Public Records FAQs

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Public Records Request Information 

What is a public record?
A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to: electronic media, paper, e-mail, microfilm, audiotapes, videotapes, magnetic tapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs).

A valid public records request is a request for a specific and identifiable public document. A request for general information is not a valid public records request. You do not have to identify the record you want with exact precision. Our staff may assist in clarifying your request.

Is a public records request confidential?
No. Once the LCB receives a public records request, the request itself becomes a public record of the LCB and is subject to release if anyone requests it. In addition, when LCB receives a request for records containing LCB personnel information, our staff will notify the affected LCB personnel. There are also instances when licensees request to be notified if someone requests copies of their records. In both cases, our staff typically notifies the affected parties and sends them a copy of the request, which includes the requestor’s name.

How long will it take to process my public records request?
Our public records staff will acknowledge your request within five business days and respond in one of four ways:

  1. Provide the record
  2. Acknowledge the request, and provide a reasonable estimate of the time required to prepare the records you are seeking
  3. Acknowledge the request, and request clarification of the records you are seeking
  4. Deny the request, and cite the specific legal exemption why the records requested are being denied

Our staff will try to provide your records as soon as possible. Additional time may be needed to process your request for the following reasons:

  • To clarify the records you are seeking
  • To locate and assemble the information requested
  • To notify third persons or agencies affected by your request
  • To determine whether any of the information you requested is exempt and that if all, or part, of your request should be denied

What if I just want to look at the public records?
Public records are available for inspection, free of charge. You may make an appointment to visit our records office during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., excluding state holidays) at:

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Public Records Office
1025 Union Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 664-1769

How much do copies of public records cost?
The board finds it would be unduly burdensome to calculate the actual costs of providing public records to requestors as the type of request and staff time to copy and provide records vary widely. The board does not have the resources to conduct a study of these costs, and conducting a study would interfere with other essential agency functions. Additionally, through the 2017 legislative process, the public and requestors commented on and were informed of authorized fees and costs, including costs for electronic records, provided in RCW 42.56.120 (2)(b) and (c), (3) and (4).

LCB will charge for copies of records pursuant to the default fees in RCW 42.56.120 (2)(b) and (c).

Copies of public records are in accordance with WAC 314-60-090 and RCW 42.56.120:

Applicable charges may apply as follows:

  • $0.15 per page (single-sided) for black-and-white photocopies.
  • $0.10 per page for scanned records.
  • $0.05 per each four electronic files or attachment uploaded to email, cloud-based data storage service, or other means of electronic delivery.
  • $0.10 per gigabyte for records transmitted in electronic format or for use of agency equipment to send records electronically. 
  • $3 per videotape (VHS).
  • $4 for the first audio cassette and $2 each thereafter.
  • $1 per DVD.
  • $10 per flash drive.
  • The cost of postage for items are mailed USPS.

There may be extra charges for rush orders, special mailings, or oversized materials.

If you would like our staff to notify you with the anticipated cost of your records, before they are processed, please include that with your original request in the description area.

What if I have a subpoena for public records?
When a subpoena, summons, search warrant, or other court order is presented, it must go to the Public Records Office in Olympia. A subpoena is an action separate from a request under the public records laws.

Are there any restrictions on what I can do with the records?
Yes. If you obtain a list of individuals through a public records request, it may not be used for any kind of commercial purpose. It also may not be used to contact those individuals as part of a profit-seeking business activity (RCW 42.56.070(9)).

What records/information is exempt from disclosure?
Both the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) and the Liquor and Cannabis Board section of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 314-60-100) state that certain types of records and information are exempt from public inspection and copying. Where exempt information can be deleted (redacted) from a record, our public records staff will provide the record with the exempt information redacted and our staff will identify the specific exemption that applies to the redactions.




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