Fee schedule

There is no initial fee for you to make a FOIA request. However, the Freedom of Information Act authorizes the Bureau to charge you fees to recover the direct costs of providing records to you. 

The Bureau has prepared the guidance below to assist you in determining the types and amounts of fees that will apply to a FOIA request that you file with the Bureau. You should read this guidance in conjunction with the Bureau’s FOIA regulations, located at 12 C.F.R. § 1070.22 (p 28).

Fee categories

  • Commercial Use Requesters – charged for all search, record review and redaction, and record duplication costs.
  • News Media, Educational, or Scientific Requesters – charged for record duplication only (after the first 100 pages).
  • Other Requesters – charged for search costs (after the first two hours) and record duplication costs (after the first 100 pages).

Fee amounts

The Bureau has established the following fee schedule in accordance with Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget. See 52 Fed. Reg. 10011 (March 27, 1987).

Record duplication charges

  • Fees for the duplication of paper records are $0.10 per page.
  • Fees for printing electronic records include direct costs and labor costs.

Record search charges

  • If only clerical staff conducted the search, then search fees will accrue at the rate of $9.00 per 15 minutes.
  • If only professional staff conducted the search, then search fees will accrue at the rate of $23.00 per 15 minutes for professional staff.
  • If a combination of clerical and professional staff conducted the search, then search fees will accrue at the basic pay rate plus 16% of the employee(s) who conducted the search.

Record review and redaction charges

  • If only clerical staff conducted the review, then review fees will accrue at the rate of $13.00 per 15 minutes.
  • If only professional staff conducted the review, then review fees will accrue at the rate of $23.00 per 15 minutes for professional staff.
  • If a combination of clerical and professional staff conducted the review, then review fees will accrue at the basic pay rate plus 16% of the employee(s) who conducted the review.

Other charges

Other services and materials requested which are not covered above are chargeable at the actual cost to the CFPB. This includes, but is not limited to certifying that records are true copies or sending records by special methods such as Express Mail. Fees associated with these services may vary based upon current market prices for such services. The Bureau will notify requesters of these costs prior to incurring them.

Fee limits established by requester

In your request letter you may make a specific statement limiting the amount of fees you are willing to pay (provided that the limit is not less than $25.00). If you do not, the Bureau will assume that you are willing to pay fees of up to $25.00. If your estimated fees exceed $25.00, you will be given the opportunity to narrow your request in order to reduce the fees or you will be asked to express your commitment to pay the estimated amount.

Fee waivers

If you expect or are advised that a fee will be charged, you may request a fee waiver of those fees. However, fee waivers are limited to situations in which a requester can show that disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

Payment of fees

Ordinarily, you will not be required to pay the fees until after the records have been processed and sent to you. You may be required to pay fees in advance, however, if the Bureau determines that processing your request will cost more than $250.00 or if you have a history of non-payment or late payment of fees.

Important payment information

All FOIA fees must be paid in U.S. dollars and by check (made payable to the “United States Treasury”). Make certain that you reference the specific FOIA request number (e.g. CFPB-2011-001) on the check.