Introduction - Becoming An Enrolled Agent

In order to become an enrolled agent, you must:

Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number;

  • Apply to sit for the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE);
  • Pass all three parts of the SEE;
  • Apply for enrollment; and
  • Pass a tax compliance and suitability check.

Preparer Tax Identification Number – PTIN
All federal tax return preparers and enrolled agents are required to have a current year Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Applicants, who must be at least 18 years old, can sign up online or submit a paper application. You will need the following to begin your PTIN application:

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Personal information (name, mailing address, date of birth)
  • Business information (name, mailing address, telephone number)
  • Preceding year's individual tax return
  • Details regarding any felony convictions (felony convictions may affect your ability to get a PTIN)
  • Details regarding any problems with your individual or business tax obligations (problems with your taxes, such as failure to timely file tax returns or pay taxes, may affect your ability to get a PTIN)
  • $30.00 PTIN user fee
  • Your supervisor's PTIN, if applicable
  • Your U.S.-based professional certification number, jurisdiction of issuance and expiration date, if applicable (including attorney, certified acceptance agent, CPA, enrolled actuary and enrolled retirement plan agent)

To obtain a PTIN online, you must first create an account by entering your name, email address and security question information. After setting up an account, you can apply for your PTIN by completing an online application and paying the $64.25 fee by credit card, direct debit or eCheck. After your payment is confirmed, your PTIN will be provided online and you will receive a letter of welcome and information about testing and continuing education requirements. The online process is the quickest method and takes about 15 minutes. If you submit a paper application (IRS Form W-12), you should allow four to six weeks to receive your PTIN. PTINs expire on December 31 of each year.

Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE)
To apply to take the exam, you must fill out IRS Form 2587 "Application for Special Enrollment Examination" available at Prometric, the test sponsor that administers the SEE on behalf of the IRS. The SEE is currently given at nearly 300 Prometric testing centers throughout the United States and internationally. You will need your PTIN in order to register for the exam.

You can choose one of three methods to register, schedule and pay for the SEE:

  • Complete Form 2587 online at You will be able to immediately register, schedule and make payment online; or
  • Fax the form to 1-800-347-9242. After waiting a full calendar day, you can then log on to;
  • or call 1-800-306-3926 to register, schedule and pay; or Mail the completed form to:
Attn: IRS Special Enrollment Examination
1260 Energy Lane
St. Paul, MN 55108

After six to 10 calendar days, log on to or call 1-800-306-3926 to register, schedule and pay.

The fee for the SEE is $105 for each of the three parts of the exam. Each part can be taken at your convenience (parts do not have to be taken on the same day). The nonrefundable fee can be paid by credit card or eCheck at the time you schedule your exam.When you schedule your exam, you will be given a number confirming your appointment. You will need this number to reschedule, cancel or change your appointment. There is no rescheduling fee if you do so at least 30 calendar days before your appointment. If you reschedule between five and 29 days before your appointment you will have to pay a $35 fee. Rescheduling less than five calendar days prior to your appointment will result in another full examination fee. Rescheduling can be done online at or by calling 800-306-3926.

Passing The SEE
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