Make a Public Records Request

As described in the Public Records Policy, ​you can request public records using one of the following methods:

Some c​ommonly requested public records include:

  • Aboveground storage tanks or underground storage tanks installation, or removal, on a particular property; (submit a separate request for each address)
  • ​Airport records
  • Architectural/structural plans
  • Backflow records
  • Building permit records
  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Code enforcement records
  • City Council meeting records
  • Development applications
  • Engineering records
  • Finance records
  • Fire reports
  • Geotechnical reports
  • Inspection records
  • Ordinances or resolutions
  • Permit and license records are available online at no cost using SPLASH
  • Planning records
  • Police records
  • Public Works records
  • Request for proposals
  • Site plan​s

Fees for public records vary depending on the type of request, the amount of services, and staff time necessary to complete the request. The Public Records Fee Schedule lists fees for many commonly requested items. Staff will provide an estimate of how much you will be charged. Additional costs for certification will apply.

The City may furnish copies of requested records without charge, or at a reduced fee, if the City determines it is in the public interest.​

Step 1: Submit your request

The City Recorder’s office will coordinate the activity related to your request. Once your request is received, the City Recorder will send an acknowledgement to you and forward a copy to the appropriate City department’s designated Records Manager.​

Step 2: Request review

The request will be reviewed to determine the following:

  • An estimate of the costs necessary to provide the requested records
  • An estimate of the amount of time needed to provide the requested records
  • A decision whether any records are exempt from public disclosure

This information will be sent to the City Recorder.

Step 3: Notification

The City Recorder will contact you and inform you whether your request was accepted or denied, and the costs necessary for you request.

If you wish to proceed at this point, you can pay the fees. No further work on the request will be done until the estimated costs have been prepaid.

Denial of request: If the request is being denied, you will receive a written explanation.

Step 4: Payment

Once payment has been received, staff will make the public records ready for inspection, or make copies of the public records, and calculate final costs involved in providing the request.

Step 5: Production or inspection of records

The City Recorder will contact you and make arrangements for you to inspect the public records, or pick up the copies made for you. If the final cost is different than the estimated amount, the difference must be paid before the records will be released. If you’ve requested to inspect the original public records, the City Recorder, or designee, will be present at all times to supervise the inspection and ensure that no documents are removed, destroyed, or otherwise tampered with.

If certified copies were requested, the City Recorder will attach the certification to the copies before releasing them.

You may need to contact other public agencies for some types of records. Some c​ommonly requested public records that we do not provide include:​

Contact us

City Recorder
Monday–Friday
8 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1 p.m.–5 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 205
Salem OR 97301
Phone: