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All About the DUNS to UEI Transition

A laptop computer displaying the sam.gov website.

Have you heard that the federal government is transitioning from DUNS to UEI (Unique Entity ID) for tracking where federal grant dollars flow? Learn more about what this might mean for your organization before and after the transition on April 4, 2022.

Arts Midwest currently manages several federal grant programs on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts. As a federal agency, the National Endowment for the Arts requires organizations to have a D-U-N-S number to receive federal grant awards.

However, this is about to change. DUNS numbers are now in the process of being phased out in favor of a UEI (Unique Entity ID). By April 4, 2022, your organization will instead need a UEI in order to receive funds for federal grant opportunities like the NEA Big Read, Shakespeare in American Communities, GIG Fund, and more.

Getting a UEI is done by visiting SAM.gov. It is a free process. SAM.gov (Systems for Award Management) is the federal database for tracking where federal dollars for awards and contracts go.

Here’s what you need to do to prepare for this transition:

  • My organization IS already registered in SAM.gov.

    If your organization is registered in SAM.gov, you’ve already been assigned a new Unique Entity ID! It’s viewable in your entity registration record in SAM.gov.  (Note: If you have a DUNS Number but are not registered in SAM.gov, you will NOT automatically have a UEI assigned to your organization.)

    If you need assistance with your SAM.gov account or have other technical issues, please visit the Federal Service Desk at FSD.gov to search for frequently asked questions.

  • My organization IS NOT already registered in SAM.gov.

    If you have not previously registered in SAM.gov, you can get a Unique Entity ID on the SAM.gov website and clicking the button that says “Get Unique Entity ID.”  You do not need to complete a full registration with SAM.gov in order to get a UEI. Prior to April 4, 2022, you WILL still need a DUNS number in order to get a UEI.

  • I’m planning to get my UEI at SAM.gov before April 4, 2022. Do I need a DUNS number?

    Yes. If your organization is not registered in SAM.gov, prior to April 4, 2022, you will need to first go to Dun & Bradstreet to get a DUNS number. You will then need to enter your DUNS number in SAM.gov to get your UEI.

  • When should I start using my new Unique Entity ID (SAM)?

    The National Endowment for the Arts will start using UEI as of April 4, 2022. In preparation for the full transition to the Unique Entity ID, we suggest you take care of getting your UEI sooner rather than later.

  • It’s taking a long time to get my UEI – what do I do at this point?

    Unfortunately, this SAM.gov delay is very common among the folks we have requested UEIs from for our grant programs. A UEI is required before we can disburse any funds for our federal grant programs. We have been seeing the UEIs eventually get processed as the federal government works through the system backlog in the transition from the DUNS numbers. Arts Midwest is setting aside funds for organizations and not taking away grant awards because of these delays. Unfortunately, we cannot speed things along on our end with organizations obtaining a UEI. Thanks for your patience as the SAM.gov system works through your requests.

  • I have another question!

    Check out this FAQ Page from the Federal Service Desk.

Please be cautious of scammers trying to impersonate SAM.gov. Never pay to use a service claiming to be SAM.gov.