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Annual reporting requirement – common problems and solutions

For general program information, see annual reporting requirement for motor vehicle insurers, franchisors, and alcoholic beverage wholesalers 

Problem: User hasn't included the appropriate headers and is using the excel template.
Solution: Do not make changes to lines 1, 2, or 3 of the Excel template. Make sure all headers are included. This includes the EXCEL_GENERATED_FILE header, The Data Example header and the column name headers.

Problem: It says my extension type is incorrect, but I changed the name to .csv (comma delimited), .del or .txt.
Solution: If using an excel file, make sure when converting it that you do a 'Save As' and select a .csv (comma delimited), .del or .txt format. Simply renaming the file to have a different extension name will not work. Be sure not to type in a file extension name manually.

Problem: It says my extension type is incorrect, but I saved as a .csv (comma delimited), .del or .txt appropriately.
Solution: Double check to make sure that the only '.' in the path of your file is the one for the extension type. Consider the following examples: D:/temp.folder/temp.csv, D:/temp/temp.file.csv Both of these examples will return an error.

Problem: It says one of my fields is formatted incorrectly, but it is within the size limits and is of the correct type.
Solution: Check to be sure that your field doesn't contain special characters. If it does, refer to the list of accepted special characters. If the character you are attempting to use is not on the accepted character list you will need to surround your field with parentheses.

Problem: It says that my column count isn't correct.
Solution: Open up your file using notepad or similar. Check to make sure that the number of commas for that row coincides with the number of columns it should have. Extra commas are sometimes inserted when excel generates a comma delimited file.

Problem: The leading zeroes in my field keep disappearing, but I need them to meet the field requirements.
Solution: If you are using excel, it will not preserve file formatting after you save to a comma delimited format. This means that even if your comma delimited file has the appropriate leading zeroes, excel will not show them unless you change your columns in excel to be formatted as "Text." Note that when saving using excel, only the zeroes that are currently displayed will be saved to the file.

Problem: I am a Mac user. Is there anything different I need to?

Solution: No. However, you may wish to use Google Sheets. This will speed up the process for you.

Problem: I am getting a problem regarding spaces. Are there special rules on spaces?

Solution: Space is an acceptable special character. Spaces between words are fine. However, you will receive an error if there is a space at the beginning or end of a cell.

List of accepted special characters
Character Name
. decimal point
$ dollar sign
- dash
/ forward slash
_ under score
# pound sign or number sign
* star sign or multiplication sign
& and
% percentage sign
! exclamation mark
^ caret
@ at sign
' apostrophe
( left parenthesis
) right parenthesis
[ left bracket
] right bracket
{ left curly braces
} right curly braces
"" pair(s) of double quotes
'' pair(s) of single quotes
< less than
> greater than
= equal
é accented e
: colon
; semi-colon