Freedom of Information & Privacy Act

Submitting Your Request
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This web page will help you through the Navy's Freedom of Information Act Request process.

Step 1: Preparing Your Request

In whatever form (written, electronic or fax) you submit your request:

  1. Label your request "FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST" (and also on the envelope, if you use a written request).
  2. Describe the specific record(s) you are seeking with enough detail so that a knowledgeable official of the activity may locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort. Such detail should include descriptive information, time-frame to be searched, etc. Remember don't include Personally Identifiable Information such as Social Security Number and Date of Birth. Because most Navy records are not retained permanently, the more information provided, the better opportunity there is to determine if the records would still exist and where. The FOIA clearly states that records must exist at the time the request is submitted to be considered.
  3. State your willingness to pay all fees or those up to a specified amount or provide a justification to support a fee waiver. Agreements to pay fees are considered to be up to $250, unless another amount is specified. Currently we charge search, review (for commercial requesters only), and duplication costs. (The fee schedule is provided at enclosure (3) of Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5720.42F).
  4. Include your complete postal service mailing address on your request.

Step 2: Submitting Your Request

The next step in preparing to submit your request is deciding where to send the request. Because Navy records are decentralized you will get the fastest response by sending your request to the Department of the Navy component holding the record(s) you seek.

  1. Submitting Your Request to a Navy Command

    Please consult the Navy's FOIA requester Service Center web page for help in locating commands, obtaining addresses or finding a command's web site. Once you have located a command and have its address you may submit your request in writing to that command. Alternatively, you may submit your request to a command via a web-based FOIA request form, if that command has one available on its web site.

  2. Submitting Your Request to Commander, Military Sealift Command

    If the records you seek are held by the Commander, Military Sealift Command or MSC Area Commands, you may use any of the following methods to submit a FOIA request:
    1. Submit your request in writing to:

      Commander, Military Sealift Command
      ATTN: N00L/FOIA
      471 E. C Street, Building SP-48
      Norfolk, VA 23511

    2. Submit your request via FAX to:

      202-685-5180

    3. Submit your request via MSC's On-Line FOIA Request