Your FOIA Fee Category

As a requester, you fall into one of the following fee categories:

  • Commercial use — The requester or a representative seeks the records to further the commercial interests of the requester. The requester must pay for all search time, review time, and the cost of duplication.
  • News media — The requester is actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. The requester pays for the cost of duplication after the first 100 pages.
  • Representatives of scientific or educational organizations — The requester represents a school or educational institution operating a program of scholarly research, or a noncommercial scientific organization operating solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research and not intended to promote a particular product or industry. The requester pays for the cost of duplication after the first 100 pages.
  • All others — The requester is an individual seeking information for personal, not-for-profit, use and does not fall into any of the three categories above. The requester pays for search time after the first two hours and the cost of duplication after the first 100 pages.
  • Fee Waiver — If you want to ask for a fee waiver in your request, you must address all 5 criteria below:
  1. That the subject matter of the requested records concerns the operations or activities of the Federal Government;
  2. That the disclosure is likely to contribute to an understanding of Federal Government operations or activities;
  3. That disclosure of the requested information will contribute to the understanding of the public at large, as opposed to the understanding of the individual requester or a narrow segment of interested persons (to establish this factor, the requester must show an intent and ability to disseminate the requested information to a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject);
  4. That the contribution to public understanding of Federal Government operations or activities will be significant; and
  5. That the requester does not have a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure or that the magnitude of any identified commercial interest to the requester is not sufficiently large in comparison with the public interest in disclosure to render the disclosure one that is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
Last updated: Thursday, September 8, 2022