Sample FOIA Request Letter

This page offers instructions on information needed to make a Freedom of Information Act request and provides a sample FOIA request letter that can be used by a requestor.


  • Please provide a detailed description. For example, if requesting records on Saddam Hussein, you could write: Saddam Hussein, who served as president of Iraq from 1979 until 2003. 
  • If your request is for information concerning a deceased individual, you must provide proof of death. Acceptable forms of proof of death include: obituaries, death certificates, recognized sources that can be documented, written media, Who’s Who in America, an FBI file that indicates a person is deceased, date of birth is 100 years or greater, or Social Security Death Index page.
  • If you wish to include additional specific information, attach another sheet of paper to this letter.
  • If you have questions about this request letter, please e-mail
  • Options for sending your request: Mail to the address listed below, fax to (540) 868-4391/4997, or e-mail to

Sample Letter

Date: ______________________

Record/Information Dissemination Section
Attn: FOIPA Request
170 Marcel Drive
Winchester, VA 22602-4843

Dear FOIA Officer: ______________________

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Date range of request: ______________________

Description of request: ________________________________________________________________



Please search the FBI’s indices to the Central Records System for the information responsive to this request related to:




I am willing to pay up to [$____ ] for the processing of this request. Please inform me if the estimated fees will exceed this limit before processing my request.

I am seeking information for personal use and not for commercial use.

Thank you for your consideration,


Name: ______________________________________________________________

Title (optional): ________________________________________________________

Business (if applicable): _________________________________________________

Street Address: ________________________________________________________

City/State/ZIP Code: ____________________________________________________

Country (if applicable): __________________________________________________

Telephone (optional): ___________________________________________________

E-mail (optional):_______________________________________________________