ASN.1 was first standardized in 1984 by the CCITT (International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee, now called ITU-T,International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication Standardization Sector) under the name “X.409 Recommendation”. A little later, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) chose to adopt this notation and split this recommendation into two separate documents: the abstract syntax (ASN.1) and the encoding rules (BER). In 1985, the CCITT decided to collaborate with ISO on these two documents.

In 1987, ISO published these documents as 8824 and 8825 (only three new types of character strings are added). In 1988, ISO merged with the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) forming a joint technical committee called ISO/IEC JTC 1, which is now in charge of the ASN.1 standard.

For the last version (available since end of 2008), the ISO 8824 standard was split into four parts:

As far as encoding rules are concerned, ISO 8825 standard was split into seven parts: