Submit a Public Records Act (PRA) Request

Do you need help locating City records? Let us help. Follow the instructions below.

The City of Palo Alto understands and supports the public's right to access the public records created and maintained by the City in the course of its normal business. It is the goal of the City to provide service in a transparent manner, which includes timely access to requested records in accordance with the California Public Records Act (PRA).

Online

Step 1.Building your request

To enable staff to respond to your request as efficiently as possible, please include:

  • The date range for the records requested
  • The department that holds the records (if known)
  • The types of records, including any important keywords
  • Please do not include any confidential information

Step 2.Frequently requested documents

Use these links to see if the document you are requesting can be accessed instantly:

Step 3.Fill out the online application

Enter your request and attach any supporting documents using our convenient online portal.

Submit a Public Records Request

Step 4.We will contact you

Your Public Records Request will be forward to the appropriate department and you will be sent a confirmation e-mail. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 6250 to 6270, the typical timeline for the City to make a determination of available records is ten (10) calendar days from the date of receipt of the request. However, under certain circumstances, the City may exercise its right to extend this timeline for up to an additional fourteen (14) days.

Email

Step 1.Building your request

To enable staff to respond to your request as efficiently as possible, please include:

  • The date range for the records
  • The department that holds the records (if known)
  • The types of records, including any important keywords
  • Please do not include any confidential information

Step 2.Frequently requested documents

Use these links to see if the document you are requesting can be accessed instantly:

Step 3.Email the City Clerk’s Office

Public Records Requests are submitted to the City Clerk's office. Please email your claim, along with your contact information, to City.Clerk@cityofpaloalto.org.

Step 4.We will contact you

Your Public Records Request will be forward to the appropriate department and you will be sent a confirmation e-mail. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 6250 to 6270, the typical timeline for the City to make a determination of available records is ten (10) calendar days from the date of receipt of the request. However, under certain circumstances, the City may exercise its right to extend this timeline for up to an additional fourteen (14) days.

 

Mail

Step 1.Building your request

To enable staff to respond to your request as efficiently as possible, please include:

  • The date range for the records
  • The department that holds the records (if known)
  • The types of records, including any important keywords
  • Please do not include any confidential information

Step 2.Frequently requested documents

Use these links to see if the document you are requesting can be accessed instantly:

Step 3. Mail in your Public Records Request

Completed requests must be mailed to the City Clerk's office. Please send your request, along with your contact information to:

Office of the City Clerk: City Hall, 7th Floor
250 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Step 4.We will contact you

Your Public Records Request will be forward to the appropriate department. You will be contacted regarding your method of delivery. Please be aware that there may be fees incurred for the duplication of records. The City will provide the records electronically whenever possible. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 6250 to 6270, the typical timeline for the City to make a determination of available records is ten (10) calendar days from the date of receipt of the request. However, under certain circumstances, the City may exercise its right to extend this timeline for up to an additional fourteen (14) days.

 

Phone

Step 1.Building your request

To enable staff to respond to your request as efficiently as possible, please include:

  • The date range for the records
  • The department that holds the records (if known)
  • The types of records, including any important keywords
  • Please do not include any confidential information

Step 2.Frequently Requested Documents

Use these links to see if the document you are requesting can be accessed instantly:

Step 3.Call the Clerk's Office

Please have your request ready and call the City Clerk’s Office at (650) 329-2571.

Step 4.We will contact you

Your Public Records Request will be forward to the appropriate department and you will be sent a confirmation. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 6250 to 6270, the typical timeline for the City to make a determination of available records is ten (10) calendar days from the date of receipt of the request. However, under certain circumstances, the City may exercise its right to extend this timeline for up to an additional fourteen (14) days.

 

In-Person

Step 1.Building your request

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, City Hall is currently closed to the public, and in-person requests of records is not available at this time. 

To enable staff to respond to your request as efficiently as possible, please include:

  • The date range for the records
  • The department that holds the records (if known)
  • The types of records, including any important keywords
  • Please do not include any confidential information

Step 2.Frequently requested documents

Use these links to see if the document you are requesting can be accessed instantly:

Step 3.Walk in your request

Completed requests must be filed with the City Clerk's office. Please go to:

Office of the City Clerk: City Hall, 7th Floor
250 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

 

Step 4.We will contact you

Your Public Records Request will be forward to the appropriate department and you will be sent a confirmation. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 6250 to 6270, the typical timeline for the City to make a determination of available records is ten (10) calendar days from the date of receipt of the request. However, under certain circumstances, the City may exercise its right to extend this timeline for up to an additional fourteen (14) days.