Public Record Request

The City responds to requests for public records under the provisions of the Washington State Public Records Act (RCW 42.56). The purpose of the Act is to provide the public access to records that contain information concerning the conduct of government, mindful of individual's privacy rights and the desirability of the efficient administration of government.

In the interest of transparency and responsibility to all residents, taxpayers, and other constituents, the City of Burien aims to make the process of obtaining public records as easy as possible, while still fulfilling other legal requirements.


400 SW 152nd Street, Ste. 300
Burien, WA 98166
Ph: (206) 436-5578
Fax: (206) 248-5539

To request a City of Burien public record, you can:

To request Police Department records, contact:

King County Sheriff's Office, Records Unit
King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave., Room W-150
Seattle, WA  98104
(206) 263-2626

To request court-related records, contact:

King County District Court, South Division
Court Manager
Burien Court House
601 SW 149th St.
Burien, WA 98166
(206) 296-0905
A public records request should include the name, address, and contact information of the requestor; a description of the requested public records adequate to locate the records, and the date of the request. 

Please note that local governments are not required to create documents to comply with a request for specific information. Rather, they must produce existing records for review and copying. Also, local governments are not obligated to compile information from various records so that information is in a form that is more useful to the requestor. 

The Public Records Officer will make records available for inspection and copying by appointment during normal business hours, excluding legal holidays. The requestor will not remove any document from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any document. If desired, the requestor may indicate which documents they wish the City to copy.

Response to City of Burien Records Requests

Within five business days of receipt of the request, the Public Records Officer or designee will do one of the following:

  • Provide a reasonable estimate of when the records will be available.
  • Make the records available for inspection or copying.
  • Contact the requestor to request clarification.
  • Deny the request and cite the reason for the denial.

If the requestor does not receive a response within five days, they should contact the Public Records Officer.

    Black & White and/or Color
    Large Format (i.e. plans)
$0.15 per page
Vendor invoice

Scanned documents into electronic format

$0.10 per page

Digital files or attachments $0.05 per four files
Gigabytes of electronic records
$0.10 per transmission
Storage media or container $2 per container
Postage and/or delivery fees
Actual cost
Certified copies $5

For a large request, the City may require a deposit of up to ten percent of estimated cost before making copies; provide copies in installments; and/or require advance payment before providing further installments. Charges will be combined if more than one type of charge applies. GIS Services (pre-made maps, custom maps, or data) have a separate fee structure.

By submitting a public record request you agree to pay any reproduction costs that may apply.

Public Records Online

Many public records are readily available on the City’s website. Some records are not automatically posted online for many reasons, including that they may not have widespread interest, they are too large, or they contain confidential information. Many of these records may be obtained through a public disclosure request, though there are some exemptions to disclosure as determined by state law.

The following frequently requested records are currently on the City’s website:

Special Considerations

The Public Records Act, RCW 42.56, provides that a number of document types and information are prohibited from being disclosed or are exempt from public inspection and copying. See Washington State Attorney General's Exemption List. In addition, there are other statutes not listed in Chapter 42.56 RCW which may exempt or prohibit disclosure of certain documents. See Exemption List Outside RCW 42.56 (Appendix C to "Public Records Act for Washington Cities, Counties, and Special Purpose Districts," Municipal Research and Services Center, March 2016, and as amended.) If only a portion of a record is exempt from disclosure, the Public Records Officer or designee will redact the exempt portions before providing the document.

If requested records contain information that may affect the rights of others, before providing the records, the Public Records Officer or designee may give notice and allow time for action by the other parties.

If a requestor has not reviewed or claimed records within thirty (30) days of notice that the records are available or fails to make payment, the Public Records Officer may close the request.

If after a request has been filled and the Public Records Officer becomes aware of additional documents existing at the time of the request, these documents will be provided to the requestor on an expedited basis.

Updated February 2, 2024