2020 will bring several changes to the grant world. A notable change required for receiving federal funding includes replacing the Dun & Bradstreet DUNS number with a new Unique Entity ID (UEI). The UEI will be a 12-character, alphanumeric value. This will not only be a change in the number but also include a change in the process of both requesting and obtaining a UEI number. As with the DUNS number, the definition of what makes an entity unique will remain based on information not matched by any other existing registered entity. The future burden will also be reduced by making the change only once, even if a different entity validation service (EVS) provider is selected in the future.
Between now and December 2020, the established registration process applies, and it is business as usual for non-federal entities. Meaning, new entities will continue to register for a DUNS number and then register in SAM.gov. Existing entities will continue to renew registration as usual.
By the end of December 2020, the SAM-generated UEI will replace the DUNS number and become the official identifier.
New entities requesting a UEI will go to SAM.gov to request their UEI, register their entity, and make any updates to their legal business name and physical address. Customer support will also now be at a single helpdesk for all UEI and entity registration issues.
Existing entities’ transition will not be too difficult. Their registration will automatically be assigned a new UEI, which will be displayed in SAM.gov. The purpose of registration, core data, assertions, representations & certifications, and points of contact in SAM.gov will not change, and no one will be required to re-enter this data. The DUNS number assigned will also be retained for historical search purposes.
While GSA has already begun transitioning by developing necessary tools and creating technical specifications, the go-live date for the new UEI is January 1, 2021. The GSA will also publish more information during this transition.