How to Submit a Privacy Act Request
A Privacy Act Request is one in which a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident seeks records on themselves that are contained in a file retrievable by the individual's name or personal identifier.
The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended at 5 U.S.C. 552a, protects records that are retrieved by personal identifiers such as name, social security number, or other identifying number or symbol. An individual is entitled to access to his or her records and to request correction of these records if applicable.
The Privacy Act prohibits disclosure of these records without written individual consent unless one of the twelve disclosure exceptions enumerated in the Act applies. These records are held in Privacy Act systems of records.
As with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Privacy Act binds only Federal agencies, and covers only records in the possession and control of Federal agencies.
Handwritten signatures mandatory.
Step 1: Preparing Your Request
Only the individual to whom the record pertains can request the records.
You must provide complete contact information (full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address, if available). If alternate contact information is available (e.g., other telephone numbers or email), please provide that information as well. We are unable to respond to .mil or .gov emails.
The request must include a valid form of identification such as a copy of a photo ID or driver's license.
Providing your social security number and date of birth is voluntary. However, without it, we may not be able to locate the records requested.
Describe the record you are seeking in detail, being as specific as possible as to when and by whom the record was created. The key is to provide enough information to allow an experienced employee to locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort.
This statement is required if someone is authorizing another person (Third Party) to receive Privacy Act Information about them: "I (Name), authorize release of my information which is protected under the Privacy Act to (Name Of Third Party Receiving Information).”
Physically sign your request. Your handwritten signature must be notarized or submitted via an unsworn declaration in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty of perjury as a substitute for notarization.
If you are executing the unsworn declaration within the U.S., its territories, possessions, or commonwealths, it must read as follows: "I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (Date). (Handwritten Signature)."
If you are executing the unsworn declaration outside the U.S., it must read as follows: "I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the U.S. that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (Date). (Handwritten Signature)."
Step 2: Where To Send Your Request
All Privacy Act requests must be submitted by mail or commercial courier. Requests submitted via email or fax will not be accepted.
Joint Personnel Recovery Agency
ATTN: FOIA Requester Service Center
10244 Burbeck Road
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5805