Open Records Fees
A request for copies of public records or information produced there from must be accompanied by payment of fees to cover the direct cost of duplication as set forth below:
|Copies||$0.25 per page (a photocopy is either a single-sided or one side of a double-sided black and white copy of a standard 8.5-inch by 11-inch page)|
|Certification of a record||$1 per record, not per page. Please note that certification fees do not include notarization fees|
|Specialized documents||Actual cost for example, but not limited to, blue-prints, color copies, non-standard sized documents|
|Facsimile / Microfiche / Other media||Actual cost|
|Redaction fee||No redaction fee may be imposed|
|Conversion to paper||If a record is only maintained electronically or in other non-paper media, duplication fees shall be limited to the lesser of the fee for duplication on paper or the fee for duplication in the original media unless the requestor specifically requests for the record to be duplicated in the more expensive medium (Sec. 1307 (e))|
|Postage fees||Fees for postage may not exceed the actual cost of mailing|
If a separate statute authorizes an agency to charge a set amount for a certain type of record, the agency may charge no more than that statutory amount. For example, a recorder of deeds may charge a copy fee of 50 cents per uncertified page and $1.50 per certified page under 42 P.S. Section 21051. Police departments have the authority to charge up to $15 per report for providing a copy of a vehicle accident report. 75 Pa.C.S. Section 3751 (b)(2). Philadelphia police may charge up to $25 per copy. Id. at (b)(3). State police are authorized to charge "$5 for each copy of the Pennsylvania State Police full report of investigation." 75 Pa.C.S. Section 1956(b).
Inspection of Redacted Records
If a requester wishes to inspect rather than receive a copy of a record and the record contains both public and non-public information, the agency shall redact the non-public information. An agency may not charge the requester for the redaction. However, the agency may charge for the copies it must make of the redacted material in order for the requester to view the public record. The fee structure outlined above will apply. If, after inspecting the records, the requester chooses to obtain the copies, no additional fee may be charged.
Enhanced Electronic Access
If an agency offers enhanced electronic access to records in addition to making the records accessible for inspection and duplication by a requester, the agency may establish user fees specifically for the provision of the enhanced electronic access, but only to the extent that the enhanced electronic access is in addition to making the records accessible for inspection and duplication by a requester as required by this act. The user fees for enhanced electronic access may be a flat rate, a subscription fee for a period of time, a per-transaction fee, a fee based on the cumulative time of system access or any other reasonable method and any combination thereof.
Except as otherwise provided by statute, the law states that no other fees may be imposed unless the agency necessarily incurs costs for complying with the request, and such fees must be reasonable. No fee may be imposed for an agency's review of a record to determine whether the record is a public record, legislative record or financial record subject to access in accordance with this act. No fee may be charged for searching for or retrieval of documents. An agency may not charge staff time or salary for complying with a RTK request.
Prior to granting a request for access in accordance with this act, an agency may require a requester to prepay an estimate of the fees authorized under this section if the fees required to fulfill the request are expected to exceed $100.
- Once the request is fulfilled and prepared for release, the requester shall submit payment in full before or at the time the records are provided.