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 requester.

Instructions

  • 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 foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov.
  • Options for sending your request: Mail to the address listed below or fax to (540) 868-4391/4997.

Sample Letter

Date: ______________________

FBI
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):_______________________________________________________