Making a FOIA Request

Making Requests
  • Provide your First and Last name (address is optional but encouraged).

  • Provide a reasonable description of the record(s) requested. Sufficient information allows for efficient searches

  • Provide a statement of your fee category and your willingness/unwillingness to pay applicable fees.

Send requests by letter or email to the following:

150 Vandenberg St.
Peterson SFB, CO 80914-4500


Sample Request

150 Vandenberg St.
Peterson SFB, CO 80914-4500


Dear FOIA Officer,

Under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), I request a copy of following document(s) be provided to me:  [identify the document(s) as specifically as possible].

In order to help you determine my status for the purpose of assessing fees, you should know that I am [insert one of the descriptions below]

  • a representative of the news media affiliated with the [newspaper, magazine, radio, television station, etc.] and this request is made as part of newsgathering and not for commercial use.
  • affiliated with an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, and this request is made for a scholarly or scientific purpose and not for commercial use.  NOTE: The request must be submitted on the institution’s letterhead, or be submitted via an e-mail address issued by the educational institution.  REMEMBER: To claim the education category, the request must be in the furtherance of the institution, not for a student needing the information for the completion of personal education. 
  • affiliated with a private/commercial business seeking information for use in the company's business.
  • an individual seeking information for personal use and not for commercial use.


If there are any fees for searching, reviewing, or copying the records, please contact me before tasking my request.  I am willing to pay fees for this request up to a maximum of $_______ [$0.00 – Max].  If you estimate that the fees will exceed this limit, please inform me first. [optional] I request a waiver of fees for this request because disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest as it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the DoD and is not primarily in my commercial interest. [Include details about how the requested information will be disseminated by you to the general public.]

If you deny all or any part of this request, please cite each specific exemption you think justifies your refusal to release the information and notify me of appeal procedures available under the law.

[optional] I also include my telephone number and/or email address at which I can be contacted if necessary to discuss any aspect of my request.



Address (optional, but encouraged)
Telephone Number [optional]
E-mail Address [optional, but is the preferred method of communication and providing our response]

Fees and Categories

Fee Categories

  1. Educational and Scientific: Any accredited U.S. educational or research institution or instructor/researcher of such an institution using the information in a scholarly or analytical work contributing to public knowledge and disseminated to the public.

  2. Commercial: Increases the commercial interest of the requester -- for example, book publishers and authors.

  3. U.S. News Media: Representatives of U.S. newspapers, television stations, radio stations, and freelancers (if publishing through one of these news organizations) disseminating current events of interest to the general public to enhance its understanding of the operation or activities of the U.S. Government.

  4. All Others: Requests from individuals who do not fit into the previous three categories.

The FOIA provides for the collection of fees for:

  • Searches: Time spent in looking for and retrieving material, either paper or electronic files, that may be responsive to the request, including personnel hours (clerical and professional) or computer time.

  • Reviews: Time spent to determine if the record is releasable under legal guidelines, excluding the resolution of legal or policy issues.   This includes blacking out or redaction of text.

  • Reproduction: Generating a copy of a requested record in the appropriate medium, for example paper or computer disk.


Search Cost

Review Cost

Reproduction Cost

Educational & Scientific



First 100 pages are free. $.15 cents per page after that

Commercial & All others

$24.00 per hr.

$48.00 per hr.

$110.00 per hr.

$24.00 per hr.

$48.00 per hr.

$110.00 per hr.

$.15 cents per page

News Media



First 100 pages are free. $.15 cents per page after that

FOIA Exemptions

Records that meet the FOIA exemption criteria may be withheld from public disclosure and do not have to be published in the Federal Register, made available in a library reading room, or provided in response to a FOIA request.   The following types of records may be withheld in whole or in part from public disclosure under the FOIA:

Exemption # 1: Those properly and currently classified in the interest of national defense/security or foreign policy.   If the information qualifies as exemption 1, there is no-discretion regarding its release.

Exemption # 2: Those related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Department of Defense or any of its components.

Exemption # 3: Those concerning matters that a statute specifically exempts from disclosure by terms that permit no discretion on the issue.   A few examples of such statues are:  Patent secrecy, restricted data, communication intelligence, confidentiality of medical quality, contractor proposals, etc.

Exemption # 4: Those containing trade secrets or commercial or financial information that a DoD component receives from a person or organization outside the government.   The disclosure of such records will likely cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the source providing the information.

Exemption # 5: Those containing information considered privileged in litigation, primarily under the deliberative process privilege.

Exemption # 6: Information of personnel and medical files, as well as similar personal information in other files, that would result in a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

Exemption # 7: Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes; i.e. , civil criminal, or military law, including the implementation of Executive Orders or regulations issued pursuant to law.

Exemption # 8: Records pertaining to the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.

Exemption # 9: Those records containing geological and geophysical information and data (including maps) concerning wells.

Your Rights
  • You have the right to request records under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • You have the right to appeal any denial of records under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • You have the right to request a "fee waiver" if you can demonstrate that the requested record(s) is in the public interest and not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
  • Under Executive Order 13526, you have the right to request a review of specific documents for declassification and release to the public.