DORA Public Information and Records

Colorado Open Records Act FAQs


What is a “public record”?

With certain exceptions, a “public record” subject to disclosure is an existing written or electronic document made, maintained or kept by a state agency for use in a government function or purpose. Exceptions are set out in the Colorado Open Records Act, and may also be found in the organic act covering the programs administered by DORA. For instance, the Real Estate Commission laws allow for closure of complaints of record and results of staff investigations in the discretion of the Commission during the investigatory period and until dismissed or until notice of hearing and charges are served on a licensee.

How do I request records from DORA or any of its Divisions?

In order for accurate tracking and timely response, all requests for records need to be submitted in writing. If you know the Division holding the public records you wish to receive, please submit the request to the Division Custodian for that Division. If you don’t know or are unsure which Division holds the records you wish to see, you may send your request to the Department Custodian.

How will I know what the costs of the public records will be?

The Colorado Open Records Act allows for public agencies to recoup actual, reasonable costs to retrieve and provide those documents available to the public. If your request is twenty pages or less and takes less than an hour of staff time to prepare, the requested documents are free of charge. If your request is over twenty pages, takes more than an hour to compile, requires that documents be brought in from off-site, or if in order to comply with the request DORA staff would need to modify the content of the documents, costs will be assessed based upon the following schedule: Below is a list of costs associated with various functions to produce a request.
Photo Copying: $0.25 per image (applies to a request with more than 20 pages)*
DORA Staff Time: $25.00 per hour (applies after the first hour if it takes more than one hour of staff time to fulfill the request)
Attorney Time: $30.00 per hour, if utilized
Retrieval of Documents: $28.00 per box
*A fee of twenty five cents ($0.25) per standard page and fifty cents ($0.50) per double-sided page will be charged except as otherwise specifically provided by law, as is the case of the Public Utilities Commission which will charge twenty cents ($0.20) per standard page for copies of records pursuant to §40-6-105.
Printing fees may still apply when records are transmitted electronically if it is necessary for the custodian to print documents in order to redact exempt information and/or scan the record to create an electronic file.
Estimation and Payment of Fees: Prior to responding to a CORA request, the Division Custodian or Department Custodian will estimate the costs associated with responding to the request, including estimated legal fees, if any, and provide an estimate of costs to the requestor. Unless the fees are waived, the information will not be copied, retrieved, redacted or manipulated until payment is received.

Is there always a charge for accessing records?

No. DORA does not charge a fee if your request takes less than an hour of staff time to compile. In some cases, depending upon the request, the fees may be reduced or waived. For example, requests for public records in connection with public interest research by a bona fide nonprofit research organization would be eligible for fee waivers or reductions. To request consideration of a waiver or reduction of fees, please contact the respective Division Custodian or the Department Custodian. Fee waivers or reductions will be uniformly applied among persons who are similarly situated.

Why is there a cost to the public to access records?

The Colorado Open Records statute acknowledges that there are real costs associated with the disclosure of public records, such as staff time to assemble, review and evaluate records for exempt information and copy costs. DORA is authorized to recover those actual costs through fees.

What information is exempt from release?

Colorado law recognizes many types of information that may, or must, remain closed to public inspection. For some divisions within DORA, personally identifying information, such as social security number, home phone number or home address, as well as medical or mental health data is exempt from release to the public. As such, basic privacy interests are protected. In addition, CORA closes other categories of public records from inspection, such as proprietary and other confidential information. Also, other Colorado statutes governing the programs administered by DORA require that specific kinds of information be closed to inspection, such as some information in connection with pending disciplinary investigations.

If a record contains some confidential information, is the custodian required to block out or “redact” the confidential portions of the record?

In general, CORA does not require that an agency redact exempt information. Records with mixed information may lawfully be closed to inspection. However, the custodian may review the records and decide if it is appropriate and practical to redact the confidential portion and release otherwise public information.

How long will it take me to get copies of records I request?

Records which are readily available must be released within three business days of the request. If the volume of records requested is overly broad or voluminous, such that it will take more time to assemble, review and evaluate the records, or if the records are stored off site, then an extension allowing up to seven additional business days is allowed. If an extension is necessary, you will be advised as soon as possible prior to the expiration of the initial three day period. A more specific request (for a single record for which you know the date and title) may not take long to retrieve. A general request (all records on a certain topic, or within an extended period of time) will typically take longer to retrieve.

What if my request for access to records is denied?

If the request for records is denied, the notice of denial will state the reasons for closure. The Colorado Open Records Act prescribes certain remedies should you wish to pursue them.




Media Contacts

If you are a member of the press and need information, please use the following contacts:

Executive Director's Office, Civil Rights Division, Division of Conservation, Division of Securities & Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate

Katie O'Donnell, Director of Communications and Public Engagement

katie.odonnell@state.co.us I Mobile (303)-204-1766

Division of Banking & Division of Financial Services

Rebecca Laurie, Stakeholder & Innovations Strategist

rebecca.laurie@state.co.us | Mobile: (720) 724-0612

Division of Insurance

Vince Plymell, Assistant Commissioner

vincent.plymell@state.co.us | Mobile: (303) 910-9614

Division of Professions & Occupations

Lee Rasizer, Public Information Officer

Division of Real Estate

David Donnelly | Manager of Education, Communication, and Policy

david.donnelly@state.co.us I (303) 864-2355

Public Utilities Commission

Katie O'Donnell, Director of Communications and Public Engagement

katie.odonnell@state.co.us I Mobile (303)-204-1766


CORA Custodians

To file a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request, please use the following contacts:

For all other inquiries, please contact the Welcome Center at (303) 894-7855 or 1 (800) 886-7675 for toll free outside the Denver metro area.

Executive Director's Office or requests involving multiple DORA Divisions

Katie O'Donnell


Colorado Civil Rights Division

Jennifer McPherson


Division of Banking

Kara Hunter


Division of Conservation

Aaron Welch


Division of Financial Services

Mark Valente


Division of Insurance

Jill Mullen


Division of Professions and Occupations

DPO Custodian


Division of Real Estate

DRE Custodian


Division of Securities

Kristofer Ostrom


Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate

Cindy Schonhaut


Public Utilities Commission

PUC Records Custodian


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