The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public the right to access to records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions.
“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.
Use the Open FOIL NY online form
To assist with your request, within your Open Foil Request Form, be sure to include the below information within the boxes, “Short title of requested records” and/or “FOIL Request / Description of records sought”:
- Incident Number(s)
- Incident Type
- Incident Date(s)
- Incident Time(s)
- Incident Location
- Names and Dates of Birth for involved parties
- Brief description of the actual records sought
Mail a written request to:
New York State Police
Attn: Central Record Bureau
1220 Washington Avenue, Bldg. 22
Albany, NY 12226-2252
Submit a request using the New York State Police FOIL Request Form
This form should be attached to a request submitted via e-mail or the Open FOIL NY online form. Save the completed form locally to your computer and attach the saved copy to the e-mail or online form. If the electronic form cannot be sent by your computer, you may submit the form via U.S. mail, at the address listed above. In addition, you may use the form as a guideline and provide the same information in a request submitted via e-mail or the Open FOIL NY online form.
E-mail a written request to: [email protected]
Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request. If you have not received a letter within five business days, please contact us at [email protected].
An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors.
If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per page for copies of records up 9”x 14” in size, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only:
- an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s), if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record(s) requested;
- the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and
- the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy.
Accordingly, pursuant to Public Officers Law § 87 (FOIL), the following fee schedule is in effect for records requested from the State Police:
- The cost as prescribed by other statutes (e.g., Public Officers Law § 66-a, which requires a fee of $15.00 per incident/investigation report);
- 25¢ per copy for any additional pages (not in excess of 9"x14");
- $3.00 per digital media (CD, DVD, etc.) if requested;
- An additional fee of $15.00 for a certified copy;
- $25.00 for photograph(s);
- Additional fees may apply depending on the type and preparation of records requested.
Pursuant to Public Officers Law § 66-a, which governs access to certain police investigative reports and records for interested/involved parties, the following fee schedule is in effect:
- $15.00 per incident/investigation report;
- $15.00 per accident reconstruction report;
- An additional fee of $15.00 for a certified copy of either report;
- $25.00 for photograph(s)
Payment should be made by check or money order payable to the “Superintendent of State Police” and sent to the New York State Police, Attn: Central Records, 1220 Washington Avenue, Building 22, Albany NY 12226-2252.
Upon receipt of payment, we will prepare and forward a copy of the applicable record(s) directly to the requestor. Be advised that a criminal investigation will be conducted and appropriate charges may be brought pursuant to New York State Penal Law if a check is returned due to insufficient funds or accounts closed.
Records are available for inspection, by appointment, on business days between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at the Division of State Police Headquarters in Albany, New York. Upon receipt of a request to inspect records, we will notify you whether the records will be made available for inspection and of the earliest available appointment. The Division of State Police Headquarters is located on Harriman State Office Campus at: 1220 Washington Avenue, Building 22, Albany, New York 12226-2252
Right to Appeal
Under provisions of the Public Officers Law you may appeal a FOIL determination. If you desire to submit such an appeal, you must do so within 30 days of the written response to your FOIL request. Please include a copy of the original request for records and a copy of the FOIL response letter you received along with your appeal letter to:
New York State Police
Attn: Records Appeal Officer
1220 Washington Avenue, Building 22
Albany NY 12226-2252
E-mail your appeal and attach a copy of your original FOIL request as well a copy of the FOIL response letter you received to:
You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal. Please indicate the FOIL Request Number when corresponding on this subject.
Subject Matter List
The following list describes the records maintained by the New York State Police and is current as of January 1, 2020. This list does not imply that all records are available to the public. All government records are subject to the exemptions stipulated in the Freedom of Information Law.
Applicant Investigation Records
Criminal Information Records
Fiscal Management Information
Pistol Permit Records
The Committee on Open Government, an agency of the NYS Department of State, is responsible for overseeing and advising with regard to FOIL, the Open Meetings Law and the Personal Privacy Protection Law.
