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Help Center

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login.gov offers the public secure and private online access to participating government programs. With one login.gov account, users can sign in to multiple government agencies. The goal: make managing federal benefits, services and applications faster and more secure.

The General Services Administration, or GSA, manages login.gov. As a federal agency, GSA’s mission is to make interactions with the government easier and more efficient.

Creating an account

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How do I create an account with login.gov?

To create a login.gov account, you will need: a valid email address, and a working phone number. We will also ask you to create a password.

Enter your email and confirm it

Select “create an account” and enter your email address where indicated. Then check your email account for a message from us. Within the email is a link. Clicking the link will send you back to login.gov with your email confirmed.

Enter your password

Next, you will create a strong password. Use the password strength meter on the screen as a guide. Passwords must be at least 8 characters, but otherwise there are no restrictions. You can even enter spaces in between words to get to 8 characters.

Enter your phone number and confirm it

Next, you will enter a phone number at which you can get calls or SMS messages. If you have a landline, please ask for a security code by a phone call. We will send a unique security code to that phone number each time you sign into your account. This is called two-factor authentication. The second step keeps your account more secure than using only a password.

Each security code expires after 5 minutes and can only be used once. If you don’t enter the security code within 5 minutes, just request a new code. Each code is only good once, so no one can steal one you’ve already used.

Type the security code into the field. That’s it! You have just taken an important step to keep yourself and your government safe. Every time you sign back into your login.gov account, you will receive a new security code that you need to enter. You’ll get the option each time you sign in to get a security code by a phone call or by SMS.

Save your personal key

After you’ve created your account, you will get a personal key, which is a set of 16 random characters. Make a note of them and store the note separately from your phone. If you forget your password or don’t have your phone, you can enter the personal key to access your services or applications.

What is two-factor authentication?

login.gov uses two-factor authentication to keep accounts secure. As its name implies, two-factor authentication (sometimes called 2FA), requires two different methods to sign into an account. Usually this means entering a memorized password and a unique code sent to a device (such as a phone) that you own. Requiring two methods makes breaking into your account much harder.

Why do I need to confirm my email address and my phone number?

login.gov uses your email address and phone number to send important security messages about account activity. We won’t use them for any other purposes, and we won’t share them with anyone without your express permission.

I didn't receive a confirmation email from login.gov.

If you didn’t receive a confirmation email, check your spam filter. Alternatively, you may have accidentally mistyped your email address. If so, you can always make another account with your correct email address.

  • If you mistyped your address, you can create a new account.
  • If you are certain you entered the correct address, choose “Send again” to get a new confirmation email.

Why didn't I receive a security code to confirm my phone?

If you didn’t receive a security code, check whether you entered your phone number correctly.

  • Did you enter a wrong phone number? Look for the option to enter it again.
  • If it’s the right number, request the code again. Receive it by SMS or by a phone call on a landline or a mobile phone.

Do I need a mobile phone to use login.gov?

You do not need to own a mobile phone to use login.gov. You do need to provide a phone number – either a landline or a mobile phone – at which you can receive security codes every time you sign in either by SMS or phone call.

Why do I need to use login.gov to access government services online?

Government agencies decide for themselves how they want to interact with the public. You were sent to login.gov because the service or program you want to use has chosen to take advantage of the efficiency and security of login.gov as a shared technology platform. Once you have finished at login.gov, you will be directed back to the agency.

We hope login.gov is a convenient and secure option for you. However, if you prefer not to use login.gov, you can always access government services. You’ll find more information at your agency.

What do I do if an account already exists under my email address?

Confirming access to an email address is the first step in making a login.gov account. If you received a notice that there is already a login.gov account associated with your email address but you don’t remember creating it, use your email address to sign in and go through the password reset process.

Please notify login.gov if you are sure you did not create an account, and feel like someone else is using your email address.

Signing in

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What do I need to have in order to sign in?

Every time you log into your account, you will need your email address, your password, and access to your phone. After you have entered your email address and password, login.gov will send to your phone a security code, which you will need to enter into the security code field in order to be logged in securely.

What do I do if my password doesn't work or I forget it?

If you don’t know your password, the link to reset it is on the sign-in page. Enter your email address to receive a link to reset your password. Once you follow the link, you’ll be asked to enter a new password. Reconfirm that you have your phone (the one you will use to receive one-time passcodes).

After you’ve successfully signed into login.gov after resetting your password, login.gov will give you a personal key. The personal key is to be used in the event you forget your password or don’t have your phone with you. Make a note of it and store it separately from your phone.

What happens if I miss the phone call or the text message with my one-time security code?

Every time you sign in you will need to enter a security code that is sent to your phone either by text message or by phone call. The security code you receive expires after 5 minutes and can only be used once. If you miss entering the security code within the 5 minutes or you just missed the phone call, just request a new security code. Each security code is only good once, so no one can steal one you’ve already used. We limit requests to three every 15 minutes, but otherwise you can request as many codes as you need.

