What is a UPIN and How to Apply for a UPIN

A UPIN is a Unique Personal Identification Number.  If you are frequently delayed or your NICS background check comes out denied, you may need to apply for a UPIN.  This could help you verify your identity with the FBI.  Perhaps your name, social security number, date of birth, etc are close to a prohibited person.  This can cause a delayed message or possible a denial.  

"Anyone may apply for the VAF, but it is designed for firearm purchasers who believe they are legally allowed to buy firearms, but they have been denied more than once or frequently experience delays in their transactions. Purchasers sometimes find themselves experiencing delays or denials in firearms purchases because of a past misdemeanor charge or because an ineligible person has a similar name." 

To apply for a UPIN, you will need to use the Voluntary Appeal File (VAF).

UPIN VAF Walk-Through Guide

Apply Online - You can apply to the VAF online via eVAF. During the application process, you will receive an email with an encrypted link and pin to access your application. You must log in to the application at least every 90 days for it to remain active.  

Paper Applications - A VAF application and fingerprint form can also be obtained online (below).

Mail - You can also mail a request to:

FBI CJIS Division
ATTN: Criminal History Analysis Team 1
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

Source: “Appeals and VAF.” FBI, FBI, 3 June 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/nics/national-instant-criminal-background-check-system-nics-appeals-vaf#:~:text=When%20you%20apply%20for%20the,UPIN%20for%20your%20background%20check.

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