UE What?

What every grant recipient needs to know about the change to the SAM issued UEI.

On April 4, 2022, the 4-year federal government-wide initiative of transitioning from requiring a DUNS number to the new, SAM-issued UEI (Unique Entity Identifier) will take effect.

I have spoken with some nonprofits who are not sure what it means and/or what if anything, they need to do to ahead of the change.

Here are some common

Q&A: Why the Change?

The change should make registering with the government simpler.  Currently, the federal government requires all entities (company, non-profit, educational institutions, etc…) to obtain a unique entity identifier number (UEI) before doing business with them. For over 2 decades entities were required to obtain a DUNS Number through a third party company (Dun & Bradstreet) before registering with the government on SAM.gov.

Starting April 4, 2022, this will change. Entities will be able to obtain their UEI as they register on SAM.gov. No longer will they need to visit a third-party website to obtain their UEI or update their company name or address in SAM.

PRESENT – APRIL 3, 2022 APRIL 4, 2022 – FUTURE
9-character numeric value 12-character alphanumeric value
Issued by a third party, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Assigned as part of the SAM.gov registration process
No fee to obtain a DUNS Number No fee to obtain a Unique Entity ID (SAM).
Must have a DUNS # to register on SAM.gov DUNS # will no longer be valid

If I already have a SAM.gov account, what do I need to do?

If you are already registered on SAM.gov (with either an active or inactive registration), then the transition is automatic. You’ve already been assigned a new UEI # in SAM.gov.

    • BETWEEN now and April 4, 2022, go to your account in sam.gov, your DUNS #, and your new UEI ID # will appear. Become familiar with your new UEI/SAM #.
    • PLAN – you should review your internal systems and plan to replace any use of the DUNS # with your new UEI/ SAM #.
    • AFTER April 4, 2022, your entity’s DUNS # will be eliminated from SAM.gov. You will only be able to see your UEI/SAM #.
    • For a guide on how to view your UEI in SAM click here

I currently don’t have a SAM.gov account, but need to register?

If your entity is currently not registered with SAM.gov and is planning to register in the future, you have 2 options.

  1. Obtain your UEI through Dun and Bradstreet now and then immediately register on SAM.gov. Once your entity is verified, and you have an active registration, you will be assigned a new UEI/SAM #. Then refer to the section above.

TIP: DO NOT wait until the last minute. The government has been planning to make this switch for years, but it does not mean that everything will go smoothly. If you have not registered on SAM.gov within a few weeks of April 4 and can, I would wait until after the switch.

  1. If your company/agency is planning on registering in SAM.gov AFTER April 4, 2022, you will no longer be required to obtain a DUNS # from D&B. As part of the registration process on SAM.gov, you will be assigned a UEI/SAM #. A few things to note:
    • Registration can take about 45 min to complete.
    • It takes about 12-15 Business days to process once you have submitted ALL of your information.


No matter who you are, if you plan to do business with the government in the future, it is important to know your status and plan ahead. This is a major change and involves every government agency and affects thousands of government contractors and grant recipients, so expect some hiccups during the transition.

For more information go to:https://sam.gov/content/duns-uei