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Freedom Of Information Act

All federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), are required under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, to disclose records requested in writing to any person. Depending on the purpose and use of such records, however, there are circumstances under which agencies may withhold information pursuant to exemptions and exclusions specified in the Act. FOIA applies only to federal agencies.

    FOIA does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Most states have public information laws governing access to state and local records. FOIA does not obligate agencies to create records. It also does not obligate agencies to answer questions.

    Each agency is responsible for meeting its FOIA responsibilities for its own records. Likewise, each DOT component is responsible for processing FOIA requests for the records it maintains. You can find additional information about DOT's FOIA program and contacts for all DOT components at DOT FOIA Contacts.

    Methods of Submitting a FOIA Request

    A FOIA request must be made in writing. You should be as specific as possible on the names, titles, dates, places, events, subjects, recipients, and the offices likely to maintain the requested record(s). The more specific you are about the records you seek, the more likely the DOT OIG FOIA Office will be able to locate those records. If you are a legal representative submitting a FOIA request for first-party records on behalf of an individual, please provide the DOT OIG FOIA Office with a letter of representation, signed by the individual, so that we may efficiently process your FOIA request.

    Make a FOIA Request Online

    We recommend all FOIA requests be submitted via DOT OIG's page on the National FOIA Portal. Requests may also be submitted via U.S. Postal Service or major common carriers to the following address: 

    FOIA Requester Service Center
    OIG Mail Stop W71-145
    1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, 7th Floor
    Washington, DC 20590

    If You Are Denied a Request by the DOT OIG FOIA Office

    You may make an appeal in writing if your request is denied. Appeals must be submitted within 90 calendar days from the date of the initial determination letter. The DOT OIG FOIA Office provides FOIA appeal instructions in the determination letters it provides to requesters. Appeals may also be submitted via the mailing address provided above.

    Additional Resources and Contact Information

    Before making a FOIA request, we urge you to first browse through the OIG FOIA Electronic Reading Room and other reference material listed below for information on matters already available to the public and for additional information about the FOIA process:

    Please contact OIG's FOIA Requester Service Center with any questions, including status updates about your request at 202-366-6131. If you have concerns about the service you have received from the Service Center staff, you many contact the OIG FOIA Public Liaison, Marie Miller, at 202-366-1959.