WHAT ARE PUBLIC RECORDS?
A public record is a record that is reasonably necessary or appropriate for us to keep in order to maintain an accurate knowledge of our official activities. ARS § 39–121.01(B). Before making your request, please note the following:
- Generally, the majority of our agency records are public records that are available for you to view or purchase copies, except for records protected from disclosure. For example, Arizona law does not allow us to release certain financial records, insurance claim files or an individual's private information, such as their social security number, birth date, driver’s license number or medical records.
- If the records you request are too voluminous or would require us to devote too many of our limited resources to fulfilling your request, we will ask you to work with us to identify the records that are most responsive to your needs.
- We may not be able to fulfill your request if the requested records are too old. The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Division requires us to destroy our records after a pre-determined retention period.
STEP 1: Complete our Public Records Request Form.
- Download and complete the form that pertains to the records you want. Forms are provided at the bottom of this page. Call the telephone number on the form if you have questions or need assistance.
- Make sure that your request is legible, complete and accurate; otherwise, we may have to contact you for clarification or may have to return your request, which would delay our fulfilling your request.
- Be specific in your record request. Include the name of the particular licensee or insurer whose records you want to view. If you also know the licensee’s license number or insurer’s NAIC number, include that number. Tell us the range of dates for the records you want to see. Let us know specifically what type of information you want to see. More detail makes it easier for us to determine exactly what you are requesting and may help speed our response time.
- Limit your request to records you need. Presenting overly broad requests will delay our fulfilling your request and will increase costs.
- We only provide records that we have. If you need a document that you believe a licensee or insurer has, you must request the record from them (or get legal assistance to subpoena their records).
- We only provide records in established formats. We do not have the resources to develop database applications to generate customized reports or to provide data in multiple formats. Even if you were willing to pay us to provide customized reports or data, Arizona law does not permit this. We are required to deposit all fees from public records requests to the State General Fund pursuant to ARS § 35-141.
STEP 2: Fax or send your request to the appropriate part of our agency (shown on the Records Request Form).
You can also deliver your request in person to our receptionist. Please know that we cannot fulfill a public records request on the spot.
STEP 3.We will review your request and invoice you for any applicable fees.
If your request is to view records,
- There is no fee to view a public record. If you request a copy, we will charge you the applicable fee.
- We will contact you to schedule a time for you to review the records.
- Before you can view a record, we will remove information required to be treated as confidential (because of a law; because of a court order; because it involves a person’s right to privacy such as birthdays, social security numbers, medical records, bank and charge card account numbers, tax records, etc.; or, because it is in the best interests of the state to withhold the information).
If you are requesting photocopies or lists (whether on paper or in an electronic format),
- We will send you an invoice. You must pay the invoice before we can process your request.
- We will remove information required to be treated as confidential (because of a law; because of a court order; because it involves a person’s right to privacy such as birthdays, social security numbers, medical records, bank and charge card account numbers, tax records, etc.).
- We will contact you when we have completed your request.
- For copies of older records, we may need to obtain records from the State Records Center before we can determine which records are available and the applicable fees that apply to your request.
STEP 4: If a fee applies to your request
You can pay by cash in person, or you may send a check or money order to the address shown on the invoice. We do not accept credit card payments.
STEP 5: After receiving required fees
We will fulfill your request as promptly as our resources and workload allow. Please note that some records are stored off site and need to be delivered before we can begin fulfilling your request.