Primary Filing Information


Principal campaign committees of congressional candidates1 (including unopposed candidates and candidates whose names do not appear on the ballot) who seek nomination in the primary must file the applicable reports and notices.2  Committees must continue to file reports until the Commission notifies them in writing that their termination report has been accepted.

NOTE:  A recent legislative change allows committees to file reports using overnight mail on the same terms as registered/certified mail.3


In response to the anthrax threat, the U.S. Postal Service is irradiating mail directed to many federal agencies, including the FEC and the Secretary of the Senate.4  This process has not only delayed mail delivery, it has also damaged and in some cases destroyed pieces of mail.   As a result, committees that file reports with the FEC may want to consider submitting their reports by some means other than U.S. mail.  Alternative methods include electronic filing (see information below), overnight mail service, and hand delivery.

Committees that choose to file electronically can download free FECFile software and may contact the Commission's Electronic Filing office for assistance at (800) 424-9530 or (202) 694-1642.


Notices are required if the committee receives contributions (including in-kind gifts or advances of goods or services; loans from the candidate or other non-bank sources; and guarantees or endorsements of bank loans to the candidate or committee) of $1,000 or more during the applicable reporting period.

The notices, which may be filed using Form 6, must reach the appropriate federal and/or state filing office(s) within 48 hours of the committee’s receipt of the contribution(s).  U.S. Senate candidates should transmit them to the Secretary of the Senate at (202) 224-1851.  Campaign committees that file electronically MUST submit their 48-hour notices electronically.  U.S. House candidates faxing 48-hour notices should transmit them to the FEC at (202) 219-0174.


U.S. House committees that receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $50,000 in a calendar year, or that expect to do so, must submit their reports electronically. For additional information, visit our "Electronic Filing" page, and call the FEC’s Electronic Filing office at (800) 424-9530 or (202) 694-1642.



Authorized committees of federal candidates must aggregate and report receipts and disbursements on an election-cycle basis. For more information, see the August 2000 Record newsletter.


1 An individual becomes a candidate for Federal office (and thus triggers registration and reporting obligations) when his or her campaign exceeds $5,000 in either contributions received or expenditures made. If the campaign has not crossed the $5,000 threshold, it is not required to file reports.

2 If the campaign has more than one authorized committee, in addition to the principal campaign committee, the principal campaign committee must also file a consolidated report on Form 3Z.

3 Reports sent by registered or certified mail must be postmarked by the mailing date.  Committees should keep the mailing receipt with its postmark as proof of filing.  If using overnight mail, the delivery service must receive the report by the mailing date.  "Overnight mail" means an overnight service with an on-line tracking system.  Reports filed by any other means must be received by the Commission (or Secretary of the Senate for Senate committees) by the filing date.

4 Senate committees should contact the Secretary of the Senate at (202) 224-0322 for more information on filing reports via US mail.

5 Penalties for late- or non-filing of 48-hour notices are based on the amount of contributions not timely disclosed.  As a result, these penalties may exceed $16,000, even for first-time violations.


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