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Requesting public records

How do I request public records?

Online

You can request all types of records by visiting the Request Public Records portal (nextrequest.com). The portal is a secure platform for:

  • Communicating your records needs.
  • Receiving updates about the status of your request.
  • Easy record retrieval once we've processed your request.

If you can't use the online portal, choose one of the options below.

Mail

Vehicle and Vessel Records

Complete the form below and mail it to us at the address shown on the form.

All Other Records

Complete the form below and mail or email it to us at the address shown on the form.

How long will it take?

You will receive a reply within 5 business days after we receive your request. The response might include the records you requested, but sometimes we will do one of the following:

  • Ask a few questions to understand exactly what records you need.
  • Give an estimate of the time needed to search for and produce the records.
  • Redirect you to a different state agency or public website.
  • Deny your request.

Can you deny my request?

We screen all requests for public records to determine if we can fulfill the request. If we must deny your request, we will tell you:

  • Why we denied your request.
  • The specific law(s) that prohibits disclosure of the records.

Public disclosure fee schedule

We may charge you to recover the costs of preparing copies of the records that you request.

  • You may need to pay a deposit of up to 10% of the estimated cost of copying your requested public records. You may also have to pay an installment or the remaining amount before we give you the records.
  • We won't release any requested copies of public records unless and until you've paid fees.
  • We may decide that you'll need electronic access to public records. We'll do this if your request needs special technology to prepare that we don't already use.
    • We'll only charge you for the actual costs needed to provide electronic access.
  • We may waive any charges for providing public records at our discretion. We’ll make this decision on a case-by-case basis.
  • You can pay by cash, check, or money order to the Washington Department of Licensing.

Copies of records

  • Photocopies, printed copies of electronic records, or use of agency equipment to make photocopies: $0.15/page
  • Scanned records, or use of agency equipment for scanning: $0.10/page
  • Electronic files or attachments sent via email, uploaded to cloud-based data storage service, or other means of electronic delivery: $0.0125/electronic record or $0.05/four electronic records
  • Records transmitted in electronic format or for use of agency equipment to send records electronically: $0.10/gigabyte

Other fees

  • Digital storage media or devices: Actual cost
  • Any container or envelope used to mail copies: Actual cost
  • Postage or delivery charges: Actual cost

There is an additional service charge if your request needs special technology to prepare.

Related laws

Related information

Questions? Need help?

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