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Charter Application Introduction

Charter Application Introduction

Purpose and Disclaimer 

The Federal Credit Union Charter Application Guide provides helpful information and recommendations for organizing groups to navigate the process of applying for a new (also called a de novo) federal credit union charter.  As described in this document, organizers are encouraged to refer to the agency’s Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, Section 1753 of the Federal Credit Union Act, or Part 701 of NCUA regulations for information about specific requirements that need to be met in order for the agency to issue a federal charter.  Existing state-chartered credit unions that wish to convert to a federal charter should refer to Chapter 4, Charter Conversions, of the Chartering and Field of Membership Manual for the required application forms and procedures. 

This guide is not intended to create any new binding requirements or supersede any existing requirements, such as those in the agency’s Chartering and Field of Membership Manual.  Rather, the Guide serves two primary purposes.   

First, the guide outlines the steps involved in submitting the NCUA’s Proof of Concept available here. This access method is an option available to de novo federal charter applicants to streamline and digitize Phase 1 of the process and receive incremental feedback and guidance from the NCUA. Submitting electronically using this method is preferred, however, applicants always have the option of completing and submitting the information or forms as described in the Chartering Manual instead of using the Proof of Concept. All applicants should refer to this Guide for the necessary steps to complete the application process.

Second, the guide lays out general guidance, advice, recommendations, and guidelines on how to submit a successful de novo federal charter application.  Each application is unique, and NCUA staff reviews all applications on their own merits under the relevant laws and regulations. 

This guide is meant to give helpful examples and general advice but does not create new requirements.  Accordingly, the guide uses words such as “should,” or “may” or states the NCUA’s recommendations.  In some areas, the Guide cites or summarizes existing requirements, such as binding regulations that apply in the chartering process.  In those instances, the guide may use words such as “must” because it is referring to mandatory authorities.  If there is a perceived inconsistency between this Federal Credit Union Charter Application Guide and the Chartering and Field of Membership Manual or other authorities, you should follow the binding requirements. 

The NCUA’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion’s (CURE) Division of Consumer Access is responsible for the chartering process and issuing the credit union’s charter.  If you have questions, contact CURE at 703-518-1150 or at 

The NCUA takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the data and other information it produces and makes available on its website, The NCUA, however, makes no warranty—express or implied—nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information that is available through this website nor represents that its use would not infringe upon privately owned rights.

For Submissions and Assistance with the Application Process

We detail the recommended method for submitting documentation for each phase in the specific phase instruction in this guide. If using the Proof of Concept web form, please submit all documents required in Phase 1 through the NCUA’s online web page here.

Please submit all documents required in Phases 2 and 3 by email to  Documents that require original signatures should be mailed to:  

National Credit Union Administration
Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion
Division of Consumer Access 
1775 Duke Street 
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428 

NOTE:  In the Table of Contents, place the cursor over the section name and click while holding down the Control key to go to that category.  Samples, templates, and other resource materials for this guide are located on the Chartering page of NCUA’s website.


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