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MDOT Public Information Act (PIA)

Welcome to the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Public Information Act (PIA) Homepage.  

Where can I find information about the Public Information Act (PIA)?

The PIA can be found in the General Provisions Article, § 4-101 et seq., Annotated Code of Maryland.  The Maryland Office of the Attorney General’s website provides excellent information for anyone considering filing a PIA request, including sample letters and law citations. 

http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/pia.htm

You can also find MDOT specific PIA information in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), Title 11, Department of Transportation.

http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/SubtitleSearch.aspx?search=11.01.13.*

It is important to note, however, that the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is governed by separate COMAR requirements.

http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/SubtitleSearch.aspx?search=11.11.09.*

You will find further information on the MVA PIA process on their website:

http://www.mva.maryland.gov/general-information/public-information-act.html

Can I submit my PIA request electronically?

Except for PIA requests to MVA, we strongly encourage you to submit your request electronically.  For all MDOT business units except for the MVA, you may submit a request through the MDOT PIA Online Request Form.  The other business units include the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA), Maryland Port Administration (MPA), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), State Highway Administration (SHA), and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

If you are submitting a request to the MVA, you may obtain and complete the MVA Online PIA Request Form, and send the completed and signed form to the MVA PIA Representative by fax, email, or U.S. mail.  Please visit the MVA’s Public Information Act webpage for additional information.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to include all pertinent information, including explicit language stating that your request is a PIA request.  The scope of information sought in your requests directly impacts the time required and costs for that PIA request. 

What information do I need to provide when requesting records?

We encourage you to explicitly state that you are making a request under the Public Information Act (PIA) and identify the record(s) desired.  The scope of the request has a direct correlation to the cost associated with processing it. 

In order to assist MDOT in conducting timely records searches in the most efficient manner possible, you should provide as much detail as possible.  Be specific about the type of record(s) you are seeking (e.g., file-related information, event-related information, etc.), facility names, individual names, project locations and numbers, subject area, dates or date ranges, and originator.

If you are requesting information that is restricted by law, including but not limited to, MVA records with personal information, procurement records, and business licensing records, you may be  required to identify yourself and the purpose of your request to determine if you are legally entitled to the information or records.

Are there fees?

The MDOT is committed to transparency and will provide records in accordance with all laws and regulations.  We also have a responsibility to the citizens of Maryland to recover the public dollars expended to fulfill these requests.  While fees recovered can never fully reimburse for all costs involved in researching and processing a PIA request, MDOT policy seeks to recover as many costs as permissible to ensure the integrity of the Transportation Trust Fund and/or Maryland Transportation Authority funds.  

Costs are recovered before the documents are provided.  Costs include:

  • Individual time, for computer and other search efforts, at their actual rates for actual hours.  The two hours of free search time will be subtracted from this subtotal.  The MDOT tracks time by the minute and does not round up or down in calculations.
  • Record retrieval time, electronically and manually.
  • Review and legal advice.
  • Duplication costs.
  • Postage based on the actual the U.S. Postal Service rate if mailing is required.
  • Supplies such as DVDs, flash drives, and envelopes.

As stated above, the scope of a request has a direct bearing on the cost to process and fulfill a request.  We are always open to discussing ways to narrow a search to potentially lower the cost.  Specific, targeted requests that include explicit details may involve fewer people and time and can reduce the costs of the search and production of requested documents.

Can I visit MDOT and review records?

Yes.  After you are notified that the records are available and any costs associated with producing those records, you may schedule an appointment with the PIA Representative listed above to review the records in person.

Keep in mind that reviewing documents in person may not necessarily lower the cost.  All requests require searches to determine if there are potentially responsive record, which may be electronic and/or hard copy archives.  Records may be stored at multiple locations throughout a business unit and/or MDOT.  Once collected, all records must be reviewed to determine what is and is not responsive.  Those documents are reviewed again to determine what the law permits us to release and requires us to withhold.  At this point, the records are prepared for release.

 The records will either be duplicated so you may review them in person or copied to be sent to you.

Can I get copies of records?

Yes.  During your file review, you may identify documents you wish to have copied.  MDOT staff will arrange for the copying to take place.  All documents must remain under MDOT’s control.

Copies of records will be provided in the form or format requested, only if the records are readily reproducible in that form or format.  However, there are charges associated with obtaining copies of records.  Currently, the first two hours of search and preparation for requested records are free.  The documents will be reproduced after payment is received from the requester.  You will be advised of the copying fees that apply to your request.

Who should I contact for information?

For cost efficiency , we strongly encourage you to use the online PIA request forms.  For requests to all MDOT business units except for the MVA, use the MDOT PIA Online Request Form, which will allow you to submit your request electronically.

If you are requesting records from the MVA, you are required to complete the MVA Online PIA Request Form, which you may obtain and complete electronically or by contacting the MVA PIA Representative, listed below, for a copy.  All MVA PIA Request Forms must be signed by the applicant and submitted by fax, email, or U.S. mail to the MVA PIA Representative.

For questions, you may contact the following 

Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and The Secretary’s Office (TSO)
Matthew Nemphos
7201 Corporate Center Drive
3rd Floor, Mailstop 305
Hanover MD  21075
Phone: (410) 865-1346

Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA)
Dale Hilliard
Executive Offices
3rd Floor, Terminal Building
P. O. Box 8766
BWI Airport MD  21240-0766
Phone: (410) 859-7060

Maryland Port Administration (MPA)
Angela Zerzeles
World Trade Center
401 E. Pratt Street
20th Floor
Baltimore MD  21202
Phone: (410) 385-4434

Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
Eric R. Backes
6 Saint Paul Street
William Donald Schaefer Tower
22nd Floor
Baltimore MD  21202
Phone: (410) 767-2536

Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)
Melissa Robinson, Esquire
6601 Ritchie Highway
Room 200
Glen Burnie MD  21062
Phone: (410) 768-7205

State Highway Administration (SHA)
Lisa B. Conners
707 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore MD  21202
Phone: (410) 545-0030

Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)
Kerry Brandt
2310 Broening Highway
Baltimore, MD 21224-6639
Phone: (410) 537-1018