When submitting a FOIL request, the following suggestions may decrease the processing time:
The State Police does not maintain the following records. Please contact the agencies identified below for such inquiries:
- Driver History or Abstract
- Criminal History Record Information
- NYS Crime Statistics
- Accident Statistics by location
- Traffic Statistics
- Certificate of Relief (good conduct)
- Disposition of Criminal Cases
- Dispositions for criminal cases and traffic offenses are maintained by the appropriate court of jurisdiction (court that handled the criminal matter), not by the State Police. Contact the criminal court in the town, village, or city in which the incident occurred. The New York State Office of Court Administration may help you find the contact information for your court.
Make sure you are asking for specific records and not abstract ideas. Identifying incidents by their locations is essential; also include complete names, dates of birth, other relevant dates, descriptions, addresses, and any other identifying data.
Refrain from requesting lengthy lists of records. Try to group related records and submit separate requests.
Review the exemptions described in the Public Officers Law, Article 6, § 87 and § 89 for an understanding of possible redactions or denials of records.
The State Police maintains only those records associated with State Police arrests and investigations. Records of local or county law enforcement agencies are maintained by the respective agency. Requests for other law enforcement agency records should be made directly to that agency.
Refrain from calling or writing for the status of a request. Checking on the status takes time away from processing the hundreds of requests received each month. If you do not receive a written response within five (5) business days (allow for postal transit time) please do contact us.
Please provide your e-mail, mailing address, and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.
The Freedom of Information Law pertains to existing agency records. An agency is not required create a new record or answer questions in response to FOIL requests.
Please note that state holidays are not counted as a business day.
Q: What is the difference between POL 66-a and the Freedom of Information Law?
The Freedom of Information Law of 1974 is intended for the public to have exposure to how their government works by requesting records such as budgets, expenditures, vendor contracts, building lease agreements, personnel salaries, policies, etc.
Public Officers Law § 66-a is intended to provide reports pertaining to specific incidents to involved persons, parties with a legitimate interest, or representatives of such persons including attorneys and insurance companies. These reports may include accident reconstruction, investigation, and arrest reports.
Q: How do I view the POL § 66-a and the Freedom of Information Law?
The New York State Legislature posts its bills and laws on: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us. Select Laws of New York.
Q: How does my attorney, insurance company, or private investigator request copies of investigation reports on my behalf?
The process is the same for your representative as it is for you. See: "How do I request a copy of records pertaining to an incident?" Your representative should use company letterhead to verify they are representing you.
Q: How long does it take to receive copies of records?
Requests for records are assessed upon receipt. The State Police attempts to answer requests in 5 business days. It may not be possible for several reasons: the complexity of the request itself, amount of records responsive to the request, extensive statewide searches, limited state work force, and the amount of redaction required by law. See Helpful Tips above.
If a request cannot be fulfilled in 5 business days, the State Police will send a notification of receipt and an estimated timeframe for the response.
Q: How is my privacy protected when other people request records?
New York State laws protect citizens' privacy. The State Police will protect the privacy of individuals identified in reports where it could cause unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. There are many aspects of protection spelled out in sub-section 2 of the Freedom of Information Law. Depending on the content, the entire record may be exempted or certain information in the record may be redacted.
Q: What are "redactions"?
"Redacting" is a method by which statutorily exempted information in a record is "blacked out" while accessible information can remain visible to you.
Q: If I am a victim of a crime, can anyone get my name by requesting State Police records?
No. The State Police adheres to the principle of privacy protection and will not routinely release names of crime victims.
Q: If I am convicted of a crime, can anyone get my name by requesting records?
Yes. Court convictions are public records. Exceptions include records concerning juveniles and court-ordered sealed records in accordance with state statutes.
Q: How can my request for records under the Freedom of Information Law be denied?
The State Police will notify you in writing if your request is denied and provide the reason(s) for the denial. The FOIL Law exempts records which:
- Are exempted by state and/or local statute
- Would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
- Would impair contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations
- Would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of a commercial enterprise
- Are compiled for law enforcement purposes and would:
- Interfere with investigations or judicial proceedings
- Deprive a person from the right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication
- Identify a confidential source or information related to a criminal investigation
- Reveal non-routine criminal investigative techniques and procedures
- May endanger the life or safety of any person
- Are inter-agency or intra-agency material that is:
- Not statistical or factual tabulations or data
- Not instructional to staff that affect the public
- Not final agency policy or determinations
- Not external audits
- Are test questions or answers for active examinations
- Would jeopardize an agency’s security of information technology assets