Want to know what the FBI has on you? The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you the right to see your file. Follow these easy steps:
  1. Read the "Guidelines for Making a Successful Request" section at the bottom of this page.

  2. Go to the form below, and fill out the necessary information.

  3. Hit the "Get Form" button, print out the document that comes up, and sign it.

  4. Take the letter to a bank and get it notarized. You will have to show an I.D. and pay a $2-$5 fee. This step prevents someone else from sending in a form and getting your file.

  5. Send it to this address:
    U.S. Department of Justice
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Attention: FOIA/PA Section
    J. Edgar Hoover Building
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington DC 20530-0001

Chief, FOIA/PA Section
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J.Edgar Hoover Building
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20530-0001

Dear Sir,

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 522 and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 522a.

I request that you provide me with a copy of all documents in any file maintained about me, under the name(s) stated below. I'd also like a copy of documents in any file you maintain with substantial references to me, my activities, character or associations.

I am aware of my rights under law: to receive a response to this request within 10 working days, to be informed of the grounds if this request is denied, to appeal any denial, to receive copies of excerpted information from a document where other sections have been declared exempt from this request.

I am an individual seeking this information for personal, not commercial use. I am willing to pay fees for search and copying of the requested information up to $. Please inform me if the estimated fees will exceed this limit so I can decide whether to appeal for waiver of the fees.

Thank you for consideration of this request.


Date and Place of Birth:
Social Security Number:
Phone: optional
City/State/Date of most likely surveillance optional

Guidelines for Making a Successful Request

Here are some basic guidelines you should keep in mind when making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the FBI:
  • Send a copy of your request to the FBI field office in you area. Keep a copy for yourself. Call both to see if they received your requests.

  • If you are concerned about a specific incident or period of time, be as detailed as possible in your request.

  • The FBI can deny a request on grounds that the information you seek is:
    1. Classified secret in the name of national defense or foreign policy.
    2. Only applicable to internal personnel rules and practices.
    3. Applicable to trade secrets or proprietary commercial information.
    4. Contained in personnel or medical files where disclosure would be an invasion of privacy.

These are the main reasons. There a number of others, mostly pertaining to interagency communication. But, remember:

    An agency may not withhold an entire file because some of the information it contains is exempt from disclosure. An agency is not required to withhold information. Officials may only choose to do so under certain circumstances.

    The agency must explain the reasons for denying your request. You have the right to appeal. Appeals must be answered within 20 working days.

    If your appeal is turned down, you may take the agency to court.