UL Label Terms: UL 969

UL 969 (sometimes referred to as ANSI 969) is one of the most common things I’m asked about.

A lot of specifications make reference to it, but few people understand what it actually signifies. So what does it mean? UL 969 is the designation for the ANSI / UL standard that covers Marking and Labeling Systems. In fact there are many other UL standards out there, each with their own designation. For example UL 94 is the standard for Flammability and UL 1598 is the standard for Luminaries. UL 969 just happens to cover labels.

Labels and markings produced under this standard are pre-qualified and tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for their durability. The certification steps roughly break out as follows:

  1. A label manufacturer would send a prospective label construction which may include some or all of the following: adhesive, substrate, ink, ribbon system, and/or lamination.
  2. UL would then perform series of tests including weathering and peel tests.
  3. Constructions that meet the standard are then certified to various conditions such as application surface (wood, polycarbonate, powder coated metal, etc.), temperatures (e.g. -20 to 150 C), and exposure (e.g. occasional gasoline splash, indoor use only).
  4. Production of certified constructions are then evaluated annually by an onsite UL inspector as well as sent to the lab for testing.

It’s worth noting that printers are not allowed to freely substitute materials nor printing method. This ensures the integrity of the certified label.


Within the UL 969 standard, labels and markings are broken out into the follow categories:

Category Name
Marking & Labeling Systems
Marking & Labeling Systems – Printing Materials
Marking & Labeling Systems – In-Mold
Marking & Labeling Systems – Materials
Marking & Labeling Systems – Limited Use
Category  Code Number (CCN)
PGDQ2
PGJI2
PGIM2
PGGU2
PGIS2

Labels produced under the ANSI / UL 969 standard are considered UL Recognized Components. As such they require special core labels to signify compliance for any UL inspection.

7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    greg dirks September 10, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    looking for a mylar label adhesive needs to comply with:
    UL969, section 7.3,
    CSA-C22.2 No. 157-92, section 6.12 (Adhesive Nameplates)

    • The UL Label Guy
      The UL Label Guy September 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      Section 7.3 of the UL 969 standard is the hazardous locations subdivision of the marking and labeling systems. In it, labels designed for use in Class 1, Division 1 hazardous locations are required to pass an additional series of tests. These tests are focused mainly around exposure to the vapors from a series of solvents. Only after passing the proscribed “final test” would the labels have the extra hazardous locations moniker.

      So to recap you would be looking for a construction that is UL 969 and has the extra Hazardous Locations exception. Other information that’s important for any type of quoting on labels like this includes:
      Application Surface
      Any temperature requirements (min or max)
      Size of the label
      Quantity range that you are looking for

  2. Avatar
    Jolanta October 6, 2016 at 4:52 am #

    Hello, how can I get the content of UL969? Is it available for free, or shall I pay? Thanks in advance for reply.

    • The UL Label Guy
      The UL Label Guy October 6, 2016 at 9:09 am #

      I assume you are referring to the UL 969 standard. Unfortunately it is a paid document. If you already are a subscriber with UL, you should have access (or can set up access) through http://www.ulstandards.com.

  3. Avatar
    Nyle March 24, 2018 at 10:20 am #

    Do you know if there are UL 969 sheets available for OEMs that are willing to print their own? We are looking to make our own labels in house because we have custom nameplate data.

    • The UL Label Guy
      The UL Label Guy April 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

      Typically not sheets–but you can get blank material that meets the standard. UL labels can then be printed at the plant (secondary printing) under the PGJI2 designation.

      Typically this is going to require a Thermal Transfer printer (Laser printed toner is not typically durable enough to survive the durability test) using an approved thermal ribbon. And thermal transfer printers are going to use rolls of materials. The biggest key here would be to make sure that the ribbon you are using in the thermal transfer is approved with the blank material (material and ink and approved as a set in the UL969 standard).

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