FOIA Yourself

What is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law that gives individuals, organizations, and businesses the right to request information from the federal government. In our times of increasing secrecy, FOIA is becoming an increasingly important resource to maintain government accountability and transparency.


Because the FOIA request process is lengthy and sometimes costly, FOIA should only be used to find information that is not publicly available. Veterans and senior citizens use FOIA to find information about their benefits and service records. Journalists, researchers, and historians use FOIA to discover government policies and information.

YOU can use FOIA to find out about benefits, immigration, and even information that the government is tracking about you.

What is the process?

The FOIA process begins with submitting a letter of request. Learn more about the process.

Interested in  filing a FOIA?

Before you file a FOIA, be sure to find out more. Check out these resources:

Effective FOIA Requesting for Everyone: A National Security Archive Guide: Produced by The National Security Archive, this guide is a comprehensive, all you need-to-know about the FOIA process. From initial research to filing to appeal, this guide will make sure you know all you need to know about FOIA.

FOIA Templates: These letters are templates for FOIA request letters.

Defending Dissent Foundation has developed some helpful resources about FOIA. Visit their website for more information.