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.
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.
Information about FOIA, including governing principles, can be found at the following links:
- Department of Justice FOIA Reference Materials
- Attorney General Holder’s Memo
- Presidential Memorandum on FOIA
- Full text of the Freedom of Information Act
- DHS FOIA Regulation
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:
Transportation Security Administration
TSA-20, East Tower
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598-6020
FOIA requests must contain the following information:
- Your full name, address, telephone number and, if available, email.
- Clear indication of whether the request is a FOIA and/or a Privacy Act request (if known).
- Specific information about the records sought.
- Delivery information for the responsive records, e.g., electronically or via mail.
- A statement regarding your willingness to pay fees, including any limitations.
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.