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FOIA identifies three categories of FOIA requesters

Commercial User Requester

seek information for a use or purpose that furthers commercial, trade, or profit interests. These requesters are assessed charges which recover the full direct costs of searching, reviewing, and duplicating the records sought.

Educational, Non-commercial Scientific Institution Requesters and Representatives of the News Media

are not seeking records for commercial use, or represent the news media actively gathering information for an entity that is organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. These requesters are billed for duplication costs. The first 100 pages are free.


are those who do not fit into one of the above categories. These requesters are charged fees to recover the full direct cost of searching for and duplicating records. The first 100 pages and the first two hours of search time are free.












Keep in mind that FOIA provides for Fee Waivers in certain cases. Consult 5 U.S.C. 552 for additional information.