The topics listed below provide answers to commonly asked questions about the Lobbying Disclosure Electronic Filing System for Windows users.
New Issue Code: The issue code TAR was added to the forms. This code can be used to report activity related to miscellaneous tariff bills.
I am having problems installing the IBM software. Where can I get help?
The most common problems that occur when you are downloading or installing the IBM Workplace Viewer are related to permissions. Please review the Troubleshooting Guide for solutions.
Windows Troubleshooting Guide
Why am I getting errors when I try to file my forms?
Your submission may time out due to slow internet connection speeds. If this happens, you can wait a few minutes and submit your form again. If you have many users on a DSL or cable connection you may want to try submitting your form earlier or later in the day when there are not as many users accessing the connection.
If you continue to receive error messages, several factors may be causing the problem:
Why does my filing fail after I submit it?
The Senate ID and password must be entered correctly on the form or the system will not accept your filing. Please contact the Senate Office of Public Records if you can’t remember your password. If the filing fails for this reason:
If you do not know your Senate ID, you can locate it from the Senate’s website: Locate your Senate ID
How do I sign a form with my Senate password?
To sign your form with your Senate password, click on the signature button, then click the Sign button. A new screen will be displayed that allows you to enter the signer name and your Senate password.
Step by Step Instructions
Am I required to buy software to use the electronic Lobbying Disclosure forms?
No. The IBM Workplace Viewer is provided to registrants by the House of Representatives and can be downloaded from the Forms and Software page in the Windows section of the Lobbying Disclosure website.
I am a new filer. What do I need to do to start creating my filings?
A special section has been created for new filers. It explains computer requirements, passwords, software installations, and some tips to help get you started.
How long will it take to get a Senate password?
Filers should plan to obtain their passwords well in advance of a filing deadline; it will not be possible to activate a password the day before or on the due date of a filing.
How do I apply for a Senate password?
If you are a new registrant (organizations, lobbying firm, or self-employed lobbyist) who has not previously registered for any client, you may request a Senate password using the Online Password Request Form.
Do Not use this application if you are an individual lobbyist employed by a firm or organization.
Do I need to install anything to use my password?
No. The forms include a signature process. You will only need to download and install the IBM Viewer software and the form.
Can I file semi annual amendments electronically?
Yes. A semi-annual report form is available in the Forms Archive section of the Forms and Software page. This form is signed with your Senate password and submitted to both the House and Senate in a single submission using the “File with Congress” button.
Windows Forms Archive
Can I file electronically if I am registering to do lobbying for the first time?
Yes. New registrations must filed electronically with both the House and Senate. Before you can file your registration form, you must obtain a Senate password. When your password request is processed by the Senate you will receive the Senate ID along with your password so that you can file your registration electronically.
Please note that only the Senate ID must be entered on the registration form when you are registering for the first time. After your registration is processed by the House, your House ID will be included in your confirmation email. Both the Senate and House ID’s will be used for all future electronic filings.
See http://senate.gov/lobby for more information on obtaining a Senate password
Can I file electronically to add a new client or update my registration?
If you are already registered with the House and Senate, you can use the LD-1DS form to register a new client. Instructions on how to fill out the form for new client registrations are listed in the user manual.See http://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov/register.html for more information on registering new clients
Can I file an old report or amendment electronically?
Electronic filing is limited to filing reports for the periods beginning July 1, 2004 and later. If you wish to file or amend a report for an earlier period, you may use the electronic form to fill out the data, and then print the form for paper filing.
What information will I need to prepare the form?
It is very important that you enter the registrant name, client name, House ID and Senate ID exactly as it is registered. To assist you, pre-populated forms have been created with information from your House registration already inserted. You can download a pre-populated form for each client from the Forms and Software Page by searching for your registrant name. You can locate help with the content of your form in the line by line instructions and the guidance.
Where do I go for help with the form?
A guide to completing lobbying disclosure forms is available on the Home page of the Lobbying Disclosure website that includes definitions and examples of what should be included on the forms.
The Windows Help manual is available on the Lobbying Disclosure website or from the Online Help button in the form header. It includes technical instructions on how to work with each form, a Troubleshooting Guide that contains solutions to commonly reported problems, and an Appendix with examples of the forms and line by line instructions to complete the content of your forms.
If you can't find an answer in the Help manual, you may call the Legislative Resource Center at (202) 226-5200 or the Senate Office of Public Records at (202) 224-0758.
Can I use the electronic House Lobby Disclosure forms to file with the House and the Senate?
Yes. The forms submit to both the House and Senate with a single click, but you must use your Senate password to sign the form.
How will I know if my filing is complete after I have submitted it?
If you have entered the wrong Senate ID or password, the submission status will be displayed in your browser as "Failed" with the message “Invalid Senate ID/Password”. You must correct the form and then re-submit it. If you are having problems with the ID and password, please contact the Senate Office of Public Records for help.
If you have submitted your form successfully, a single confirmation message is displayed in your web browser that verifies your submission with both the House and Senate. After your form had been received, it is processed by the House and Senate separately.
When your form is processed by the House, you will receive an e-mail from the Office of the Clerk indicating the status of your electronic filing. Please read the contents of the email carefully. If your filing is rejected you will receive instructions on how to correct it so that the form can be re-filed successfully.
See Understanding Electronic Filing for detailed information on how filings are received and processed.