10.2.4  Overview of ID Media

Manual Transmittal

September 04, 2014


(1) This transmits revised Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 10.2.4, Security, Privacy and Assurance, Physical Security Program, Overview of ID Media.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM was updated to reflect current organizational titles, terminology, references and citations and to reorganize the material to provide clarity.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 10.2.4 dated September 25, 2008.



Effective Date


Kevin Q. McIver
Director, Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM)
Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS)  (09-04-2014)

  1. IRS identification media (ID) includes any pass, badge, credential, SmartID card, pocket commission, or similar items which contain the Internal Revenue Service name, seal or symbol, is used to identify the bearer as a representative of the IRS, and is normally carried or worn by the bearer. ID media may also contain one or more of the following:

    • The bearer's photograph

    • A serial number

    • An authorizing or validating signature

    • Information to indicate the purpose of the media or to indicate the bearer has been officially authorized to perform certain acts or duties.

  2. IRS ID media are issued solely for use by authorized IRS employees and contractors in the performance of official duties and, in the case of the ID card, may be used for personal identification. ID media may not be used for retirement mementos, honorary presentations, or similar purposes, except as prescribed in IRM 10.2.6 Non-Enforcement Pocket Commissions and IRM 10.2.7 Enforcement Shields .  (09-04-2014)
Authorized Identification Media

  1. The authorized forms of identification media approved for use by IRS employees and contractors in the performance of official duties are as follows:

    • Non-photo ID Card - designed for verification of identity and entry control into all IRS offices and is issued to authorized contractors, and authorized visitors.

    • Physical Access Card (PAC) -designed for verification of identity and to provide physical access only into all IRS offices and issued to authorized contractors, seasonal employees, Interns, wounded warriors, Task Force Officers (TFO) under MOU and those IRS employees waiting for SmartID credentials.

    • HSPD-12 SmartID - designed for verification of identity and to provide physical access into all IRS offices and access to the IRS LAN network and is issued to all IRS employees and authorized contractors required by the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12).

    • Non-Enforcement Pocket Commission - designed to show evidence of authority and only issued to authorized IRS employees.

    • Enforcement Pocket Commission - designed to show evidence of authority and issued only to Criminal Investigation personnel in the 1811 series.

  2. IRS employees and contractors may not display any form of identification media associating them with the Internal Revenue Service which has not been officially authorized by the PSEP Identity Credential and Access Management (ICAM) office.

  3. No IRS employee or contractor may possess more than one ID card, i.e. HSPD-12 Smart ID or PAC card. IRS employees and contractors may only be issued, if required, one type of authorized ID media i.e. pocket commission, enforcement badge, etc. unless otherwise authorized by the Director, PSEP.  (09-04-2014)

  1. The Chief, AWSS, is authorized to prescribe identification media for use within the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. The Director, PSEP, is responsible for oversight of the planning, developing, implementing, evaluating, and controlling of the servicewide ID Media program.

  3. The Associate Director, ICAM, is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, evaluating, and controlling the servicewide ID Media program.

  4. The Area Directors and Territory Managers of PSEP are responsible for implementing, evaluating, and otherwise managing the ID Media program for their respective offices. The physical security staff will implement and control the ID Media program in offices for which they are responsible.

  5. Each IRS manager and Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) is responsible for:

    • Ensuring that personnel under their supervision possess only authorized ID media and that such media is used and displayed properly.

    • Reporting unauthorized use of ID media to the office of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the local physical security function.

    • Recovering ID media from their employees and contractors who separate from the IRS.

  6. Employees and contractors must wear their ID card properly at all times during work hours and must be able to show their ID media when requested by their manager, their COR, or their local physical security function to allow for IRS accountability of such ID media.  (09-04-2014)

  1. Requests for the development of new, or modification of existing ID media, and/or the method of use, assembly, or display, must be submitted through the Operating Business Commissioner, Chief Officer, or Chief Counsel of the requesting organization to the Director, ICAM, for coordination and approval.

  2. The Director of ICAM is the approving authority for any amendments to any type of IRS ID media. Requests for amendments of ID media must be submitted in writing to the Director of ICAM for approval.  (09-04-2014)

  1. Title 18, Part I, Chapter 25, Subsection 499 of the U.S. Code, states ″Whoever falsely makes, forges, counterfeits, alters, or tampers with any naval, military, or official pass or permit, issued by or under the authority of the United States, or with intent to defraud uses or possesses any such pass or permit, or personates or falsely represents himself to be or not to be a person to whom such pass or permit has been duly issued or willfully allows any other person to have or use any such pass or permit issued for his use alone shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.″

  2. Title 18, Part I, Chapter 33, Subsection 701 of the U.S. Code, states ″Whoever manufactures, sells, or possesses any badge, identification card, or other insignia of the design prescribed by the head of any department or agency of the United States for use by any officer or employee thereof, or any colorable imitation thereof, or photographs, prints, or in any other manner makes or executes any engraving, photograph, print, or impression in the likeness of any such badge, identification card, or other insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, except as authorized under the regulations made pursuant to law shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.″  (09-04-2014)
Protection of Identification Media

  1. (1) IRS employees and contractors must take precautions to prevent loss, theft, or destruction of pocket commissions, ID cards, and enforcement badges. In the hands of an unauthorized person, these items have the potential of bringing serious discredit and adverse publicity to the IRS. ID media should either be in the possession of the authorized IRS employee or contractor or, when not in use, should be stored in a locked container or left with the supervisor or COR for proper safeguarding according to the level of protection required for the specific type of ID media. ID media should never be left unattended in briefcases, unlocked desk drawers, automobiles, etc. Recovered ID media must immediately be sent to the local physical security function for destruction or safeguarding.

