Public Records Act (PRA) Requests

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General Guidelines for Access to Public Records

Public records maintained by the California Department of Transportation are available for inspection by members of the public pursuant to the following procedures:

  1. Public records maintained by the department are available for inspection during the regular business hours of the department. The Department is entitled to a reasonable period of time to locate the records if not readily accessible and to determine whether they must first be reviewed, and possibly redacted, in order to protect confidential or other exempt material from improper disclosure.

  2. Marcy Freer is the Public Records Officer for the handling of Public Records Act (PRA) Requests. For further information you may contact her at (916) 654-3644.

  3. Requests for inspection or copying of public records:

    • Should be specific, focused and not interfere with the ordinary business operations of the department. The operational functions of the department will not be suspended to permit inspection of records during periods in which the records are required by Department personnel for the performance of their duties. If the request requires review of numerous records, a mutually agreeable time should be established for the inspection of the records.
    • Should sufficiently describe records so that identification, location and retrieval of the records can be achieved without undue burden. Reasonable assistance shall be given to the requestor to help him or her satisfy this requirement.
    • Should be reduced to writing unless the request involves records that are readily available for immediate public inspection. (The requestor may be asked, but cannot be required, to submit the request in writing. If the requestor refuses, the person handling the request should record the information for record keeping purposes.)

  4. The Department may refuse to disclose any records that are exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act. It may also delay responding to a request when necessary to determine whether any such exemptions apply.

  5. Physical inspection of the records shall be permitted within the Department's offices and under the conditions determined by the Department. Upon either the completion of the inspection or at the request of Department personnel, the person conducting the inspection shall relinquish physical possession of the records. Persons inspecting department records shall not destroy, mutilate, deface, alter, or remove any such records from the Department. The Department reserves the right to have departmental personnel present during the inspection of records in order to prevent the loss or destruction of records.

  6. Upon any request for a physical copy of records, Department personnel shall provide copies of the records only upon payment of a fee covering the costs of duplication, including reimbursement for the cost of any staff directly involved in the effort to duplicate the records. This requirement may be waived where the cost is minimal. There is no charge for the mere inspection of records.

  7. Persons found guilty of stealing, willfully destroying, mutilating, defacing, altering or falsifying, removing or secreting the whole or any part of a document, map, book, paper or other record, or who permits any other person to do so, is punishable by imprisonment in state prison, or in a county jail, not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both fine and imprisonment (Government Code sections 6200-6201).

  8. A copy of these guidelines shall be posted in a conspicuous public place in each office of the Department of Transportation. Copies shall also be made available free of charge to any person requesting a copy.

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