Sample FOIA Request Letter

Please use the following sample letter as a suggested format for submitting a FOIA request to the ONRR FOIA Office. Options and instructional information are in [italicized brackets].


Richard Lopez
Office of Natural Resources Revenue
PO Box 25165, MS 340A1
Denver, CO   80225-0165

Dear ONRR FOIA Officer:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

I request that a copy of the following documents (or documents containing the following information) be provided to me: [Identify the documents or information as specifically as possible.]

In order to help determine my status for purposes of determining the applicability of any fees, you should know that I am [Insert a suitable description of the requester and the purpose of the request.]

[Sample requester descriptions:]

Commercial user:

Affiliated with a private corporation and am seeking information for use in the company's business.

Representative of the news media, educational or noncommercial scientific institutions:

A representative of the news media affiliated with the _________ newspaper (magazine, television station, etc.), and this request is made as part of a news gathering and not for commercial use.

Affiliated with an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, and this request is made for a scholarly or scientific purpose and not for a commercial use.

All other requesters:

An individual seeking information for personal use, public interest groups, or nonprofit organizations.

[Optional] I am willing to pay fees for this request up to a maximum of $_______. If you estimate that the fees will exceed this limit, please inform me first.

[Optional] I request a waiver of all fees for this request. Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the Government and is not primarily in my commercial interest. [Include specific details, including how the requested information will be disseminated by the requester for public benefit.]

[Optional] I request that the information be provided in the following form/format _____________.

[Optional] I ask that my request receive expedited processing because ________. [Include specific details concerning your "compelling need," such as being someone "primarily engaged in disseminating information" and specifics concerning your "urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity."]

[Optional] I have also included a telephone number where I can be contacted during the hours of _______, if necessary, to discuss any aspect of my request.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.


City, State, Zip Code
Telephone Number [Optional]

[Mark "FOIA REQUEST" at the bottom left-hand corner of your envelope.]