Copy Costs

Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13, allows, but does not require, government entities to charge for copies of government data. If an entity's policy is to charge for copies, the allowable amount depends on whether the requester is a member of the public or a data subject.

Statutory requirements relating to copy charges are in Minnesota Statutes, sections 13.03 (members of the public), sections 13.04 (data subjects), and Minnesota Rules 1205.030, subpart 4. A government entity cannot charge to separate public from not public data. In situations where specific charges are set by statute or rule, government entities should follow the applicable statutory language, rather than Chapter 13's requirements.

Members of the public

  • 25 cents per page – 100 or fewer paper copies

If the request is for 100 or fewer pages of black and white, letter or legal sized paper copies, the maximum allowable charge is 25 cents for each page copied, or 50¢ for a two-sided copy.   This charge is a flat rate; entites cannot add on any additional charges, such as cost of mailing or paper.

  • Actual cost - most other copies

For copies of other data (more than 100 paper copies, photographs, data on a CD or DVD, data stored electronically, etc.) a government entity may charge the actual cost for an employee to search for and retrieve the data, and to make paper copies or to print copies of electronically stored data.

Data subjects

  • Actual cost
A government entity may charge the actual cost for an employee to make paper copies or to print copies of electronically stored data. A government entity may not charge a data subject any fee for searching for and retrieving data.