The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) keeps files of certain individuals, including victims in cases and individuals, organizations, and businesses currently or previously under investigation. The Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOI/PA) allows United States citizens and lawfully admitted aliens to request information on themselves, or other living persons, and access their FBI files. There are two ways to submit a Freedom of Information/Privacy Act request:

  1. Submit your request through the eFOIPA portal, which allows you to electronically request your file and provide a mailing address to the FBI, who will then send your records to you at that address. The eFOIPA portal can be found at https://efoia.fbi.gov/#home
  2. Following the instructions on U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361, submit a letter, sign your request, and have it notarized or state:

    “Under penalty of perjury, I hereby declare that I am the person named above and I understand that any falsification of this statement is punishable under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 1001 by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment of not more than five years, or both; and that requesting or obtaining any record(s) under false pretenses is punishable under the provisions of Title 5, U.S.C., Section 552a(i)(3) as a misdemeanor and by a fine of not more than $5,000.”
  • That letter then must be mailed to:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Attn: FOI/PA Request
    Record/Information Dissemination Section
    170 Marcel Dr
    Winchester, VA 22602-4843

If you have questions about this process before submitting your FOIPA request, please e-mail foipaquestions@fbi.gov – to check on the status of your request, you can contact FOIPA’s Public Information Officer at (540) 868-4593.

The Department of Justice may deny your request, based on exemptions to the Freedom of Information/Privacy Act which allows certain information to remain classified. In the instance that your request is denied, you have the right to file an appeal letter. A sample of appeals letters broken down by which exemption is cited in your denial letter, can be found via the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, here: https://www.rcfp.org/federal-foia-appeals-guide/sample-appeal-letters-and-templates

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