USDA Permits

Establishing a USDA e-authentication account  through the USDA website allows researchers access to USDA Web applications and services via the Internet. In general, UGA researchers will need to establish a Level 2 account. This could take a minimal time of 3 days to complete. Once your account has been eAuthenticated you can logon and apply for a permit.

  1. Fill out the online create an account form – Level 2 access. An email confirmation will be sent from the USDA regarding the customer profile you submitted (if you don’t receive the email shortly after, check your junk mail).
  2. Within 7 days of receipt of this email, you must confirm that you received the confirmation message so they know your email account is accurate and exists.
  3. Following the confirmation email exchange, go to a USDA Service Center where a USDA employee will activate your account. The USDA site will direct you on this. You must bring a government-issued ID (State driver’s license or photo ID, U. S. passport or U. S. Military ID).
  4. Once you have an activated account, you are required to update your password at your next login to meet the Level 2 Access password requirement. Approximately 1 hour after you have updated your password, you will have access to USDA applications & services that require a Level 2 account.

Service Center nearest the Athens campus:
Watkinsville Service Center (in the Oconee County Government Annex building)
1291 Greensboro Hwy
View Google Map of location

Find other service centers

Important Information

  • User ID: once created, cannot be changed.
  • First & Last Name fill-ins: enter exactly as they appear on the government-issued ID that you will take with you to the Service Center.
  • You must respond to the confirmation email before going to the Service Center.
  • If you do not confirm your initial confirmation email within 7 days of receiving it, then you will have to start the registration process again.

FAQs for Importation and Transportation of Organisms and Vectors (OV) 

1. Your OV permit expired. Do you need to submit an application for renewal?

Yes. The expiration date listed on the USDA VS 16-6 permit is the last date on which the permittee is allowed to import or transport agents listed on the permit.

2. Your address, laboratory information, or regulated material is changing from the details on the permit. Do you need an amendment to your existing permit?

Yes. You must amend your existing permit if your details change. Make requests for a change in name, address, laboratory information, or material description through the VS 16-3 application form.

3. Your OV permit expired, can you still possess imported materials beyond the permit expiration date?

Yes. Renewal of permit is not required for possession of previously imported materials. However, the permittee is responsible for all materials until possession ends. Permit restrictions remain in effect until the material is used up, destroyed, or discarded following appropriate methods.

4. Does my laboratory or facility require an APHIS inspection before obtaining a VS permit?

APHIS inspection is required prior to obtaining importation and transportation permits for any BSL-3 pathogens. Additionally, inspection is required for selected BSL-2 pathogens.

More answers can be found on the USDA website.