34 CFR 5b.5 - Notification of or access to records.

§ 5b.5 Notification of or access to records.
(a) Times, places, and manner of requesting notification of or access to a record.
(1) Any individual may request notification of a record. He may at the same time request access to any record pertaining to him. An individual may be accompanied by another individual of his choice when he requests access to a record in person; Provided, That he affirmatively authorizes the presence of such other individual during any discussion of a record to which access is requested.
(2) An individual making a request for notification of or access to a record shall address his request to the responsible Department official and shall verify his identity when required in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section. At the time the request is made, the individual shall specify which systems of records he wishes to have searched and the records to which he wishes to have access. He may also request that copies be made of all or any such records. An individual shall also provide the responsible Department official with sufficient particulars to enable such official to distinguish between records on subject individuals with the same name. The necessary particulars are set forth in the notices of systems of records.
(3) An individual who makes a request in person may leave with any responsible Department official a request for notification of or access to a record under the control of another responsible Department official; Provided, That the request is addressed in writing to the appropriate responsible Department official.
(b) Verification of identity—
(1) When required. Unless an individual, who is making a request for notification of or access to a record in person, is personally known to the responsible Department official, he shall be required to verify his identity in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section if:
(i) He makes a request for notification of a record and the responsible Department official determines that the mere disclosure of the existence of the record would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy if disclosed to someone other than the subject individual; or,
(ii) He makes a request for access to a record which is not required to be disclosed to the general public under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, and part 5 of this title.
(2) Manner of verifying identity.
(i) An individual who makes a request in person shall provide to the responsible Department official at least one piece of tangible identification such as a driver's license, passport, alien or voter registration card, or union card to verify his identity. If an individual does not have identification papers to verify his identity, he shall certify in writing that he is the individual who he claims to be and that he understands that the knowing and willful request for or acquisition of a record pertaining to an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense under the Act subject to a $5,000 fine.
(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section, an individual who does not make a request in person shall submit a notarized request to the responsible Department official to verify his identity or shall certify in his request that he is the individual who he claims to be and that he understands that the knowing and willful request for or acquisition of a record pertaining to an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense under the Act subject to a $5,000 fine.
(iii) An individual who makes a request on behalf of a minor or legal incompetent as authorized under § 5b.10 of this part shall verify his relationship to the minor or legal incompetent, in addition to verifying his own identity, by providing a copy of the minor's birth certificate, a court order, or other competent evidence of guardianship to the responsible Department official; except that, an individual is not required to verify his relationship to the minor or legal incompetent when he is not required to verify his own identity or when evidence of his relationship to the minor or legal incompetent has been previously given to the responsible Department official.
(iv) An individual shall further verify his identity if he is requesting notification of or access to sensitive records. Any further verification shall parallel the record to which notification or access is being sought. Such further verification may include such particulars as the individual's years of attendance at a particular educational institution, rank attained in the uniformed services, date or place of birth, names of parents, or an occupation.
(v) An individual who makes a request by telephone shall verify his identity by providing to the responsible Department official identifying particulars which parallel the record to which notification or access is being sought. If the responsible Department official determines that the particulars provided by telephone are insufficient, the requester will be required to submit the request in writing or in person. Telephone requests will not be accepted where an individual is requesting notification of or access to sensitive records.
(c) Granting notification of or access to a record.
(1) Subject to the provisions governing exempt systems in § 5b.11 of this part, a responsible Department official, who receives a request for notification of or access to a record and, if required, verification of an individual's identity, will review the request and grant notification or access to a record, if the individual requesting access to the record is the subject individual.
(2) If the responsible Department official determines that there will be a delay in responding to a request because of the number of requests being processed, a breakdown of equipment, shortage of personnel, storage of records in other locations, etc., he will so inform the individual and indicate when notification or access will be granted.
(3) Prior to granting notification of or access to a record, the responsible Department official may at his discretion require an individual making a request in person to reduce his request to writing if the individual has not already done so at the time the request is made.

Title 34 published on 2013-07-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

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