How To Use FOIAonline

Freedom of Information Act How To Use FOIAonline

Ways To Use FOIAonline With Different Agencies

FOIAonline is a tool that allows users to access records for certain agencies on the web. You cannot use this platform to send a FOIA request online for every agency, but you can choose to do so with a more convenient option called DoNotPay!

What Agencies Does FOIAonline Work With?

You can find a specific number of agencies that have the option of sharing data with people, and you may use FOIAonline to look for those records. The table below will show you the available choices:

Agencies Options for Guest Users Options for Registered Users
  • Look for previously released records
  • Get access to records electronically if they provide an email address
  • Generate reports
  • Monitor all their requests sent via FOIAonline
  • Have your contact information pre-populated in future requests
  • Get notified in cases when the status of your request has changed
  • Be in contact with the agency directly at all times while the process is ongoing

How To Submit a FOIA Online Request

If the agency you are dealing with allows making online requests, you will have the option of sending them this way:


  1. Go to and open the FOIAonline Request form
  2. Select the agency you need info from
  3. Choose the type of request you want to send
  4. Enter the required contact info
  5. Type in the amount of money you are willing to spend on the fees
  6. Write a description of desired records in detail
  7. Say if you want to have expedited processing
  8. Indicate if you want a fee waiver
  9. Attach supporting files if you have any

Tips To Help You Get Better Search Results

If you want to get access to the information you are looking for, try some of these tips:

  • Make sure to check whether the info you need is already published on the agency’s website
  • See if the records fall under the Freedom of Information Act exemptions
  • Search for FOIA templates to get an idea of what the request should look like
  • Bear in mind that there isn’t a single FOIA request form that applied to all cases
  • If you need help, contact the agency before sending in the request and avoid it getting denied

Nothing from the list can bring you a magical solution, but DoNotPay is close to that. 

Even with these tips, the best thing to do is to choose DoNotPay because our FOIA feature is simpler and faster. We also handle all the difficult parts of the process after you complete the short questionnaire.

How To Check Your FOIA Request Status Online

If you find the agency you need information from on the FOIAonline list and send a request successfully, you can check its status when you access your account on the website. It will be one of the following options:

  • Submitted
  • Evaluation
  • Assignment
  • Processing
  • Closed

The time you need to wait for the request to be processed will depend on how many other requests the agency has to go through. It also depends on the complexity of your process.

Want To Send a FOIA Request to Any Agency? Use DoNotPay! 

Unlike the FOIAonline option, with DoNotPay, you may request access to information from any agency. We have an unlimited list of options—find records about yourself or another person, whatever you need! You’ll be able to handle everything in a few clicks. To start the straightforward process with our app, perform these steps:

  1. Open DoNotPay in a web browser
  2. Find and select the FOIA feature
  3. Let us know if you wish to send a request to a state or federal agency
  4. Type in the agency’s name
  5. Inform us if you need a fee waiver

The moment you finish the quick questionnaire, we will send the request letter to the agency of your choice. DoNotPay is connected to state, federal, and local agencies, so you don’t have to worry about whether the option is available.

Some of the Agencies DoNotPay Works With

You can pick from a plethora of agencies to search for information with DoNotPay’s help. Here are some examples:

What If Your FOIA Request Gets Denied?

In case you send a FOIA request to an agency, and they reject it, the best solution is to file an appeal. It is your right to complain if you feel like you’ve completed all the required steps and that the agency wronged you.

The steps for filing an appeal are agency-specific, so you’ll need to check the rules for each separately.

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If you’ve never experienced an issue with a purchased item, you should consider yourself extremely lucky. When shopping goes wrong, you usually have to brace yourself for unpleasant and annoying exchanges with customer support centers. 

DoNotPay is here to make exercising your consumer rights easy. Long holds when calling customer service reps and incessant marketing spam emails can stay in the past. We will help you avoid irritating text messages from online retailers by teaching you how to bypass phone verification when signing up. 

Ask for refunds, claim warranties, fix credit card issues, or sue retailers in small claims court—these are just some of the services our platform provides. 

With DoNotPay, you can start free trials for new services risk-free. If you want to get out existing subscriptions, canceling them has never been easier!

Wait, There’s More!

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If you have a problem with bureaucracy, the chances are DoNotPay knows how to fix it with your minimal involvement. 

Leave the grunt work and unnecessary expenses behind. We will help you pass various government tests with flying colors, find unclaimed money in all states, or get out of parking tickets before you know it!


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