Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR)


In addition to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, records may be released via a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR). MDRs are authorized under Executive Order 13526, which allows the public to request a classification review of a withdrawn, classified document. 

Requirements for MDR requests:

  • The document must be classified in order to qualify for MDR
  • The request must be specific in scope (preferably, individual documents) so that they can be readily located.  (Broad, topical requests should be submitted under FOIA.)

How to Make a Mandatory Declassification Review Request

  1. Complete Presidential Libraries Mandatory Review Request - NA Form 14020 (available as DOC or PDF)
  2. Complete Sections I, II, and III by copying the information from the Withdrawal/Redaction Sheet into Sections II and III.
  3. Download and Complete the MDR Address Form (available as DOC or PDF)
  4. Send the completed Mandator Review Request form and Address form to the Obama Library
    • By email: obama.library@nara.gov
      (include Mandatory Declassification Review in the subject line)
    • By mail:
      Barack Obama Presidential Library
      c/o Mandatory Declassification Review Archivist
      2500 W Golf Rd
      Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Additional Details About Mandatory Declassification Review

  • Sections II and III of the MDR Request form should be completed by the requestor using the information provided on the Withdrawal/Redaction Sheet. The documents identified on the MDR request form should be from one folder only.
  • If you are requesting documents from more than one folder, use a separate request form for each folder, even if the folders are from the same box. 
  • Documents that have been reviewed by an agency with declassification authority and exempted from declassification may not be resubmitted for declassification review until two years from the date of an agency’s final determination. The two year rule applies regardless of whether the agency reviewed the document as a mandatory declassification review in accordance with Section 3.5 of Executive Order 13526, or as a systematic declassification review in accordance with Section 3.4 of the Order.
  • Only those requesters identified at the time the Mandatory Review (MR) request is submitted for agency review will have the right to appeal an agency’s final determination.

Contact

Barack Obama Presidential Library
c/o Mandatory Declassification Review Archivist
2500 W Golf Rd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Fax: (847) 252-5799 (include cover sheet)
obama.library@nara.gov (include Mandatory Declassification Review in subject line)