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Welcome to the FBI's FOIA/Privacy Website


Federal Bureau of Investigation Records Management Division Seal Graphic


Hot Topics

Reading Room Index
Electronic Reading Room
FBI File Fact Sheet
FOIA Request Instructions
- FOIA Request Form
- Privacy Waiver and Certificate of Identity Form
Privacy Act Instructions
- Privacy Act Request Form
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FBI Privacy Act Systems
Record/Information/Dissemination Section (RIDS)
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Major Information Systems
- Central Records System
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DOJ Reference Guide
Here you will find one-stop shopping to request information that may be found in the FBI’s Central Records System. What kind of information?

... Information about an organization, business, investigation, historical event, or incident.
Information about a third party.
Information about a deceased person.
Information about yourself.

Instructions for making requests are described in the Request Instructions accessible on the right hand menu. If you wish to make a request on another person (living or deceased), a place, business and/or organization, or a specific event, please access the “FOIPA Request Instructions.” Requests for information about yourself, either directly or through an attorney, are described in the “Privacy Act Instructions.”

Here you will also find one-stop browsing of the FBI’s FOIA Reading Room Index of our most frequently requested documents available for reading at FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC…and a separate index of our ever expanding Electronic Reading Room, where you can read our most popular documents from the comfort of your own computer. Here you will find everything you wanted to know about spies, gangsters, famous people, history, and unusual case from our files.

Want to do research at The FBI Reading Room? It is located at FBIHQ, 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC; hours, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. You are required to make appointments 48 hours in advance of arriving; please call 202-324-4682 to make your appointment. However, if you would rather review the material in the comfort of your own home, all Reading Room documents have been converted to CD-roms which are available at the price of $15 each.

The following are FOIA officers and contact numbers:

Section Chief, Record Information/Dissemination Section (RIDS)
David M. Hardy

FOIA Requester Service Center (RSC)
(540) 868-4591

Please call this number to access recorded information on how to submit a new FOI/PA request to the FBI.
FOIPA Public Information Officer (PIO)
Debbie Lopes
(540) 868-4593
Please call this number to talk with the PIO about the status of an existing FOI/PA request, or other FOIPA matters. Our PIO cannot answer questions about Name Check requests, all calls received for Name Check information will be referred to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
FOIPA Public Liaison Officer (PLO)
Nancy L. Steward
(540) 868-4516
Please call the PLO number if you have concerns about information received about the FOIPA after contacting either the RSC or the PIO.

Information you need to know before making a FOI/PA request:

When reviewing the “Request Instructions” located on the right hand menu, please note our address has changed. Requests for information maintained by FBI Headquarters should now be addressed to 170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843. More specific information on how to make a request is described in the instructions accessible on the right hand menu.

Requests sent to this address will be searched for main file records in the FBI’s Central Records System for files that are maintained in Washington, D.C. A main file is defined as a file about a specific person, place or event. If you believe the records you seek are maintained at one of our many FBI Field Offices, you must also make a request to the specific Field Office where you believe the records are maintained. [See 28 C.F.R. §§ 16.3(a) and 16.41 (2007)]

To make a request for cross-references, defined as a mention of a subject in the main file of another person, place or event, please be advised that you need to provide information in your request that is sufficient to enable the FBI to ensure with certainty that the cross-references are identifiable to the subject of your request. This information may include the following:

1) the specific circumstances in which the subject of your request had contact with the FBI;
2) the date(s) of such contact;
3) the location(s) of such contact;
4) the full name (first, middle and last name) as well as any prior names or aliases used by the subject of your request;
5) Social Security #, date of birth, place of birth, home address of the subject of your request
6) names of associates of the subject of your request the mention of whom might aid in the identification of responsive records;
7) other references of the subject of your request in media, such as books, articles, websites, etc.

Please note that the FBI may not be able to identify responsive cross-references despite the additional information you provide.