Make an access to information or personal information request

Who can make a request

Any Canadian citizen, permanent resident or any person or corporation residing in Canada has the right to request access to records of government institutions that are subject to the Access to Information Act.

Any Canadian citizen, permanent resident or individual present in Canada has the right to access their personal information held by government institutions that are subject to the Privacy Act.

Make a request online

There are several options when making an access to information or personal information request. Using the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online Request service is a fast, easy and convenient way to submit a request. This service allows individuals to make online requests for information to participating government institutions instead of having to print, scan, mail or email a paper form.

Please note request service standard:

You may be contacted about your request by the Access to Information and privacy Office of the institution to which your request is addressed.

If a request is received by an institution after business hours, it will be dated the next business day.

Checklist of what you will need:

What type of request are you making?

Access to Information for general government records (not sure what this includes?not sure what this includes?)

Things you need
  • Access to a valid email account;
  • Electronic copies of any documents you wish to attach to your request (accepted formats are DOC, DOCX, PDF, TIFF, JPG, or PNG);
    • Proof that you have the right to make an access to information request, such as proof of Canadian citizenship (a copy of your passport or citizenship certificate); proof of your status as a permanent resident (a copy of your permanent resident card); or proof of temporary status in Canada ( a work, study and/or visitor permit).
  • Credit card information to pay the $5 application fee (VISA, MasterCard or American Express are accepted. Payments cannot be made through debit or prepaid credit cards).

Access to personal Information (not sure what this includes?not sure what this includes?)

Things you need
Information about yourself
  • Access to a valid email account
  • Electronic copies of any documents you wish to attach to your request (accepted formats are DOC, DOCX, PDF, TIFF, JPG, or PNG)
    • Proof that you have the right to make a personal information request, such as proof of Canadian citizenship (a copy of your passport or citizenship certificate); proof of your status as a permanent resident, (a copy of your permanent resident card); or proof of temporary status in Canada ( a work, study and/or visitor permit)
Information about another individual with their consent
  • Access to a valid email account
  • Electronic copies of any documents you wish to attach to your request (accepted formats are DOC, DOCX, PDF, TIFF, JPG, or PNG)
  • Proof that the individual on whose behalf you are making the request has the right to make a request for their personal information, such as proof of their Canadian citizenship (a copy of their passport or citizenship certificate); or proof of their status as a permanent resident (a copy of their permanent resident card); or proof of temporary status in Canada (a work, study, and/or visitor permit) OR
  • If the individual does not have a right to apply for their own personal information, then the request must be made under the Access to Information Act. You will need to provide:
    • Proof that you have the right to make an access to information request, such as  proof of Canadian citizenship (a copy of your passport or citizenship certificate); proof of your status as a permanent resident, ( a copy of your permanent resident card);or proof of temporary status in Canada ( a work, study and/or visitor permit)
    • Credit card information to pay the $5 application fee (VISA, MasterCard or American Express are accepted. Payments cannot be made through debit or prepaid credit cards)
    • Information about the individual about whom you are making the request, including name and date of birth.
  • If you are making a request on behalf of someone else, you must include consent to release their information. The consent must be signed and dated by the person authorizing the disclosure of his/her information.
Information about an individual who has been deceased for less than 20 years
  • Access to a valid email account
  • Electronic copies of any documents you wish to attach to your request (accepted formats are DOC, DOCX, PDF, TIFF, JPG, or PNG)
    • Proof that the deceased person was a Canadian citizen (such as a copy of the person's passport or citizenship certificate); proof of the person's status as a permanent resident, (such as a copy of the person's permanent resident card); or proof of temporary status in Canada (such as a work, study and/or visitor permit)
    • Proof of your status as executor
Information about an individual who has been deceased for more than 20 years
  • Access to a valid email account
  • Electronic copies of any documents you wish to attach to your request (accepted formats are DOC, DOCX, PDF, TIFF, JPG, or PNG)
    • Proof that you have the right to make an access to information request, such as proof of Canadian citizenship (a copy of your passport or citizenship certificate); proof of your status as a permanent resident (a copy of your permanent resident card); or proof of temporary status in Canada (a work, study and/or visitor permit)
    • Proof of death documentation, such as a copy of an obituary notice, a death certificate, or a photo of a tombstone
  • Credit card information to pay the $5 application fee (VISA, MasterCard or American Express are accepted. Payments cannot be made through debit or prepaid credit cards)

Where do you go if you have questions?

For any questions about the status of an existing request, or what to include in a request, (such as the type of documents or proof of identity) contact the ATIP coordinator of the Government Institution administering your request. Go here for a list of ATIP coordinators.

If you require technical assistance with the ATIP Online service, please confirm your browser settings, then contact the client support team if needed.

Proceed to ATIP Online Request

Make a request by mail or email

Step 1. Search Existing Summaries

Before making an access to information request, you can search the summaries of access to information requests for records that have already been released by the Government of Canada to see if you can find what you are looking for there.

You may also be interested in visiting the Government's Open Government Portal.

Step 2. Find who holds the information you are requesting

The first step in making an Access to Information or Personal Information request is to determine which institution holds the information you are requesting. Please refer to Info Source to find out what each institution does and what information it holds.

To make either an access to information or personal information request, review the list of government institutions that are subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act to see which institution holds the information you are requesting.

Step 3. Fill in the Form

Download the forms here:

Can't download or print the form?

You may also submit a letter clearly indicating that your request is being made under either the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act, and describe the following:

  • The records you are seeking. Be as specific as possible. For example, you could give a date range and detailed subject matter.
  • Your preferred method of receiving the records (copies sent electronically or by mail, or to view the records in person).
  • Your email address or telephone number in case there are questions.
  • Your name, street address, city or town, province or territory and postal code.
  • The date of your request.

Other tips for submitting by mail or email:

  • To assist in processing your request quickly, you could include details, such as a date range, that would assist the government institution in finding the relevant records.
  • For personal information requests, additional information may be requested by the government institution to verify your identity.
Step 4. Send the request and payment

Begin by looking up the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator of the government institution you wish to contact. Contact information is listed by institution.

Be sure to include the appropriate fee with your request:

  • There is no fee for personal information requests.
  • There is no fee for correcting your personal information.
  • For access to information requests, include the $5 application fee.
  • Generally, cheques or money orders can be made payable to the Receiver General of Canada.

Tip: For government institutions without a Receiver General account, cheques and money orders must be made out directly to the institution. Contact the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator to confirm before sending your request.

You have sent in a request. Now what?

Learn more about how access to information and personal information requests work.

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