In an email sent, presumably, to all active FFLs on Friday afternoon (Dec 10), the ATF provided some updates regarding its eForms service. As y’all know, eForm 4s are returning this month, which is great news for anyone looking to purchase an NFA item such as a silencer or SBR!
But the update to ATF eForms is coming with some interesting changes. ATF’s email is copied-and-pasted below. Bold text was added by me to highlight parts that I thought were of particular note for current eForms users and/or of particular interest:
Upcoming ATF eForms Technology Upgrade
This is an advance notice to current eForms users about the upcoming launch of a new version of ATF eForms.
The goal of this “modernized eForms” is to provide ATF with an infusion of technology to provide better services to our industry members and the public. This much needed modernization will reduce the effort and time required to review and process ATF applications by incorporating online validations and other enhancements.
No action is needed at this time. However, there are some required steps you’ll need to complete after the upgrade is finished (details below).
In order to facilitate this upgrade, eForms will be offline during the following time frame:
Upgrade Start: Friday, December 17 at 9 p.m.
Tentative Finish: Tuesday, December 21 at 6 a.m.
You can continue to use the existing eForms until the upgrade starts at 9 p.m. next Friday. During the upgrade time frame, however, eForms will be unavailable.
What you need to know
The web address of eForms is not changing. If you have bookmarked eForms in your browser, it will automatically access the new eForms.
Your eForms User ID is not changing. All your previous submissions will transfer to the new system.
Required steps after upgrade
We’re updating the eForms login process to provide enhanced security and establish a trusted relationship between the user and ATF. Here’s what you’ll need to do after Dec. 21:
- After the upgrade, you’ll need to manually reset your password before you can log in for the first time.
- Once you log in with your new password, the system will ask you to update your user profile information and create a security PIN.
Please review our step-by-step guide with screenshots, but do not complete these steps until the upgrade is complete on Dec. 21:
What to expect
Once the upgrade is finished, you may notice a few changes in the eForms interface. Here’s what to expect:
• ATF eForm 4 is coming back. After the upgrade, you will be able to submit the ATF Form 4 electronically through eForms.
• Electronic submission of ATF Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6A, 9, 10 and 5300.11 with the required electronic documents.
• Electronic submission of fingerprint cards for ATF Form 4. You will be able to attach your “digital fingerprint cards” to your submission.
• Support for larger file attachments. The updated eForms will accept electronic documents up to 30 MB in size.
• Enhanced validations to ensure that the upfront validations of your data occur prior to submission.
• User PIN for validating the submission of all forms as part of the submission process.
• Self-service support for forgotten passwords and PINs.
• Rules of behavior that must be accepted to proceed with the use of eForms.
• “Ask the Expert” to send your questions to our subject matter experts.
• Use of smarter technology to improve customer service and build a foundation for future enhancements such as an Application Programming Interface (API) and Captcha.
With the exception of the “rules of behavior” line, the other bold items in that bulleted list are clear enhancements. I have no clue what these “rules of behavior” might be, but if I’ll try to find out ahead of the updated eForms launch and will let y’all know if I do.
EDIT: Whelp, far less intrigue here than I had anticipated. A screenshot of the “rules of behavior” is included in those user login steps docs. It’s primarily a security-related end-user agreement, with some reminders that user accounts cannot be shared and one must use the account responsible for the NFA item to file a form related to that NFA item. Click on the following screenshot to enlarge it: