DOD UID Marking

Unique Identification Marking, or UID marking, is a part of the UID compliance process mandated by the United States Department of Defense (DoD). It is a permanent marking method used to give equipment a unique ID. Marking is essential for all equipment with an acquisition cost of over $5,000, equipment which is mission essential, controlled inventory, serially-controlled, or consumable.

UID-marking is a set of data for assets that is globally unique and unambiguous. The technology used to mark an item is 2D Data Matrix ECC 200 Symbol. UID marking ensures data integrity and data quality throughout the life of the asset; it also supports multi-faceted business applications. The DoD is enabled by UID marking standards to reach established goals and objectives by enhancing total asset visibility, improving lifecycle item management and accountability and enabling clean financial audits.

UID-marking is required for all DoD solicitations issued on or after Jan. 1, 2005. Also the US Department of Defense made it mandatory for all federal contractors to have UID-marking on their government furnished military and non-military equipment after September 30, 2007. Only after the products have UID-marking containing uniquely identified numbers, they are eligible for IUID Registry.


Per the UID standard, a 2D Data Matrix bar code that is applied with either direct part UID-marking techniques or labels must also prove to be generated to a level of quality that meets the standards set by the Internatioonal Organization for Standardardization (ISO) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). UID Markings and 2D Matrix Barcode Symbols can be created on a variety of surfaces. Generally UCC.EAN, ANSI MH 10.8.2 or ATA style descriptors are used for UID-marking symbol. Vendors supplying parts to the Department of Defense are required to supply parts with UID Data Matrix Symbols conforming to MIL-STD 130M standard. By using a Data Matrix Symbol laser etching system to engrave a UID onto each part, items can be uniquely identified by manufacturer, part number and serial number.

Marking Methodology

UID bar code must be maintained as a readable bar code throughout the entire life of the item; hence strong consideration must be given to the UID-marking methodology. Metal tag with a permanent adhesive or durable polyester label are suitable for many environments but other marking items such as laser etch, dot peen, chemical etch or ink jet can also be used for direct part unique identification.