Creating an Individual Account

When creating an individual user account, there is only a minimal amount of information that you must enter. NOTE: You must create a new username and password to access certain information in SAM.  You cannot automatically log into SAM with the username and password you had in a legacy system. You need to create an account in SAM.  While you can provide additional information, you are only required to enter:

  • Your first name
  • Your last name
  • Your email address
  • Country (select your option from the dropdown list provided)
  • Phone number
  • Username
  • A password
  • Your security question responses

Username: This unique identifier will be permanently associated with your SAM account.  Once chosen, it may not be changed.  SAM account usernames may never be reused, so once an account with a particular username is created, no other account may ever use that username, even if the account with that username is deactivated.  The username must be a minimum of six characters and has a maximum of thirty-five characters.  Please note that you can enter the following four special characters as part of the username: @ . _ –

An individual account and therefore a username, can move with you when you leave an organization if you, or the organization you were originally associated with allows this (your access and roles will not transfer).  It is for this reason that we recommend that you not use your email as your username. Your organization (particularly certain U.S. Federal Government entities) may impose certain guidelines regarding your selection of a username, such as the use of a prefix.  Please refer to your internal processes to determine if this applies to you.

Password: Your password proves that you are who you say you are.  Your user account password should never be shared with anyone else.  Neither the Federal Service Desk nor the SAM Program Office will ever ask you for your password.  If you should forget your individual account password, the system will allow you to reset it.

Passwords must be changed periodically.  This change varies with the type of account you have.

Account Type Password Expiration
Individual Account 180 days
Individual Account (with Federal Government Roles) 90 days

Your password must contain, at a minimum:

  • At least eight characters total (but no more than fifteen characters)
  • At least one number
  • At least one letter
  • At least one special character (but not the & symbol)

Email address: A current, valid email address is required for each SAM account.  This email address serves as a primary means of communicating with you for features such as notifications, alerts, and password resets.  A given email address may only be associated with one username at a time.  If you have more than one email address, you should use the one that is most closely associated with your job function.  For example, if you are using SAM as a representative of a Federal Government agency, you should use the government-provided email address from that agency if possible.  This will help easily identify you as a member of that agency, which can help when making requests and performing other functions requiring administrator involvement.

As part of your SAM account creation, you will be required to prove (“validate”) that you have access to the email address you used.  During the registration process, a unique link (URL) is sent to your email account that you must select to activate your new SAM account.  This validation ensures that you entered your email correctly and confirms that you are authorized to access that email account

If your email address changes for any reason, you should immediately update your SAM user profile.  Failure to do so may prevent you from accessing your SAM account if you should ever forget your username or password.

To create a SAM user account, follow these steps:

    • From the SAM homepage, select “Create A User Account” in the upper right corner of the page or select the “Create User Account” button under the Create User Account icon in the Getting Started section.
  • On the “Create an Account -> Choose Account Type” page, you can find more information on individual and system accounts.  Become familiar with the differences. If you determine that an individual account is appropriate, select “Create Individual Account” in the “Individual Account Details” section.
  • The first account creation page is titled Create Account. Enter the information that pertains to you.  When entering your username and password a pop-up will inform you if you have met all requirements (such as minimum length).  Complete the security questions and answers.  NOTE: Answers to security questions are not case sensitive.  These provide an alternate method of validating your identity in certain scenarios (such as if you don’t have access to your email account and forget your password).  When complete select “Next.”
  • On the summary screen, review the answers provided.  For security reasons, the password will not be displayed.   If you need to change anything, select “Edit.” Once you’ve confirmed all of the data is accurate, select “Submit.”
  • An email from SAM.gov is sent to your email account.  In the email, select the link provided to complete the account creation process.
  • Return to SAM.gov, enter your username and password and select “Log In” to complete the account registration.  Your account will not be active until you see the screen in Figure 2.3.