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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act is a federal statute that gives any person the right to obtain access to federal records, except to the extent that any portions of such records are protected from disclosure by one or more of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

The act applies only to records of the executive branch of the federal government. It does not provide access to records held by Congress, the federal courts, advisory offices of the president, state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. All states have their own statutes governing public access to state and local government records. State agencies should be consulted for further information about obtaining access to state records.

Processing

FOIA requires TSA to respond within 20 business days of receipt of a FOIA request. If a request involves a significant volume of records, requires collection of records from different offices or requires consultation with another agency, TSA will invoke a 10-day extension for the completion of a request. Check the status of your current FOIA request.

Resources

Information about FOIA, including governing principles, can be found at the following links:

FOIA and Privacy Act Requests

All requests must be submitted in writing by U.S. mail, email or fax. Requests must be for access to existing records. TSA will not create records or answer questions in response to a FOIA or Privacy Act request.

You may submit a Privacy Act Request to review any records you believe that the Department has records on you. Submit a Privacy Act Request.

Requests can be submitted by:

Email
FOIA@tsa.dhs.gov

Mail
Transportation Security Administration
TSA-20, East Tower
FOIA Branch
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598-6020

Fax
(571) 227-1406

FOIA requests must contain the following information:

  1. Your full name, address, telephone number and, if available, email.
  2. Clear indication of whether the request is a FOIA and/or a Privacy Act request (if known).
  3. Specific information about the records sought.
  4. Delivery information for the responsive records, e.g., electronically or via mail.
  5. A statement regarding your willingness to pay fees, including any limitations.

Processing Fees

Requesters are required to pay all applicable fees charged under Sec. 5.11 up to $25, unless you seek a waiver of fees. If fees exceed $25, we will notify you before we proceed with processing the request. When making a request, you may specify a willingness to pay a greater or lesser amount. If you are seeking a waiver of fees, you must provide a justification in accordance with the requirements of 6 CFR Part 5, Subpart A.

You will receive notice within 1-3 business days of receipt. The notice will contain a tracking number for your request. Please make sure you have the tracking number available when contacting TSA.

 

The information you are requesting may already be available in the electronic reading room; please browse the documents before submitting your request.

Electronic Reading Room

The Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to make various types of records available for public inspection in both paper and electronic form. These records are available through the Department of Homeland Security FOIA page.

FOIA FAQ

Can I submit a FOIA request for someone else?

In the case of third party requests, DHS regulations require a statement from the individual verifying his or her identity and certifying that individual's agreement that records concerning him or her may be accessed, analyzed and released to a third party. You must also complete and sign an Affirmation Declaration Statement.

How can I obtain a copy of my official personnel folder?

Current TSA employees may access their records through the electronic OPF. You may request assistance from your facility's Human Resource/Administrative Office or read the list of frequently asked questions.

Former Federal Civilian Employees (the person of record) may obtain copies of most civilian and personnel medical records on file at the National Personnel Records Center, including copies of the Standard Form 50 (Personnel Action) via written request. Different release procedures apply for archival civilian personnel records. Please note, OPFs are retired to the center within 120 days after separation from federal employment. If less than 120 days have elapsed since separation, write to the last employing federal office.

Federal law 5 USC 552a(b) requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed in cursive and dated within the last year. Please identify the documents or information needed and explain the purpose of your request.

Certain basic information needed to locate civilian personnel records, includes the full name used during federal employment, date of birth, Social Security Number (if applicable), name and location of employing federal agency, and beginning and ending dates of federal service.

Written requests must be signed and dated. Mail or fax to:

National Personnel Records Center, Annex
1411 Boulder Boulevard
Valmeyer, IL 62295

Fax: 618-935-3014

What exactly can I request?

Existing documents, writings, photographs, videos, sound recordings, drawings, computerized records, electronic mail, agency policies and procedures, executive decisions, or any other material or information that can be retrieved and duplicated.

What if I am not satisfied with the results of a FOIA request?

You may file an appeal for a denial of records or a no-records response. If you are dissatisfied with the results released, you have the right to appeal in writing at:

Office of Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement
601 South 12th Street
East Building, E7-121S
Arlington, VA 20598-6033

Submit your appeal within 60 days from the date of the response letter. with the TSA assigned FOIA request number. Please include the reasons for your appeal and mark your mailing envelope “FOIA Appeal.”

What is the fee for a FOIA request?

There is no fee to make a FOIA request. However, there may be a fee associated with the search and response process.

Search fees will be charged for all requests except those made by:

  • Academic institutions
  • Noncommercial scientific institutions
  • Members of the press

Review fees will be charged for all commercial use requests. You will be advised if the fees total more than $25.

What records does TSA provide under FOIA?

Any type of record may be requested. Typically, incident reports at airports, complaints lodged against TSA, weapons surrendered at airports, contracts, and employment application results are requested. When making a request, please provide TSA with information on where the records may be held.

Who can submit a FOIA request?

All citizens and non-citizens, private individuals, academic institutions, public interest groups, corporations, associations, non-profit groups, and other state, local, and foreign governments can submit a FOIA request.

Contact FOIA

(866) 364-2872
Email FOIA
Weekdays:
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598-6020