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Open Records Policy

Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, gives you the right to access government records; and an officer for public information and the officer’s agent may not ask why you want them. All government information is presumed to be available to the public. Certain exceptions may apply to the disclosure of the information. Governmental bodies shall promptly release requested information that is not confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision, or information for which an exception to disclosure has not been sought.

Rights of Requestors

You have the right to:

Responsibilities of Governmental Bodies

All governmental bodies responding to information requests have the responsibility to:

Procedures to Obtain Information

  1. Information to be released
    • You may review it promptly, and if it cannot be produced within 10 working days the public information officer will notify you in writing of the reasonable date and time when it will be available.
    • Keep all appointments to inspect records and to pick up copies.  Failure to keep appointments may result in losing the opportunity to inspect the information at the time requested.

      Cost of Records

      • You must respond to any written estimate of charges within 10 business days of the date the governmental body sent it or the request is considered automatically withdrawn.
      • If estimated costs exceed $100.00 (or $50.00 if a governmental body has fewer than 16 full time employees) the governmental body may require a bond, prepayment or deposit.
      • You may ask the governmental body to determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public, resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges.
      • Make a timely payment for all mutually agreed charges. A governmental body can demand payment of overdue balances exceeding $100.00, or obtain a security deposit, before processing additional requests from you.

  2. Information that may be withheld due to an exception
    • By the 10th business day after a governmental body receives your written request, a governmental body must:
      1. request an Attorney General opinion and state which exceptions apply;
      2. notify the requestor of the referral to the Attorney General; and
      3. notify third parties if the request involves their proprietary information.
    • Failure to request an Attorney General opinion and notify the requestor within 10 business days will result in a presumption that the information is open unless there is a compelling reason to withhold it.
    • Requestors may send a letter to the Attorney General arguing for release, and may review arguments made by the governmental body.   If the arguments disclose the requested information, the requestor may obtain a redacted copy.
    • The Attorney General must issue a decision no later than the 45th working day from the day after the attorney general received the request for a decision.  The attorney general may request an additional 10 working day extension.
    • Governmental bodies may not ask the Attorney General to "reconsider" an opinion.

For fastest service, please address your request to the appropriate department at the Office of the Secretary of State:

Information about corporations and other business entities registered with this agency

In person: Corporations Section, 1019 Brazos St., Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Corporations Section, P.O. Box 13697, Austin, TX 78711-3697
By fax: (512) 463-5709
By e-mail

The Secretary of State’s computer database, including corporation and other business entity information, may also be accessed over the Internet through SOSDirect.

Information about Uniform Commercial Code Filings

In person: Uniform Commercial Code Section, 1019 Brazos St., Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Uniform Commercial Code Section, P.O. Box 13193, Austin, TX 78711-3193
By fax: (512) 463-1423
By e-mail

The Secretary of State’s computer database, including corporation and other business entity information, may also be accessed over the Internet through SOSDirect.

Elections and Voter Information

In person: Elections Division, 208 E. 10th St., 3rd Floor, Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Elections Division, P.O. Box 12060, Austin, TX 78711-2060
By fax: (512) 475-2811
By e-mail

Notary Public Information

In person: Notary Public Unit, 1019 Brazos St., Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Notary Public Unit, P.O. Box 13375, Austin, TX 78711-3375
By fax: (512) 463-0873
By e-mail

Authentications Information (Documents requiring an apostille or certificate for foreign use)

In person: Authentications Unit, 1019 Brazos St., Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Authentications Unit, P.O. Box 13550, Austin, TX 78711-3550
By fax: (512) 463-0873
By e-mail

Citations Information

In person: Citations Unit, 1019 Brazos St., Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Citations Unit, P.O. Box 12079, Austin, TX 78711-2079
By fax: (512) 463-0873
By e-mail

Information about filings with the Registrations Unit

In person: Registrations Unit, 1019 Brazos, St. Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Registrations Unit, P.O. Box 13550, Austin, TX 78711-3550
By fax: (512) 475-2815
By e-mail

All Other Public Information Requests

In person: Office of the General Counsel, Capitol Bldg. 1E.8, Austin, TX 78701
By mail: Office of the General Counsel, P.O. Box 12887, Austin, TX 78711-2887
By fax: (512) 475-2761
By e-mail

For complaints regarding failure to release public information please contact your local County or District Attorney. Please ask and you will be provided with this information.

If you need a special accommodation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact our ADA coordinator at 512-463-8000.