Step 8 Annual ETC Certification

The Lifeline Reform Order (FCC 12-11) requires ETCs to annually:

  • Re-certify the eligibility of every subscriber.
  • Submit FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form) to report the results of the annual subscriber recertification to USAC along with additional ETC certifications certifying to the accuracy of data submitted.

Recertification Requirement

ETCs must obtain recertification from each subscriber once in the calendar year. The recertification can be completed by the ETC or the ETC may elect for USAC to complete the recertification on their behalf. ETCs must complete recertification by December 31, 2015, including de-enrolling all subscribers who do not recertify. Any necessary changes to NLAD must be made within one business day thereafter.

Who needs to be recertified?
  • Recertification must begin the year after the subscriber initially enrolled in the Lifeline Program and continues on an annual basis while the subscriber is enrolled in the Lifeline Program.
  • All subscribers claimed on the February FCC Form 497 and enrolled in the Lifeline Program prior to January 1 of that year must be recertified. For example, subscribers claimed on a February 2014 FCC Form 497, who were enrolled in the Lifeline Program prior to January 1, 2014, need to be recertified.

If you have any questions related to this process, please contact us via email.

FCC Form 555 Requirement

The FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form) is completed annually by ETCs to certify the accuracy of data submitted to USAC and to certify the results of the annual subscriber recertification.

Wireless ETCs that offer Lifeline Program-supported service free-of-charge to subscribers must file the FCC Form 555 to report the number of subscribers de-enrolled for non-usage. This should be completed in Section 4 of the FCC Form 555 for each month that the carrier provided service in the year.

The FCC Form 555 and instructions are available on the Lifeline Program Forms page of the website.


The FCC Form 555 certification is due annually to USAC by January 31. If January 31 falls on a Federal holiday or weekend, the FCC Form 555 will be due the next business day.

ETCs must also file a copy of their FCC Form 555 with the FCC by filing the form in Docket 14-171. For information on how to file electronically using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System, please refer to the FCC's website.