Common Access Card

How to Obtain and Access a CAC Card

CAC card or Common Access Card is an identification card issued by the Department of Defense or DOD as a requirement for the access in the government buildings and computer systems in United States. It is an advanced smartcard program in the United States that contains the federal identifier of the card holder, his digital image and fingerprints, the smartcard holder’s affiliation, ranking, pay grade, Integrated Circuit Chip (ICC), the card holder’s blood type, date of birth, Dod identification number, pin number and the CAC card’s expiration date. However, not all cards contain the abovementioned component because there are different kinds of CAC cards.

Using Your CAC Card – Pointers to Remember

A pin number or personal identification number is installed in CAC and it is used in accessing the CAC card of an individual, therefore he/she should make sure that he/she has memorized the pin used to CAC card access. Thus, the owner of the card should be the only one who has the power to access the card. Keeping the personal identification number to oneself is the best way to protect the smart card and the personal information about the owner.

It is also possible for the card holder to change his personal identification number, just make sure that the finger print matches to the one that was in the smart card. Smart card is very important, therefore, any stickers or any material that could destroy the card should not be put into it.

Providing oneself with a CAC cards is very essential. Aside from the use of this DoD CAC as an identification, it is also an important requirement to access in government buildings and computer networks. Moreover, an individual must follow the procedures on how to obtain a smartcard whether it is his first time to get the card or will just renew it.

To access the CAC card, it should be inserted into a CAC card reader or smart card reader.  One should take note that not all smart card readers are the same. It varies upon the type of the CAC card that the holder possesses. There are different types of CAC readers to suit the needs of the user.

Finding the Best CAC Card Reader

There are CAC readers that are accessibly available in the market so a consumer can easily buy CAC reader. There are the USB external CAC reader, USB keyboards with built in CAC reader, CAC readers for laptop computers, and   desktop computer CAC readers. If one chooses to buy CAC reader, an individual must be careful in choosing and assessing a smart card reader for easier CAC card access.

Since not all CAC card readers are the same or created equally, same as the CAC cards, it is however imperative for the consumers to check the compatibility of the CAC card to the smartcard reader that the consumer will be purchasing. Also, to ensure a faster and more convenient to access a CAC card, and avoid hassles in CAC card access, an individual must ensure that the CAC card reader was properly installed in the computer. More information about CAC Cards can be found here.

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