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Guidelines for Submitting Public Records Requests

1.    Requests for Public Records. In accordance with the provisions of chapter 42.56 RCW public records may be inspected and copied, or copies obtained by members of the public as follows:

Requests shall be made in writing to the Public Records Officer on a form provided by the department or shall include, at minimum, the following information:

  • The name and address of the person requesting the record.
  • The time of day and calendar date on which the request is made.
  • The nature of the request.
  •  An appropriate description of the record requested.
  • If the requested record is a list of individuals, a signed statement that the information obtained will not be used for commercial purposes.

1.    Fees. Pursuant to RCW 42.56.120, the department is not calculating all actual costs for copying records because to do so would be unduly burdensome for the following reasons: (1) the department does not have the resources to conduct a study to determine all of its actual copy costs; (2) conducting such a study would interfere with the essential functions of the department and (3) this policy adopts the fee schedules and requirements as provided by the state legislatures in RCW 42.56.120.


1.1.        The department may request a 10% deposit to be paid prior to producing copies of any records.


1.2.        The department reserves the right to provide records in the form most feasible, for the department staff.


For the safety and security of our computer system, the Department will not provide records on media provided by a requestor.


Paper copies15 cents per page
Scanned copies10 cent per page
Records uploaded to email, cloud-based storage, CD/DVD, or flash drive5 cents for every 4 electronic files or attachments
Records transmitted in electronic format. 10 cents per gigabyte (GB)
Digital storage device (CD/DVD, flash drive)Actual cost
EnvelopeActual cost
PostageActual cost

Customized service charge

When the request would require the use of IT expertise to prepare data compilizations or when such customized access services are not used by the agency for other business purposes. The agency may charge the actual cost. The agency must notify the requestor that it will be doing a customized service and can request a 10 percent deposit.





In certain situations, disclosure of public records may be impacted by a statutory provision. The following list includes some of the provisions that can affect disclosure of public records. The list is not all-inclusive and other statutory requirements affecting public records disclosure may exist.


RCW 5.60.060                               Attorney Client Privilege

RCW 10.52.100                             Records identifying child victim of sexual assault

RCW 18.71.0195                           Medical Disciplinary Reports

RCW 19.34.240(3)                       Private digital signature keys

RCW 26.12.170                             Reports of child abuse/neglect with courts

Ch. 26.23 RCW                             Domestic Relations –State Support Registry

RCW 26.44.010                             Privacy of reports on child abuse and neglect

RCW 26.44.020(19)                       Unfounded allegations of child abuse or neglect

RCW 26.44.030                             Reports of child abuse/neglect

Ch.40.14 RCW                              Preservation and destruction of public records

Ch.40.24                                        Address confidentiality for victims of domestic

violence, sexual assault, and stalking

RCW 42.23.070(4)                       Municipal officer disclosure of confidential information


RCW 42.41.030(7)                       Identity of local government whistleblower

RCW 42.41.045 Non-disclosure of protected information (whistleblower)

RCW 43.43.830 -.840               Background Checks

RCW 48.62.101                             Local government insurance transactions

Ch. 49.17 RCW                             Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act

RCW 50.13.060                             Access to employment security records by local


RCW 51.28.070                             Worker’s compensation records

RCW 51.36.060                             Physician information on injured workers

RCW 51.48.040                             Inspection of Employer Records by L&I

RCW 70.24.105                             HIV/STD records

RCW 70.96A.150                          Alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs

RCW 71.05.390                             Mental health records.

RCW 74.20.280                             Child support enforcement

RCW 74.34.095                             Abuse of vulnerable adults

RCW 82.32.330                             Disclosure of tax information

42 USC 290dd-2                            Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Records

42 USC Sec. 12101 et. seq.            Americans with Disabilities Act

29 USC Sec 657 et


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