NOAA Silver Spring Badging Center and CAC/RAPIDS

Common Access Card (CAC):

Q: What is a CAC?
A: The CAC, a "smart" card about the size of a credit card, is the standard identification for the NOAA Corps members, NOAA civilian employees and eligible long term contractors/associates onboard for more than 179 days. It is also the principal card used to enable physical access to NOAA facilities and controlled spaces with electronic access control, and it provides access to NOAA computer networks and systems. The CAC meets the requirements for HSPD-12.
Q:  How do I qualify for a CAC?
A: The CD-591 is the authorization for the CAC. 
Q: Where do I get the CD-591?
A: The Sponsor/COR/Supervisor completes sections A & B and forwards to their Regional Security Office for completion of section C. OSY will return the CD-591 to the COR/ Sponsor/ Supervisor once it has been completed and signed.

Q: Can I use my NOAA badge as 1 of my forms of ID for CAC issuance?
A: No, the NOAA badge is not an acceptable form of ID.

Q: What do I need to bring with me for CAC issuance?
A: You will need 2 original forms of unexpired ID from the I-9 list (at least 1 official photo ID) and must know your NOAA email address. 

Q: Do I need an escort for CAC issuance?
A: No, an escort is not required for CAC issuance.

Q: How do I know if I have a record in the CAC system?
A: Employee records are created through an automatic feed from the personnel system. Contact your  (contact the CAC desk to confirm); Contractor records are created manually by a Trusted Agent (TA).  Contractors/ Associates/ Guests receive an email when their CAC record has been created.

Q: I am a contractor - who is my Trusted Agent (TA)?
A: Contact your Sponsor/ COR for assistance determining your TA.

Q: Can I walk in for CAC issuance at SSMC?
A: No, CAC issuance at SSMC is by appointment only.  Appointments are scheduled online at:

Q: How long will my CAC appointment take?
A: CAC appointments generally take 15-20 minutes.

Q: How soon before my current CAC expires can I make an appointment for renewal?
A: The expiration date for your Common Access Card (CAC) is located in the top right corner of your CAC.  CACs can be renewed up to 60 days before expiration.  Contractors must have an active record in TASS (Trusted Agent Sponsorship System), with an updated expiration date that is for at least 6 months, for CAC renewal.

Q: I am a contractor. How do I verify whether I have an active record in TASS, in order for my CAC to be renewed?
A: Contact your Sponsor/ COR for assistance.

Q: I am a COR/ TA, what do I do when a contractor/associate leaves the agency?
A: Please confiscate all badges from departing personnel and return to the SSMC NOAA Badging Center

Q: I am changing contracts within NOAA; do I need a new CAC?
A: No, if you will still be working within NOAA you are to keep your CAC unless:

Q:  My CAC does not work on my computer. Who do I contact?

Q: I have lost or misplaced my CAC. How do I get a replacement?
A:  Please have your supervisor complete the Lost/Stolen CAC Memo and submit it to OSY for approval and signature, then schedule an appointment for replacement.

Fingerprints and NOAA Badging:
Q: Do I need to be escorted for fingerprints?
A: Yes, an escort is required for fingerprint services

Q: Can I walk in for fingerprint services at SSMC?
A: No, appointments are required for fingerprints. Sponsors may make online appointments for fingerprints at:

Q: What do I need to bring for my fingerprint appointment?
A: 1 original form of official photo ID from the I-9 list is required for fingerprint services (if a complete intake package (Office of Security (OSY) Coversheet, completed & signed OF-306, CD-591) was not previously submitted, bring to appointment)

Q: How long will it take for me to receive a badge after my fingerprint appointment?
A: A temporary badge can be issued as soon as the next day, if prints come back clear

Q: Who do I contact in reference to E-Qip?
A: OSY is the proper contact for questions/concerns regarding E-QIP

Q: How long will it take to receive my Common Access Card (CAC) after I receive a temporary badge?
A: The time it takes to be approved for and issued a CAC varies from person to person

Q: What if I do not qualify for a CAC?
A: If you do not qualify for a CAC you will be issued a NOAA picture badge once cleared by OSY

Q: I left my badge(s) at home.  Can you help?
A: Yes, the NOAA SSMC Badging Center can issue a 1 day temp badge to get you building access for the day.  You will need to contact your IT Department for a username and password to access your computer.

Foreign National Badge Requirement Questions
Q: What are the requirements for a Foreign National working at NOAA to get a CAC or NOAA Badge?
A: Foreign National non green card holders do not qualify for CACs. Click the below link under  “How do I sponsor a Foreign National to a NOAA facility” for further information on facility access requirements and limitations.  

Q:  How do I sponsor a Foreign National to a NOAA facility?
A: Please click on the below link for information on how to sponsor a Foreign National at a NOAA facility: