UEIs/SAM.gov/EIN Requirements Coming to E-rate

May 10, 2023

~ ECF reimbursements also impacted ~
~ Act now, before it’s required ~

The FCC and USAC have announced that E-rate applicants that use the BEAR reimbursement system will be required to have an active UEI in order to submit a new or revised Form 498 (banking form in EPC).  It’s not as simple as it sounds; therefore, please review this message entirely and begin the process now so you will be ready when the requirement goes into effect.

> E-rate: 
On May 12, 2023, the Form 498 will be updated to include a new field to collect the applicant’s UEI number.  Initially, the requirement will only affect E-Rate applicants that submit a new or revised Form 498 (eventually, but with no date yet set, it will be required for all applicants using BEAR reimbursement invoicing method).  In addition, USAC will only approve the new or revised Form 498 if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The SAM.gov registration for your entity is active;
  • The Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the UEI matches the EIN for the FCC Registration Number in the CORES system; and
  • The EIN for the UEI matches the EIN on the Form 498.

Without the UEI, an active SAM.gov account, and matching EIN in the FCC’s CORES system, no BEARs will be processed when the requirement eventually becomes effective.

Caution:  These requirements are already in place for ECF BEAR Reimbursements, and it has created immense challenges for schools and libraries that don’t have these accounts lined up to obtain their ECF reimbursements.  Therefore, I strongly encourage everyone who uses the BEAR reimbursement method for E-rate to start now to make sure you have an active SAM.gov account that contains your UEI, and an up-to-date EIN that matches the EIN in your FCC CORES Registration Number.  Then update your Form 498 with your UEI number so you’ll be prepared when the requirement becomes mandatory.

> ECF:   

The ECF BEAR deadline for Windows 1 and 2 is August 29, 2023.   Because it sometimes takes 6-10 weeks to get a UEI and register with SAM.gov or update an account, if you intend to file an ECF BEAR, please don’t put off making sure you have an active SAM.gov account that contains your UEI, and an up-to-date EIN that matches the EIN in your FCC CORES Registration Number.   You don’t want to begin this process or try to update data in July and August.

> Important Notes:

  • SAM.gov requires annual renewal or accounts are deactivated, so this will need to become a routine task in your annual E-Rate process.
  • The SAM.gov registration requirement is NOT necessary if your organization exclusively uses the service provider discounting process (SPI) where the service provider invoices USAC directly and posts E-Rate discounts on your bills.
  • Because many organizations obtained their FCC Registration Numbers many years ago, it may require some trouble-shooting to obtain a login for the FCC’s CORES system and to make any required updates.

> Next Steps:

  1. Ensure you have a SAM.gov account and that it’s active.
    1. If you already receive other federal awards, contact your business department and/or department that oversees federal funding to find out if your organization already has an active SAM.gov registration.  If you are already registered in SAM.gov, you have a UEI. To find your UEI, log into SAM.gov and select the Entity Management widget in your Workspace or log in and search Entity Information.
    2. If you don’t have a SAM.gov account, register now to obtain your UEI. You may need to allow up to six weeks for the registration to be completed for SAM.gov. Once you register with SAM.gov, you will be automatically assigned a UEI and can add your UEI to your Form 498 in EPC.
  2. Ensure that the EIN for your UEI, and the FCC Registration Number in CORES all match.
  3. Once you have completed these steps, add your UEI to your Form 498 ID in your EPC E-rate portal, or create a new one if you don’t currently have one.  Be sure not to create a new one.  To determine if you already have a Form 498 on file with USAC or to modify the Form 498, log into EPC > Records > Form 498s > Click on the 498 > Related Actions > Modify Form 498.  If you go to Records and Form 498 doesn’t appear, it means you don’t have an approved 498 on file with USAC.  A Form 498 User Guide will be created after the form has been updated.

> Where to Turn for Help: 

FCC’s CORES System:



       USAC:  If you have additional questions about UEI, contact USAC’s Customer Service Center at (888) 641-8722 and select the Contributors/Service Providers hotline option.  A summary of these changes is in the USAC April 2023 Newsbrief.

Julie Tritt Schell
Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o

Site graciously hosted by the Capital Area IU 15 | Site designed and maintained by Silver Penny Studio