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URN-Issuing Licenses: What They Are and Solutions to 3 Common Renewal Issues


Before selling stuffed articles in the United States, a company must apply for a Uniform Registry Number (URN). A URN is a unique ID identifier that traces the product back to the factory where it was physically manufactured.

An important part of compliance is being aware of your URN-issuing license. In this guide we’ll discuss what a URN-issuing license is, how to find yours, and the solutions to three common issues when renewing URN-issuing licenses.

What is a URN-issuing license?

When a company applies for a new URN, they submit an application to one of the regulatory agencies that requires stuffed article registration.

The URN-issuing license is the prefix in your URN that indicates where your URN was issued. For example if your URN is CA12345CN, the URN-issuing state is California.

At GRS, we typically see URNs issued out of California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Utah. We apply for new URNs in the following states based on your registration type:

  • Rhode Island for manufacturer-only URNs
  • Utah for joint URNs
  • Pennsylvania for toy URNs (PA does not accept other state issued URNs for toys)

URN Registration Reminder

Once the URN is issued by the initial agency, you must apply for registration in the other agencies with that URN.

For example, your California-issued URN will only be valid in Pennsylvania if you complete registration in PA using the CA-prefix license.

Common renewal problems with URN-issuing licenses

In GRS’ 20+ years assisting companies with URN registration, we regularly encounter three common issues when our customers attempt to renew URN-issuing licenses.

1. Failure to renew issuing-state licenses

A common problem that we encounter when trying to renew certain state licenses is customers not renewing their issuing-state license.

Certain government agencies (Delaware, Detroit, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia) require the issuing-state license to be attached when renewing their license. 


It is extremely important to renew your URN-issuing license to keep your URN active and compliant. Make sure your URN-issuing license is renewed, and that you attach it when renewing in Delaware, Detroit, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia.

2. Failure to report sales amounts

The second most prominent challenge we encounter is when renewing licenses that are issued out of Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Since these two states require sales amounts to be reported, customers often do not report amounts to us and we are unable to invoice their account.


If your URN starts with PA or NC and you are enrolled in License Management, it is crucial that you report sales amounts to us via the GRS dashboard and pay the subsequent license. Otherwise we cannot renew certain state licenses.

3. Failure to supply GRS with the importer’s licenses

The third problem is when we manage importer-only tables. If we are managing importer licenses that require the URN to be submitted, and we do not have access to the URN-issuing license, we will not be able to submit the renewals. 


In cases where we do not have access to an importer's URN-issuing license, our Monitored Services team reaches out to the contact in the company account to provide us with a copy of the issuing license. Once we are provided the license, we can proceed with renewals as normal. 

If you have any questions about URN-issuing licenses, or if you need help registering for a URN, GRS is here to help. GRS is a trusted partner in compliance for the world’s leading retailers, and we can make registration much less of a headache for your team.

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