  2. IRS managers must counsel employees concerning safeguards when there is a repeated loss of ID cards, pocket commissions, enforcement badges, or other ID media and document the counseling in writing.  (09-04-2014)
Mailing of ID Media

  1. When mailing any blank stock or assembled ID card, pocket commissions, and/or enforcement badges, a controlled means must be used. The mailing must be:

    • Accompanied by a Form 3210, Document Transmittal. Identifying information, including the name, serial number, and type of ID media must be recorded on Form 3210. The form number, serial number series, and quantity of blank stock must be recorded on Form 3210. A control copy of the transmittal must be retained for use in ensuring the timely receipt of the transmitted items. A copy of the signed Form 3210, signifying receipt of the documents, must be retained in the local physical security function files.

    • Contained in a sealed envelope with the name of the receiving employee or contractor recorded on the face of the envelope. The sealed envelope containing the ID media must then be enclosed in an envelope or package prepared for mailing.

    • Mailed by traceable means as the US Postal Service (USPS) registered mail or by a traceable means with a tracking number.  (09-04-2014)
Lost, Stolen, or Non-recoverable ID Media

  1. If an IRS employee's or contractor’s ID card, SmartID or pocket commission is lost, stolen, or destroyed, the individual will report this within 18 hours of noticing the ID media is missing, in writing, through supervisory/COR channels to the local physical security function and to the Computer Security Incident Reporting Center (CSIRC), for ID cards and SmartIDs plus the Area Processing Center (APC) for the pocket commission explaining the circumstances and recovery attempts. Reduced SmartID Sign-On (RSSO) users will also report the lost or stolen SmartID to the Enterprise Service Desk (ESD). ESD will grant temporary access to IRS system until a replacement SmartID is activated. If an IRS employee's enforcement badge is lost, stolen, or destroyed, the employee will report this immediately, in writing, through supervisory channels to the issuing official and to CSIRC.

  2. CSIRC reports of all lost or stolen ID cards, SmartIDs, pocket commissions, or enforcement badges must be annotated by the IRS employee's/contractor’s supervisor/COR with a statement concerning what disciplinary action, if any, was taken. A copy of reports on lost/stolen pocket commissions, enforcement badges, SmartIDs and/or stolen ID cards will be forwarded to the local TIGTA office as soon as possible. The local physical security function, as appropriate, will ensure that original reports on lost or stolen commissions and enforcement badges are maintained in a separate file for a minimum of three years.

  3. In order to assure the integrity of ID media and to minimize the potential for unauthorized individuals to attempt to access IRS or other federal facilities, all ID media must be recovered from IRS employees and contractors when they separate. Recovery of ID media is the responsibility of the IRS employee’s manager and the contractor’s COR. If the ID media of a separating individual is not recovered, the IRS manager or COR must provide a written report explaining the circumstances of the non-recovery. The report should be sent to the local physical security function and CSIRC and, if appropriate (i.e. forced termination), to the local TIGTA office. The reports should be maintained for a minimum of three years.

  4. The recovery of any type of ID media that was previously reported lost, stolen, or not recovered, must be reported to the local physical security function with the CSIRC number and TIGTA (if the items were reported to TIGTA as lost or stolen), so that the servicing physical security accountability records may be adjusted to reflect the recovery. The recovered media must be returned to the local physical security function for destruction and subsequent notification to the APC (except badges which may be placed back in stock and reissued).

  5. In the case of a lost, stolen, or non-recoverable ID card and SmartID with security area designators, the IRS employee's manager/contractor’s COR will notify the manager of the security area. If a non-restricted ID card or SmartID is lost or stolen from an individual on an authorized access list to a security area, the security area manager will be notified in writing by the individual’s manager/COR.  (09-04-2014)

  1. Pocket commission inserts will be ordered once each year by the ICAM office and will be distributed directly to the National Distribution Center (NDC). Each APC Territory Manager will submit an estimate of pocket commission supplies needed for their respective APC for the upcoming fiscal year.  (09-04-2014)
Records and Accountability

  1. All pocket commissions and enforcement badges (issued, numbered stock, and recovered items) must be accounted for in both a numerical and alphabetical method.

  2. Annually, the accuracy of the pocket commissions' alphabetical files will be reconciled against the numerical files of the APC. The reconciliation is accomplished to assure that employees/contractors do not possess more than one active pocket commission, all numbered items are accounted for, and disposition information is being maintained.

  3. An annual audit will be conducted of pocket commission records to assure that these items are still in the possession of the assigned employee, are still authorized, and that all information contained in the records is accurate. Audits will be conducted by the APC. Audit results must be documented and submitted to the ICAM office.

  4. ID media records must be maintained for at least three years after recovery or destruction of the ID card or pocket commission.

  5. "Form 14436 Receipt for Pocket Commissions and Acknowledgement of Training" will be used when issuing pocket commissions. In the issuance of the ID card, the completed request for ID media form can be utilized since the employee signature on the form is acknowledgment of receipt. This form will be maintained at the APC to document the completion of training for each employee.

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