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U.S. Marshals Service

Use of the U.S. Marshals Name and Insignia

Purpose: To explain U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) policy and procedures concerning the use of the USMS name, badge, seal and other official name/insignia on commercial products, including intellectual properties such as books, movies and software.

Authority: The Director's authority to establish this directive is based on 18 USC 709, titled "False advertising or misuse of name to indicate Federal agency."


No individual or business may use the name, badge, seal or other official insignia/indicia of the U.S. Marshals Service in any manner for commercial or private use unless given permission and granted a license by the office designated by the U.S. Marshals Service. 

It is not the intent of the U.S. Marshals Service to permit the use of the name/insignia on products sold to the public. 

The USMS name/insignia will not be used on any of the following  commercial products: weapons (to include handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives and chemical devices), inappropriate or offensive material (to include books, booklets, videos, software, photos, and other visual or sound presentations), and items that would bring embarrassment to the USMS or the Department of Justice. The Director of the U.S. Marshals Service must approve the use of the name/insignia on commemorative weapons.

All commercial manufacturers with permission to use the USMS name/insignia will not create their products in a fashion that is disparaging to the U.S. Marshals Service or its employees or causes embarrassment to the Service. Supervisory approval is not required for the routine exchange among law enforcement employees of items of minimal value, such as baseball caps and cups, that are commonly stocked by offices. 

Requests for a new or altered official U.S. Marshals Service name/insignia should be forwarded to the Office of Public Affairs for consideration, and approval must be granted before the product is manufactured. U.S. Marshals Service funds may not be used to purchase products that display an unauthorized name/insignia. 

The name/insignia is approved for use by U.S. Marshals employees for the following purposes: 

a. Official business cards related to their positions

b. Plaques or other commemorative souvenirs for employees

c. Plaques or other commemorative souvenirs for non-employees who have served the U.S. Marshals Service, with prior approval from a supervisor authorized to make such presentations


Application Process 

Written Request: The manufacturer must submit a written request to use the official U.S. Marshals Service name/insignia to the Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Marshals Service, Attn: Chief, Office of Public Affairs. The request should be submitted on business letterhead and contain a full description of the product(s) on which the U.S. Marshals Service name/insignia will be used.  

Sample Product or Sketch: Along with each request, the vendor will provide a sample product or a description of the item on which he or she intends to place the name/insignia and an accurate representation of the authorized name/insignia to be used (including size and color scheme). 

Approval Process

Record of Request: The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) will log all request letters in by the requestor's name and address, request date, contact person and phone number, the type of product(s) the vendor wants to produce, and the name/insignia to be displayed. 

Review of Request: The Chief of Office of Public Affairs will review the request and make a recommendation to the Assistant Director for Executive Services. On behalf of the Director, the Assistant Director may approve or reject requests to use the U.S. Marshals Service name/insignia. Appeals of the decision may be referred to the Deputy Director. 

The following factors are considered when reviewing a request:  (1) The nature of the product (such as apparel, novelty items, desktop items, business items, intellectual property)  (2) The vendor's business experience and quality of products (3) The utility, benefits and appropriateness of the item for the U.S. Marshals Service and its employees and/or retirees (4) The availability of similar products and other relevant information provided in the vendor's application (5) The history, mission, needs, interests and professional image of the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility (6) The specific official name/insignia to be displayed 

Intellectual Property: A requestor who has been given approval to use the name/insignia in intellectual properties--such as movies, books, plays and software--or in advertisements and similar publications or productions will ensure that the material does not imply endorsement of, or approval by, the U.S. Marshals Service. This requirement does not apply to material the U.S. Marshals Service has requested for training or informational purposes. Response Letter: After the Assistant Director has reviewed the request, the OPA will prepare a response letter to the manufacturer.

License Granted: The approval will be considered a license to use the U.S. Marshals Service name/insignia for a period of up to five years. The exact duration of the license will be established in the approval letter. Regardless of the license, which may be renewed, the U.S. Marshals Service retains all artistic rights to its name, badge, seal or other official insignia for any purpose it deems appropriate. 

Violations:   Violations by a vendor/manufacturer will be reported to the Office of General Counsel.


Relevant Legislation: 18 USC 709, "False advertising or misuse of name to indicate Federal agency." 

License:  Written permission from the U.S. Marshals Service to use the name, badge, seal, or other official insignia of the service on commercial products or in intellectual property for a set period of time. 

Name/Insignia: The U.S. Marshals Service name, badge, seal or other official insignia/indicia. is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice