Registered Identification Number: Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is an RN Number?

RN stands for Registered Identification Number. It is a number issued by the FTC to U.S. businesses that manufacture, import, distribute, or sell products covered by the Textile, Wool, and Fur Acts. Businesses can use this number on product labels in lieu of the company name.

2) Do I have to use an RN number?

No. You are required to label covered products to show the name or identifying number of a business responsible for marketing the products in the United States or the manufacturer. Therefore, you may use your company business name on the label instead of an RN. The business name is the full name that appears on business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices. It is not a trademark, brand, or designer name (unless that is also the name under which the company conducts business). Alternatively, the goods may be labeled with the RN or business name of the company that is buying the goods from you - such as a distributor or retailer marketing them in the United States. If you are acquiring the finished products from an importer or distributor that markets them in the United States, or a manufacturer, they can remain labeled with the RN or business name of that company. RN numbers are available only to businesses residing in the United States. However, imported goods can be labeled with the name of the foreign exporter or distributor that markets them in the United States, or the manufacturer.

3) How do I get an RN number?

We encourage you to apply online. Commission staff will review the application and you will be notified by regular postal mail. As soon as the application has been approved, you can find your RN number in our RN Lookup Service. The number probably will be available online before you receive the mail notification. If you choose not to apply online, you can mail or fax your application to us. The form can be downloaded from this website. The mailing address is: Division of Enforcement, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. The fax number is 202-326-3197.

4) How long does it take to get an RN number?

It is faster if you apply online. We usually process online applications within 3 business days. A letter will be mailed to you shortly thereafter. If you apply by fax or regular mail, it can take 7-10 business days after we receive a properly completed application. We cannot offer one-day service or preferential treatment to any business - regardless of the situation.

5) Can you telephone or fax or email my number?

No. We mail you a letter via the U.S. Postal Service advising you of the number that has been issued. However, you can find your number on our website's RN Lookup Service as soon as the application has been processed. You can search the RN database for your number by entering a key word of your company name.

6) How much does it cost?

There is no charge for this service.

7) My company is not in the U.S. What can I use instead of an RN number?

If you are the product’s manufacturer, or engage in the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of a textile product in the United States, the business name of your company can be used on the label. Alternatively, the goods can be labeled with the RN or business name of a company in the U.S. that is directly involved with importing, distributing, or selling the products.

8) Can I use my IRS number or a Canadian CA number instead of an RN number?

No. Neither your IRS number nor a Canadian CA number can substitute for a business name or RN on the label. However, the business name of a Canadian company responsible for marketing the products in the United States or a Canadian manufacturer on the label will satisfy the legal requirement.

9) Can I have more than one RN number?

No. We assign only one RN number per company.

10) What if my business moves after I obtain an RN number?

You are required to update the information in your application if there is any change in your business name, address, or legal business status. Your RN is subject to cancellation if you fail to do so. You can update this information online or by downloading and mailing or faxing the RN application form. You are also encouraged to update other information that may change, such as telephone number, e-mail address, products, or type of business.

11) What is a WPL number?

Many years ago, WPL numbers were issued by the FTC to companies manufacturing wool products subject to the Wool Products Labeling Act. We no longer issue WPL numbers, but many are still in use. They are used in the same manner as RN numbers.

12) Where can I get more information about RN numbers and the labeling of textile, wool and fur products?

We suggest that you review our business guide book, Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts.