How to create an account
To create a login.gov account you’ll need a valid email address and a working phone number. We’ll also ask you to create a password.
Please be prepared to configure another authentication method out of the list available. Using this secondary authentication method allows us to protect your account better.
Enter your email and confirm it
Select “create an account” and enter your email address. Then check your email account for a message from us. Within the email is a link. Selecting the link will confirm your email address and send you back to login.gov.
This is what it looks like:
Create a password
Next, you will create a strong password. Use the password strength meter on the screen as a guide. Passwords must be at least 12 characters, but otherwise there are no restrictions. You can even enter spaces in between words to get to 12 characters.
Configure a second layer of security
Next, you will configure a secondary authentication method. The second step keeps your account more secure than using only a password. You can choose between text messages, phone calls, an authentication application, a security key, or backup codes. Government employees can also use their PIV or CAC cards.
Text message/SMS or Phone call
If you select Text message/SMS or Phone call as a second authentication method, enter a phone number at which you can get phone calls or text messages. If you have a landline, you must receive your security code by phone call. login.gov cannot send security codes to extensions or voicemails.
We will send a unique security code to that phone number each time you sign into your account.
Each security code expires after 10 minutes and can only be used once. If you don’t enter the security code within 10 minutes, just request a new code. Each code is only good once, so no one can steal one you’ve already used.
Type the security code into the field. That’s it! Every time you sign back into your login.gov account, you will receive a new security code that you need to enter. You’ll get the option each time you sign in to get a security code by a phone call or by SMS.
To use an authentication app, you must first install one of the supported applications and configure it to work with login.gov. Read more on how to set up an authentication app.
Your security key must support the FIDO standard. You can add as many security keys as you want. Once you connect your key to your computer, usually by plugging it into a USB port, assign the key a name to identify it within your login.gov account. The next step will ask you to activate your key. This is generally done by pressing a button on the key itself.
Backup codes are another method of authentication. When you elect to use the backup codes as your 2nd factor, login.gov will generate a set of 10 codes. After you sign in with your username and password, you will be prompted for a code. Each code may only be used once, once the 10th code has been used you will be prompted to download a new list. Treat your recovery codes with the same level of attention as you would your password.