Help: Registration Steps

Provide all required information on the application

Applicants should complete each section of the application accurately and completely.  The facts provided in the application should relate to the copy of the work submitted for registration on the date that the application is submitted.   Applicants should also provide an email address.  Email is the Copyright Office’s primary method of communication.

The following information is required on the application:

The title of the work

The year the work was completed

The date and nation of first publication, if the work has been published when the application is submitted

The name of the author or author(s), unless the work is anonymous or pseudonymous

If the work is a work made for hire,* a statement to this effect

The name and address of the claimant(s)

If the claimant is not the author,* a brief statement explaining how the claimant obtained ownership of the copyright

A description of the work being submitted for registration

A statement describing any preexisting material contained in the work being submitted for registration

The name of the individual certifying the facts provided in the application

*Note: The application for “One Work by One Author” cannot be used to register a “work made for hire.” Likewise, you cannot use the application for “One Work by One Author” if the author is not the claimant for this work.  If you are registering a “work made for hire” or if the author and the claimant are not the same person, you should use the Standard Application.  To access the Standard Application return to the “Home” screen and select “Standard Application.”

Pay the required fee

After completing the application you must pay the required filing fee.  You may pay the fee online using either a credit card or electronic check.  If you elect to pay the fee with a credit card or electronic check you will be directed to, which is a secure online payment system backed by the U.S. Treasury.  Upon completion of your payment, you will be returned to the Copyright Office’s website.  Alternatively, if you have established a deposit account with the Copyright Office, you may pay the fee with your deposit account.

Please note that filing fees are not refundable.

To view current Copyright Office Fees click here.

To learn more about establishing and maintaining a Copyright Office Deposit Account click here.

Upload or mail-in a copy of your work

After completing the application and paying the required filing fee you must submit a copy of your work to complete the application process.  You may upload a copy of your work or mail a copy of your work.

You may upload a copy of your work if it is contained in an acceptable electronic file type AND if it meets one of the following criteria: 

  • Your work is unpublished
  • Your work is published only in an electronic format
  • Your work is published and the deposit requirement for this type of work is identifying material (ID material)
  • Your work is published and there are special agreements requiring a hard copy of the work to be sent to the Library of Congress separately

You must mail hard copies of your work if it meets both of the following criteria:

  • Your work is published in a hard copy format; and
  • You are required to submit the “best edition” of the work OR you are required to submit the work as first published. 

When mailing a copy of your work, print a shipping slip and include it in the package with the copy(ies) of the work.  This will ensure that the Copyright Office will be able to connect the copy to the appropriate case.  If the shipping slip is not included in the package, the copy will not be connected to the appropriate case.  This may result in processing delays, submission of additional copies, and a later effective date of registration.