Registered Identification Number: Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is an RN?
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 instead of the company name.

2) Do I have to use an RN?
No. You are required to label covered products to identify the business responsible for marketing the products in the United States or the manufacturer. Therefore, you may put 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, products 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 finished products from an importer or distributor that markets them in the United States, or a manufacturer, the products can remain labeled with that company’s RN or business name. RNs 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?
We encourage you to apply online. Commission staff will review the application and you will be notified by email or regular mail. As soon as the application has been approved, you can find your RN number in our RN Search screen. 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?
It is faster if you apply online. We usually process online applications within 3 business days. We will send a response to the email address you provide. If you apply by mail or fax but do not provide an email address, a regular postal letter will be mailed to you instead. 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 my RN?
No. When your RN first issues, we will email it to the email address you provide.  For mailed and faxed applications, you will receive your number by regular mail unless you provided an email address in your application.  However, you can find your number on our website's RN Search screen as soon as the application has been processed and approved. You can search for your RN by entering a key word of your company name.

6) How much does an RN cost?
There is no charge.

7) My company is not in the United States. What can I use instead of an RN?
If you are the product manufacturer, or engage in the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of a covered product in the United States, the business name of your company can be used on the label. Alternatively, the product can be labeled with the RN or business name of a company in the United States that is directly involved with importing, distributing, or selling the product.

8) Can I use my IRS number or a Canadian CA number instead of an RN on a product label?
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 product in the United States or a Canadian manufacturer on the label will satisfy the legal requirement.

9) Can I have more than one RN?
No. We will issue only one RN per company.

10) What if my business moves after I obtain an RN?
You are required to update the information for your RN registration 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.

11)  Can RNs be cancelled?
Yes, there are two ways this can occur.  First, an RN holder can submit a request online to cancel their RN.  Second, RNs are subject to cancellation if the FTC fails to receive prompt notification of any change in the RN holder’s business name, address, or legal business status.  You can easily update this information online, or download and mail or fax an updated RN application form to the FTC. We encourage you to update other information as it changes, such as telephone number, email address, products, or type of business.

12) What is a WPL number?
Many years ago, the FTC issued WPL numbers 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.

13) Where can I get more information about RNs and the labeling of textile, wool and fur products?
We invite you to review our business guide book, Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts, and visit our webpage for clothing and textiles.