California Department of Transportation

California Public Records Act (CPRA)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request records from Caltrans?
You will find information on how to file a Public Records Act request at www.dot.ca.gov/cpra.

Do I need to fill out a form to make a request?
No, a verbal request is fine. However, to ensure that the request is understood, staff will confirm the request in writing.

How long will it take to get the information I’m looking for?
This will depend on size and complexity of your request. Within 10 calendar days from receipt of the request, the Department will respond in writing with either the requested documents, or an estimate of when copies of the disclosible records will be provided.

How much does it cost to get records?
There is a duplication charge of $.25 per page (additional charges may apply for oversized documents and/or color copies).

I’ve requested numerous documents from a lengthy time frame, but I think I already have some of the records in my files. Do I have to pay for them again?
Not necessarily. You may make arrangements for a professional copying service, at your expense, to review and make copies of only the documents you require.

Why can’t I get my documents right away?
The Department has to research and identify the records you are requesting, as well as review them to determine whether any of the records are exempt from disclosure. Some materials may be exempt in order to protect confidential or personal information.

Who should I contact to make a request?
Go to www.dot.ca.gov/cpra. There you will find a link to the Public Records Coordinator for each Caltrans district. Click on a name to send an email, or click an address to be directed to the district webpage. A telephone number is also provided.

If you are unsure as to which district to contact, Caltrans’ Public Records Officer, Marcy Freer can assist you.

When is payment due?
Once copies have been made, you are responsible for payment in full. You may request to be notified of the anticipated amount due prior to copies being made. The Department reserves the right to waive costs at its discretion (generally for very small requests).

What if a person just wants to look at records?
The Department’s records are open to inspection during regular office hours. Some requests for records are simple and can be complied with immediately. Others will require a detailed search making immediate compliance not possible. Although some records may be readily available, it is first necessary to determine whether they contain confidential or other information that is exempt from disclosure.

How can I make arrangements to view records?
Contact the appropriate Public Records Coordinator to arrange a mutually convenient day and time to view requested records. You may not alter or remove the contents of any record file. You may take notes or “flag” pages to be copied. You should be prepared to pay the direct cost of duplication for any requested documents.

What if I need more information or have questions?
Our Guidelines are a general overview of what a person needs to know to request public records from the Department. The Department is pleased to provide more information or answer questions when you contact the Public Records Officer Marcy Freer at (916) 654-3644.

What if I’m not happy with the Department’s response?
Contact your Public Records Coordinator for help in clarifying your request in order to meet your needs.