Iowa Open Records Law Request Form

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Open Records Law Form


The Iowa Open Records Law guarantees that the public has access to public information from the government. The only records that are not accessible are documents that are deemed confidential. This is a template form for requesting public information in Iowa in accordance with the Iowa Open Records Law.

Name of State Act:

Open Records Law

  • Exemptions:

    Personal information of public school students, hospital/medical records, trade secrets, peace officers' investigative reports, attorney litigations

  • Response Time:

    10 to 20 Business Days

  • Restrictions


Frequently Asked Questions about

Iowa Open Records Law Request Form

We have curated some of the most commonly asked questions for you.

Does a request for a record have to be in person? Must it be made in writing?

The custodian cannot require the physical presence of the person requesting the public record. In addition, a change in Chapter 22.3 in 2006 requires record custodians to respond to requests made in writing, by telephone or by electronic means. The spoken request is sufficient, so long as you reasonably identify the record sought. A written request might be helpful in a complex matter or one involving litigation. 

I want the record right now. How much time does the public agency have to produce a requested record?

Typically, Iowa agencies provide access to records as soon as they can, and most record requests are routine. Chapter 22.8(4) provides for a “good-faith, reasonable delay by a lawful custodian” in permitting examination of a record in some circumstances, including to determine whether the record is confidential. A custodian is allowed up to 20 calendar days to determine whether a confidential record should be released, but such delays should not ordinarily exceed 10 business days, according to the Code. An advisory opinion by the Iowa Public Information Board on Aug. 13, 2014 (citing a 2013 Iowa Supreme Court public records case, Horsfield Materials Inc. v. City of Dyersville (834 N.W.2d 444 (Iowa 2013)), said, “Access to an open record shall be provided promptly upon request unless the size or nature of the request makes prompt access infeasible. If the size or nature of the request for access to an open record requires time for compliance, the custodian shall comply with the request as soon as feasible.”

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