|I've Submitted My Application, Fee,
and Copy of My Work to the Copyright Office. Now What?
How can I know when my submission for registration is received by
the Copyright Office?
If you apply for copyright registration online, you will receive an email stating
that your application has been received. Otherwise, the Copyright Office does
not provide a confirmation of receipt. Currently, if you use a commercial carrier
(such as Federal Express, Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, or United
Parcel Service), that company may be able to provide an acknowledgment of receipt
by the Copyright Office. Due to the mail disruption,
an acknowledgment of receipt for mail sent via the U.S. Postal Service, e.g.,
certified, registered and overnight delivery, may take several weeks or longer
to receive. Claims to copyright may also be hand-delivered to the Copyright Office.
See About the Office for hours and location.
Please note that our mail service is severely disrupted. (Read
How long does the registration process take, and when will I receive
The time the Copyright Office requires to process an application varies, depending on the number of applications the Office is receiving and clearing at the time of submission and the extent of questions associated with the application. Current processing times are:
Processing Time for e-Filing: generally, 3 to 5 months
Processing Time for Paper Forms: generally, 6 to 9 months
Note: For works that are determined to be copyrightable and that meet all legal and procedural requirements for registration, the effective date of registration is the date the Copyright Office received the completed application, correct payment, and copy(ies) of the work being registered in acceptable form. You do not need to wait for a certificate to proceed with publication.
Please note that our mail service is severely disrupted.(Read
I’ve been getting solicitation letters
from publishers. Is the Copyright Office selling my personal information?
The Copyright Office does not sell information. Copyright Office records, however,
are public records, which means anyone may come to our office and inspect them.
Occasionally organizations such as music publishers or book publishers send a
representative to the Copyright Office to compile lists of names and addresses
of those authors who have most recently registered their works. Their purpose,
undoubtedly, is to solicit new business. This practice is not a violation of
| Note: The Copyright Office offers
introductory answers to frequently asked questions about copyright,
registration, and services of the Office. Links throughout the
answers will guide you to further information on our website
or from other sources. For any other questions, please visit
our Contact Us page.