About FEC Backdoor Passwords

Applies To: Federal Election Commission

The FEC uses a “Backdoor Password” whenever there are significant differences between the original and amendment.

They define significant differences as any of the following:

  • The dates of the report have changed.
  • The report changes by approximately 50%, either with more or fewer transactions.
  • A different original form was filed (typically Form 3 vs. Form 3X)

For example, a report with no transactions on it is filed in order to be filed on time. Then amended later to include all appropriate transactions. Or, a report is filed with transactions from state & federal accounts or two different filers and half (or more) of the transactions need to be removed.

The exact percentage of change can be subjective to the analyst, so if a client is making a large enough change in the amended report, it’s best to contact the analyst to confirm if a backdoor password is needed.

It is important to note the following:

1. Only an analyst can create a backdoor password.

2. The password is good ONLY for 24 hours. The analyst can create another password if it expires, but it’s best practice to have the report approved & ready to file before obtaining the password.

TO USE A BACKDOOR PASSWORD:
1. Generate the report with the “Amended” Box checked. As with any other Amended Report, you will need to enter the previously filed Report ID (ex: FEC-123456) and the number of amendments. It’s also recommended to add a note why the report is being amended.

2. After the report is generated, click on “Efile Report“. If you have your password saved, click on the “unlock” symbol to reveal the fields. If not, the fields will already be displayed. Enter (or confirm) the regular filing password is correct, and enter the backdoor password as generated by the analyst.