History of the Common Access Card (CAC)

The government’s identity verification program continues to evolve and grow

While the capability to provide both physical and logical access is built into the CAC NG, this is not yet available to all card holders, and access control remains the responsibility of each local command or agency. Since CAC NG issuance began in Oct. 2006, cards have been phased in throughout the DoD as earlier CACs expire. Meanwhile, both the current CAC and the new CAC are valid forms of DoD identification. Managing the transition and FIPS 201 compliance requires a broad ecosystem of products including RFID cards and readers, as well as smart cards, readers and middleware used for secure identity assurance and network authentication, plus secure card printing and issuance solutions, and a variety of tools for achieving FIPS 201 compliance.

The CAC has reached a number of impressive milestones including its tenth anniversary and the issuance of more than 24 million credentials. It continues to prove its value and, with the advent of ongoing technological advances, will deliver even greater security, utility and convenience in the years ahead.


Stephane Ardiley is Product Marketing Manager for HID Global.