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Guide

How To File A FOIA Request

To make a FOIA request pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 0.461, you have several options:

  • You may fill out the Electronic FOIA Request Form and submit it to us;
  • You may write to us via surface mail. If you choose to send your request via surface mail you MUST: (a) write the words "Freedom of Information Act Request" at the top of your letter and on the outside of the mailing envelope, (b) date your request, (c) give us your daytime telephone number and/or daytime e-mail contact address so that our staff can get in touch with you during normal business hours if they have questions, and (d) provide as much information as possible regarding each document you are seeking. You should also specify the maximum search fee that you are prepared to pay for this request. Send your letter to the following address:

      Federal Communications Commission
      445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A836
      Washington, D.C. 20554

  • You may e-mail your request to FOIA@fcc.gov, or fax it to (202) 418-0521, with the same information required for surface mail submissions listed above.

Are There Fees for FOIA Requests?

Yes. Under the FOIA, the FCC is allowed to charge for our research and reproduction services under certain conditions. Your FOIA request should specify the amount of FOIA fees you are willing to pay. Please note, under 47 CFR § 0.467(e), if the Commission estimates that your search charges are likely to exceed $25 or an amount which you have indicated you are willing to pay, we will notify you of the estimated fee charge prior to doing the search and give you the opportunity to revise or clarify your FOIA request.

  • Commercial use requesters will be assessed charges that recover the full direct costs associated with the search, review, and duplication of records.
  • Educational institutions, representatives of the news media, and non-commercial scientific institution requesters must pay for duplication only, and will not be charged for the first 100 pages.
  • News media requesters, however, are entitled to a reduced assessment only when the request is for the purpose of disseminating information.
  • The Commission will charge all other requesters who do not fit into any of the categories above fees which cover the full, reasonable direct cost of searching for and reproducing records that are responsive to the request, except that the first 100 pages of the reproduction and the first two hours of search time shall be free of charge.

If you believe you are entitled to a restricted fee assessment, or a fee waiver, you must provide us with a statement explaining with specificity the reasons demonstrating why you qualify for a restricted fee or a fee waiver, including a statement certifying that the information will not be used to further your commercial interests. Please consult the rules, 47 C.F.R. § 0.470(c) - (e), when seeking a restricted fee or fee waiver.

The search fee is based on the salary level of the employee(s) who conducts the search. The fee charge is computed at the Step 5 of the specified grade level plus 20 percent to cover personnel benefits.

FOIA Search Fee Schedule

  • 1/19/10
    Modification of the Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule.
    Public Notice: Word | Acrobat
  • 5/7/09
    Modification of the Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule.
    Public Notice: Word | Acrobat
  • 2/29/08
    Amendment to the Fee Schedule for the Processing of Requests for Agency Records Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.
    Order: Word | Acrobat

The reproduction fees are $0.10 per page.

Outstanding fees. In certain circumstances, the FCC may request advance payment of fees. Failure to pay any fees within 30 days of the billing date may result in interest charges being levied. If you have made FOIA requests in the past, for which a fee was charged and you have not yet paid those fees, we may determine not to process any additional FOIA requests until any fees and interest you owe for previous requests are paid and you make an advance payment of the full amount of the estimated fee. We will not require advance payment of the estimated FOIA fee(s) unless we determine that the fee is likely to exceed $250 and the requester has no history of payment. If you have made FOIA requests previously and paid your fees promptly, we may notify you of the cost and rely on your promise to pay.

How To Check on the Progress of a FOIA Request?

While the FCC works to ensure you are aware of our progress in responding to your request, if you have questions about a request that you have already filed, you can contact the FOIA Requester Service Center at (202) 418-0440.

How To Register a Complaint or Concern about the FCC's Handling of a FOIA Request?

If you have a concern or complaint about how the FCC has handled your FOIA request, please contact the FOIA Public Liaison - Stephanie Kost.

FOIA Public Liaison
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A836
Washington, D.C. 20554

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