVKey command line tool or the VSEC_CMS_K2.0 utility that is provided with the PIVKey Admin Tools. An end user can change the user PIN via Windows. The user PIN should be 6-8 digits.

    The Admin Key (24 x "00" (hex)) can only be changed if you have the PIVKey Admin Tools installed. Keep the Admin Key recorded in a secure location as this security article explains if you want the option to unblock the user PIN in the future. For maximum security, randomize the Admin Key (the vSEC_CMS utility provides a randomize option) and do not store it at all. Be sure to read this Admin Key article to avoid inadvertently blocking your PIVKey.

    ii. Map the certificates

    If you load your own certificates, you must map those certificates to specific PIV slots. Otherwise they will not be usable on the PIV interface. Learn more about the ways you can map certificates here:

  4. Learn more about PIVKey

    For more information on how to set up, deploy and manage your PIVKey, check out our technical support page on

    For your convenience, a couple of our most popular articles are listed here:

    Getting Started with PIVKey, a Step-by-Step Instructional Guide:

    Learn How to Effectively Deploy Your PIVKey in Your Organization.

Deploy PIVKey using your standard Microsoft Windows environment.
No specialized PIV Card Management Systems required.

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