3.2. Managing PINs

3.2.1. General Information about PINs

A new card has the following default PINs stored. The AdminPIN's value is 12345678. The normal PIN is 123456. Please note that the second PIN is two digits shorter.

You might have received a card with a few data fields already personalized (e.g. the FSFE Fellowship card). Please check the documentation which comes with this card to see whether the default PINs are really to be used or from where to get the actual PINs. Often the AdminPIN is send by separate mail.

If a wrong PIN has been entered three times in a row the card will be blocked. It can be unblocked with the AdminPIN.


It is also important to know that entering a wrong AdminPIN three times in a row destroys(!) the card. There is no way to unblock the card when a wrong AdminPIN has been entered three times.

3.2.2. PIN operations

To access the PIN operations enter gpg --change-pin. Different options for PIN management will be displayed. To select a command enter the number displayed in front of the command.

Changing PIN

You are first asked to enter the current PIN. Afterwards you are asked to enter the new PIN. Then you are asked to re-enter the new PIN. The cursor will not move forward to indicate your typing.

The PIN has been successfully changed. The AdminPIN is not affected by these changes.

Unblocking PIN

Use this command to unblock a blocked PIN.

First you are asked for the AdminPIN and then to enter and re-enter a new PIN. The AdminPIN is not affected by this procedure.

Please note that an AdminPIN cannot be unblocked.

Changing AdminPIN

Changing the AdminPIN is the same procedure as changing the PIN. Enter the current AdminPIN. Then enter a new AdminPIN and re-enter it. The normal PIN is not affected by these changes.

PINs can also be managed via --card-edit commands.