Unique Entity Identifier Update

The New Unique Entity Identifier is Here

On April 4, 2022, the federal government stopped using the DUNS Number to uniquely identify entities. Now, entities doing business with the federal government use the Unique Entity ID created in SAM.gov. They no longer have to go to a third-party website to obtain their identifier. This transition allows the government to streamline the entity identification and validation process, making it easier and less burdensome for entities to do business with the federal government.

The Integrated Award Environment (IAE) manages several systems including SAM.gov, FPDS, eSRS, FSRS, CPARS and FAPIIS. All SAM.gov registrants have been assigned their Unique Entity IDs and can view them in SAM.gov. To learn more about this transition, please see the information below. Join and follow our community on Interact to be notified of the latest news and information about changes happening at IAE.

What Action Do I Need to Take?

If your entity is registered in SAM.gov today, your Unique Entity ID has already been assigned and is viewable in SAM.gov. This includes inactive registrations. The Unique Entity ID is located on your entity registration record. Remember, you must be signed in to your SAM.gov account to view entity records. To learn how to view your Unique Entity ID go to this help article.

Refer to the Guide to Getting a Unique Entity ID if you want to get a Unique Entity ID for your organization without having to complete an entity registration. If you only conduct certain types of transactions, such as reporting as a sub-awardee, you may not need to complete an entity registration. Your entity may only need a Unique Entity ID.

If you operate a system that connects with IAE systems, documentation about using APIs to access SAM.gov is found at is open.GSA.gov. The latest version of FPDS ATOM feed includes the Unique Entity ID.

Agency system owners are encouraged to join the Technical Interface Community (email IAE_Admin@gsa.gov to join).

Do IAE systems require the use of the new Unique Entity ID?

The Unique Entity ID is the official identifier for doing business with the U.S. Government as of April 4, 2022.

  • Entities registering in SAM.gov are assigned a Unique Entity ID as a part of the registration process.
  • Entity uniqueness continues to be validated by an entity validation service.
  • Subcontracting reporting requires the Unique Entity ID obtained in SAM.gov.
  • Interfacing systems must use the Unique Entity ID.

Is the Unique Entity ID viewable in IAE systems?

If your entity is registered in SAM.gov today, you already have your Unique Entity ID and it is viewable in SAM.gov. This includes inactive registrations.

All other IAE systems (CPARS, FPDS, FAPIIS, etc.) currently display and accept the Unique Entity ID.

Where Do I Get More Information?

Visit UEI Technical Specifications and API Information page to learn more about UEI/EVS technical specifications for interfacing systems and sample data extracts.

The official identifier for doing business with the U.S. Government changed.
  • The process to get a Unique Entity ID to do business with the government changed.
  • The definition of entity uniqueness did not change.

Change can be confusing and frustrating. To make the change easier, we shared information about the changes and transition plan.

During the transition, we:

  • Phased out the DUNS Number as the official identifier for doing business with the federal government.
  • Introduced a new Unique Entity ID, generated in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), as the official identifier for doing business with the government.
  • Made it easier to get a Unique Entity ID to do business with the government.
  • Transitioned to a new service provider to validate entity uniqueness.

The process to get a Unique Entity ID to do business with the government changed. With the transition, we are made it easier to get a Unique Entity ID by streamlining the request and ongoing management process. You go to a single place, SAM.gov, to:
  • Get your Unique Entity ID and register your entity to do business with the U.S. government.
  • Make any updates to your legal business name and physical address associated with the Unique Entity ID.
  • Find customer support at a single helpdesk for all Unique Entity ID and entity registration issues.

The definition of what makes an entity unique is not changing.
  • Integrated Award Environment (IAE) acquires commercial entity validation services (EVS) to validate entity uniqueness and entity core data.
  • Uniqueness is based on an entity being a separate legal entity associated with a separate physical address.
  • Based on the uniqueness determination, a Unique Entity ID is assigned to that entity.

The change we made creates predictability for the cost of entity validation services. By separating the government requirement for a Unique Entity ID from the government requirement to validate that the entities are unique, we introduced competitiveness into entity validation services. We then competed and awarded a new contract for entity validation services that is not connected to the identifier itself. We chose to have the new, non-proprietary identifier both requested in and generated by SAM.gov to reduce the burden of change; the transition in identifiers only needs to happen once, even if in the future a different entity validation service provider is selected.

Transition Phase: (July 2019-Transition Completion)
  • The DUNS Number remains the official identifier for doing business with the U.S. Government.
  • Entities continue to register in SAM.gov using the DUNS Number assigned by D&B.
  • Entity uniqueness continues to be validated by D&B as part of the DUNS Number assignment process.
  • GSA published updated technical specifications, which include the new SAM-generated Unique Entity ID, for interfacing systems in December 2019.
  • GSA develops the tools needed to generate Unique Entity IDs.
  • GSA develops an interface to new entity validation service provider to determine entity uniqueness.
  • GSA supports robust testing of new interfaces with agency systems.
  • GSA communicates upcoming changes to stakeholders, sharing more detail as available

Transition Complete (04/04/2022)

  • The SAM-generated Unique Entity ID becomes the official identifier for doing business with the U.S. Government.
  • Entities request new Unique Entity IDs through SAM.gov before starting their entity registration.
  • Entity uniqueness is determined by the new entity validation service provider.

Transition for Existing Entities

  • Your registration was automatically assigned a new Unique Entity ID which is displayed in SAM.gov.
  • The purpose of registration, core data, assertions, representations & certifications, points of contacts, etc. in SAM.gov will not change and no one will be required to re-enter this data.

  • December 2014 - proprietary references removed from 2 CFR.
  • On October 31, 2016, the FAR was amended via a final rule to re-designate the terminology for unique identification of entities receiving federal awards. The change to the FAR eliminated references to the proprietary DUNS Number, and provided appropriate references to the website where information on the unique entity identifier used for federal awards would be located. The final rule also established the definition of “unique entity identifier.”
  • November 2016 - OMB (OFFM and OFPP) created an interagency working group to zero-base business needs for entity validation and verification requirements.
  • In 2017 - GSA engaged the public and Integrated Award Environment (IAE) governance on entity validation and a government identifier:
    • February - GSA released a Request For Information (RFI) and vendor engagement for entity validation services.
    • July - the final policy and business outcomes for validation and verification were completed.
    • October - GSA released a second RFI and vendor engagement for entity verification services.
  • August 2018 - GSA released a Request for Proposal for governmentwide entity validation services inclusive of new government-owned Unique Entity ID approach.
  • November 2018 - GSA convened an interagency team to make recommendations on the standards for a government-owned Unique Entity ID to use in federal awarding and management processes.
  • In March 2019, GSA awarded a contract for entity validation services.
  • June - a working group delivered recommendations on Unique Entity ID standards to IAE governance; governance approved standard for publication.
  • July - GSA published a Federal Register notice containing standards for Unique Entity IDs and held a public meeting to review the standards
  • October - convened an interagency, cross-functional working group to identify and resolve policy and IT issues for implementation.
  • October 2020 - The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed federal agencies to finalize their transition to using the SAM-generated unique entity identifier by April 2022. GSA will be contracting with D&B to ensure full continuity of services—including DUNS Number assignment, monitoring, and validation of entity uniqueness—during the extended transition period.

Further Questions

Press inquiries should be sent to press@gsa.gov

Last Reviewed: 2023-04-19