Who can request information?

Data (i.e. information) classified as public under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act is available to anyone who submits a valid data request. This includes private individuals, reporters, attorneys, and businesses. Information on how to request public data is available in MDA’s Data Access Procedures for Members of the Public (PDF).

Individuals who are the subject of data, meaning the data is about the requestor or someone for whom the requestor is a legal guardian, can obtain both public and private data about themselves. Information on how data subjects can request data is available in MDA’s Data Access Procedure for Data Subjects (PDF).

How do you make a data practices request?

Please fill out and submit the appropriate data request form in writing, either via email or U.S. Mail:

  • Data Request form for Public Data (PDF)
  • Data Request form for Data Subjects (PDF)

Be sure to state as clearly as possible what data you are requesting, whether you are requesting public data or data as a data subject, and whether you wish to inspect the data at MDA offices or receive copies. If you are requesting private data on yourself or someone for whom you are a guardian, MDA staff is required to confirm your identity to ensure that you are legally authorized to see the data.

Where should I send my request?

If you know the MDA division that maintains your data, you may send your request directly to the data practices contact within that division.  A list of contacts is can be found here.

If you are a member of the media, please submit your request to MDA’s Communications Department.

Otherwise, you may submit your request to MDA’s Data Practices Manager/DPCO.

When will you get the information?

If you are requesting data about yourself, MDA will provide the data within 10 business days of receiving your request. For other requests, MDA staff will provide data within a reasonable period of time. Generally, MDA completes requests within 30 days of receiving them unless they are large or complex.

Do I have to pay?

The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act allows MDA to charge certain costs it incurs when fulfilling requests for copies of data. For details, refer to the relevant Data Access Policy. MDA does not generally charge for data requests unless the total copy costs exceed $50.  If MDA anticipates that your request will result in copy costs, MDA staff will attempt to contact you with an estimate of copy costs before it begins fulfilling your data request.