What Happens After Making a Request

How Long it Takes to Receive Information

  • We do our best to process requests as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Requests are divided into three categories, simple, complex and expedited.
  • To check on the status of your request, please contact our Customer Service Hotline and there your phone call will be routed to the appropriate Government Information Specialist handling your request.  If the Customer Service Hotline Representative is not available, please leave a brief message that includes your name, telephone number and FOI/PA request number (if applicable).  Your telephone call will be returned promptly.

What You Will Receive After DEA Processing

  • A determination letter is sent to you along with all releasable documents.
  • The determination letter explains any exemptions (Title 5, U.S. Code, Section 552/552a) that were used during processing.  Each exemption utilized or applied will have a check mark in its respective block.  Please see the Freedom of Information Act exemptions and Privacy Act exemptions for more information.
  • The determination letter will cite the number of pages reviewed with a breakdown of pages withheld and/or released.  If pages were referred or had to be consulted with another government agency, these will be listed as well.
  • If there are any duplication and/or processing fees, the letter will state the cost and provide instructions on where to send payment.  Only upon our direction should payment be submitted.


If you are not satisfied with the response to this request, you may administratively appeal by writing to the Director, Office of Information Policy (OIP), at the United States Department of Justice.  You may submit an appeal through OIP's FOIAonline portal by creating an account on the following web site: https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/home or by mail to the following address:

Freedom of Information Appeal
Office of Information Policy
U.S. Department of Justice
Suite 11050
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  205320-0001 

Your appeal must be postmarked or electronically transmitted within 90 days of the date of the response to your request. If you submit your appeal by mail, both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”

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United States Drug Enforcement Administration DEA.gov is an official site of the U.S. Department of Justice