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Public Access to Records and Privacy Policies

Notice Regarding Public Access to Records Requests

The COVID-19 virus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.  Moreover, the President of the United States has recently declared a national emergency due to the virus, and the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland have also declared public health emergencies in response thereto. Given these emergency conditions and the need for WMATA staff to support urgent safety and mission critical operational issues, please note that effective immediately processing of PARP requests has been temporarily suspended until further notice.


Public Access to Records Policy (PARP) - General Information

The PARP provides the general public with access to records in the custody of WMATA. It requires disclosure of WMATA records unless the records are exempt from disclosure. The PARP only provides access to existing records and does not require the creation of records to respond to a request.
To access records of general public interest on WMATA's website, click here.

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Submitting a PARP Request

Requests for records must be in writing (letter or email), and should include the requester's contact information (email address and telephone number). Requests must provide a specific description of the records being sought and limit the request to a specific timeframe or incident. Requests may be submitted via email, mail, or facsimile (fax).

  By email: PARP@wmata.com
  By mail: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Office of the General Counsel - 2nd Floor
Attn: PARP/Privacy Administrator
600 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
  By fax: (202) 962-2550


Records Responsive to a Request

Only records in WMATA's possession and control as of the date the search for records began are responsive to a request. If there are no records available at the time of the search, WMATA will inform the requester and close the request.

Processing and Duplication Fees

The first 2 hours of search and review time are free. Thereafter, requesters are generally assessed processing fees calculated at the employees' basic rate of pay, plus an additional 50 percent to cover benefits, for the time spent responding to the request for records. If hard copy records are provided, duplication fees are waived for the first 100 pages, and if CDs or DVDs, etc. are provided, requesters will be charged associated costs of duplication.

Prepayment of fees will be required if fees are estimated to exceed $250, or the requester has not remitted payment for a previous request for records, or was delinquent on a payment for a previous request.

For more detailed information, please refer to the PARP, click here.

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Privacy Policy - General Information

The Privacy Policy provides notice of the personal information WMATA collects and maintains, and regulates WMATA's collection, maintenance, and disclosure of such information. Not all WMATA records are subject to the Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy applies only to records about an individual maintained by WMATA in a System of Records. A System of Records is a group of records under WMATA's control from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some other unique identifier, such as a SmarTrip® number or a MetroAccess® registration number or WMATA employee identification number.

The Privacy Policy prohibits the disclosure of personal records contained in a System of Records without the written consent of the individual to whom the records pertain, unless a condition of disclosure is met or the release is covered by a routine use listed in the System of Records Notice (SORN) for the specific system. For a complete list of SORNs, click here.

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Submitting a Request for Personal Records

Under WMATA's Privacy Policy, individuals have the right to request:

  • Access to their personal records; and/or
  • Amendment of records that are factually inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete.

Requests should be sent to:

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority/WMATA
Office of the General Counsel - 2nd Floor
Attn: PARP/Privacy Administrator
600 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

You may submit an electronic copy of your request to PARP@wmata.com. However, prior to release of records, individuals are required to verify their identity, either by providing an original notarized request or by making an appointment to provide a government-issued photo ID and pick up the records.

The request must be clearly marked as a "Privacy Policy Request", and must contain detailed information about the specific subject of the records, including the subject's full name (including former names, if pertinent), birth date, and current address on file with WMATA. WMATA aims to respond to requests to access or amend records within 40 working days of receipt.

Duplication Fees

If hard copy records are provided, duplication fees are waived for the first 100 pages, and if CDs or DVDs, etc. are provided, requesters will be charged associated costs of duplication.

For more detailed information about the Privacy Policy, click here.

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