45 CFR § 1169.6 - Identification required when requesting access to NEH records pertaining to an individual.

§ 1169.6 Identification required when requesting access to NEH records pertaining to an individual.

(a) Before granting access to personal information under the Privacy Act, NEH may require that the individual requesting such access provide reasonable proof of his or her identity.

(b) Except in the case of NEH employees and those individuals who request in-person inspection, NEH generally will endeavor to provide access to records via mail or email. In such instances, NEH will first confirm that the physical and/or email addresses provided by the requester match those contained with the NEH system of records. Depending upon the sensitivity of the records requested, and whether the addresses match as described in the preceding sentence, NEH may also request that the individual verify his or her identity by providing certain minimum identifying data, such as date or place of birth and/or copies of a valid driver's license or passport. Where the information sought is of a particularly sensitive nature, and/or where the individual cannot provide minimum identifying data, NEH may require that the individual seeking access submit a notarized statement of identity or a signed statement asserting and acknowledging that knowingly or willfully seeking or obtaining access to records about another person under false pretenses may result in a fine of up to $5,000.

(c) NEH will provide access by in-person examination to NEH employees as well as to individuals who specifically request disclosure in person. In such instances, the individual requesting disclosure may prove identity by producing an employee identification card, driver's license, or other license, permit or pass used for routine identification purposes. If the individual is unable to provide suitable documentation or identification, NEH may require that he or she stipulate, in writing, that knowingly or willingly seeking or obtaining access to records about another person under false pretenses is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.

(d) Identity verification procedures shall not:

(1) Be so complicated as to discourage unnecessarily individuals from seeking access to information about themselves;

(2) Be required of an individual seeking access to records that normally would be available under FOIA (see 45 CFR part 1171);

(3) Require, as a condition to access, the provision of a social security number, unless a social security number is the only means by which NEH may retrieve the records that are the subject of the request.

(4) Require that the individual explain or justify his or her need for access to any record under this part.