Accessing Rural Development forms and programs: eAuthentication

To conduct official business transactions via the Internet with USDA Rural Development you’ll need access to their secure system. eAuthentication or eAuth Level 2 must be applied for and approved prior to accessing Rural Development forms, using the Mutual Self-Help SHARES reporting system and submitting 502 Loan Packages electronically. All states should now have the ability to accept electronic 502 Direct Loan packages. Before submitting electronic loan packets check that your state is set up to receive them. The state single family program director or your loan specialist can confirm this.

To register for an eAuth account go to: Choose Create an Account. Be sure to choose Level 2, which is the higher level of security and will provide you access to most of the sites and forms you’ll work with.

eAuthentication Home page

Final step is to verify your identity. The email confirmation will provide two options. Option 1 uses Online Self-Service. You will be asked several questions in order to confirm your identity. Option 2 requires providing less personal information but as a tradeoff it necessitates an in-person verification at a Local Registration Authority (LRA). Approved forms of ID include: state or province issued photo ID such as a Driver’s License or Photo Identification card. US Military or Federal Government employment PIV/CAC (Smart) ID card or a current valid passport.

Be sure to note your log-in, password and security questions. Your log-in cannot be changed and your profile first and last names must match your identification. You will be asked to change your password every six months.

Once you create your account you can expect a confirmation email usually within an hour directing you to your next steps for verifying your identity. If after an hour you don’t receive an email, check your spam or junk file. For additional help or if you don’t receive an email confirmation after 24 hours go to and click on Update My Account. If you can log-in your access has been granted so the problem is not with eAuthentication.

Help Resources

If you experience technical problems with the eForms to UniFi upload, you can contact the Rural Development help desk by calling (800) 457-3642, Select USDA applications (press 2), then select Rural Development (Press 2). Or you may send an email to RD.HD@STL.USDA.GOV.
If you have non-technical (i.e. program related questions) regarding the eForms to UniFi import, please contact your state office.

Self-help grantees using SHARES will use the same initial application process but there is one step further to gain access to your organization’s SHARES account. For assistance with obtaining your eAuthentication and connecting to your organization’s SHARES account contact your SHARES coordinator, Nancy Jacobsen at or (406) 579-5202 to complete the process. The SHARES website is: