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Submit a FOIA Request

How to Submit a FOIA Request

Three different methods are available for submitting FOIA requests:

  1. Online Form - Submit your request using a form that is fillable online. This is the preferred method for submitting requests.

  2. Submit a FOIA Request Online


  3. Postal Mail or Courier -  Submit your request by mailing the required documentation to: 
  4. Department of Defense Office of Inspector General
    DoD OIG FOIA Requester Service Center
    ATTN: FOIA Request Office, Suite 10B24
    4800 Mark Center Drive
    Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

  5. Facsimile (Fax) – Submit your request by facsimile to: 
    (571) 372-7498

Guidelines for Submitting a FOIA Request

  • Requesters should provide complete contact information (Full Name, Mailing Address, Telephone Number, and e-mail address, if available).
  • Thoroughly identify the records desired, being as specific as possible as to when and by whom the record was created (e.g., September 24, 1993 Memorandum from the DoD Inspector General, Subject: Fiscal Year 1994 Budget). The key here is to provide enough information to allow an experienced employee to locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort. Try to keep your request simple and to the point. Highly complex requests that cover many years and a large number of subjects take more time to process. Complex requests typically require extensive coordination and often consultation with other agencies. 

  • Indicate or include a statement of your willingness to pay for the cost of processing the request. This figure should identify the maximum dollar amount you are willing to pay. See Fee Waiver Information [12] to learn about when fees are waived. 

  • You need only submit your request using one of the above methods of delivery. We prefer that you submit your request electronically.
  • If you are seeking records on yourself, this is a Privacy Act request and you will need to provide proof of identity. Also, if you are seeking records of a personal nature on another living individual, you must provide a release from that party to obtain these records. This type of request is not appropriate for submission via electronic or facsimile transmission.

  • Vaughn Index - There is no requirement for the government to prepare a Vaughn index for requesters during the administrative stage of processing (requests and appeals). The Vaughn Index is a record that agencies prepare only during litigation to justify FOIA withholdings. (See: Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973)).

  • DoD Names Policy - For operational safety reasons, DoD does not routinely release lists of names of DoD personnel. This includes active duty military, civilian employees, contractors, members of the National Guard and Reserves, military dependents, and Coast Guard personnel when the Coast Guard is operating as a service in the Navy. Please see Director of Administration and Management Memorandum, Subject: Withholding of Personally Identifying Information Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), November 9, 2001 for further information pertaining to this policy.