(Updated) – The UEI is Coming

What is the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)?

The federal government’s transition from the D-U-N-S number to the Unique Entity Identifier will now be effective in April 2022 instead of December 2020. Organizations that plan to apply for a grant will need a Unique Entity Identifier in SAM.gov.

The Unique Entity Identifier is the new identifier any organization or business that chooses to do business with the government will have to use. It will be a 12-character, alpha-numeric value with some well-thought-out formatting rules. For example, the letters O and I will not be used, the first character will not be a 0, it will not be case sensitive, it will be formatted to avoid “collision” with the CAGE code, and the final character will be a checksum of the first 11 characters.

History of the D-U-N-S number

The federal government has been using Dun & Bradstreet to identify and validate federal contractors since 1978. In 1998, contractors were required to get a D-U-N-S number per the Federal Acquisition Regulation and then the requirement was expanded to organizations applying for federal financial assistance (grants and cooperative agreements) in 2008.

What’s next

  • The D-U-N-S number will be phased out as the official identifier to do business with the federal government. 
  • A new service provider will be used to validate entities and the new provider is Ernst & Young.
  • Existing D-U-N-S numbers will be retained by the government for historical purposes.
  • If you currently do not have a D-U-N-S number and want to request a UEI once the transition is complete, instead of contacting both D&B and a separate federal help desk for questions about your entity ID, you will only need to access SAM.gov to request a UEI.
  • All customer support for the UEI will be handled by a single help desk–SAM.gov.
  • Multiple federal forms will be updated to reflect this change including the SF-424 family.
  • If your organization already has a D-U-N-S number, it will be automatically assigned a new Unique Entity ID (UEI) that will be displayed in SAM.gov after full transition.

To read more, visit the GSA’s UEI update page: http://bit.ly/2TAnxJO

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