D-U-N-S® Number Requirement

What is a D-U-N-S® number?

D-U-N-S® stands for "data universal numbering system." D-U-N-S® numbers are issued by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) and consist of nine digits.

Why does my institution have to provide it?

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) adopted the use of D-U-N-S® numbers to track how federal grant money is dispersed, but they are now being phased out in favor of a unique entity identifier (UEI) assigned by the System for Award Management (SAM). Until April 3, 2022, the D-U-N-S® number will be the authoritative identifier. Beginning April 4, 2022, the SAM UEI will be the sole identifier for federal grants. All institutions with a current SAM registration will be automatically assigned a UEI. Until the change is finalized, new registrants will need a D-U-N-S® number to register in SAM, but they will be assigned a UEI as well.

More information on the transition from D-U-N-S® to SAM can be found here.

Are all applicants required to have a D-U-N-S® number?

No. Only institutional applicants are required to provide their D-U-N-S® number. Individuals are exempt.

I am a project director. How do I find my institution's D-U-N-S® number?

Ask your institution's grant administrator or chief financial officer to provide your institution's D-U-N-S® number. Research universities and most colleges, independent libraries, and large organizations already have D-U-N-S® numbers.

What happens if my institution does not have a D-U-N-S® number?

The chief financial officer or authorizing official of your institution will need to register for a D-U-N-S® number. The project director should NOT apply for a number.

There are two ways to obtain a D-U-N-S® number. Your institution can use the special toll-free number for federal grant applicants: 1-866-705-5711. The process will take about ten minutes and your institution will receive a D-U-N-S® number within a couple business days. When you call, tell them that you are applying to a federal grant program and need to register for a D-U-N-S® number. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  1. Name of institution
  2. Address
  3. Telephone number
  4. Name of the head of the institution (CEO, president, director, etc.)
  5. Type of institution (university, college, library, museum, historical society, etc.)
  6. Total number of employees (full- and part-time)

Your institution can also register for a D-U-N-S® number via Dun & Bradstreet's website at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Please note that registration via the website may take up to thirty business days to complete.

Is there a fee for registering for a D-U-N-S® number?

No. D&B should not charge you a fee. You are also not obligated to purchase any of their products.