If I don't have my phone with me, can I still sign in?

It is necessary to have your phone in order to get the security key to sign in. But if you don’t have your phone with you, you will need the personal key you received when you created your account. Enter the personal key when instructed and select submit. Once you are signed in, you will immediately get a new personal key. Please store the personal key in a safe place separately from your phone since the personal key will let you sign in to your account in case you don’t have your phone with you.

We encourage you to store your personal key somewhere other than your computer or mobile device — this way, you’ll be able to access your personal key even if your device is stolen or your online accounts are hacked.

I can't remember where my personal key is and I don't have my phone with me.

If you don’t have your phone or your personal key, you may need to create a new account and re-verify your personal information. To create a new account, you will need to use a different email address than you did when you created your first account. For urgent matters — for example, to check the status of an in-progress application — you may want to directly contact the government agency.

Another option is to log in at a later time when you have your phone near you.

Why does the system log me out?

When a user is already signed in, and they want to change their email, password, or phone number, they must enter their current password first. After three incorrect guesses, the user is signed out.

The system also logs you out if you entered the security code that was sent to your phone, incorrectly 3 times. Failed attempts are limited to three per session, followed by a 5-minute lockout.

I forgot which email address I used to create an account.

If you can’t remember which email address you used to create your account, you can use the password reset function to see if your email address is on file.

Try to sign in as usual and ask to have your password reset. Then, enter the email address you believe you used to create your account. If we have your email address in our records, we will send instructions on how to reset your password. Check your email in a few minutes for these instructions.

What is an authenticator app?

A mobile security application that generates security codes for signing in. You can use the app to get codes even if you don’t have an internet connection or mobile service.

Changing settings

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How do I change my password?

To change your password, sign in at login.gov and go to your Profile page. If you want to change your password, select Edit next to password, enter the new password and submit your change. Passwords must be at least 8 characters but otherwise there are no restrictions. You can even use more than one word with spaces to get to 8 characters.

Instead, try making a long and complex password by using a phrase or a series of words that only you recognize. And please make it different than any other passwords you use to sign into other accounts such as your bank account or email. Using the same passwords for your email, financial and social media accounts makes identity theft easier.

How do I change my email address?

To change your email address, select Edit next to the email address. Enter the new email address and submit it. Then check your email account and look for an email from login.gov. Open the email and click on the link provided. Clicking the link will redirect you back to login.gov. Once you reach login.gov your new email address is established.

How do I change the phone number I am using with my account?

To change the phone number where you get your security code, select Edit next to the phone number and enter the new phone number. login.gov will immediately send your security code to confirm the new phone number.

Privacy and security

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How does login.gov protect my data?

login.gov respects your privacy. We collect personal data online only to help you fulfill your requests with federal agencies that partner with us. login.gov manages specific parts of that agency’s website so we collect personal data in order to provide a secure and private environment for you to access certain government services. We are bound by our privacy policy. login.gov does not lease, sell or release your personal information to private companies, contractors, or vendors for marketing purposes.

login.gov links to external federal government sites for services provided by those agencies. Those sites are subject to their own privacy policy, which is usually spelled out in a privacy policy and legal disclaimer available on their website.

Individual accounts get a double layer of security. We require two-factor authentication as well as strong passwords that meet new National Institute of Standards of Technology requirements for secure validation and verification. This includes two-factor authentication that requires you log in with your password and a security code you receive on your phone. Two-factor authentication can help protect your account against password compromises.

Your information will stay secure. For more information, read our security and privacy policy.

Will login.gov share my information?

login.gov cannot share any information with other government agencies without the user’s permission. Not even login.gov administrators can decrypt or access a user’s personal information without the user’s password.

How do I make my password strong?

Your password should be at least 8 characters long. Try using multiple words and spaces to create a memorable phrase. Longer passwords with many words are stronger than short passwords with special characters.

When creating a password, also try to avoid using slang terms and common misspellings and words spelled backward. Also, avoid using your company name or your spouse’s or children’s names - and even your pet - as well as other personal information such as your age or birth date.

If you’re already signed in, and you’re trying to change your password, email, or phone, you will be prompted to enter your current password before you can make the changes.

But, if you repeatedly enter an incorrect password, it is most likely due to a malicious person taking over your machine that you left unattended. In that case, for your security, we sign you out after three failed attempts.

Can I remove a saved password or login information from my browser?

If you accidentally saved your login.gov password or other sign-in information in your browser, it’s a good idea for you to delete it; this will help you keep your account more secure. From the following list, select the browser (the computer program you use to access the World Wide Web) you use to learn how to make it erase any saved information:

Also, remember whenever you’re online, check the address bar of any webpage you’re visiting to make sure that you can trust them, especially any page that asks you to share a username and password. Be careful about sharing personal information such as your login credentials, financial information, or Social Security number over email.

Still have questions?

Please let us know what’s working and what you’d like to see in the future - we’re actively improving login.gov, and we base our improvements on feedback from users like you! Please contact us with your questions or feedback.