How To File a CIA FOIA Request Easily

Freedom of Information Act How To File a CIA FOIA Request Easily

Learn How To Send a CIA FOIA Request in a Jiffy

Accessing records from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is simpler than you may think. According to the Freedom of Information Act of 1966, everyone has the right to request to see public records from various agencies. 

There are several exemptions, but other than that, you should have no issues in finding out what you want. You can send a CIA FOIA request in a few ways, but the best solution available is DoNotPay.

Use DoNotPay To Send a CIA Freedom of Information Act Request

If you’d like to send the FOIA request to the CIA fast and without trouble, you should choose DoNotPay to do so. The procedure is straightforward and consists of five simple steps you need to perform:


  1. Access DoNotPay from any web browser
  2. Find and choose the FOIA feature
  3. Indicate that you are dealing with a federal agency
  4. Enter CIA as the name of the agency
  5. Tell us if you’d like to request a fee waiver or expedited processing

We will send the request letter to the CIA the moment you finish completing our simple questionnaire. 

How Can You Submit a CIA FOIA Request on Your Own?

The Central Intelligence Agency requires people to send their FOIA requests the old-fashioned way, and you only have a couple of options. If you choose to go through with the process on your own, prepare yourself for waiting a long time to complete it. Here are your options:

Can You File a CIA FOIA Request Via? Yes/No
DoNotPay Yes
Mail Yes
Fax Yes
Phone No
Email No
In Person No

How To Submit a FOIA CIA Request via Mail

To access the desired information from the CIA, you’ll need to send the request letter via mail. Heed these instructions:

  1. Address the letter to Information and Privacy Coordinator, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. 20505
  2. Describe the information you are searching for in detail
  3. Explain why you need those records
  4. Indicate the amount of money you are willing to spend on fees
  5. Enter your contact information
  6. Send the request letter

How To Submit a FOIA CIA Request via Fax

You may also send a FOIA CIA request by fax. These are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Write the request letter
  2. Provide a detailed description of the info you want to access
  3. Explain the reason for requesting that info
  4. Tell the agency what amount you are willing to spend on fees
  5. Leave your contact information, such as your name and address
  6. Send the fax to 703-613-3007

If you are a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted alien, you can request info on yourself or another living person from the CIA database.

How To Check the Status of Your CIA FOIA Request

A couple of factors can affect how fast the CIA will process your FOIA request. The most important one is the complexity of your request. Simple requests are easier to process than complex ones due to the volume of material the CIA needs to search through. 

Sometimes the location of records requires communication between more agencies, and that can take more time. If you become impatient, you can check the status of your request. To do so, you only need to:

  1. Visit the CIA Request Status page
  2. Enter the FOIA reference number in the textbox
  3. Solve the CAPTCHA challenge
  4. Click on the Search button

In case you have additional questions about the FOIA request status, call CIA at (703) 613-1287.

How Much Does It Cost To Send a CIA FOIA Request?

If you are looking for information on yourself, the CIA won’t charge you at all. For any other researcher category, the agency has specific fees as seen in the list below:

  • News Media—no charge for the first 100 pages and 10 cents per page for the rest
  • Commercial—$18 per hour for manual search and $11-27 per hour for computer search
  • Educational and Scientific—no charge for the first 100 pages and 10 cents per page for the rest

You may even request a fee waiver from the CIA if the info you are looking for is:

  • Of public interest, contributing significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the U.S. Government
  • Not going to be used for commercial purposes

Can You File an Appeal if CIA Denies Your FOIA Request?

If your FOIA request is denied and you don’t agree with the CIA’s decision, the FOIA allows you to file an appeal to the Agency Release Panel (ARP) in the care of the Coordinator. You have to file an appeal within 45 days of the CIA’s initial decision. 

Send the appeal to the Information and Privacy Coordinator, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. 20505.

Agencies Will Receive Your FOIA Requests in Under Five Minutes With DoNotPay

Don’t stop at the CIA—DoNotPay can assist you in sending FOIA requests to numerous other agencies. The list below contains some of the most popular agencies people want to access records from:

DoNotPay also has all the info about the FOIA request templates and knows how FOIAonline works.

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