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NIST SP 800-78-5 (Initial Public Draft)

Cryptographic Algorithms and Key Sizes for Personal Identity Verification

Date Published: September 27, 2023
Comments Due: December 8, 2023 (public comment period is CLOSED)
Email Questions to:

Planning Note (11/14/2023):

The public comment period has been extended to December 8, 2023.


Hildegard Ferraiolo (NIST), Andrew Regenscheid (NIST)


In January 2022, NIST revised Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201, which establishes standards for the use of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credentials – including the credentials on PIV Cards. NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-73-5: Parts 1–3 and SP 800-78-5 have subsequently been revised to align with FIPS 201 and are now available for public comment.

SP 800-78-5 ipd (Initial Public Draft)

SP 800-78-5 ipd, Cryptographic Algorithms and Key Sizes for Personal Identity Verification, defines the requirements for cryptographic capability of the PIV Card and supporting systems in coordination with FIPS 201-3. It been modified to add additional algorithm and key size requirements and to update the requirements for Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CAVP) validation testing including:

  • Deprecation of 3TDEA algorithms with identifier ‘00’ and ‘03’
  • Removal of the retired RNG from CAVP PIV component testing where applicable
  • Accommodation of the Secure Messaging Authentication key 
  • Update to Section 3.1 and Table 1 to reflect additional higher strength keys with at least 128-bit security for use in authentication beginning in 2031

NIST specifically seeks input from federal agencies on the suitability of the digital signature algorithms and key sizes specified in SP 800-78-5. The draft revisions accommodate RSA signatures with 2048-bit and 3072-bit keys, and ECDSA signatures with the P-256 and P-384 curves, for authentication services. NIST requests feedback on the potential need to support RSA with 4096-bit keys, or for the need to add support for the EdDSA signature algorithm that is now specified in FIPS 186-5.

We encourage you to use this comment template to record and organize your comments on SP 800-78-5 ipd.

Also see the SP 800-73-5 ipd parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Submit Comments

The comment period for these drafts is open through December 8, 2023 November 15, 2023. See the publication details (linked above) to download the drafts and comment templates. Comments and inquiries should be sent to


NIST hosted a Personal Identity Verification Webinar on November 8, 2023, to discuss both SP 800-73-5 ipd and SP 800-78-5 ipd. 

NOTE: A call for patent claims is included on page ii of this draft. For additional information, see Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Patent Policy – Inclusion of Patents in ITL Publications.



cryptographic algorithm; FIPS 201; identity credential; Personal Identity Verification (PIV); smart cards
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