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Requesting Records From Us

Records on our website

The NC Public Records Act now allows us to comply with public records requests by providing the requested records online in a downloadable format. So, if you can find a record online on our website and can download it, you do not have to file a request to get it from us. You can just download the record. Most of the time, there will be no cost to you.

If you still want the record, you can ask us to provide it but we do not have to provide it if it is online and downloadable. We will consider your request to provide a copy of the record in another way, but we are not required to grant your request.

Requesting records not available on our website

  • You need to send your records request to the custodian of the records. Usually, that person is one of our division directors, so you can address your request to:

    Director, _______ Division
    N.C. Department of the Secretary of State
    P.O. Box 29622
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

    If your request will require a response from more than one of our divisions, we ask that you send your request to:

    Ann Wall, General Counsel
    N.C. Department of the Secretary of State
    P.O. Box 29622
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

    with a copy to George Jeter, Publications Director, at the same address.

    We will also accept public records requests by email, fax and other means.

  • Your request needs to include:
    • Enough information for us to identify the records you want. We do not provide legal research or advice to the public. So, we cannot respond to general requests. For example, we cannot search our records for “companies that have never done X”.
    • You must state that you are willing to pay the costs for copies of the records you request. It is definitely okay for you to ask us to contact you if the cost will be more than a specific amount (but you have to tell us how to contact you).
    • If you specify the period for the records you want, that is very helpful. For example, if you’re only interested in the month of January, ask for just that month, not every year since the Secretary took office.
    • We ask that you provide us with a way to contact you if we have questions about your request. You do not have to do this but it may help us respond more effectively to your request because we can contact you to ask questions if we are unclear about something in the request.
  • Costs for copies of public records
    • If a record is online on our website and downloadable, there is no generally no charge.
    • Some of our laws have specific fees for copies of records. For example, the Business Corporations Act says we have to charge a fee of one dollar ($1.00) a page for copying or comparing a copy to the original.
    • If you ask for a certified copy of one of our records:
      • If there is a specific law that sets a fee for a certified copy, we charge that fee. For example, the Business Corporations Act says we have to charge a fee of $15 for a certified paper copy of a filed document for a corporation.
      • If there is not a specific law setting a fee for a certified copy, we have a general law that says we have to charge a fee of $10 for the certified copy.
    • If we make paper copies of records that are not online and downloadable, the current charge is five cents per page. For other copies, the cost depends on the medium in which we produce the record.
    • If we have to use extensive resources to respond to your request, there may be additional charges.
    • Charges related to our entire database.
  • BE AWARE: There are many places in the law where a record either is defined as not being a public record or is defined as being confidential.

    • If a record is defined as not being a public record, we cannot provide it to you unless a court orders us to provide it.
    • If there is confidential information in a record, we have to “redact” the record. That means we have to fix it so that you do not have access to the confidential information when we provide you with the record. If we need to redact information from a record, it will probably take us additional time to respond to your request.
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