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HOME / ELECTRONIC FILING / ELECTRONIC FILING SUPPORT / EFILING FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Electronic Filing

Here are questions many people ask about filing electronically with the Federal Election Commission. Click on a question below to move to the answer. Or, scroll down to view all of the questions and answers.

General

  1. How do I get started?
  2. Can I begin electronic filing at any time of the year?
  3. Can I see the reports received electronically by the FEC?
  4. What information from my report is displayed on the Internet?
  5. What are my options for preparing an electronically filed report?
  6. Will contributor names and addresses be available on the internet?
  7. How do I "sign" my electronic filing?
  8. Is technical assistance available?

Paper vs. Electronic Filing

  1. How do I get FECFile?
  2. Once I file electronically can I switch back to paper?
  3. Can I amend a paper filing electronically?
  4. Should I submit paper forms as well as electronic?

Passwords

  1. Can anyone get a password to file electronically?
  2. If I forget my password, what should I do?

Submitting An Electronic Filing

  1. What are the Configuration screen settings for uploading?
  2. Can I email my filing to the FEC?
  3. How do I know the FEC has my filing?
  4. Can my report be submitted on electronic media through the mail?

GENERAL

Question: How do I get started?

Answer: You'll need to do a few things before you begin.
1) Download and install the FEC's free filing software at:
http://www.fec.gov/elecfil/updatelist.shtml
2) Read the user manual.
3) Register for a committee ID. You may call FEC Public Records at 1-800-424-9530 ext. 1120 for more information about how to obtain a Committee ID.
4) Get a password to file electronically. Instructions are located at:
http://www.fec.gov/elecfil/passwords.shtml

Question: Can I begin electronic filing at any time of the year?

Answer: Yes, but for aggregate amounts and summary totals to be correct, previous information must be entered either completely or in total amounts. For more information about this, please see "Can I begin using FECFile at any time of the year?" in our FECFile Frequently Asked Questions.

Question: Can I see the reports received electronically by the FEC?

Answer:  Yes. You may do this by going to www.fec.gov.  Select Campaign finance Reports and Data , then from the flyout select Searchable Systems, and then again select Candidate & Committee Viewer.  Enter your Committee ID or registered committee name, and your reports will be listed from the last report received.

Question: What information from my report is displayed on the Internet?

Answer: The entire report is made available. The information is presented in several ways. The data is displayed in HTML format and also goes through a report image rendering procedure and is displayed in the same area along with scanned images of paper reports. To differentiate between paper and electronically filed reports, the name of the treasurer on the summary page of electronically filed reports is preceded by "Electronically filed by".

Question: Will contributor names and addresses be available on the internet?

Answer: Yes. They are available when filed on paper as well.

Question: What are my options for preparing an electronically filed report?

Answer: FECFile is filing software available at no cost from the FEC. Commercial software is also available.

Question: How do I "sign" my electronic filing?

Answer: A report submitted via the internet requires a password instead of a signature.

Question: Is technical assistance available?

Answer: Yes. If you have questions in regard to creating reports, transactions, and other activity, contact your Campaign Finance Analyst at 800-424-9530 ext. 1130. If you have problems uploading your reports or any other technical issue, contact technical support at 800-424-9530 ext. 1307. Technical support is available Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5:30PM Eastern Standard Time.

For all other electronic filing questions contact the Electronic Filing Office at 800-424-9530 ext.1667.


PAPER vs. ELECTRONIC FILING

Question:How do I get FECFile?

Answer: You can download it (http://www.fec.gov/elecfil/updatelist.shtml), or we can send it by mail on compact disk (CD). For a more detailed explanation please see our FECFile Frequently Asked Questions.

Question: Once I file electronically can I switch back to paper?

Answer: Committees that file voluntarily are required to finish out the remainder of the calendar year before going back to paper. Committees that exceed the mandatory e-filing threshold, have "…reason to expect to exceed" the threshold in the following two calendar years and must continue to file electronically for the next two calendar years. For further information, refer to the Code of Federal Regulations.

Question: Can I amend a paper filing electronically?

Answer: No, but FECFile allows you to print an amendment when necessary.

Question: Should I submit paper forms as well as electronic?

Answer: No. Reports filed electronically should never be filed on paper.


PASSWORDS

Question:Can anyone get a password to file electronically?

Answer: Only the current official treasurer and treasurer's assistant as listed in the FEC records may obtain passwords. For more information please refer to the password information page at http://www.fec.gov/elecfil/passwords.html.

Question:If I forget my password, what should I do?

Answer: You are the only one who knows your password. If you forget you must retrieve the lost one or obtain a new password. For more information please refer to the password information page at http://www.fec.gov/elecfil/passwords.html.


SUBMITTING AN ELECTRONIC FILING

Question:What are the Configuration screen settings for uploading?

Answer: For uploading via the Internet (These settings are case sensitive and must be entered exactly as indicated):

Registered committees and entities other than Senate:

TCP/IP Hostname: disclose.fec.gov
Agency ID: FEC

Senate committees:

TCP/IP Hostname: senate.fec.gov
Agency ID: SENATE

 

Question: Can I email my filing to the FEC?

Answer: No. Electronic filings must be uploaded. Emailed reports will not be accepted.

Question: How do I know the FEC has my filing?

Answer: When you upload a filing to the FEC, you receive an instant email and/or fax confirming receipt of the report. It includes a validation number to match against your own validation number to confirm that the report was not altered in any way in transit. It is important that you keep this email or fax for your records. You may also visit the FEC web site and see your filing on the web. If you do get a receipt, do not assume the FEC received your filing. Contact technical support at 800-424-9530 ext. 1307.

Question: Can my report be submitted on electronic media through the mail?

Answer: Yes. If, for whatever reason, the internet is not available, the report may be submitted on a compact disc (CD). Please read the instructions completely before you begin.

The filing must be submitted on a single CD and may contain only one report and no other files; the only exception to this is, on the same CD, a second file containing a digitized copy of the signed summary page.

Check to verify that the file on the CD has a ".fec" file extension. Any other format will be rejected. (*.dcf is wrong and will be rejected!)

Be sure to label your media with:

The media should be mailed along with a signed paper hard copy of the report signature page (page 1 of the report, not the complete report) to the FEC. CD filings require an actual summary page because there is no way to transmit the password via diskette or CD. The mailing address is:

Electronic Filing Office
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

NOTE:  CD filings are subject to the same deadlines as paper filings! CD filings mailed to the FEC without a signed summary page will be rejected!

Page Modified December 4, 2013