Parameters & Options

The API allows for search customization including response data type, flags to consider alias and entity records and which data sources a search should be performed against.

API options may be passed as HTTP query parameters with an HTTP GET request, or within the request body of an HTTP POST request.

Important Full API technical specification can be found here OFAC API v3 Swagger UI

Query Parameters


Case []


Collection of search query parameters contained within Case request structure. Beyond individual or entity name, parameters screen sanction entries if and only if the specific data field is present within the published sanction data. For example, specifying a date of birth will result in the screening of entries with a date of birth different from the query while entries without a published date of birth will not be considered for screening. Note Sanction data sources differ and may not include published data for a given screening param. If a data source is known not to publish such information, those sources are not considered for extended screening.




Specifies which data sources this case should be screened against.
This value should be passed as either an array within the request body of a POST, or as a comma separated string if passes as a query string. The sources used for a given query will be noted in the query response regardless if the response contains results for that source.
Accepted values SDN, NONSDN, PEP, DPL, UN UK EU DFAT
Default SDN



REQUIRED - For ID search

ID sequence of entity being screened.
Note ID parameters that are 5 characters or less require an exact match with the sanctioned entities ID field to be returned, however ID parameters greater than 5 characters are only required to be contained by a sanctioned entities ID field.
For example, an ID query of 9357391 would yield a match of an entity with an ID of IMO 9357391
Examples: "IMO 9357391"




In some regions, it is common for an individual to have both a formal and informal name. Most sanctioning organizations do not publish data fields dedicated to the formal and informal name of an individual, instead combining formal and informal names into a single field. Because of this, some individuals appear to have 2 first and/or 2 last names. If it is possible that only the formal or informal name of an individual will be used to screen, this parameter should be used, and will enable additional search logic that takes the informal name convention into account. The use of this parameter results in a greater chance of locating a designated individual within sanction data sources.
Excepted values TRUE, FALSE
Default FALSE




Your organizations unique API passed as arequest header, query param or within the request body




Specifies the data format to be returned.
Excepted values XML, JSON
Default JSON




The minimum similarity score of match results to include in screening results.
Note The OFAC API screening algorithm generates a similarity score between your client and each sanctioned individual in our database, and returns only the sanctions with a similarity score higher than the minScore parameter. Therefor, a higher minScore results in fewer matches being returned.

A minScore of 95 or above is recommended.

More on similarity score and minScore below

More on the SDN Search Algorithm can be found here.

Range 90 - 100 Default 95




Allows filtering based on entity type. This optional field enables you to specify which list entry types to focus on. For example, exclude vessel types when screening an individual submitting remittance.
This value should be passed as either an array within the request body of a POST, or as a comma separated string if passes as a query string.
Excepted values Entity, Individual, Vessel
Default All types




Specifies if entity aliases (AKAs) should be considered when screening this individual. Aliases will be returned as separate entities within a result set if this option is set to true.
Excepted values TRUE, FALSE
Default FALSE

Results & Match Similarity Score

OFAC API compares your client to each sanctioned entity within our combined database and assigns a similarity score. The score is based on the similarity between your clients information, and the information provided by sanctioning organizations, which includes name, address, data of birth, various IDs and more.

The higher the score, the more likely it is that your client is sanctioned. minScore is a filter on score, meaning that the API will only return sanction results that are greater than or equal to the minScore value. Therefor, the higher the minScore, the fewer results will be returned.

OFAC API uses a blended Jaro Winkler and Soundex comparison algorithm, taking into account partial perfect matches, differences in name length and total name parts. The search was developed in collaboration with the Department of the Treasury.

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