What Fees Does USPS® Charge to Fulfill a FOIA Request?

A requester may be charged a fee for some or all of the Postal Service's direct expenses. Fees are based on the amount of time it takes to process a request, the number of pages provided, and a requester's fee category (educational, news media, commercial, or other).

·         Educational and news media requesters are charged for duplication expenses in excess of 100 pages.

·         Commercial requesters are charged fees for search time, review time, and duplication expenses.

·         Other requesters are charged fees for search time in excess of two hours and duplication expenses in excess of 100 pages.

Duplication expenses are 15 cents per page. Search and review time is $32 per hour. Direct expenses are assessed for information that must be retrieved by computer. If the requestor’s total expense is $10.00 or less, we do not charge a fee. If the fee exceeds $25 and you did not indicate willingness to accept all expenses, the United States Postal Service will notify you of the estimated fee and ask for your written agreement to accept liability. If the estimated fee is over $250, our regulations allow us to collect an amount up to the full estimated expense before processing the request.

Can a Fee for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request Be Waived?

Any requester may ask for a fee waiver. The eligibility of a requester for a fee waiver will vary, depending on the ability to show how the requested information relates to the operations or activities of the government and the means to convey the information to the public. For example, a news media requester may qualify for a fee waiver. In that case, the United States Postal Service may waive in full or in part the chargeable duplication fee. Indigence is not sufficient to qualify for a fee waiver.

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