New Procedure for Non-eAuthenticated Applicants to respond to PPQ Draft Permit Conditions and Applicant Inspection Questionnaire

New Procedure for Non-eAuthenticated Applicants to respond to PPQ Draft Permit Conditions and Applicant Inspection Questionnaire

APHIS implemented an enhancement in December 2015 that allows non-eAuthenticated applicants to electronically respond to PPQ’s requests to review and approve “draft permit conditions” and/or to complete the “applicant inspection questionnaire”. This enhancement streamlines the process to capture responses directly into ePermits and therefore do away with the manual process of uploading such documents onto ePermits which increase permit processing times.

When required, non-eAuthenticated applicants will receive draft permit conditions and inspection questionnaires from APHIS by email. Applicants respond to the request(s) by email after obtaining a secured electronic pin number via email. Responses are transferred electronically to the application and captured directly into ePermits.

How this is done?

PPQ’s permit staff will send the draft permit conditions or applicant inspection questionnaire to the applicant by email. The email provides two options to review and respond:

  • Option A is an automated process that is typically faster. ePermits will send the applicant a PIN number by email in order to access and review the document (draft permit or questionnaire). ePermits will open the review/response document in a fillable form once the applicant enters the PIN correctly. The applicant must complete the form accordingly, enter their name, check the acknowledgement checkbox, and submit the response as instructed. Once complete, ePermits will acknowledge receipt with a “Thank You for your input” message.

  • Option B, the applicant returns a completed questionnaire via email that is uploaded into ePermits by APHIS staff manually. Permit staff will receive the response and continue with the application process. Once issued, ePermits will send a permit as a pdf attachment in an email to the permittee.

On average, the permit approval process will be expedited when Option A is used.  

Incorrect PIN

If the applicant enters an incorrect PIN, the system will indicate “PIN is incorrect. Please try again.” The applicant has up to three unsuccessful attempts before the correct PIN becomes invalid. The system will request that the applicant reply to the first email they received and request a new PIN to start the process once again.


The applicant has 30 days to respond. The system will send follow-up reminder emails at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days.

Please Note: ePermits generates a new PIN each time it sends a new email. Therefore the PIN(s) associated with previously sent emails will no longer be valid.


APHIS-PPQ encourages all non-eAuthenticated applicants to take advantage of Option A (electronic submission via ePermits) for reviewing and responding to their PPQ draft permit conditions and applicant inspection questionnaire. Permit processing times are faster when using Option A.

Furthermore, APHIS-PPQ strongly encourages applicants and permit holders to register for an eAuthentication Level 2 account in order to apply for permits electronically via ePermits. To facilitate this, APHIS-PPQ offers permit holders a streamlined eAuthentication registration process through an online and phone call process. This will help establish ownership of the identity in real-time, greatly reducing the likelihood of fraud and reducing application processing times. Permit Compliance Officers or Identity Managers will administer a brief identity authentication quiz and will require applicants to answer a series of short questions. There will be no need for applicants to visit a USDA office for validation by a Local Registration Authority (LRA). 

Some of the many advantages of having an eAuthentication account include:

  • Access to the electronic permitting system – ePermits;
  • Ability to submit permit applications and renewals, ownership transfer and amendment requests online;
  • Ability to copy existing applications thereby reducing data entry requirements;
  • Access to your issued permits for reprinting purposes at any time;
  • Ability to manage your own information and prevent transcription errors;
  • Ability to view and manage all of your applications, permits, letters of no jurisdiction, letters of denial, and other permit-related correspondence in a single place; and
  • Ability to receive notification reminders when permits are nearing expiration.

You can obtain additional information on how to become level 2 eAuthenticated on the following USDA APHIS websites:

You may also contact the Customer Support Center at (301) 851-2046 for assistance.

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