FIPS 201 (Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201) is a United States federal government standard that specifies Personal Identity Verification (PIV) requirements for Federal employees and contractors.
In response to HSPD-12, the NIST Computer Security Division initiated a new program for improving the identification and authentication of Federal employees and contractors for access to Federal facilities and information systems. FIPS 201 was developed to satisfy the technical requirements of HSPD-12, approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and issued on February 25, 2005.
FIPS 201 together with NIST SP 800-78 (Cryptographic Algorithms and Key Sizes for PIV) are required for U.S. Federal Agencies, but do not apply to US National Security systems.
The Government Smart Card Interagency Advisory Board has indicated that to comply with FIPS 201 PIV II, US government agencies should use smart card technology.