Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) Requests

Under the provisions of Executive Order 13526 an individual may request the declassification review of specific classified material at the Reagan Presidential Library.

Determine whether or not you can request Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR).

In order to request MDR, the information is classified and the following conditions met:

  • The request for a review describes the document or material containing the information with sufficient specificity to enable the Reagan Presidential Library to locate it with a reasonable amount of effort.
  • The document or material containing the information responsive to the request is not contained within an operational file exempted from search and review, publication, and disclosure under 5 U.S.C 552 in accordance with law.
  • The information has not been reviewed for declassification within the past 2 years. If the agency has reviewed the information within the past 2 years, or the information is the subject of pending litigation, the Reagan Presidential Library shall inform the requester of this fact and of the requester's appeal rights.

Draft your request for Mandatory Declassification Review.

  • Use the Reagan Presidential Library’s MDR form.
  • Identify the document or folders to be reviewed with as much specificity as possible, e.g.,
    Collection: Counterterrorism and Narcotics Office, NSC.
    Folder: Terrorism: Exercises
    Item: #10-Paper - re: The Terrorist Threat in the Republic of Korea (2pp, partial) 8/18/87
  • Submit to Reagan Presidential Library Mandatory Declassification Archivist.

Please Note: generally, MDRs ought to be filed only for the declassification and release of information known to be classified. MDRs will not be processed for general requests for information, e.g. “information on USSR-US relations from 1980 to 1988”, though that may be an appropriate subject for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Find more information about FOIA requests here. Although the purpose of an MDR is to provide declassification review of classified material, material that has been declassified pursuant to the review may nonetheless be withheld for other reasons, most typically because withholding is required by the FOIA.

Send your request to the Reagan Presidential Library

You may mail, email or fax your request for Reagan Presidential Library records to the following:

Address:
FOIA Coordinator
Reagan Presidential Library
40 Presidential Drive
Simi Valley CA 93065

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject line: Mandatory Declassification Review Request

Facsimile:
805-577-4074
Subject line: Mandatory Declassification Review Request

Overview of Mandatory Declassification Review Process

  • The Reagan Presidential Library will submit copies of your requested documents to the originating agency and/or other agencies that have primary subject matter interest in the document.
  • Each agency that has primary subject matter interest will review the document and advise the Reagan Presidential Library of its decision.
  • After all agency responses have been received by the Reagan Presidential Library, the requester will be notified of the results of the declassification reviews. Documents will be released in accordance with 44 USC § 2201-2207 and Executive Order 13526. Since these are Presidential records administered in accordance with 44 U.S.C. § 2201-2207 and Executive Order 13526, NARA must notify the former and incumbent Presidents prior to the release of any information in response to these Mandatory Declassification Review requests. If an agency denies a request for declassification, the requestor may appeal this decision to the agency's appellate authority through the Reagan Presidential Library. The Reagan Presidential Library will provide the requestor with appeal instructions in its notification letter prior to public release. An appeal of a sanitized or exempted document must be received by the Reagan Presidential Library within 60 days of the document’s public release.
  • If the agency reviews the document on appeal and determines that more information may be released without harm to national security, the document will be released in accordance with the regulations governing access to the Reagan Presidential Records (44 U.S.C. § 2201-2207 and Executive Order 13526). The requestor then has the right to appeal the agency’s determination to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) within 60 days of the document’s public release.
  • If the agency reviews the document on appeal and determines that it cannot release any further information without harm to national security, the requester will be notified immediately and informed of the right to file an appeal with the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) for final adjudication.

 

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum
1-805 577-4000 or 1-800-410-8354