As an agency of the state of South Carolina, the Secretary of State’s Office complies with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. The Secretary of State’s Office will provide copies of public records in its custody unless the records are exempt from disclosure under S.C. Code of Laws §30-4-40.
Please note that the Secretary of State’s Office can only provide copies of records that are in its custody. If your Freedom of Information Act request pertains to records held by another state agency, please send your request directly to that agency. A complete listing of South Carolina state agencies is available at sc.gov.
All Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests for records in the custody of the Secretary of State’s Office should be mailed to the following address:
Secretary of State’s Office
ATTN: Legal Division—FOIA
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Upon receipt of a written request for records under FOIA, the Secretary of State’s Office will determine if the records are available. The Secretary of State’s Office will notify the customer of this determination within 10 business days for records less than two years old, or within 20 business days for records more than two years old.
If the Secretary of State’s Office determines that the requested records are available and not exempt from disclosure, the records will be furnished to the customer within 30 calendar days of the determination, or within 35 calendar days if the records are more than two years old. If the Secretary of State’s Office requires a deposit before searching for or making copies of the records, then the records will be furnished within 30 calendar days of when the deposit is received. If the records are more than two years old, the records will be furnished within 35 calendar days of when the deposit is received.
According to S.C. Code of Laws §30-4-30(B), the fulfillment of FOIA requests is subject to fees for search, retrieval, and redaction of records, as well as fees for providing copies of documents.
- Fees for search, retrieval, and redaction of records will not exceed the prorated hourly salary of the lowest-paid staff member who has the necessary skills and training to fulfill the request.
- The current rate for copies of records is $0.10 per page. If an electronic version of a record is available, and the customer elects to receive the record electronically, then there will be no charge for copies. Please note that if the requested records are not in an electronic format, and our office agrees to transfer the documents to an electronic format, then there will be a charge for the staff time required to transfer the documents to an electronic format.
- The Secretary of State’s Office may require a deposit not to exceed 25% of the total anticipated cost for furnishing records before searching for and/or copying records according to a FOIA request.
If you have any questions about submitting a Freedom of Information Act request to the Secretary of State’s Office, please call (803) 734-2170 and ask for the Legal Division.