North Carolina

Select another state

North Carolina

Statutory Citation: G.S. §132-1

Definition of Public Record

Records include all documents, no matter the physical form, “made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency.” 1

Exemptions to Public Records

Exempt: Confidential legal communications; criminal investigations; and intelligence information. 2

Who Can Make The Request?


Response Timeframe

There is no time limit. Section § 132-6 of the North Carolina Public Records Law states that a custodian of public records shall make them available “at reasonable times and under reasonable supervision by any person, and shall, as promptly as possible, furnish copies thereof upon payment of any fees as may be prescribed by law.” 3

Information on Fees

Agencies are only allowed to charge copying fees, unless an “extensive amount of labor” is involved. The State Chief Information Office can mediate fees. 4

Enforcement Mechanisms

Enforcement through Civil Court. 5

Attorney Fees

Yes, you can win attorney’s fees.

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

Arrow Icon
Download our Citizen’s Guide to Public Records Requests
File Icon Download Our Public Records Request Template
request document

Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

Goldwater Institute