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FOIA Reference Guide


Although there is no standard format or form to use when requesting records from the U.S. Department of State, you may find the FOIA Request Letter Generator below helpful in structuring your request.

Please Note: If you are making a request for personal records regarding yourself, you must provide an original signature. Accordingly, you will not be able to submit your request via the FOIA Request Letter Generator. Please go to "Department of State Information Access Guide/Manual" in the FOIA Reference Guide for information on submitting a request for personal records. If you are making a request for a copy of a contract, please provide the contract number.

The FOIA Request Letter Generator is designed to aid you in formulating a letter to request Department of State records under the FOIA. Please go to the FOIA Reference Guide for detailed information on filing a request.

Office of Information Programs and Services
U. S. Department of State
Washington, D. C. 20522-8100
Date: 9/16/2008

Dear FOIA Officer:
This is a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

Date range of request:
Between (mm/yyyy)

Description of request :
Please provide the subject, any individuals involved, and reasons why the Department is believed to have records on the subject.

For faster processing, please restrict the parameters of this FOIA request to the State Department's automated online electronic repository of Central Foreign Policy Files-- State Archiving System (SAS). SAS contains over 25 million electronic records including telegraphic and written communications from/through the Department and its diplomatic and consular posts from July 1976 to present.

Agreement to pay fees: Please be advised that by making a FOIA request, it shall be considered an agreement by you to pay all applicable fees up to $25.00 (see 22 CFR 171.14), unless you seek a waiver of fees (see 22CFR171.17). We will confirm this agreement in our acknowledgement letter. When making a request, you may specify a willingness to pay a greater or lesser amount.

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

Fee Category: Please Check the appropriate fee category so that we may properly and accurately assess fees for your request.

Please review the Fee Structure section in "How to Make a Request for Department of State Records" in the FOIA Reference Guide to assist you in determining your fee category.
an individual seeking information for personal use and not for commercial use.
a representative of the news media affiliated with seeking information as part of a news gathering effort and not for commercial use. (Additional documentation or comments will be required. See 22CFR171.11(0))
affiliated with an educational or noncommercial scientific institution seeking information for a scholarly or scientific purpose and not for commercial use. (Additional documentation will be required. See 22CFR171.5(b))
affiliated with a private corporation and seeking information for use in the company's business.

Additional Comments

Thank you for your consideration of my request.


"Your name"

How to Contact You: This website does not automatically collect your e-mail address. In order for us to respond or contact you, you must include either your e-mail address or a mailing address.

Your Name

Your E-mail Address

Street Address


State or Country

Zip or Postal Code

Telephone Number

Fax Number

Please note: If your request seeks personal information about a living person, your request must be:

• mailed in (and cannot be faxed or submitted online)
• accompanied either by an original, notarized signature, or an original signature with a "penalty of perjury statement"
• if required, a Third Party Authorization
If, however, your request does not concern personal information on a living person, you may fax your Freedom of Information Act request to (202) 261-8579, or mail it to the address shown above.

The confidentiality of communications sent via the Internet cannot be guaranteed and the electronic submission of your Freedom of Information Act request is purely voluntary. You may also print the contents of your request letter and submit via fax at (202) 261-8579 or via U.S. mail.

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